(4 Februrary is observed as World Cancer Day to help spread awareness about the prevention, detection, and treatment of Cancer. In light of this, FIT is republishing the story of this young cancer survivor.)
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Producer: Saakhi Chadha
“Cancer kicked my boobs, and I kicked it back!”
Swati Garg, a 30-year-old businesswoman, was accidentally diagnosed with breast cancer while she was admitted to the hospital for her COVID treatment last year.
“COVID came as a blessing to me. I underwent a CT scan while I was admitted to the hospital for my treatment. That’s when a lump was first discovered in my left breast.”Swati
While the diagnosis first came as a surprise, Swati fought the battle head-on.
“I was absolutely fine when I heard the word ‘cancer’. I know of so many people who have had it and are doing okay. Cancer is normal. People get it, and they also recover from it. It’s important to talk about it because timely screening would mean you don’t have to live with it forever. It happens, but you can heal from it,” Swati says with a smile on her face as she nears the end of her cancer journey.
Looking back, she shares that she did break down when her doctor first suggested chemotherapy.
“It really really really hit me. I started blaming everyone around me. I became vulnerable. But after five minutes of crying, I looked around me and saw that everybody was on the same boat. It’s a cancer hospital, they are all going through it. I felt motivated once again. If they can fight it, so can I.”
Swati has undergone four chemotherapy sessions. Through it all, she recommends keeping a dietitian on board to monitor what you eat. “Your body is drained out after chemo and you’re not eating. My dietitian was my blessing here.”
Hair Loss & Mental Health: Why She Decided to Go Bald
The second week after her first chemo, Swati started noticing her hair falling in huge patches. When this became a pattern, she took the call of shaving her head for once and for all.
“I told my mom that I am already going through a lot mentally. I have been very strong about it, but I don’t want my daily hair fall to affect me in my journey. I’d rather shave it off. So I booked both of us a parlor appointment, and went ahead and did it.”Swati Garg
Throughout the journey, constant self-affirmations, support from her family and friends, and a positive approach helped her every step of the way.
“For instance, when I started puking perpetually after my third chemo, I told myself that this is just my worst hangover. Even on Diwali, when I was in my first ‘bald festive’ look, I kept telling my mom how pretty I looked! Such reaffirmations from myself and from those around me really kept me going. This was my approach of going through chemotherapy. I didn’t want to make it look like I’m sick. So, you know, it’s the way you look at things. ,” she says.