If there is one thing that carried me through this battle it’s my faith in God. Faith in his plan for me, faith in achieving remission, faith that I will survive.
People often ask me how I felt when I heard the news. What I felt was acceptance; I was emotionally stronger than I have ever been before. I believe God doesn’t put you through something without giving you the strength to overcome it. In Islam we believe that God blesses those in suffering, the thought humbled me and brought me closer to God.
I’m in no way trying to make cancer seem like a piece of cake. It’s far from it. My life dramatically changed after hearing the news. I had to leave my family, my home country, my friends and my job. It took so much away from me and left me feeling empty. However, focusing on that would have left me both devastated and idle. I wouldn’t have been able to move forward. I refused to be sad or weak. The only way to win this fight was to be positive.
The first four sessions of chemotherapy really took a toll on my body, I had days where I found it difficult to lift my head from my pillow. My body ached and my knees were no longer able to carry me. To be perfectly honest, there were times when I wanted to give up but my faith in God kept me going. The hope of a better day was all I had.
When you find yourself faced with your own mortality you can’t help but focus on what makes you happy. Are you living the life you want for yourself? I wasn’t. I was stuck in a job that didn’t fulfill me. Cancer inspired me to go after my dreams and I plan to finally go to medical school. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl but I was always too afraid to pursue it.
I believe my illness was God’s way of steering me in the right direction. To go after my dreams, to live my life the way I want. To start new, to be happy.
If you find yourself faced with the same situation, never allow your mind to think “Why me?” because it is all in God’s plan for you. Believe that God will take care of you just like he is taking care of me. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my faith. Hold on to yours.
Mneera is a 27 year old Bahraini who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently living in Manhattan, New York for treatment. To get in touch with Mneera email her at firstname.lastname@example.org