* story of lina

Nahid Jahan Lina  – breast cancer survivor sends her story from Dhaka, Bangladesh

I am having Chemotherapy again.   It recurred from my right breast.    It would be incorrect to call it ‘breast’, it would probably be more appropriate to call it chest as my right breast was mastectomized   on 3 October, 2009.  This time it started in March of this year.  I started feeling a fair bit of pain in my right chest.  So I went to Dr. Lt. Col.  Mofazzel Hossain, an Oncologist for a check up.   He told me that I had received radio-therapy in that location for 25 days after my surgery, so it might very well be a little painful there and I should just accept it as a normal side effect.    I swallowed the pain and carried on with my normal activities.

In May, I noticed a rash on my skin to the left of the incision mark made by the operation.   This time I went to my Surgeon, Dr Khademul  Islam.   He asked me to get an X-ray done.  I got it done and the result was good.  Once again I tried to take it in my stride.   But my mind was not at rest.  So I went to see Dr Akhter Shahida Perveen, the Head of the Department of Medicine at Mohakhali Cancer Hospital.   She examined me and asked me to get an ultra-sound done.    Again the report was good.   She prescribed some vitamins and pain killers.   I went on the regime prescribed for me.   But I could find no change.    So I headed back to Dr Akhter Shahida Perveen.   She asked me to get a blood test and a CT scan of my chest done.  The result of the blood test was good, but the result of the scan was not.  This time I was told that I had had a recurrence and I needed to start chemotherapy.   After I left the consulting chamber, I rang Polash (my husband) and told him that I had had a recurrence, and then I cried for a while thinking about my little child.   Polash told me to go to Lt. Col. Mofazzal Hossain at Lab Aid and he joined me there from his office.   The doctor looked at everything and asked me to have an abdominal CT scan done.  I got it done at United Hospital.  He said there were innumerable signs of a recurrence, and I should start chemotherapy.   On being asked how many sessions of chemotherapy would be required, he said it wasn’t possible to say that yet, and it would depend on the condition of the patient.  When Polash said we wanted to go to India, the doctor wrote down the name of a number of chemotherapies and said that is what I would be given in India too.

Anyway, it would take us at least another seven days to get to India.  I thought my condition might deteriorate if I left it until then and agreed to start my chemo.  That night I took a Gemsitabine intravenously and went on a fourteen day course of Gelato.   After that we went to see Dr Shankar Shrinivasan at Chennai Apollo Cancer Hospital.  He told us to get another CT scan, a biopsy, and some more blood tests done.   The report from the CT scan showed clear signs of the recurrence.   The result of the biopsy was quite painful to take – it was exactly the opposite of what I had got from the one performed in 2009 after my surgery.  Then my ER was positive, PR was also positive and HR2 was negative.   This time ER was negative, so was PR, and HR2 was positive.  The doctor drew up a plan for chemotherapy.  He said I would have to be given nine Herceptins and twelve Gemcitabines.  And then I would have a follow-up.  After that I would have to have Herceptin oral chemotherapy for a good number of days along with another chemotherapy.

I have completed three Herceptins and six Gemcitabines, or three cycles of chemotherapy.   A number of tests will have to be carried out before the fourth cycle can begin.   So I am making preparations to go to India again.  I am not feeling very well.  I don’t know what is in store for me in the days ahead, but then no one does.   I don’t know whether I will be able to give some more time to my daughter.  But I wish so much that I could.   My four year old daughter’s name is Ana Nina Rahman.  She is a very affectionate and sensitive child.   There are times when I think if I could only be with her until her puberty!   Then I could have given her my support as a mother with the matter of her adjusting to the wider world.  I don’t at all feel like leaving my daughter in sadness.  But we all have to bow down to hard reality.  I ardently wish that she will become a human being in the true sense of the word – that she will work for her fellow human beings, help them, fight for them and be brave and self-reliant.


Original Article written in Bangla By Nahid Jahan Lina

English translation by Nuzhat Safa


About this blog

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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