This Kid’s Spirit to Fight Cancer is Exemplary


My body had hosted cancer and subsequently destroyed it when I met her. I had been through several chemotherapies, radiations and a transplant that had marred every square inch of my body. I was numb (frankly). I was waiting outside a room at the hospital when I first saw her. The little thing came running and jumping out of the same room. She looked all happy and cheerful. “Take it easy, you just took an injection”, the nurse screamed after her. But she, she didn’t care. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. It was probably after months that I felt…Joy and Content despite of my own shortcomings to ‘feel’ anything. I started the camera in my cell phone and attempted to take her picture without her knowledge. And damn! It flashed! (I kicked myself internally for forgetting to turn it off!) She looked at me, gave this broad smile and posed. I clicked. She came running to me and demanded to have a look at her image. “What’s your name?” I asked her. “Tanusha, you can call me Tanu”, she smiled (God! I love her smile). A few minutes later both of us were called in. She was put on chemotherapy and the nurse started dressing my stitches.

“Why aren’t you crying? That ‘red medicine’ burns!” she was screaming at me.

“Quiet. Big girls don’t cry.” The nurse tried to shut her up.

“Says who?” she fired. “Pain is pain. Age doesn’t matter. Venting out pain is very important.” She argued.

“Wow! How old are you, Aristotle?” I joked.

“Seven. And who’s Aristotle?” Inquisitive kids!

“Never mind him. And I am numb now. I mean, nothing hurts me, don’t worry.” I explained.

“You are lying. It always hurts you. Pain never goes away because it is inflicted every day. Stop training your mind like that. It’s not fair to your body and soul.” She expressed.

“Gosh! Are you really seven? Look at you! All matured and deep!” I was dumbfounded, honestly.

“He he he! Somebody said that to me. I didn’t understand it then. But I do now, with every chemo.” She sighed. “Besides, seven is not that little.” She winked.

“It isn’t, for sure.” I laughed.

“I guess you should sleep now. You have to beat chemo side-effects for the next few days.” I said.

“My daughter has lost her sleep and appetite because of this disease.” Her mother replied with teary eyes.

“Well, umm…she will be okay aunty.” Tears always made me uncomfortable.

“See you around doll. Kick chemo’s butt.” I winked at her.

She giggled and gave me a high-five. Months later when I saw her, she was reduced to half of what you see of her in this image. I was heartbroken. She was in the same frock and broken sandals. That’s when it dawned on me that she hailed from a financially weak family. She smiled weakly at me, “You know”.

“I know”, I smiled back. “It’s not the end, you know”, I tried to encourage her. It’s probably the most difficult thing to do in moments like these.

“Of course it’s not the end,” her face lit up, “not until I say it is. You see, I call the shots in this game, NOT cancer.” She laughed.

She vanished before I could hug her. That’s my Tanu. I don’t know where she is today, I don’t know if she made it. I think of her often. She taught me a very important lesson for life.

It’s YOUR life. Call the shots! Cheers!