The time has come the walrus said to speak of many things

October 31, 2012 at 12:22 am 56 comments

To say that I was not happy when I was told that I needed a D&C, would be an understatement. It meant hospitalization for the day, general anesthesia, a procedure followed by a biopsy. But there was no choice so I got it done. Everyone assured me that I was worrying about nothing and the tissue would be benign. I wanted so much to believe that and convinced myself that it would indeed not be malignant. I discharged myself from hospital at 2 a.m. and went home rather than spend the night much to the chagrin of Afia Salam who was staying with me. Like most normal people, I don’t like hospitals and wanted to be out as soon as possible.

A week or so passed following the D&C and it was after attending an event in Karachi, that I went to collect my biopsy report from the AKU collection center at Teen Talwar in Clifton to find out what the verdict was. As happens with most medical reports, this report, with all its medical jargon, meant very little to me. However, the words Endometriod Adenocarcinoma raised a red flag in my brain – didn’t ‘carcinoma’ have some connection with cancer? I tried not to think about it as I drove home. As soon as I got there, I typed Endometriod Adenocarcinoma in Google Search – and the words cancer were the first words that popped up. As the realization engulfed me, the tears started to flow down my cheeks. I let it all out and then the brain started to function. I needed to find out how serious it was, had to fight it, had to deal with it – not so much for my own sake as much as Abbaji’s. Who would take care of him if I wasn’t around? He needed me. For his sake I had to get well, I kept telling myself.

Anyway, I had to push everything out of my head for a few days because the next morning I was leaving for Istanbul to attend the Turkish ICT Summit. I had committed to going there on behalf of P@SHA and so off I went. Tried to keep thoughts of  the diagnosis at the back of my mind and to concentrate on the networking and on the conference proceedings and on seeing Istanbul for the first time. But that story is for another time.

Back in Karachi four days later, I called the oncologist. She checked out the report I sent by email, told me it was indeed cancer but that it appeared to be stage 1. She asked me to immediately get a CT Scan and MRI done so she could assess the extent to which the cancer had spread if it had.

Even though several of my dear friends have struggled with this disease – some have conquered it while others haven’t, I was not ready  to be told that I was suffering from cancer. Like most people, I had lived under the illusion that this type of thing only happened to other people – until one day it happened to me.

Anyway, I had to accept it and deal with it. So off I went for the CT Scan and the MRI. Thank God for dear friends who accompanied me for doctor’s visits, tests and follow ups. Some showed up with chocolate cake to cheer me up. Others showed up to crack a joke or two to distract me from the seriousness of this disease and what awaited me. Thank God also for my siblings & extended family and friends who offered their love, understanding and support and the P@SHA Chairman, Central Executive Committee and my team at the Secretariat all of whom told me to focus on getting well while they would take care of P@SHA and its activities.

The CT Scan and MRI indicated that the cancer hadn’t spread. The oncologist looked at all the reports and said that I would need surgery – a complete hysterectomy – which would possibly have to be followed by several cycles of radiation but she said the prognosis was good. It appeared that we had caught it early and although the surgery and follow up treatment would be rough as would the recuperation, I should come through it okay. Of course she would only be really sure of the extent of it once she operated.

The surgery could have been done right away but my haemoglobin count was low so the doctor said that I should bump that up with iron, folic acid and a better diet and scheduled surgery for October 15. This suited me since the P@SHA Annual ICT Awards and Conference were scheduled for October 10 – yes I was worried about that! I focused on preparations for the events and tried to keep my mind off the cancer but at the same time I worked on increasing my iron intake.

I kept my spirits high and, other than a close inner circle, no-one knew what I was going through.

The surgery was further delayed by another week due to an infection which had to be treated with strong antibiotics but finally today I was admitted to Aga Khan Hospital (AKU). The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I will be in hospital for at least 6 days and will probably need a few weeks of recuperation time after that – before the radiation cycles are started.

To all those who have been calling and emailing and wondering why I won’t schedule anything for the next few weeks, you now have your answer. I hope you understand and will give me the space and time that I need to fight this.

My doctor says I can be on my iPad 24 hours after the surgery if I am up to it so you may start seeing updates very soon after I have been cut up and released from the Special Care Unit.

To all those who have been around the past few weeks seeing me through this tough period  providing love and support, accompanying me for doctors’ visits and a plethora of tests, bringing me cakes, taking me for nice lunches, making sure I continued to smile and stayed positive and, most important of all, praying for my health and my quick and complete recovery – all I can say is thank you. It is great to have so many people in your life who care so much. That is what gives me strength and enables me to continue smiling and laughing.

To Sultan Hamdani and Atif Mumtaz, thank you for your prayers at Mecca during the Hajj. To Norbert Almeida and Raza – thanks for bleeding for me (donating blood) at such short notice. We’ll all party once this is all over! :-). For now please say a little prayer that all goes well tomorrow and in the days that follow.

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Leasing a car? The challenge of a lifetime

56 Comments Add your own

  • 1. afiasalam  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:33 am

    little, medium and big… all prayers for ur full and speedy recovery…. we have things to do and fun to have so better hurry up about it!

  • 2. justmuneb  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:36 am

    never knew this.. damm.. Get well soon ma’am, just smsed u… u need to be perfect again and inshallah u will be!

  • 3. Farieha  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:37 am


  • 4. Hina  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:40 am

    You are in our thoughts, Jehan. =) Wishing you a quick, healthy recovery!

  • 5. Umair Ahsan  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:41 am

    May you heal up completely and quickly. Umair Ahsan

  • 6. Zaheer Kidvai  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Glad to see you writing about your health in your blog. You really are #1. Waiting to see the rest of the ‘episodes’ until you are allowed to start getting around physically.

  • 7. Irfan Ahmad  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:49 am

    May Allah give you the strength to go thru this with the same courage and determination which is evident in your writing about the dreaded disease. Thanks for letting us in on this. Our prayers are with you and Inshallah we will see you triumph.

  • 8. saba  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:51 am

    May Allah have his blessings on you. We all wish you a speedy recovery. You are a fighter and I’m sure you’d fight through this as well. No need to worry, when so many people love and pray for you, everything will be alright IA. Stay blessed.

  • 9. Sadia  |  October 31, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Lots and lots of prayers for you Jehan Ara baji , InshaAllah everything will be okay .
    Zulfi Sadia and family

  • 10. Naushad Shafkat  |  October 31, 2012 at 1:28 am

    You will be OK. InshAllah! Just keep smiling, praying and see the miracles He can perform. My prayers for you from now till you make a full recovery. Take care.

  • 11. Arshad Mahmood  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Praying for your health. You will be OK Inshallah!

  • 12. Amber  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:14 am

    May Allah give you courage and strength to go through this difficult phase of yr life. You are one brave woman for sure; for never have I seen someone writing a blog just hours before going for a big surgery. All my prayers for your speedy recovery and well being. Hope to see you in person in near future Inshallah.

  • 13. Sara M  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Lots of love and prayers for you. It’s great that you have so many people who love you and care about you. ❤

  • 14. Amber  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:48 am

    May Allah give you all the strength and courage to pass through this difficult phase in your life. You are one brave woman for sure; as never have I seen any one writing a blog just hours before a major surgery like yours. Hope to see you in person very soon Inshallah. All my prayers for your speedy recovery and well being.

  • 15. ahkath  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Ohh my God! Just got to know about this Jehan Ara.
    I am here in Makkah for Hajj. You will be remembered in our prayers Inshaa’Allah. May Allah give you the strength to fight this with courage. You are a person with strong willpower I know. Everything will be all right Inshaa’Allah and you’ll be back to your normal routine soon.
    With loads of love andd prayers.

  • 16. Rai M Azlan  |  October 31, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Salute to your bravery and I am sure you will come out of it soonest and healthier then ever. I am bookmarking this post to read in future whenever I am feeling low and need something to push me for a bounce back. Once again all the very best for your surgery may you get well soon lots of prayers for you.

  • 17. aman147  |  October 31, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Your words brought me to tears, You are such a brave woman, a fighter indeed, everything would be fine Insha”Allah.

  • 18. Love, Miffalicious.  |  October 31, 2012 at 4:17 am

    All the best for your surgery. I come from a family that has seen so much of cancer, and my mum and aunt have battled through it and triumphed. You will do the same. God bless, and my best wishes for your speedy recovery.

    Love, Miffalicious. []

  • 19. Maria Aziz  |  October 31, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Ma’am u will win inshallah against cancer. Get well soon. Allah bless u . We want u back healthy and happy. U r in my prays.

  • 20. Jabran Rafique (@jabranr)  |  October 31, 2012 at 5:56 am

    My prayers are with you for a successful surgery, speedy recovery and better health afterwards. You will be back on your busy track soon inshallah!

  • 21. Maleeha Usman  |  October 31, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I love you and will pray for you. I know you will get through this there is nothing to worry about 🙂

  • 22. Fraz Wahlah  |  October 31, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Sending love, prayers and strength from London. Please be back soon!

  • 23. Shazia  |  October 31, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Get well soon .. You are indeed an inspiration for staying strong .. 🙂

  • 24. Qazi Atiq  |  October 31, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Lots of Prayers for you, hope all goes well. We really need you.

  • 25. Nauman Faridi  |  October 31, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Good luck and may the force be with you.

  • 26. Sadaf Zehra  |  October 31, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Love you Jehan! All my prayers are with you and I know you can fight with it. Waiting for the next updates from you, that you are perfect now and the beautiful smiling pictures as always.

  • 27. Mohsin Termezy  |  October 31, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Jehan, just talked to you yesterday and your voice did not reek disease. You are brave to say the least! From the bottom of my heart, all prayers and best wishes for you. We all want you to triumph this one and let us have you back with the same smile!! Can’t wait to read your blog back ‘AKU and back’!!

  • 28. Joanna V  |  October 31, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Ohh Jehan I didn’t know you were going through all that. You are indeed so very brave. Praying that you will make a full recovery and be feeling much better soon. Take care and rest while you can. Lotsa love xxx

  • 29. bats  |  October 31, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Oh holy…. I can’t believe it. All thoughts and prayers are with you, and only you!!! Inshallah may you have a speedy recovery. HUGS!!

  • 30. Aly Balagamwala  |  October 31, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Sorry I’ve been out of touch and didn’t know all this!! May Allah (SWT) grant you Shifa-e-Kamil. I know of none more resilient than you so I am very confident soon all this will be behind you InshaAllah.

    I am always there for anything you might need.

  • 31. Rashid Kazmi  |  October 31, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Wish you all the best and quick recovery. As soon as they allow you to board an aircraft come over here – lots of Rasmalai waiting for you.

  • 32. Tariq Aftab  |  October 31, 2012 at 11:32 am

    You can fight with and gone through so many ills. This is another challenge. Most courageous, brave, determined having positive goals and targets are the people we need very badly. I including my closed family members pray for your happy and prosperous life ahead. You are OK and Inshallah you will GET WELL SOON…….

  • 33. Muhammad Ali  |  October 31, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Your smile is precious and that’s not going anywhere Jehan Ara 🙂

  • 34. Shehryar  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm


    Only you could write such a calm and collected blog post on this personal and traumatic event (as if you were updating us on a cancelled seminar or something).

    It just goes to show the fighter that you are (and that we all love and admire).

    May you get healthy sooner than the doctors predict and be back on your feet in no time inshallah.

  • 35. Nouman Naseer (@nomi13ok)  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Ma’am Get Well soon, you’ll be in prayers. Best wishes 🙂

  • 36. nuzhat  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Amazing post. Best wishes, prayers, love, hugs & kisses.

  • 37. Hammad Farooqui  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Insh’Allah you’ll be fine in no time. May Allah bless you and prayers are with you for speedy recovery. Ameen.

  • 38. Sana.I (@kungfulish)  |  October 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Good luck with the surgery! May u have a speedy recovery. 🙂

  • 39. Zafar Quraishi  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    We sincerely pray for your speedy recovery – God speed Jehan Ara.
    All the best and give us the good news Inshallah soonest.

    Fe Aman Alllah
    Zafar Quraishi – Kuala Lumpur

  • 40. Touseef Ikram  |  October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Jehan you are very brave. On the PASHA event you kept your ever stronger image very well. Not for a single moment I could realize what you have been going through. Insha Allah you will come out of this even stronger. My prayers are with you. May Allah keep you blessed and you get well soon. Ameen!

  • 41. Mehwish Abdul Sattar  |  October 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Sending lots of Huggs, love and energy. You are damn so brave so cancer should be afraid of u 🙂 Looking forward to see you rocking again soon 🙂

  • 42. Laiq Siddiqui  |  October 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Lots of dua’s and Love for you JA!
    Insha Allah you will be fine and back in good health soon.

  • 43. Amir Husain  |  October 31, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I had no idea. Sending you prayers and best wishes. Hope you are back in no time to being the dynamo you’ve always been!

  • 44. zahid  |  October 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    feel better Jehan and duas with you 🙂
    you are indeed one strong and brave woman.

  • 45. Badar  |  October 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ
    hoping to see u soon in the best of health, insha’Allah & ameen!

  • 46. Crazy Academic Social Media Lover  |  October 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    You are right when you said. “I think i better stop working otherwise the nurse may get upset or the doctor definitely will.”

  • 47. waleedzeb  |  November 1, 2012 at 2:31 am

    All NUSTIANS will pray for your good health…. Inshallah everything will be fine again….
    President NUST Entrepreneurs Club

  • 48. Jannet  |  November 1, 2012 at 9:29 am

    What i don’t realize is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You are very intelligent. You realize thus significantly relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!

  • 49. Arifa Mashhood  |  November 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Praying for your speedy recovery!

  • 50. Farhan khan  |  November 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I was all very shocking for me. You are a very brave woman jehan ara. I will pray for you Inshallah you will be get well soon and start your work again.

  • 51. Wasif  |  November 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery InshaAllah. You are doing a wonderful job for Pakistan.We need more people like you.Get well soon.!

  • 52. ahkath  |  November 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Afia Ji, please post some latest updates here. Will be grateful to you. Thanks.

  • 53. beenasarwar  |  November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks for the update dearest. I learnt of all this only yesterday and wish I was there to help out in some way other than sending prayers, positive energy, best wishes and lots of love. Inshallah you will come out of this shining and strong as ever. And remember, ‘strong’ is a state of mind, not physical strength. Hugs.

  • 54. Kinza Ahmed  |  November 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Get well soon, you!

  • 55. Muhammad Shahzad  |  November 9, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Get well soon. Looking forward to seeing you up and running! May Allah give you speedy recovery

  • 56. Shoaib Khan  |  November 27, 2012 at 10:11 am


    “Like most people, I had lived under the illusion that this type of thing only happened to other people – until one day it happened to me.”
    ma’am, and like most people who suffer from this disease and recover, I pray that you get very well, really soon!

    Our all prayers are with you.


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