Discovering my cancer diagnosis – Self Advocacy, Health and Life


Have you ever been told that you are imagining that you are sick? Did you trust your body or the person who told you so?


There are umpteen reports on women being judged and told they are 'exaggerating', 'thinking too much', or 'it is all in the head' when they complain of pain or sickness. The Health Gap is real!


It is ridiculous that getting a genuine diagnosis is tougher for women in this time and age! This is why we advocate being more aware and believing in ourselves.


Read this inspiring true story of how this woman trusted her body more than anything/ anyone, proving that self-health advocacy is the only way out of sickness when one is engulfed by mistrust.

 

The deceiving symptoms


One April evening in 2021, just before a major presentation that was supposed to go a long way in building my career, I felt an intense vomiting sensation. This was followed by fever and shivering; 5 blankets were not enough in the heat of an Indian summer. I somehow managed to complete the presentation and crawl back to the bed and then the awful night began with thirst, heat, chills, and discomfort.


My family (I live with my Kaka (uncle), Kaki (aunt), and my older cousin) opined that this was all exhaustion, and I agreed with them. We had been road-tripping all over Sikkim for 7 days, driving around the length and breadth of the state for 7-8 hours every day with indifferent food and eating hours. Added to the fact that I had been working 14-18 hours all through 2020 (thanks to the impact of COVID-19’ on international financial markets), naturally, my body was going on a strike. The sensible thing to do was to take a break and actually rest up. I explained as much to my leader and took a few days off. I drank litres of water, ate mildly cooked but nutritious food, and popped Rantac (a medicine that reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes. It is used to treat and prevent heartburn, indigestion, and other symptoms caused by too much acid in the stomach) tablets to help with my increasingly failing digestion.