WHEN I THOUGHT IT WAS THE END…

What I am going to share today was a life-changing experience for me. Those 3 months taught me the value of life, relationships and it further strengthened my trust in God.

Rewind to 2014

While the life was as normal as any other day, I noticed a pea sized lump on my neck. It was on the front side, a couple of inches above the collarbone. I was getting ready to leave for work and I was late as always. I made a mental note of checking this again in the evening and dismissed it as nothing for the time being. The rest of the day was uneventful. Next morning my fingers could feel the lump again and it got me thinking. What was it? How did it come up all of a sudden? Why wasn’t it paining? The first sprint of scare rushed in my mind but I calmed myself down and chose to believe it is not what I was thinking it is. After all, cancer doesn’t happen just like that! Or does it?

The lump refused to leave my neck and mind. I spent the next several days googling about such growth and was mentally checking the probability of malignancy. A couple of months passed away and day by day the size of the lump was increasing and so was my fear. I used to press it very hard with the hope that it will pain but it never did! Boy, was it really the big C?

Time had come to share my fear with my family and even though nobody mentioned it clearly, they feared the same big C that I was fearing.

We consulted a doctor who suspected typhoid. Apparently, this was the most common symptom of typhoid. I was relieved. Not that typhoid was good but it was far better and curable than Cancer. I was advised some blood tests and a needle test. Needle test is when they prick a needle deep inside the lump and collect the particles of growth to examine for typhoid. A few days later we got the results. “No trace of typhoid found however further examination advised to rule out malignancy”

I was shattered. My world came crashing down. Was it really Cancer after all? I was not ready for it. Next several days were spent crying and questioning whether I deserved this. No words gave me enough strength to put myself back together. Routine life continued but the sacre reflected in every action and every thought. After all, I was just 30 then. Married only for 5 years and waiting to have a baby! Was I going to die without most of my wishes unfulfilled, most of my goals unachieved and more importantly was I going to leave all my dear ones grieving after I die?

Wheels moved faster than on. The unavoidable biopsy was scheduled. All this while my relationship with God was undergoing a transformation. From blaming Him to be stone-hearted to pleading for my life, it was full of enlightenment of good and bad deeds in the past.

The day of biopsy dawned. I cannot describe the feeling I had when I was wheeled to the operation theatre. All that I wanted was if there was malignancy there then I wished that something goes wrong with the surgery and I die during the procedure. I was ok dying without notice instead of dying every single day fighting the big C. Coward I know! But I was really not prepared for it.

Biopsy went well and the sample was sent for further investigation. The report was due after a week. This was my first test. I started undergoing change. I slowly embraced acceptance. I decided to make the best use of whatever time was left. I started expressing love more to my family. I started praying harder. My prayers changed from being demanding to being humble. I thanked God for everything He has given me and I asked for the fortitude to help me get through this phase. God is kind indeed. He blessed me with tons of fortitude and I was able to resume my routine quite soon. Of course, there were breakdowns and the fear did manifest every now and then but somehow I managed to stay put. I used to tell myself every day that things are going to be fine. I was learning to focus on positivity.

The report came. “No malignancy detected. Culture recommended” Aaaah… What a relief! I felt like I had been gifted a new life. I hugged my husband and both of us cried. God is Great! It gave me a boost and more faith to take on life. A sample was further sent for culture. Culture reports come in three parts, each a month apart.

Those 3 months transformed me completely. I was more positive, enthusiastic and living every day of my life. I was more confident that probably the big C is not in the picture. I joined a new job which seemed impossible a few weeks ago. I was my normal self again sans the fear at the back of my mind. I got introduced to spirituality during this time and my relationship with God enhanced further. God has always been kind. Each time I broke down He lifted my spirit with more confidence and fortitude than before. It was impossible without Him to keep going.

All three reports came out clear. I was amazed by my tenacity and fortitude – both which were the gifts of Almighty. Some experiences are life-changing. They make us stronger and more courageous. Thank you God for being there for me ALWAYS. I truly believe that had it not been for God, malignancy was sure to be there because there was no other diagnosis to it.

Anyway, I am glad things turned out well. All is well that ends well, isn’t it? Today I am more matured in my thought process, value and emphasise my relationships more, take life easy. I have understood that life is not only about chasing dreams but living one!

SELF-TELEPORTATION BACK TO NORMALCY

I have seen you are very particular in noticing stuff. You caught a friend for posting a black DP, you are always interactive in the group, you respond for sure and quick…You store memoirs well. You kept the picture and what all I had written on that picture for your birthday…Those are some beautiful gestures…Whereas you were very quiet, backing out, negative, etc., previously…

‘Transformation’, that I have seen in you over the last few months. What made you change so much? Can you reflect on what made you sad, grumpy and depressive in the past and what really made you a happy woman once again?

The moment Chiradeep gave me the task of the week, I was thrilled to know that just like me, he himself is good at noticing things because everything he mentioned about me is absolutely correct.

As soon as I get time, I check my WhatsApp, which sometimes gets delayed, of course, if I am busy. I notice distinctive stuff and if there’s something wrong with a person’s display pic or status, then it troubles me too because I care for those who care for me. I am not that great that I bother those also who don’t bother me 😉.

I have been like that ever since. I want people around me to be perfectly fine and happy and if I can help them in any way, I do.

I remember my sister Kuljeet once complimenting me about my good observing skills and buying unusual gifts.

I love preserving stuff- stuff that is close to my heart. The way Chiradeep described me in my picture was more than enough to boost my confidence and make me happy at that point of time. I have been keeping the memories since the snail mail age. I have letters from my childhood buddies- Kuljeet and Prabhjot. I have a handwritten autobiography of my late grandfather, which I typed later, keeping it safely as a digital document. From chocolate wrappers eaten while having fun with my friends, to the special golden edition of the newspaper celebrating our country’s 50th Independence, I have been preserving everything that I love. I even kept the bills of the café shops and restaurants, when I used to go out with Anuj, before marriage. I have also preserved the clamps with which the umbilical cords of my sons were tied after cutting.

Why I do this? Because it gives me sheer pleasure in safeguarding memories. Years later when I go through this old stuff, I feel so ecstatic. It’s so much fun to recall old forgotten incidents.

Coming to the main point “transformation”, I would like to correct here that its not my transformation, but I am back to my old self. When I joined Candles, I was going through a terrible phase. I am sure most of us have witnessed a phase in life when the career takes an upper hand than the family members, of course for the betterment of the family. Anuj did his MBA, along with his job. After that, he had to shift to another city, leaving me and kids. Tough and crucial period it was for him and for me as well. I am a very strong person, but my strength is my husband. I go weak if he’s not there with me. The world around collapses for me if we are not together. He’s my life and my soul. Distances don’t keep relations apart, but they do keep the people away from each other. No matter how hard I tried to stay strong, I failed. Thankfully, Anuj made me take up a job before he left, otherwise I would have gone berserk. Work keeps you so busy that you don’t have much time to think about the negative thoughts that dwell inside you.

My sisters kept counselling me. Kuljeet kept reminding me, “Its just a phase.” My friends were there to lift me up. Yes, it was a phase and I am delighted it’s over. Now, I am back to my normal self, because after a long time Anuj and I are together and are living a normal life.

IS MULTI-TASKING REALLY GOOD?

Multi-tasking, this word sounds great. It is carrying out more than one work at the same time. By this way of working we can do so much in a lesser time. Our ancestors used to say, at a time only one work should be performed. They said this so that we could concentrate solely on one work at a time. But in today’s life no one has enough time.

Since my childhood I always witnessed my mother doing so many things simultaneously. The moment she left her bed in the morning to the moment she went back to bed at night, she handled so many tasks at the same time. At first, I used to think she got some special powers, similar to what I saw in cartoons and superhero movies. But with passing years I saw not only my mother, but every woman on earth is capable of doing more than one task at a time.

I used to think how it could be possible because we humans got only one body and one brain. It really amazed me to divide my attention to more than one work. My mother is a working woman. She wakes up early and since then she puts her hands into numerous work. And those works are accomplished very well. But sometimes, she wouldn’t get the desired result. Like if she is cooking food and teaching my brother at the same time then probably she would burn her hand or some ingredients would be more or less in the food. She very well knows if she will take multiple works in her hand, then there’s chance of some mistakes but still she never thinks twice before being multi-tasking woman. May be, because she has got so many responsibilities that has to be done. Not only this, we must have seen in advertisement that there’s a family. All of them are busy in other works whilst eating. Okay they may be having some really important work. In this way they don’t get to interact with family and they tend to drift away.

Whenever I see my mom, she never shows her tiredness. And I am sure all women do the same. But handling so many works at the same time requires too much effort and people tend to get tired easily. I can say this because I have experienced it. It was my cousin’s wedding and as we know, we have so many rituals and customs in wedding. Therefore, I had so many works to be done. I was bridesmaid; I had to look after guests, ask them for food and refreshments and had to see many other things. The bride (my cousin) asked for me for every little thing. Though, I managed to do everything so well but after marriage ceremony was over, I wanted to take some rest. My body was paining too badly. Still there were so many relatives and guests in the house, so I couldn’t take rest. I felt as if there was no strength left in my body. I desperately wanted to sleep.

So, what I felt, even if we are multi-tasking but our body needs some rest and it can’t be multi-tasking every time. It is our physical need to take rest. Yes of course, multi-tasking can be important at times when so many works have to be completed in a very limited time period. We achieve this by the help of our will-power and inner spirit. But we should not neglect the condition of our body. Because if our body is tired then we won’t be able to give our best in whatever we do. Being multi-tasking is not bad but sometimes it can be really bad.

A MOM IS A MULTI TASKER

I didn’t realise my super capabilities of multi-tasking until I became a mom. Here I am quoting super capabilities not because I want to boast, but because I think the supernova powers of a woman come out when she becomes a mother.

My hubby & I used to live in Chandigarh when my elder son was born. After few months of support from my moms (my mom & my MIL), we were on our own. With a kid in the house, things get easily done when there are two people, but when you are alone in the house, it’s really difficult. The biggest trouble comes when the clothes in the machine are waiting to be hung to dry, you have to prepare meals and also entertain your kiddo as well.

It’s not that difficult as it sounds, because I have done it. With my son in baby carrier, I used to chop vegetables, sing him lullabies, hang the laundry, put him to sleep and do a lot more. It reminds me of the jumping on the rocks game that I used to watch in Takeshi’s Castle. My situation was similar. Hop on to one task, then other, come back to previous one and so on.

With years, my multi-tasking skills improved. I became a working mom too. So, there was a time when I used to feed my younger son, help the elder one with his school assignments, do my work related stuff and reply to the messages and emails, all at the same time.

My every weekday morning (I am sure many other moms have the same schedule)starts in preparing tea for us two-me and my hubby, simultaneously making breakfast for my elder son, also for my preschooler, if he wakes up early and preparing for the tiffins for both of them. And in this multi-tasking, if the tea boils out of the vessel (which is once in 50 times), I believe I can handle multi-tasking.

My hubby sometimes says that I don’t prioritize my work and hence open too many tabs of chores. But, I keep telling him- that’s how I manage work- I multi task, because if I don’t, I will end up in slogging myself throughout the day.

I believe the other name of being a mom is a multi-tasker, at least I feel so, because the amount of work the moms do, no one else does. Agree with me? Happy multi-tasking then!