The things you hear when you have cancer

Published: September 8, 2011

I love the beaches of Karachi but I know I may never see them again.

I love the beach because it engages one in communion with the divine elements. I often stand at the beach and bury my feet in the sand. I joyfully delve into the sea and bask in the sun. Finally, I let myself be caressed by the whispering breeze.

However, as I write this, the only thought running through my head is that I will never experience these four elements together again; that I will never be able to go back to my beloved Karachi’s beaches – that I am as good as gone.

No family wants to hear what we were told the fine day of February 26 2011. The doctor told us:

“There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is the CT scan of your brain is clear. The bad news is your white blood count is abnormally high, which is suggestive of a certain type of leukemia… a cancer of the white blood cells. I’m really sorry. We have to admit you immediately.”

People reacted differently to my diagnosis, and here’s where cancer etiquette comes into play. A cancer patient needs comfort, not advice. He needs hope, not assurances. He needs God, not religious lectures.

My friends from school and paternal cousins in Pakistan sent me gigantic get well soon cards. My friends from school here, in the US, have been angels – they’ve been with me throughout my time of need. But some friends and relatives cared too little while some cared too much.

I have learned that people should be more sensitive to the language they use when talking to a cancer patient. Phrases like ‘I am thinking of you’, ‘God willing everything will be fine’ and ‘you are stronger than you know’ certainly help.

Phrases like ‘Oh my God, I heard you have blood cancer’, ‘don’t cry’, and ‘I know exactly how you feel’ aren’t exactly the most helpful. Firstly, you don’t need to remind me of my condition. Secondly, I will cry when I want to. And lastly, don’t tell me you know exactly how I feel because you don’t.

Once, a very ‘religious’ man came to visit me in the hospital. I tolerated all his other ways of showing sympathy except one. He said:

 ‘We will pray for you, but you pray for us too. Allah listens to people with such ailments.’

I stared at him in disbelief. Here I was battling death and he wanted me to pray for him?

He spoke to me as if my cancer had given me a one-way ticket to God right then and there; as if I was a Pir; as if he had come to the grave of a saint and wanted me to intercede for him on the Day of Judgment. I have never felt so insulted in my entire life. A well-wisher’s job is to give hope, not take it away.

Another ‘Islamic’ lady called my mother and said that my condition was some sort of retribution for the sins she had committed. Some called and said I got cancer because of Michigan’s cold and I shouldn’t have moved here. It is hardly likely that my chromosomes saw the snow and mutated. Who cares why I got it? I have it; that’s that. It’s none of your business. Your job as well-wishers is to give strength, not try to find causes for a disease which even topnotch scientists have not been able to decipher.

What really ticked me off was the reaction of one individual who I hold in high regard. When I broke the news to him, one of his first questions was:

 “Is stem-cell transplantation on the cards?”

I stared at the chat box in utter confusion. I think he was just trying to show off his Ivy League-vocabulary because I don’t think he knew that stem cell treatment is the last resort for a cancer patient. However, if he had known this fact, that makes him an even more insensitive “well-wisher.” Your job as a well-wisher is to be sensitive to the patient and listen to him first.

Lastly, details of my treatment are none of your business. Your job is to be there for me and pray for me. Knowing how many times a day I go for chemotherapy won’t make your prayers any more effective.

I could go on and on about things that have been said, and what I feel about them, but I think you get the point. I don’t mean to throw people’s prayer and concern back at them. All I mean to do is to communicate the idea that patients like me can be sensitive to the slightest undertone of hopelessness or coldness in the language used by their well-wishers.

Be there for them, pray for them, bring them flowers, hold their hands and tell them it will be okay. They too have wishes – they might want to go back to their country’s beaches one day and experience the divine elements dance around them like nothing ever happened.

bassam.sidiki

Bassam F. Sidiki

A Pakistani-American poet and writer who will enroll at Georgetown in the fall of 2012 to pursue undergraduate studies in literature and pre-medical. He explores cultural identity, nostalgia, cancer and spirituality in his work. He tweets @Bassidiki.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Adil Mirza

    Bassam, Why are you being so sensitive? Why would you mind someone ask you to pray? Dont pay so much attentions to what people say. Everyone try to show sympathy but sometimes words do go wrong and does not fulfill the purpose.
    Be Brave Man! Everything will be alright.
    Prayers,
    Your School MateRecommend

  • Faraz U.I

    You’ll be fine inshAllah – I am not religious – infact not even sure if I believe in God but something tells me you’ll be fine…best wishesRecommend

  • Ovais Rasheed

    very well written, and equally true, every word of it.

    I’ll be sure to say a prayer for you. A friend of mine was diagnosed with some form of leukemia when I was in high school. It took a lot of intense treatment, but he managed to regain full health at the end of it! Last I heard he was pursuing a medical degree (kinda ironic, in a good way =) )
    point being, I hope you get to see the beaches again one day =)Recommend

  • Afreenish Gul

    This is amazing!
    It’s really sad how people around can be so myopic.
    You’re a human who has the ability to inspire people- and you just did!
    God bless you :)Recommend

  • Bilal

    Bassam, my friend. HAVE STRENGTH! You’ll be fine InshAllah.Recommend

  • http://laaleen.blogspot.com Laaleen

    People can be cruel and insensitive in the guise of being pious. Glad you wrote this.Recommend

  • Cyma

    The article shows how resilient you are… Get well sooner than soon. just a week back i was going through this website , u may like to visit ….http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/08/health/cancer-survivor-photos.html#/all/ Recommend

  • Moazzam Salim

    be strong…my prayers are with youRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/saruuu.ahmed Sarah Ahmed

    Its not that i’m showing fake sympathy, being a little straight-forward. There have been few people in my family who has faced this, one of them was my cousin.

    Death is inherent, Actually our destination and cancer can be a path to go to your destination. Its our mind that kills us first and then cancer. A patient must live his life with happiness, your family or friend circle might be reminding you again and again about your existing situation but its you and your mind that can help you out of this torturing sympathy. Enjoy each and every moment of your life.Recommend

  • Saad

    Stay strong Bassam, you’ll be fine InshaAllahRecommend

  • Zubair Mallick

    Bassam, I can actually say ‘I know exactly how you feel’ as I lost my father to acute leukemia 2 weeks ago.
    I am terribly sorry to hear that you were diagnosed with this disease at such a young age. All I can say here that just be strong – your body needs you to be strong so that it can take the stress of the treatments. Insha’ALLAH you will regain health soon.
    You will always be in my prayers from now on.
    Take care and GOD bless.Recommend

  • http://www.myfrequentranting.blogspot.com Farwa B Naqvi

    Pay no heed to people who try to be sensitive but are not. You have people who are there for you in truest sense :) Don’t worry, be strong and happy you’ll be fine inshaAllah. I’ll definitely pray for you.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    What a bold and moving article!

    Most people have absolutely no idea how to deal with their ill friends or relatives and rather than being supportive, become a headache for both the sufferer and his/her family.

    Spending too much time with the patient, denying him much needed rest and alone time with his close family; being overly dramatic and making the patient feel worse instead of cheering him up. It’s all fairly common.

    These people desperately need to be educated on how to behave appropriately with patients.Recommend

  • Sarah

    Bassam,

    I completely hear you. I was diagnosed with diabetes in the 10th Grade & get the nastiest of comments. Things like “oh…it happened cus you’re overweight”. I wish they knew that the kind of diabetes I have is not weight related – it’s caused by pancreatic cells killing themselves! My treatment involved taking shots twice a day.. At a restaurant, if someone “caught me” taking my insulin shots, the first thing they’d say was “ohhhhhhh! we can’t see you do that. please go inject someplace else! does it hurt?” The horror, I tell you!
    Ya well, medical science hasn’t deciphered yet so I guess I have it for life. just wished people were more sensitive with their comments. But they aren’t & I guess they won’t ever be.
    A piece of advice, hang in there! You’re in my thought; all will be well inshAllah!Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/noman.ansari Noman Ansari

    I read the first couple of paragraphs and then it was too tough for me to continue reading. Best of luck to you, brotha man! Recommend

  • Sobia

    Get well soon Bassam! :)

    I know its a difficult time but trust God and He will set everything right. My mum was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and she is still battling the disease. So I certainly know the hard ships you and your family are going through. But this is not the time to pay heed to what others say. Trust me its of no use. Be positive and have faith in God.

    Sooner than you will expect, you will be cancer free soon and will be able to lead a happy life :) Recommend

  • reader

    God bless you!.. Recommend

  • Hina

    Get well soon Bassam, i have been through it- ignore them, just have your close family and friends around and more importantly have faith, you’ll be well very soon, praying for it :)
    God bless you. Recommend

  • Sarah

    @ Cyma,

    Zeeshan’s sister?Recommend

  • MBN

    A lot of what you said is valid, but then it depends from whose point of view. You might think this way, but other people in the same situation may not. But no doubt, a large part of what you said is true, especially where overly religious or superstitious OR overinformed people try to lay the blame on something as vague as their understanding of the situation the patient is in.Recommend

  • Cyma

    Na :)Recommend

  • Bina

    Get well soon Bassam and dance on the beach………….:)Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    Get well soon Bassam…
    be strong and hang in there ….u will fine inshAllah!
    remember there is light at the end of the tunnel….so wish u a speedy recovery…
    prayers for your recoveryRecommend

  • pani ki tanki

    you know what considering your age the cancer that you have is a very treatable form!!!its most probably a lymphocytic leukaemia one of the few cancers which is very treatableRecommend

  • anon

    As you rightly said, I cannot begin to understand how this must feel, and I should be giving hope only, not “advice”…

    But I cannot help saying what I will – partly because I feel you misunderstood what some people were telling you, and partly because this is the topic of your post – and maybe you can tell me if anything I say here is insensitive or just wrong.

    Why were you insulted by that man asking you to pray for him? It is the promise of God that He is close to those who are troubled. It’s not only for those who’re sick. He listens to the prayers of a few types of people: the traveler, the sick, and the oppressed. Perhaps you’re simply not aware of that? In fact, when something is very wrong, any intense pain, or when they’re traveling, or someone’s been really mean to them, people make it a point to pray to Him for themselves or for those they love. It’s actually a means of comfort to know that God holds you close in such times – and it has nothing whatsoever to do with considering you a Pir or thinking you’re dying or something. In Islam, a trial is an opportunity to look into your soul, away from the world’s noise, to remember God, the only Pure Constant – and in such times – He promises to be close to you and to answer you! In sickness, He also promises to forgive our sins – and surely we all need that, whether we’re sick or not, you’re just luckier when you’re sick! A troubling time is actually a blessing in disguise, and knowing about the blessings is a source of comfort, is it not? In fact any trouble is a blessing in disguise, whether it’s bodily, or financial, or emotional… it’s an opportunity to be patient through the pain, to bring out the strength in your character, and if you do so with the hope of God’s closeness and rewards, then you will get them.

    “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari)
    Isn’t that true? So many people come out of the experience a changed and better person!

    “No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates his sins because of that, as a tree sheds its leaves.” (Bukhari)

    Also, I feel that when one has a condition like yours – once the initial condolences are over – wouldn’t you rather that people just not react at all? And treat you normally? Of course with the flexibility that comes with understanding that you might be going through tough physical procedures and emotional stress.

    On the other hand, while I’m at it, let me just state something I’ve always felt. There’s actually no difference in terms of life and death between someone like you, who has cancer, and someone like me, who does not. I don’t know for sure how long I’ll live, and (even though doctors might actually give timelines) for all you do, neither do you. Lots of people recover. It’s just a false sense of security that people like me feel, even though we might not be around tomorrow, and a hurried sense of urgency and negativity that people like you feel, or are made to feel by others, even thought they might be around for a full life.

    What matters is that you make every moment count, you live every moment for what it’s worth. Sick or not. Sickness is just that blessing that God sends us to remind us about the things that really, really matter. When people say crap, just smile at them, and God will reward you for it. When it hurts, pray for yourself and for others, and God will reward you for your love. Be strong, and God will give your more strength. Isn’t this the brighter side?

    You’ll be in my prayers inshaAllah Bassam. And when you’re recovered, do post another article right here :)Recommend

  • MAD

    Hang in there buddy. Being strong is 75% of the abttel against cancer. Hang in there and not only will you see those beaches again but you’ll get to dive into the water as well.Recommend

  • soup

    What a brave brave young man. God bless you sweetheart!Recommend

  • Doc Salma

    Just don’t lose faith and hope — my sister is a cancer survivor mainly because of her positive attitude and absolute trust in God. She was diagnosed at an advanced stage, 4 years ago…but chose to fight it out.
    The beach awaits you…here in Karachi :-)Recommend

  • http://codingstreet.com Mustafa Hanif

    Hey Bassam,

    Remember me? Hows your book coming along?Recommend

  • Fatima

    Bassam, you are purest example of inspiration alive! I salute you :)Recommend

  • MK

    Bassam, Prayers and wishes for you – I hope you recover as soon as can be InshAllah. Those of us who have landed on this page and article can do some good by remembering you in our prayers and wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Regards.Recommend

  • Ahsan Javed

    Just Trust in Allah … ur brave enuf to stand fr ur lyf …Insha allah evrythng will b f9…Recommend

  • yousaf

    Bassam dear do you believe in miracles?if not,do….wonders happen when we least expect them.I wont pray because God knows what we dont.Recommend

  • Bassam Sidiki

    I am delighted that my piece has moved so many readers and voices their own opinions about the correct ways of communicating with someone going through the immense emotional toll of cancer. And for those who ‘DISAGREE’ with my experience, they completely defeat the purpose of even disagreeing, because by disagreeing, they only prove my thesis that healthy people can NEVER truly understand what this experience entails and what’s at stake. Recommend

  • Ansab

    Love you man, We are almost there! Proud of you!Recommend

  • Rehan

    Praying, more often than not, does absolutely nothing. We need to look for a treatment rather than mindlessly hoping for it to go away.
    Regards,
    RehanRecommend

  • AZ

    I pray to God to give you courage and strength and that this only makes you stronger, bringing out the best in you, Ameen =] Recommend

  • Bassam Sidiki

    @Rehan:
    Mr. Rehan, by the grace of Almighty God, I am receiving treatment for T-CELL Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at one of the best cancer research institutions in the United States of America. And I believe that only God, who was the Prime Mover in making a cell go awry and malignant, can bring my marrow back to its normal course, along with the treatment being administered. No one is being mindless here. Recommend

  • http://djdurrani.blogspot.com Saad Durrani

    Bassam. Dude, people can be jerks but at times, in our curiosity we ask the most disturbing questions.

    And, people here should realize that Sickness, like Health, is something that God gives. It does not have to do anything with “sinning” or “sainting.”

    I pray you get well and write more for us from the beach.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Do you have a pet dog or cat ? This animal will give you company and comfort without asking anthing in return. Decidedly better than a lot of clumsy humans.
    Best of luck and I hope you get better quickly.Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Dude, I remember you from my Chemistry tuition at Merchant’s…but we never really got to speak much. Just wanted to say that I’ve been with a family member whose suffered from cancer as well, and it’s all about encouraging their strong-will. So be brave, and fight…don’t give up. inshAllah, you will be fine. Get well soon! Recommend

  • Bassam Sidiki

    @Parvez:
    I do not have a pet, but I wish I did. It seems that animals can be more humane than humans themselves. I totally agree with you. Recommend

  • Arsaam

    Basim even though i dont know u but this brought tears to my eyes. Be brave bro and u’ll be right on the beaches chilling :)Recommend

  • Dreamermk

    May Allah kareem give you health and the courage to fight the disease..just know that He is erasing your sins for every bit of pain you are suffering :)Recommend

  • Waqar

    From one bro to another
    Be wellRecommend

  • http:[email protected] Sharaf Zia

    I pray that you find health, contentment and plenty of walks on the beach in a happy future.Recommend

  • http://www.pkhope.com Momina Alvi

    InshaAllah you’ll be fine very soon ! Keep faith in God and every thing will be ok soon !Recommend

  • Uzma Mazhar

    Hi Bassam, Thanks for such a wonderful article. I am also a cancer survivor and have experienced some of what you write about. My suggestions: Hold on to your strength and do things YOUR way… don’t give a damn for what people say. When I went bald due to chemo I had to decide whether I wanted to cover my head or not… almost everyone in Pakistan suggested I should because there is such shame attached to these natural phenomenon. However, I decided to go bald… shocked some but also found a lot of support and encouragement. I cannot begin to tell you how empowering this experience was. So be true to yourself, don’t worry about others. Do only that which makes you feel good deep inside. Your focus should be to keep yourself positive and inshallah God will help you pull through this. He is always here with us. Love and duas. UzmaRecommend

  • Sana

    Though it is very difficult to let go of hurtful comments made by people (whether they make it intentionally or unintentionally), doing it is the most helpful way of keeping you and your family’s mind at peace. Anytime anyone says something you find hurtful, just think of them as mindless and soul-less and it will help to ignore it totally. These people should mean nothing to you and nor their words should count as anything, perhaps just like dogs and cats where we can only understand whuffs and meows.
    So just be strong for yourself and your family – those who really love you and wish you to be healthy and happy once again. With prayers of your well wishers and loved ones and with the Will of God you will be on beaches of Karachi once again Inshallah. Recommend

  • Rathore

    A couple of months ago, we found out that a boy who used to be our friend had leukemia. That was shocking. I was so shocked and heartbroken that all I could think about was him. I just kept going back to the time when I saw him first, all the times we played games together during the summer holidays. It just kept coming back. I think about him each day, and I pray for him. I’ll pray for you, too, from now on.Recommend

  • Someone

    Get well soon, mate. Recommend

  • http://samosaplate.blogspot.com Sajid I. Barcha

    You appear to have a strong will power. That is the key. You will do just fine. Recommend

  • Usman

    Assalam O Alylum,
    Pls bear in mind that sickness & life/death are not related, one leaves or arrives on an appointed time. Allah Swt addressed this in unequivocal terms in the Quran, maybe I leave before you & that too in perfect health… so hang in there insha’Allah.
    /UKRecommend

  • Dee

    Hey I won’t say that I know exactly how you feel, but somehow I can relate to your feelings. When my dad was in hospital and on ventilator…I hated it when people use to tell us that we are giving him pain and that ventilator is unislamic.
    You don’t wean off a patient from ventilator if he is not brain dead or if all his systems, apart from the affected one, are just good as new. My father wanted to live, he had the will. He used to communicate with us by writing. He wanted to come back home. He wanted to hug us and wanted us to be around him. But people kept asking us to take him off the ventilator.
    I am glad we didn’t listen and that is why even though my father didn’t survive, we are happy and satisfied that we did everything we could for him. He went peacefully. Just for the record, my father didn’t have cancer, he was a chain smoker and got COPD.
    May Allah give you a long and healthy life. And also the strength to tolerant these insensitive comments just as bravely as you are fighting your illness.
    God bless you :)Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Bassam Sidiki: Watch the Richard Gere movie Hatchiko ( pet dog). Lovely story and true.Recommend

  • Nojeba

    I admire your courage to write about how you feel. Hang in there. May Allah grant you health and a speedy recovery. AmeenRecommend

  • A A

    Moving article. INSHALLA you’ll get well soon Bassam.Recommend

  • Moiz Kazmi

    Stop thinking dear. Enjoy whatever time you have. Live it! Dance through it man :)
    Cheers x Recommend

  • ash 40

    Basam u have a long way to go InshAALLAH.Prayers do make a difference.InshaALLAH you ll be hale and hearty..amen Recommend

  • AS

    Since many would read and comment on this blog so this might prove to be a good idea to share the following (u r all welcome to correct me if I am wrong):

    Have heard Cancer is genetic and hereditary, two families having a history of Cancer whether related or not should not tie their children in a knot .. cause that will tantamount to be a murder as risk of cancer in their offspring to come is heavily increased and hence should be construed as a crime!Recommend

  • MAK

    The reactions you are receiving is called life, some care some don’t.. I know I cannot completely understand the mental stress and physical pain your going through but its best you seek help by remembering Allah and praying to HIM. I hope you get well soon and are in the best of health.Recommend

  • Suha

    “If Allah brings you to it, he will bring you through it”
    -Quran Al-Baqara,2:45

    You will be fine inshaAllah. I know it. Don’t worry. Wish you success and happiness in your life. My prayers are with you. :)Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    I have found, time and again, that relatives and friends can be especially annoying in times of stress and while one appreciates the effort, sometimes the occasional idiotic statement can leave one reeling with shock and simple horror at the apparent insensitivity of the speaker. The best thing to do is just ignore them, I guess. I wish you recover, and since you seem to be in good hands, you have the best chance of any of doing so :) be strong and hang in there, and don’t let the stupids bug you. Recommend

  • Myra Nasir

    I LOVE YOU.Recommend

  • Yousuf

    Hi I dont know you personally but can say that you are a tough person. You are optimistic and enthusiastic about life. Best of luck for future and get well soon. Want to see you on beaches some day. Keep it up.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Dear Bassam,
    You really are stronger than you think, InshaAllah you will recover, and you will come back to the Karachi beaches…101% true that at this time no one needs religious lectures, what they need is Allah (even if a thought that ‘what He did to you’ and ‘why He did this to you’ comes to you just ignore it bro), be patient and pray.. My Prayers Are With You Dude :)Recommend

  • Omar Haroon

    Those “Islamic” well wishers never cease to amaze me to be honest: He’s being tested; maybe he committed a big sin; maybe he neglected his prayers and like statements force me to wonder whether such people are actually religious, superstitious or plain nuts. Granted some of them might be true (from a religious viewpoint), but when a person is sick, the last thing he needs to hear is other people’s religious beliefs being imposed on him while condemning him at the same time.

    I’m sorry to hear about your condition though bro. I hope the next few months won’t be too trying for you. God willing, all will work out. And if that is not what fate has decreed, then my suggestion to you would be to live life to the fullest. Have no regrets. Wishing you all the bro :)Recommend

  • Rafae Ghani

    Bravery like this must be salutedRecommend

  • insha tahir

    @Adil Mirza:
    hey adil dont worry abt the ppl they hv a habbit of saying rubbish everyone is with u n all u hv to show is strength faith in God and InshAllah one day u will be fine.Recommend

  • Uzma Malik

    We love you Bassam, you are an intelligent boy and have a wonderful writing and communicating power, InshaAllah you will be fine and communicating with us for years to come. May Allah bless you forever.Recommend

  • http://www.milk-n-cookies.blogspot.com Cookie

    This post really seems to come from the heart. I hope you get well soon inshAllah and get a many more chances to roam the beaches of Karachi in the future!Recommend

  • Omer Haneef

    I literally cried after reading your article and comments. What you have written is indeed the truth and we all must live positively and vigorously in this self-centered world. I am so proud of you. You will recover in no time Insha’Allah. You are and always were a source of inspiration for me brother. I am so gratified to have a cousin like you. We all are praying for your speedy recovery. We all miss you so much. Love you :)Recommend

  • Essa

    Well Bro this isn’t true that one gets all this as a punishment, at times Allah tests your patience by these illnesses, and He expects you to turn to him and ask for His help, so just ignore what people say.. You are very strong and you will cover up :)
    and what u write about this elderly religious man who asked you to pray for him, it sounds funny to me as i have heard that the prayers of such people are accepted in THEIR favor.. so its funny to hear that he is asking you to pray for him :pRecommend

  • Essa

    @Shumaila:
    101% agreed :)Recommend

  • anon

    Hey Bassam, you can check up on the sources here:

    http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2010052673503
    http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?18931-Miraculous-medicinal-uses-of-Zamzam
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100808143257AAjrqch

    also – a German researcher’s findings on Zamzam:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaGhewZRges

    This is of course not to say you drop your other treatment, but if you happen to know anyone coming from Saudi, do try to get a supply. A note – don’t trust “imported Zamzam”, from what I’ve heard, it isn’t allowed to be exported so any “imported” zamzam is a fraud.

    Remember, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said it is forever it is drunk for – that is, focus, be positive, hope, pray from Allah for your recovery, have faith, and drink it. InshaAllah everything will be fine :)Recommend

  • Mian Zohaib

    Brave boy love you…. Allah Almighty bless u ……..Recommend

  • Basim Ali Jafri

    Wow… I can not believe we have so much in common! :o
    I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March this year too and had my treatment in Karachi as well despite the fact I reside in Saudi Arabia. (name is kind-of similar too!) I am now one month post-chemotherapy and need a final PET scan to confirm remission.

    I can empathize so much with you. Look my name up on Facebook and drop me a message if you ever feel like talking! I would be more than happy to talk. :-)

    SalamsRecommend

  • Waqas Rasool

    Just a dua..May Allah bless you with good health..Ameen.Recommend

  • gulmeenay

    I’m not sure what your feelings are about random people commenting on your blog but you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you can sink your feet into the sand in Karachi soon :) Bless you! Recommend

  • http://maniac-moments.blogspot.com/ Ammara

    I lost my twin to cancer and agree with all you say, will pray for you… Get well….Recommend

  • Omar

    This is some fantastic penmanship.

    People are self-centered, selfish jerks. That’s just human nature, I was shattered when I realized this myself. It must have been hard hearing and enduring those things you pointed out, but in the end it’s important to trust yourself and love the people around you who have the discipline to demonstrate socially acceptable etiquette’s. It is the key to avoid turning into a cynic yourself, ignore the weak. Focus on the love.

    My prayers are with you. Recommend

  • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dr-iffat-zafar/21/88a/474 Dr. Iffat Zafar

    Dear Bassam:

    Inshahallah you will definitely see the beaches of your country soon…….just have faith. Recommend

  • fatimah

    Hope you are on the way to recovery – just focus and feed on the positive and good that is coming your way – you are bound to be sensitive cause well, only you know what you are battling the rest of us haven’t stepped into your shoes. But remember you are close to Allah and please please remember that you do not want any of your family or dear friends to suffer challenges such as yours. So pray for us, yourself, those you love and those who annoy you! (which i hope are unimportant and few).

    As for the auntie who blamed your mother’s sins…(GRRR) Auntie dear, if you got what you deserved to wash away your sins… anyway negativity OFF OFF OFF

    There are many beaches of the world that await your presence – and many people who await an interaction with your kind soul my young friend. All the best to you and may Allah grant you a complete and speedy recovery. Ameen! Recommend

  • Dr. Ansari

    @Adil Mirza:

    “Why are you being so SENSITIVE?” Are you kidding me? What’s the matter with you?

    Bassam, you will inshallah get through this treatment! The treatment is tough, but nothing you can’t handle. 5 years, and then 10 years from now, when you are inshallah considered cured, this will all be a distant memory.

    Praying for you Bassam! Stay strong. Recommend

  • Rabia

    You have good English :D
    And, I hope you do well. I really like this piece of writing. People go overboard, not realizing what they are doing.
    To be honest, this isn’t just limited to cancer. People need to learn A LOT.Recommend

  • Farheen

    Bassam…I sincerely pray that you get well very soon. Cancer is a traumatic word for humans because we have limited knowledge and resources but Allah Ta’ala has infinite powers which are practically beyond our comprehension… Let’s pray together With complete faith and utmost belief that He will cure you inshallah and make you thankful :) stay happyRecommend

  • Amber Zahra

    I hope many people like the ones you complained about, learn the communication through this very straight forward way of attention. I learned a lot. And all your complains are extremely valid. If words could replace flowers, i would like to send them to you brother. Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    Dear Bassam,

    I am praying for you with all my heart. May the Lord be with you in every moment of your life, and keep you happy.

    Your brother in humanity.Recommend

  • Adnan S. Khan

    ALLAH grant you health my brother! It will get better INSHALLAH! prayersRecommend

  • Nieztsche

    Bassam. I could never have a heart to step into your shoes, and feel what it really is you’re going through. But all I could do is just just pray for your recovery.
    God bless you, brohemoth!Recommend

  • Aaliya Malik

    Bassam we’d like to hear from you again. Your first blog was heart-warming and completely insightful. We’d appreciate to be elightened further by your intellact :)!Recommend