It is easy to accept defeat, succumb to self-pity and blame your stars when there is a crisis. And if this crisis is as gigantic as Ovarian Cancer, you need the strength of iron not to break down. But thanks to people like Anjali Sharma, who show us light in such utter darkness. A cancer survivor, Anjali refused to accept defeat in the hands of the sinister ailment and bravely defeated the deadly ailment with infinite positivity and patience. Here’s her inspiring story.
A fun-loving 23-year old Anjali got married to a handsome Army captain whom she met for the first time at a party. Life was great till she decided to hit the next milestone— motherhood. And with this, started the long ten-year journey of pain and infertility—five miscarriages and brush with the deadly ovarian cancer.
The Turning Point
After a few months of ignoring symptoms, rounds of self-medication and bearing what it looked like run-of-the-mill cases of indigestion, she finally decided to go to her family doctor. Within hours, her ovaries became their topic of discussion. The doctor advised a series of tests.
Anjali clearly remembers the fateful day, when she was on her way to pick up her husband from the airport. She got a call from her doctor who broke the news that changed her life upside down. Yes, she had cancer.
At first, she couldn’t believe her ears; “Cancer and Me? That just can’t be true”. Anjali had always followed a healthy lifestyle, always said no to junk food and regularly followed the exercising rituals.
This is what the situation was in the words of Anjali, “I was in a cab, and was looking forward to welcoming my husband home. But the news completely shook me from within. I was blackened out. I cried for exactly five minutes. Then decided to wipe off my tears, put the sunglasses on and moved on. What to do? I had cancer, and I had to face it.”
When She Decided to Fight
Once the couple was back home, she broke the news to her husband and then, they were ready to fight another ‘battle’. Sharma took up an unconventional route and decided not to discuss her cancer struggles with anyone. She decided to force herself to take good care of her body and most importantly, her soul! Even the ailment did not come in the way of the couple’s happiness; they went for movies, dinner and parties together post the chemo sessions and behaved like any usual couple in love. Anjali recollects; “I started to dress up the way I wanted to. Why should I look like a patient? In fact, during one of the hospital visits, when my mother had accompanied me to the hospital, the support staff mistook her to be the patient, instead of me, she remembers smiling.
Finding a New You
“I celebrated my last chemo by dancing a lot with my husband. I did not have much strength, but just gently swinging to the beats was enough to perk me up”, she remembers. Finally, the day came when the doctor declared her cancer free. Post that; she started her IVF maternity treatment as well. Her first IVF surgery failed, but that did not dampen her fighting spirits. By God’s grace, Anjali’s second IVF was a success, and she was blessed with a baby girl.
Now it has been a decade since Anjali was declared cancer free. Today, she follows her passion for blogging. She says, “Be it cancer, infertility or any other medical condition, it is necessary to have the financial resources to fight the disease. A proper financial planning along with a comprehensive health insurance, including maternity coverage can help in this direction.”
As she said; cancer is a life-changing ailment. If you are not properly insured, you probably will end up draining your entire savings to pay for a treatment that debilitates.
“Cancer”: A name itself is enough to haunt even the sanest person. When the patient recovers from the trauma of the disease, the next question which troubles him/her is how to finance the treatment. After all, the treatment of a minor ailment can run into thousands, and when it is cancer, medical bills can cross the mark of lakhs. As Anjali’s husband was in the Army; she got free treatment at Army hospitals. But what if her husband was a civilian or she did not have the money for the treatment?
Remember, your disease doesn’t define you, but your inner strength does, so make sure you are strong enough to look straight into the eyes of the ailments, and say, “You can attack my body but not my soul”. And for your medical treatment expenses, here are some ways to deal:
- Buy health insurance: A regular health insurance plan, be it individual or family floater, is an indemnity plan that covers medical expenditure incurred during hospitalisation. It covers various diseases, including critical ailments. While the medical technology advancement has come as a blessing in disguise, it has also increased the cost of the treatment. Therefore, it makes complete sense to go for a comprehensive health insurance policy that ensures you get the best medical treatment without worrying about the costs.
- Go for critical illness insurance: Since an acute ailment also results in the loss of income and change in lifestyle, the financial burden includes more than merely hospital bills, which are not covered under the indemnity health plans. Therefore, you should go with a critical illness insurance that pays a lump sum on diagnosis of a critical ailment. This amount can be used as per the one’s needs, be it for medical expenses or recuperation aids. Moreover, you don’t need to submit medical bills to avail the benefits. In addition to this, there are critical illness insurance covers specifically for cancer as well. While a normal critical illness plan covers cancer at an advanced stage, dedicated cancer plans cover all stages of cancer.
- Get additional protection with super top-up plans: In order to expand existing health insurance coverage, you can go for super top-up plans which offer coverage once the threshold limit is crossed. It means if your medical expenses are more than your health insurance cover, the remaining will be covered by super top-ups, provided the deductible is crossed. Further, you can buy super top-up plans even if you don’t have any health insurance plans.
It’s Time to Respect the Life
Every day we wake up from bed with thoughts like going to a party, completing an office project, meeting an old friend or just chilling at home. We don’t know exactly what life is in store for us. But ever imagined how would it feel if someone tells you that it is your last party, last time you are in your office chair, last time you are talking to your friend or last time you are relaxing at your home. These things might be going on in a cancer patient’s mind.
So no matter how good or bad you think your life is, wake up each morning with a smile on your face and be thankful for what you have. Someone, somewhere is fighting to survive….