Coming Out Of The Cancer Closet

Last updated 24 May 2018 . 1 min read

smriti gupta cancer story smriti gupta cancer story

This is the first time I am sharing my story on a social platform. Let me introduce myself, my name is Smriti Mittal. I am a married woman and a mother of a four-year-old.

In early 2014, when I joined work after maternity leave, I started experiencing some changes in my lower limbs. There was an altogether different sensation in my right knee and with time I started having a problem in walking. I ignored them for a while relating them to extra burden of motherhood and work. I consulted few orthopaedics and a nearby physiotherapist but the problem remained undiagnosed. Soon  I was having body aches and I had a few falls. In December 2014, when it became too difficult to walk, an orthopaedic diagnosed the problem to be a neurological one. Soon a MRI was performed and I was diagnosed with a 9 cm long spinal cord tumour which required immediate surgery. The surgery was quite complex and we were warned of risks of paralysis and death. By God’s grace, the surgery went well and within few days I was able to walk. The tumour was sent for biopsy and the report came that it was Glioma grade III/IV tumour, a malignant one. It took me some time to digest that I was a cancer patient now. Thirty sittings of radiation were suggested by the doctors followed by oral chemotherapy. Everything went well for the next six months.

Everything went well for the next six months

In August 2015, I was out for a morning walk when I fell face first. I started having a problem in walking again. The doctors were consulted, expensive MRIs were performed only to find out that this was a side effect of radiation. Regular MRIs for tracking the tumour and physiotherapy for improvement in legs was suggested by the doctors. I continued physiotherapy for about a year without any major improvement. In February 2017, the tumour was doubted to be growing again and I was prescribed another MRI after three months. Much to our horror, the tumour had grown again. I didn’t want to go for any further treatment as I was already feeling miserable with my problems but I was advised to have surgery and radiation for the second time for the sake of my son. I survived the second surgery only to get my lower limbs affected. It took rigorous physiotherapy just to be able to walk with a stick.

Travelling is one of my passions. Roaming around Europe during my MBA internship in 2009, little did I know that at the age of 31, I will be unable to step out of my home without support.

Travelling is one of my passion

Life takes an unpredictable turn sometimes, the best you can do is accept it and steer your life in the right direction. This is what I learnt from Brahamkumari’s Rajyoga meditation course. Daily meditation practice and the learnings from Gita continue to help me cope with the new way of life.

I am a well-educated woman. I had dreams of working and being independent. For the past three years, life has been all about taking care of myself. Consulting oncologists, physiotherapists, homeopaths, naturopaths is a regular job, still, the problems don’t seem to be diminishing. Going through the MRI machine is like a visit to the beauty salon to me. I never had any experience with physically challenged, now I am one of them. I gain inspiration from Deepa Malik, Muniba Mazari, Stephen Hawkings and Nick Vujicic. I feel really blessed to have a supportive family & friends and my son who makes me laugh and gives me a sense of purpose.

My son makes me laugh

I now wish to fly again, explore the world of physically challenged. Maybe someday, I can win a medal at Paralympics or be a famous writer,  the opportunities are endless. I just have to keep on trying. Giving up is not an option.

Smriti Gupta

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