Stories about cancer

She was never little miss sunshine

She sat there staring outside her balcony, watching the heavy, thunderous downpour tear its way through the dark clouds and fall to the ground, like it was the last time it was falling. She realised how it was a metaphor of her own life – a life so full of passion and rigour, but slowly dying down – phasing out into the everyday nothingness. It’s not like she suffered through depression or some mental disorder or experienced anxiety attacks every now and then. She was an average, 30-year-old struggling to get by, just like many other 30-year-olds who had started off with big hopes and dreams to fulfil and life ...

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Too tired to cook? Fret not, this easy and delectable chicken handi is here to save the day!

This one is for all the working women (and men) out there! Have you ever come home too tired to cook? Or have you ever struggled your way through some very low emotional time? Recently, I have started expanding my arsenal of relatively quick dinners that can be cooked in a jiffy. Chicken is one of the easiest ingredients to work with. There are so many ways one can use it to satisfy the taste buds. Chicken handi has its roots deeply engrossed in tradition. Although this isn’t a traditional handi recipe – it is more of a desi-retro version – I ...

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Series 7: Dada Baba and me Part 2 ‘Life’s gift of giving… and taking’

Thanks to Dada Baba, I had a bit of a charmed life. I had experienced enough in life to know what was true for other people but was still inexperienced to know what was true for me. Nothing too traumatic had happened to me. That is until one day I realised that the story of my life had been the calm before the storm all along. For the first time in over two decades, I wasn’t woken up by the cheerful voice of Dada Baba. Instead, I was woken up by his painful groans, coming from his room which was right ...

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Remembering the ones we lost too soon

It seems like the year 2016 just started a while back, but here we are, just a few days shy from welcoming 2017. A lot happened last year which took us by surprise and shocked us. But even amidst such unpredictability, we were not prepared to see some of the deaths that came our way. Some were lost to old age, some to disease and some to murder. But regardless, they were all taken too soon. Here are some of those names, in no particular order. Peter Vaughan Photo: IMDb Even though he had a career spanning 75 years, ...

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When Uncle Prem Naat Mehra finally made it across the border

There sat a man, terminally ill, writing a letter. It was a combination of intuition and denial which compelled him to write a letter to a man who was declared dead. Yet he sat there, holding onto his last wish which gave him hope that may not have any fruit to bear. Using a yellow directory, he wondered to himself if it would reach Afzal Cheema, his Muslim friend in Pakistan with whom he had enjoyed his childhood in the green fields of Lahore. Like a story of novels or thematic compilations, the journey of this friendship took a turn ...

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Is it safe to eat chicken in Pakistan?

Heated debates have been taking place on various forums revolving around the topic of hormones being used in chicken production. As a professional in the field of poultry, I find this assumption to be quite confusing to be honest. What has led to this sudden suspicion though? Is it because people have become more health conscious or have they suddenly realised chickens have become bigger? These beliefs stem from a lack of knowledge and inaccurate information being passed around and everyone conveniently links it to the rapid growth of broiler chickens (domesticated fowl, bred and raised specifically for meat production). People in general feel ...

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A doctor’s survival: Fighting a battle I didn’t choose

Two years ago, July 15, 2013 to be precise, I was diagnosed with advanced stage of breast cancer at the age of 40. A mother to two young children and a practicing psychiatrist, my life had handed me a revised script. The diagnosis of cancer had turned my world upside down, felt so lost and confused. Every morning as soon as I woke up, the word ‘cancer’ would light up in my mind like blazing neon sign on the strip in Las Vegas. Cancer, cancer, cancer. I had been marked. The guarantee to life had just been rescinded from me ...

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This Ramazan, go from smoking 20 to 4 cigarettes per day

Most Muslims who smoke refrain from smoking during the period of fasting, which may last up to 12-14 hours. Even after breaking their fast, most smokers smoke only a few cigarettes. Research has shown that somehow, during fasting, smokers do not have the urge to smoke. Those who smoke 25 cigarettes or more on a normal day, decrease the number of cigarettes to four or five a day during Ramazan. This provides an excellent opportunity for a smoker to get rid of this bad habit for good. With strong will power and a little extra effort, they can surely succeed in ...

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This World Blood Donation Day, roll up your sleeves and save a life!

I am a firm believer of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s words, “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” But in today’s world, kindness comes at a price. Many of us expect kindness to be a boomerang that will return to us someday. But expecting something in return kills the original idea of helping someone in need. There were plenty of things on my list that I need to change in this world, but first, I need to start from myself. Being an unconventional medical professional (doctor of pharmacy), I had minimum exposure to the positive attributes for blood donation. In fact, for ...

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8 things I wish I had never heard after being diagnosed with breast cancer

Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer among all Asian countries – one in nine Pakistani women will be diagnosed with this horrible disease. The diagnosis is a shock but the days after that are even harder to endure. I know this as I have lived through it. It has been almost a year since I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35, pregnant with my third child. I want to share here a few things that people said to me after hearing of my diagnosis, which I wish they never did, and I hope that any person going through what I did ...

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