rajkumari's Story

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"I am a mother of four growing children, homemaker as well as working in a government organization. Most of the time I keep myself busy at home as well in the office and didn't have much time to take care of my health as there was no time for myself, I should say. I love gardening too.

"One morning sometime in 2004, I found a hard lump in my right breast just below the nipple and my skin got dimpled. As there was no pain, I thought everything will be alright and just carried on with that lump for about one year without going to any doctor. Simply to say that I was not aware about breast cancer.

"One year had passed without any problem but one day on 16th March, 2005 I felt there was water coming out from my nipple which made me rush to a local doctor. The doctor, after checking me, wants to do a biopsy of the lump, so at the very moment he took me to the OT and did the test. After one week my reports came back positive, but I was not able to accept it and decided to go to some other good specialized hospital.

"So, as decided, my husband, daughter and myself departed for Dr. Ambedkar Institude Rotary Cancer Hospital , A.I.I.M.S, in New Delhi, the capital city of India for confirmation. I have done necessary registration in the hospital as OPD patient and my case was referred to the Head of the Department, Oncology. Accordingly, I had to report in the Breast Cancer Board on the same day in the second half session. For a moment, seeing the surroundings full of cancer patients, I felt a little disturbed but feeling quite good knowing that I was not alone. So, when my serial comes and tons of doctors surrounded me and started investigation on my case. I told one of the doctors that I am ready to go with any type of treatment. Doctors were laughing and told me that they never start any treatment without proper findings so they had initially advised me the following tests to be conducted prior to commencement of actual treatment in their hospital lab: Chest X-ray, mammography for both side, ultrasound for abdomen and pelvis, fine needle aspiration on both breasts and review on Friday at 2 p.m. I had been shown all my reports on the next visit; the slide has evidence of IDC positive.

"I got hospitalized on 16th April, 2005 and operated on 21st April, 2005 in which right breast conservation surgery (wide local excision and axillary dissection) and mini lattismus dorsi flap (MDLF) reconstruction under general anesthesia processed. According to my husband, the operation process took a whole eight hours as at 8.00 a.m. they had taken me to OR and released me in the ICU at about 6.30 p.m. and remained till the next morning.

"The next morning, I arrived in my hospital room half conscious and could not remember anything. Gradually I was feeling okay, but seeing so may pipes with bottles hanging around my body, I was quite scared to move around except to remain still for few hours. Next day, with the help of my husband, I could slowly get out of the hospital bed and started walking along -- with the bottles around me -- for 10 minutes and the rest of the time I was lying in the bed, to which my back skin started blister which was really painful. At the first instance, it was difficult for me but I made up my mind that I should walk daily. Both morning and evening I walked inside the hospital campus. So, within 5 days time I was totally feeling normal but I had to remain in the hospital till the 29th. I got released on 30th April.

-- rajkumari, India

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