Journey Through Cancer

Cancer affects more than just the patient and has far-reaching consequences, touching the lives of their loved ones and caregivers.

By Gulnaz Nawaz | September 2023

Millions of people all around the globe have to deal with the devastation of cancer. Cancer cells proliferate uncontrollably and infiltrate neighbouring tissues, destroying healthy cells and throwing off the body’s regular biochemical processes. Cancer patients feel excruciating pain that varies greatly based on the type of cancer, the stage of the malignancy, and individual circumstances.

The phenomenon exhibits an absence of limitations and can affect individuals indiscriminately, irrespective of their age, gender, or personal history. Its impact on patients and their loved ones, in terms of physical, emotional, and financial consequences, is incalculable. Real-time photographs may provoke strong emotions and express the terrible reality of cancer. The news that my 10-year-old niece had died of cancer this Eid shattered my heart. Because of her, I feel compelled to raise awareness about cancer’s gravity and urge people to take precautionary measures.

Cancer is a sobering reminder that it shows no bias, striking down people despite their feelings of attachment, ambition, and family ties. Through the observation of my niece’s courageous fight against cancer, the first-hand witnessing of her unwavering determination, and the personal encounter with the tumultuous emotional journey that our family underwent, this scribe has gained a deep understanding of the profound influence that such a lethal disease as cancer may exert on an individuals’ existence. The cancer journey burdens patients and their families significantly, encompassing physical pain during treatment and mental distress due to uncertainty.

Shaher Bano was an ambitious and optimistic kid whose spirit lit up the room. She battled cancer with all she had, but it was ultimately too much for her frail body. The honesty with which Shaher Bano conveyed her tale at such a little age moved many listeners to compassion and empathy. Her story emphasizes the urgent need for further study and the identification of a remedy. Personal stories like Shaher Bano’s are essential for motivating others to take action, become involved, and make a difference.

Cancer patients frequently experience many physical symptoms, with pain being among the most prevalent and challenging. Localized or systemic pain may result from several factors, including pressing a tumor on a neighboring organ, nerve, or blood artery. Nerve pain (neuropathy) is characterized by tingling, numbness, and shooting pain in the limbs, and it may be a side effect of cancer therapies like chemotherapy. Patients with cancer whose illness has spread to the skeletal system may suffer from persistent bone pain.

The fact that certain surgical procedures might result in post-operative pain further emphasizes the need for effective pain management methods. Mucositis is a condition associated with cancer drugs; it produces painful inflammation and ulcers in the mouth, throat, and intestines, making eating and drinking difficult. Treating and managing physical pain is crucial to improving a patient’s quality of life throughout chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.

The terrible impact of cancer on one’s mental health should not be forgotten. Many cancer patients report feeling more exposed, worried and stressed. These feelings have the potential to demoralize people. When compelled to see and acknowledge the victims’ agony, those closest to them also carry a heavy load. The malignant expansion has serious emotional repercussions. During treatment, people with illnesses often experience a wide variety of feelings, including dread, stress, melancholy, and helplessness.

Such strong emotions may compromise a person’s capacity to engage in treatment and maintain a normal life. The emotional anguish of a loved one or caretaker also affects them, leaving them feeling useless and bereft. Managing the emotional distress associated with cancer therapy requires a multifaceted strategy based on providing mental health care, establishing peer networks, and including psychological assessments in the overall treatment plan. By being more self-aware and taking purposeful action to overcome emotional obstacles, people whose lives have been touched by cancer may increase their well-being and resilience.

Read More