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Allah is my companion

It started 4 years ago. I started studying after a long time, and was doing an Aalimah course. I had a test and went to my friend’s house to study. I went to do wudhu and suddenly got really sharp pain in my stomach and fainted. My children called the ambulance and took me to the hospital, they told me it was a muscle spasm. I went to the GP, and had the same thing happen again and again. I thought it may be because of exam stress. I was told it maybe constipation.

Then coronavirus hit, and my GP closed down. I was automatically sent to a doctor, and saw Locum doctors each time. I was going back and forth and to no avail. I was forced to go private and had to pay £250 for a 10-minute consultation with a gynaecologist. She told me not to go private and advised that I be referred to her under the NHS. So I requested my GP but she wouldn’t refer me unless I made a face to face appointment. I was not allowed to see her face to face due to coronavirus. I was told to go private but I explained this was unaffordable. I was stuck and upset, and didn’t know what to do. I was having severe bouts of pains, it took me days to get back to normal. I was further told to carry on taking fybogel sachets. I got severely ill again and was taken to the hospital for 3 days. I was subsequently discharged with no outcome and found myself going back to the hospital. I was given morphine to manage the pain but was still stuck with no answers and constant pain. No scans were carried out on me save for blood tests. Following 5 months of not knowing what was wrong with me and the hospital’s failure to diagnose my condition, I was advised by the hospital that it I could have cancer. I was informed that they would refer me for further scans and wanted to send me home. This really worried and scared me. I am not a very argumentative person and listened to and adhered the advice given to me by the doctors and professionals.

My sister, who is a nurse, urged me to voice my concerns as I was still in pain and had no answers. Indeed, I was now extremely scared. I had to insist that they investigate this properly and needed a scan. The on call doctor then organised a scan. I came home after that and was given an outpatients appointment. The consultant’s words to me were “Where were you before? Why did you come after a long time?”. This hurt me, I tried the initial channels, and was completely not listened to and ignored.

I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, the cysts had grown really large by that time. I was grateful to now be under the care of a consultant, and he organised for me to undergo surgery. I was grateful as this was only after 4 weeks, I had a full hysterectomy. I was told it was clear and successful. Two days later, my consultant came and informed me I would still need chemotherapy, I did not understand why, but I was told that it had spread slightly.

I feel that my Imaan was not as strong before, I was praying, and fulfilling my day-to-day duties with family and life. I stopped working and started becoming closer to Allah, I had started my Aalimah course, and becoming stronger in my religion. I feel this test was a test from Allah to strengthen me. I was really enjoying my studies and finding closeness to Allah. I feel this preparation made me stronger to receive the news and go through this. My sister was surprised that I went through my consultations on my own and I thought to myself SubhaanAllah, Allah had prepared me for this. I was  distressed but I felt strong.  Allah  controls both life and death. My death has been written, and worrying and stressing about it will not change anything. I’ve had one year of chemotherapy and I’m doing great, Alhamdulillah.

As is customary during chemotherapy, I lost my hair. Even though it was exhausting and stressful, I pushed myself and did extremely well. I found strength in unexpected places, and I knew it had to be from Him. Around that time, my best friend was diagnosed with cancer and went through a similar experience to me, and I was grateful to have someone there to support me. My best friend struggled to see a doctor and underwent numerous treatments, but she eventually returned to Allah. This was extremely difficult and emotional for me to deal with. It is indeed normal to have weak days, as well as days of fear, worry, and doubt. On those days, I remind myself that Allah loves me and is testing me. This serves as a reminder of my direct connection to my Lord. 

When I am feeling weak, I perform wudhu and pray to gain strength. In some ways, I know Allah chose me to prepare for my time, I am blessed and I have a chance to make things right in this world. Some people die suddenly, and it could have been me. Perhaps I was too preoccupied with the Dunyaa and this was a reminder to get closer to Him. This year, I was given the greatest blessing of all, the opportunity to perform Hajj. I promised myself that when I got better, I would go to Umrah and my son overheard my conversation with my husband and came over to tell me he wanted to go with us. The travel agent stated that he is unable to assist due to the new Hajj rules, which are only organised by the ministry. My son applied last minute and encouraged me to try, and despite the fact that it was last minute, we found out on the blessed day of Friday that we were BOTH accepted to go to Hajj. I had one week to get ready. Allah indeed helps us in mysterious ways, and I was able to find a message from a sister offering to help sisters prepare for Hajj for free. She went out of her way to sit down with me and prepare me with all of the necessary visual aids; I will never forget her.

I cannot express how grateful I am to Allah for all of His time, guidance, and blessings. These trials and tribulations demonstrated to me the reality of Allah’s presence and care for me. With the life Allah has given me, I have been blessed to perform Hajj and see all of my children marry.   My cancer has progressed to stage 3, but I am currently feeling well. There are ups and downs, but my faith always gets me through. Allah is my companion.

Strong faith is the only thing that will pull and keep you strong. Your family and friends are your best support system; lean on them, share with them, and talk to them. You must have at least one person to talk and be with.

And Lastly, if you suspect something is wrong, pay attention to your body. Don’t put it off; if you can afford it, go private; if you can’t, that’s fine; don’t let them scare you and minimise your pain. You are not alone.  Keep going back when you’re in pain, keep going back when you’re not feeling well. It is in Allah’s hands, but you must also look after yourself and respect your body. Go to your doctor, A&E, or the hospital. When you return home, you must begin the process all over again, so it is best to insist that all the necessary tests are done whilst you are there in one go.   I had to attend the hospital innumerable times, and after three times, alarm bells should have rung. Be firm about your own health. You don’t need to be rude, but you can be informed too.

By Aisha

Safeena - Muslim Cancer Support Network

Safeena - Muslim Cancer Support Network

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Safeena - Muslim Cancer Support Network
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