Eternally Thankful — I am so fortunate you are giving us your time
I am incredibly grateful for the support and love showered. The pictures don’t do enough justice — I am not a picture person, so I end up taking photographs when my friends stop by. You have given us so much love and made so much difference in our lives in small and big ways — we are still able to make memories for our children during this difficult time. My family, Robin’s family, then just so many of my friends from school to college to work colleagues to my Austin friends and neighbors, keep me in their thoughts and prayers. They all reach out to us to check on my health and see if we need any help. The rooting, motivation during my tough days keeps boosting my confidence to keep me going.
With Covid and low immunity, I also meet with very limited friends in Austin.
My sisters and Robin’s sister have been flying down, taking turns to be with me during my chemo cycles. My parents stay with me and silently cheer on some of my most minor accomplishments while knowing their heart melts on my tough days. Being a parent, it could be hard to see your child with a bald head and not be physically active. Our aunt (Chithi) is looking out and guiding us with her incredible medical expertise. Finally, my oncologist and the team are a fantastic caring group making my chemo routines comfortable. They keep giving more and more.
We are going through a lot as a family. Robin and I were transparent with our kids right from the beginning. My 11-year-old could search for more information online, so her questions were more concerning, while my eight-year-old saw a BrainPOP video on cancer and told me not to worry about losing my hair. She learned that cancer doesn’t make me bald; it is the chemo that will take my hair away as part of the recovery process. She ensured that my hair would grow back right away and also explained to us about radiation. They both continue to bring so much joy to our lives, and although empathetic, I like when sometimes they just treat me ordinarily as their mom. For example, I enjoy cooking one-off days a simple potato curry or pasta to see them relish and, in turn, receive a compliment that I have not lost my cooking skills. Robin and I couldn’t be more proud of how they have dealt with the situation, from adjusting to the food to taking ownership of their school work, helping at home, and managing their time now in summer break.
When I met Robin in high school, little did I know that I would end up marrying and settling down with him? We know each other now for 29 years and celebrated our 17th anniversary this June. He has made me his priority — checks on me at night multiple times to see if I am doing fine, cooks the protein for me, ensures my iron levels are good, keeps motivating me every day, and continues to bring out the best in me. He simply amazes me by taking over so many responsibilities at home, keeping the kids engaged, managing insurance, hospital bills, and much much more. They say caregivers go through a lot, and it is so very true when I look at everything he has had to deal with since my diagnosis. He is a keeper, and yes, I proposed to him several years ago. I just knew he is the right guy – my pillar, rock, lifeline!!
Counting Our Blessings: Thank you for being there for us!!
I always stubbornly believed that — One could breeze through the most challenging life crisis with a robust ecosystem. Build and nurture one for yourself — we cannot do everything alone or ourselves in life; we need to help and take help to be successful. Robin and I wouldn’t be able to navigate the chemo cycles without the support from our family and friends. I want my girls to learn that a strong support system can help one breeze through the toughest times with some sanity.
I want to continue thanking every one of you for extending encouragement, support, gifts, positive thoughts, and prayers to us. Trust me, no amount of thank you notes can compensate for the love and care you all have showered on us.
Here is my entire Onco team – Texas oncology and MSK NewYork
Lovely Austin friends cheering me after hearing about my MBC
With more school friends
There are just so so many more who are helping me beat this cancer – I promise to take pictures with them more diligently going forward. If I forget, please do remind me and take a picture with me :).