For the ongoing breast cancer awareness campaign with AJM Pharma, we came across some really inspiring women who fought with breast cancer bravely, and now they’re a source of motivation for others. We are doing this collaboration with the aim of spreading awareness other than Pinktober only. Scaryammi did some short interviews with some of these women. Firstly, here’s an interview with Farah Arshad who considers education as a purpose to live, a passionate dreamer with a strong belief to live an impactful life for self and others. Her 25+ years of experience have taken her through operations management, career counseling, public speaking, philanthropy, and training. She is a brave cancer warrior who has always encouraged others to believe in themselves and never give up! Currently, she is working as a freelance counselor, running various groups including counselor online, connect with hope as a counselor and philanthropist. Here’s what she had to say:
Scaryammi: Is there any history of breast cancer in your family like a grandmother, great-grandma, or anyone?
Farah: No there wasn’t even a single case
Scaryammi: What were the early symptoms that make you think that it’s start of breast cancer?
Farah: I felt a hard lump in my left breast with severe pangs of pain.
Scaryammi: How did you get the news that your cancer had spread?
Farah: The doctor broke the news to me and all I could say was “ITS SCARY”. But Alhamdolillah it hadn’t spread
Scaryammi: What was the reaction of your family?
Farah: They were very positive that I can fight this disease and they accompanied me in this fight
Scaryammi: How did you react to this disease? Were you scared of it or you fought bravely?
Farah: I am a born fighter with strong faith on Allah. It was tough but I knew as Allah says in Quran “with every hardship is ease”. I never lost my trust on HIM. I believe in pray, fight back and never give up. Every pain has reward. I never thought why me? When prophets were tested so why can’t we? Trust Allah’s plan and look towards those who are going through more tough situations.
Scaryammi: Who supported you morally n emotionally in this tough time?
Farah: My family, cousins and friends. I watched Ertugural during my treatment and it was quite helpful. It strengthen my trust on Allah and never give up.
Scaryammi: Did the doctors cooperate?
Farah: Yes they were quite cooperative
Scaryammi: Is it possible for a woman from an average family to get proper treatment of cancer in Pakistan?
Farah: No. We should be thankful to Allah that we have SKM with latest technology but cancer treatment is quite expensive.
Scaryammi: What suggestions would you like to give to the people who have cancer patients in family? How can they help them recover or what measures they can take to fight with the inevitable circumstances?
Farah: Cancer is not contagious but it requires a lot of physical and mental strength to fight back. Don’t feel pity for cancer patients, avoid asking questions that increase patient’s stress. Physical appearance especially hair are not so important. Nobody knows when they will die. A lot of people died because of Covid. Cancer patients need support both physically and mentally. Stress is the biggest factor that affects recovery. Don’t use CANCER word at home as it affects you psychologically. Talk positive and accept the fact that cancer patients need time to recover.