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Tamil Blogosphere: Anuratha's ongoing battle with breast cancer

Tamil Blogdom is generally considered to be a place to have ‘fun’. A bunch of people standing around in groups discussing politics, movies, music, technology. A different set of people sit together talking about literature and churning out poetry and short-stories. Yet another group can be seen jumping around bursting with joy. Amidst the chaos, small group of people can be seen sitting in a corner sharing their experience and imparting knowledge.

Anuratha from Chennai, India is one of them. She starting blogging in July 2007 and has only blogged 33 entries so far. She has shared her experience in battling breast cancer. Each post contains valuable information and she emphasizes the need to ask questions. And to keep asking them.

A few days ago, Anuratha wrote about visiting her son in Singapore. And just recently on October 23rd she wrote about her health at that time. After listing a few troubles she was facing, she confidently continued to talk about her mental state. Anuratha was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2003. And she tells us how shocked she was and how ignorant she was at that time.

Here's what she says..

My body got damaged but I didn't let if affect my psyche. There are several problems which I'm managing to fight with medicines. I'm trying to do what I can for the society. And will continue to do so.

My husband and I looked for books on breast cancer when I was getting radiation treatment. We were able to locate two books in Tamil. Manimegalai publications book on cancer and Dr. Muthukuraman's book on mouth cancer. I searched the Net with my husband's help and learned quite a bit. http://breastcancer.org a website operating from America has a chatting room for breast cancer survivors. I participated there with my husband's help.

All these opened up a new world for me. I wanted to meet some people who got diagnosed with cancer.

Kumudam Snegethy magazine carried interviews by Neeraja and Girija, both cancer survivors who were counselling others. I wanted to meet them and contacted the magazine. I was able to talk to Girija and asked to meet her. We went to meet her the very next day. She was very helpful. She told me that she visits Adyar cancer hospital every month and counsels cancer patients and their families. She told me mostly the families needed more counseling than the patients.

Anuratha continues with her experiences in meeting several people who were diagnosed with cancer and others who help those diagnosed with cancer. Anuratha had also started writing about her experience in magazines.

Anuratha also talks about what she learned from other women. She talks about the need to keep things secret. Anuratha shares anecdotes of neighbours and others avoiding women diagnosed with breast cancer. Some women did not share their diagnosis and their interaction with the society did not change. But some of their families especially husbands started avoiding them. Anuratha continues on sharing others’ experiences and blogs about her decision not to share information about her illness with others.

Anuratha might have decided not to share with the people she comes in contact with in person. But she has been very generous in sharing information about her fight with cancer online.

Anuratha presently in Singapore is facing health problems now. She has been to visit the doctors in Singapore and has been in touch with her doctor back in India. She is taking some medicines now. But she is finding it difficult to talk. Most of the time she was only able to talk one or two words. Her most recent post was written on November 11, this Sunday with her husband's help. She is going to leave for Chennai as the medical costs in Singapore are quite exorbitant compared to India.

Tamil Blogdom has come together and is continuing to leave comments full of encouragement and prayers.

3 comments

  • Mahendra Shah

    Dear Sir,
    My wife Ranjan Shah is a breast cancer patient since 1999. She refused IV Chemo and continued Natural herbs and Juicing. She has an excellent quality of life. Her cancer came back in May 2003 and she is now ORAL chemo with less side effects. Good luck to you all. Mahendra – Miami, Florida. Mahendra Shah

  • Dealing with cancer can be a very painful process, I lost my father in 2004 to cancer, and it’s terrible to watch loved ones suffer like that. It’s very important that women get checked up to detect early signs of cancer. Early detection is the key to prevention. That’s why I am now working with Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Million Inch Chain as a community ambassador, together we are trying to gather 1 million inches of hair and I am calling on all of you out there to help contribute to this amazing cause by donating, or pledging to donate your hair by visiting this site http://www.beautifullengths.com/en_US/million_inch/million_inch_qa.jsp

    For a lot of women dealing with chemo related hair loss, it can deal a huge blow to their self esteem. With the hair we collect we are going to make them into wigs to give to these women with cancer to try and give them back their strength and confidence so they can fight this disease. We really need every inch of hair that we can get. Spread the word and help support this amazing cause!

  • Hello
    I am contacting you as a breast cancer survivor, hoping you can help make all post-mastectomy women’s lives more comfortable.
    Following my own mastectomy I was completely frustrated by the total lack of comfortable, functional clothing that fit my needs as a breast cancer survivor.
    Any woman who has had a mastectomy soon realizes that all sense of fashionable comfort is gone forever.
    Either you’re wearing “the prosthesis” and are physically uncomfortable or you’re not wearing “the prosthesis” and are uncomfortable with your appearance.
    My name is Anja Mullins, founder and CEO of Ann Jacqueline Design. I had an idea for a simple, attractive, one-piece garment that would eliminate the need to wear a post-mastectomy prosthesis.
    Today my company, Ann Jacqueline Design, has developed and is marketing an innovative prosthesis free fashion line specifically for women who have had a single or double mastectomy.
    Post mastectomy women no longer need to contend with the discomfort of wearing a bulky, heavy prosthesis that shifts within the pocket of the bra.
    Women may now choose to wear a lightweight, pull-over, one piece prosthesis free, fashionable garment that can be worn in any social setting.
    More than 200,000 women in the U.S. are stricken with breast cancer each year and there are more than 2,000,000 breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.
    My company is tailored to the specific needs of these women.
    Please contact me at 619.729.4355 or visit:
    http://www.annjacquelinedesign.com
    Or
    http://www.ajdcancer.com
    Sincerely yours ,
    Anja Mullins

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