* story of shegufta

Personal account of Shegufta Anam – a breast cancer survivor from Dhaka, Bangladesh

I had my appointment with Dr. Hong at 4 .00 p.m Singapore time on 27th July, 2010 in Mount Elizabeth Hospital. I didn’t intend to go to Singapore leaving my daughters back in Bangladesh for a ‘simple’ reason but Saad, my husband, was very adamant to take me there.  Saad had been very worried, tensed and nervous for last couple of days.  We had been seeing few doctors and going through few check-ups in Dhaka, Bangladesh but to get firm diagnosis, we needed further checkup and my husband wanted those to be checked up in abroad, in a better place. We were having arguments on this issue. I didn’t see any reason to waste so much money for just a simple check-up. We flew for Singapore on 26thJuly, 2010, from Dhaka to Singapore, flight time was in mid night, and we reached to our destination in early morning. This night journey was very tiring physically and mentally. That was my first visit to Singapore and I was quite fascinated by almost everything; even I was planning for few shopping!

We reached  Mount Ellizabeth a bit earlier than our appointed  time, waiting for doctor is a very stressful  thing  specially when  you don’t know what is coming up before you, it might be very serious, it might be nothing !!  In between 4 to 4.30 pm, we entered into the Doctor’s room,  he listened to my  problem and related history from me, went through my  test reports which I did in Bangladesh and then he  wanted to check me physically. After this he told us something which I thing nobody wanted to hear for him/herself or for any dear ones or for anyone in this earth, I had Cancer!!!  My whole body got frozen; I couldn’t move for few moments, the first thing came into my mind that was ‘Alhamdulillah’ all praises are for Allah. My husband wept, he was trying to console me, and doctor offered me warm water as he was watching me devastated.  Doctor kept on saying that I need immediate surgery and few more tests because he needed to know how much it spreaded in my body  but  I couldn’t sense  any of his words,  My mind is running  by one thing  how much time I have in my hand,  days, months, years … How long I could see my daughters, my parents, my husband, my peaceful home, my plants which I grew over the years , which became part of myself.

When we got back to our hotel room I desperately wanted to talk with any other Bangladeshi because two of us became traumatized, suffocated, were missing our family but we didn’t know any one there.  I talked to my parents over the phone, with my first family.  I wanted all of them by my side as if I couldn’t see them any more.

Next morning I did my PET scan; the evening before I had done mammography and ultrasound. I started getting phone calls of my friends from all corners of the world. I started regaining my will power by the grace of Allah.

Me, Shegufta Anam , in my  early forties , never imagined  this thing would happen to me !!  We, people always think terrible things would never happen to us, when  we  hear anything awful, dreadful about  anyone, we feel sorry for him, we pray for him  but never think it can happen to me also !!


Back in  April 2009, while I was watching T.V lazily , felt a little pain in my right breast, accidentally touched by my hand then I felt a lump there, my husband was a very nervous person so I didn’t share  this with him.  Next day I went for an ultrasound, the report showed another lump in my left breast and after few days I did fine needle test and got a negative report on malignancy and report said it was fibrocystic disease. But this incident didn’t make me worried, I was absolutely carefree.


After few months,  I can’t recall precisely, might be Oct-Nov of 2009 I  felt another lump on my right breast , near to armpit .This time  I ignored it , I thought  it could be another fibroid . There is a word / expression call intuition,  It was bothering me, I started querying  about breast cancer, one day I went to hospital for ultrasound, but there wasn’t any female doctor , so I didn’t do it.

Over the time I had been becoming weak, tired, I thought it’s because of over work. I had been suffering from fever for one month, losing appetite. I became concern about the condition of my health, started doing few related tests, my husband decided he would take me Singapore and we flew on July 26th.

Since I started my treatment in Singapore from then on I had started to see life from a different angle. I realized how much blessed I am by my Allah, The almighty, the most merciful. P.E.T scan showed that I didn’t get cancer any part of my body, Alhamdulillah.  My surgery went successfully and biopsy report said that it’s hormone receptor, Alhamdulillah. Everything went fine.  Doctor reported I would need 16 chemo therapy, 33 radiotherapy and 5 years hormone treatment. She also informed me all the side effects of chemo and radiation.

Allah made everything easy for me and through out the whole procedure I was positive so everything became very easy.   Especially the two months of my radiotherapy treatment while we, four of us, were staying in Singapore, recall this staying the happiest time of my twelve years of married life. I had got wonderful, loving, supportive husband, his support and pray gave me strength to carry myself through out the disaster. My parents , their presence was a huge support for me, I used  to pray to Allah  that don’t took them away from me, I need them . Whenever I looked at them their pleasant face used to give me strength. My two angel daughters were inspiration of my life. My first family, my loving friends, their love, care and pray infused me with a new life.

I would always say to everybody that never consider yourself finished if you are with cancer.  It’s just a beginning of a new phase of your life. Allah gave us lots of good things in our life and a little test of patience, which we had to overcome by the grace of Allah, the most merciful, the most beneficent.





20 Responses to “* story of shegufta”

  1. Suzana Saladin says:

    Can’t stop crying…..I hard this story from her own mouth but reading it made me realize what she had gome thru one more time. She is my childhood friend and I admire her courage and her passion for life. The news of her cancer was as devastating to us as it was to her. But we were not living with Cancer everyday like her. But whenever I talked to her she never was not at all discouraged. She had this utmost faith in allah that he will pull her thru. and Mashallah with her strong supportive Husband and two beautiful daughters she survived the cancer. She is a joy amoung our friends, her personality is such you can only love her. She is such a caring friend and an excellent Mother and a devoted wife Allah made her journey thru her ailments an easy one Mashallah!! Shegufta has grown more prettier with her newly grown hair nad her newly found life. I have to much to learn from you my dear friend. the love for the loved ones and the love for life and the struggle that comes with it. You are my Hero.And I love you 🙂

  2. Touched by your story. I will be always there for you, spiritually if not physically. Big hug from your dosto. xoxo!!!!!

  3. Farhana H Baccari says:

    Truely touched by your courage and passion for life. May Allah bless you a healthy and happy life. Love.

  4. Sutapa Das says:

    Dear Shegufta , I’m touched by your story. May God be with you all the time in pain & in happiness ..in all details life gone through.

  5. Imon Hussain says:

    Shumi(Shegufta)is my childhood friend. We were neighbors. Those were the ‘ekka dokka’ days. I always tried to take the lead that Shumi hardly approved. I even remember putting a flower seed in to my right ear as part of a magic that was supposed to come out from the left ear. I did this to impress Shumi and the rest of the gang. Unfortunately that little seed never came out of my left ear. I was taken to the Dhaka Medical College hospital and the Dr. took that silly piece out of my ear using a special tool. I was heavily embarrassed, don’t clearly remember what Shumi’s reaction was after that.
    Shumi’s illness was a sudden shock to me for two reasons. Firstly, it’s Shumi and secondly, at the same time I myself was going through several tests and had a slight fear that I might have brain cancer. Thankfully that’s not been found as yet. Shumi’s illness showed me, how brave she is and what a coward I am! She already fought the battle and won the battle and I don’t even have the guts to face the reality. Shumi, you have been calling me a genius, but the fact is, you are the real genius and you proved it. My best wishes are always with you…

  6. Sharmini Abbasi says:

    As tears are rolling down reading your lovely writing and as my heart is aching with a surge of feelings of varied colors … Dear Shegufta I take this opportunity to tell you a few words.

    Bondhu, although you are a childhood friend but my recollection of our old years is more of your lovely face than much specific memories.. then Allah made us meet us again under the scortching sun in front of the gate of our daughters’ school some 23 years after our gone by days.

    As you shared the awful news of your illness sometime on July 2009 perhaps my knowing of you entered a third phase. I have watched with wonder the real “you” during your battling of the ailment. It was a revelation for me to find what a brave, patient and pleasant person my frined is! With what composure and faith you have submitted to the will of Allah. It was so painful to see your fight .. Saad bhais dim eyes(although i was deeply moved to see what a life partner is meant to be,his love for you was a blessed niyamot of ur life). Every time i saw Umaymah and Zainab i was perhaps seeing Sarina and Alvi .
    Amidst treatment and chemo your usual battling of life with family chores, tending children, and a thousand other mundane went on. One can take leave from office but not from life! I for the first time felt that even in the darkest hours our duties never cease.but it was also so beautiful(to see your glowing conviction in Allah. The sheer beauty of you and Saad bhai’s faith has opened my heart to dimensions of life which i never realized before and i pray that it remains like that. And how He has responded to your lovely faith and mashallah all turned out to be more a journey of faith than a journey of oncology.

    On a personal note i am often restless .. one a societal level we see people with restless souls ,, scatterd over trivial discomforts of life and health. People even complain about a simple needle prick (as you have rightly written we never think that big test than can come upon us .

    Thanks to adhunika for arranging to share this beautiful piece of write up with us..thanks to shegufta for taking up your pen for us. May Allah augments Adhunikas quest of helping people and restore our friend to perpetual health and happiness.

    Life is short and your story of resilience will remain as an evening star…guiding your friends to see light as we tread life through sunshine and rain.

  7. Sanjida Shaheed says:


    When I started to read your article it seemed like I went back to those days again.I still remember when u called us and said you just wish to see everyone there. We were shocked too. I know we can just think about it,but we never can imagine what situation you all really had to go through.

    Till today I just wonder how you are taking so… much workload everyday!! But I must say, still you are getting prettier day by day.Inshallah Allah will always help you to overcome this tough time.

    We’ll always be there to support you. We are always amazed at your courage and determination.

  8. Prova says:

    Reading this made me cry, not like I didn’t when you were going through all the hardship, but reading the above article made me recall how dreadful an experience it was for u. I am sure by reading this a lot of women will be inspired to fight against the odds of life. Shumi Khala(Shegufta) May Allah bless you and your family always. We love u.

  9. Zeeshan says:

    I feel a lump in my throat as I read through my frend’s story. On one hand it makes me sad and on the other I feel so proud to see how courageous she is.

    Shegufta is an amazing human being and one of my closest friends. When she first called me to discuss her initial report, I was sure she is fine as I couldn’t imagine somebody so close to me having something like Cancer. Later on when I got to know the harsh truth I couldn’t sleep the whole night.
    Shegufta, you are one of the strongest people know. Despite all your pain and agony I always found your voice to be positive and cheerful. I don’t know how you did it but I’m sure it took a lot of courage to face it and go through such a hard time.
    I always pray for you and your family. May Allah bless you and keep a smile on you face all the time.

    I love you a lot.

  10. Dennis Malone says:

    Dear Shegufta,
    Thank you for putting us in touch with this blog. Your story here is truly heartfelt and heart-touching. Susan and I admire you greatly. Your husband and daughters are sources of light and love and strength, as are you yourself. This is God’s grace, to which you so strongly witness. May He bless you and your loved ones now and always. You are in our prayers.

    Your friends,
    Dennis and Susan Malone

  11. Syeda Fareha Islam says:

    Dear Shegufta,
    While reading your story, I was visualizing those days when both of us were attending the weeklong course together and witnessed your sufferings due to lack of appetite and energy. Your story reminded me all those days of anxious waiting for the reports and the tests you were going through. I saw how a soft person like Shegufta turned out to be a brave warrior against cancer. You always have your utmost conviction in Allah the Almighty and He didn’t leave you all by yourself in this tough trial of your life. You are an inspiration for many other victims of cancer. Share your dreadful experience with others; give them guidance and moral support. May this be the end of all the trials in your life. Keep up your patience and will power!!!

    Your sister/ friend / well wisher / colleague
    Fareha Islam

  12. Shaheen Akter says:

    Hello dear Segufta

    It is true when I heard your news first-I was just shocked.That-time,I was thinking always, why Allah do this? What is reason behind this……………I was praying….at the same time I was thinking only Allah can remove your pain and cure you……

    Now I think,Allah give you a test and you win the test with your courage,passion and strong faith to Allah.Your braveness inspire me and I am sure others also.Although,I have regular contact with you but while I was reading your story,I realized how you were handle this suffering,how you were going through with all the dreadful experiences.It touch my heart.I feel sad but on the other I feel proud,how brave you are……how nicely you put your experiences,feelings…..I can visualize…I can imagine the pain…… I love you…..love you dear……

    May Allah bless you and take care of you and your family.My prayer is always with you.Big hug and love dear….

    Shaheen apa

  13. Limia Dewan says:

    Dear Shegufta,
    When I read this article I tried to control my tears but I cannot. After you went out from office I went to washroom and keep myself alone. Think about you how you can manage yourself. I am proud to see your guts.
    Shegufta is one of my closest beautiful friends. When I first heard about her circumstance I felt so bad I could not sleep well. Meanwhile I thought it is happened to a person who can easily cope with anything. Now I think my thought came true, I saw her as green as vigorous she was before. It gives me comfort.
    Shefuta you are strong, you have courageous I know you have the power to cope with anything. Hope Allah blesses you. I always pray for you and your family. Thanks to adhunika for share this article with us.
    Lots of love

  14. Noushin Shah says:

    Dear Shumi Apu,

    Thanks for sharing the story, the painful partof this story is becoming a more common story for many women. i dont want to say anything about the pain and stress you went through, because it is not possible for one to even imagine. But, the spirit with which you fought the war and won (mashallah) is inspiring for all of us. We are really proud of you.
    Best wishes, now and always

  15. areefa says:

    It is really touching. Nobody from distance cannot understand the feeling what one goes through to the entire process. From a mother’s point of view I could feel the concern of a mother for her children at this stage. Those who are in the path of Islam can understand that we have to leave this world one day. But when a serious illness comes then the first concern comes thinking about the children’s future. We all know everything goes on its pace even after a very serious mishap. But our mind does not want to accept that we can’t be with our children if we have to leave this beautiful world. Apa, I did not get chance to see you much. We did a training together just after couple of months of my joining and after that you became ill. I saw you coming to office in between your treatment. I saw you very cool and calm. I asked you about your illness and I was amazed to see your sabr. Yes it is the only quality that can give strength to a person even in a situation like you have passed through. You were saying the same. But it is not easy that it will come automatically. But it is in you. Allah will inshAllah help in all respects. You have won the battle/test taken by Allah Subhanatala. You will get reward for this from Him inshAllah.

  16. Rashida Parveen says:

    Dear Shegufta,
    When I heard your news it was unbelievable to me. Several times I thought to call you but could not make it because I don’t know what to say in this situation. I had lots of question to know but could not ask you, today when I was reading your write up I got all the answers of my questions and I can not stop crying.
    That day when I saw you at our office I feel so happy to see our lovely, smiley, innocent Shegufta. You always have your utmost conviction in Allah the Almighty and He didn’t leave you all by yourself in this tough trial of your life. May Allah bless you and keep a smile on your face all the time. I always pray for you and your family.

  17. amena says:

    Feel something different from your story!
    Patience…! Patience…! and Patience…!
    May Allah help us to keep this strong believe on him and bless us with his love.

  18. Dennis Malone says:

    Dear Shegufta,

    I read your blog here last September and you have been in Susan’s and my thoughts. We pray for your continued healing and for the welfare of your beautiful family. Your friends, Dennis and for Susan

  19. zinia aktar says:

    I can realize your feelings by heart. It touches everyone’s who read it. your willpower bring to you happy long life. May Allah’s help be always with you and your family.


  20. Sarah says:

    Apa, May Allah provide you with the strength, love and support that you deserve.

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Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



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