4 Year Anniversary

Exactly 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the clandestine rooms of a Breast Specialist. Who would’ve thought that neatly tucked away in the belly of a hospital down the road from my house, I would receive the most harrowing news ever.  It has been a long road, never easy, sometimes complicated and very frustrating. Mostly I have tried to live every day without any regrets. I try my best to stay positive and just keep swimming with my head above the water just following the tides…

Earlier this month I explained my general anxiety that the month of April brings in terms of having to see my Oncologist etc… It’s always such an unwelcoming reminder of my state of health that still frightens me and leaves me depressed and scared.

But today I am not depressed or morose. I think after this long my wounds have healed and the festering scab has finally settled down to just an irritating scar. I used to chug along and say just one more year to next year, just one more month, just one more day etc.. I used to place so much importance on this stupid inconsequential day! I used to calculate and bargain and make compensation just to make it to the next anniversary of 25th April…

The reasoning behind this thinking is that it’s the way in which my recurrence risk is measured medically. My onco type usually recurs within the first 5 years from diagnosis. So its basically a doom and gloom countdown to 5 years… And if I make it till then I should be okay!? But this is a gamble and life is not promised to anyone. So I feel childish and immature to fool myself into thinking this way… But I suppose the banter keeps my mind occupied and the distraction is welcoming as opposed to just worrying about recurrence all the time.

I think back and try to remember how I have gotten this far and what has sustained me through another year of life and in all honesty I am certain it is my refusal to feel defeated by adversity – that is an attribute the Almighty has blessed me with! Today, 4 years after the dread and horror – I am feeling great. I am more positive than ever, I am a lot wiser and stronger and definitely healthier than I have been in a long, long time. I am able to exercise daily without getting ill. I am not exhausted all the time and the brain fog has lifted slightly. My quality of life has improved dramatically since post chemo etc… and I can see the daylight filtering through from the light at the end of my tunnel!

I am grateful and thriving!



Dreamed to Life

I remember so clearly how I sat and literally searched for hours for content that related to my breast cancer. All I wanted was to hear from other local women about their experience with breast cancer. I was really frustrated and dismayed that there was nothing available on social media. I kept wondering where the local content was… I kept asking myself why no one was making this available to others…

Until I decided that I would stop asking and start doing…

I dreamed this project into life in 2012 while sitting in a chair and getting chemo… wondering if and when… pondering my own mortality and sanity…

Until I picked up the camera and was able to record stories from other brave women who have been where I have been! Standing there listening and looking at other women and seeing myself in each and everyone’s stories was utterly heartbreaking and humbling. I am forever grateful for their time, honesty, courage and strength!

Thank you for sharing my vision and allowing me a glimpse of your life!

SAY Channel Introduction

PS: This is an ongoing project, if you are willing to share your story please contact me at: sumayyajohaar@gmail.com

Shukran! Thank you!