Grit and determination are enough to win over cancer
Former businessman M R Chowdhury has shown tremendous spirit and determination in his battle against cancer. He recalled that the first time he was diagnosed with lung cancer back in May of 2016, he shed no tears and simply made the necessary phone calls. He attributed a part of his firm resolve to his experiences with cancer patients at home. "My mother and all three of my sisters were diagnosed with cancer. My mother and one of my sisters have already passed away, but I refuse to think that they lost." He mused and further added, "My cancer cannot be completely genetic; it must have been a result of my incessant smoking."
In August of 2016, his first operation had taken place in Singapore, after which he was declared cancer-free. However, in August of 2017, during his second postoperative visitation with the oncologist, he was told he had relapsed, the cancer having spread beyond lungs. Apart from radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he has received immunotherapy in India and in Bangladesh. He is now under treatment at United Hospital, where he claims he has received the best service so far. However, in March of 2020, he relapsed for the second time and underwent radiation therapy. In December, he relapsed again, his cancer having spread to the bones. "I was told after my third relapse that I was done for. I replied, 'You're not God'."
Even at the age of 68, Mr Chowdury lives his life with fortitude and hope. "In the past five or so years I've spent with cancer in my body, I did not feel entirely hopeless for even a moment. When asked if his family has been supportive in his journey, he said, "Cancer causes extreme pain and discomfort, but you're not the only one who has to tolerate it, your family has to as well." He added that his wife has been extremely understanding and supportive, whilst two of his three children are here with him to show solidarity.
When asked if he has any message for other cancer patients, he said, "Death is inevitable, with or without cancer. One cannot think that they are going to die the moment they receive their diagnosis. There's treatment and with enough determination, cancer can be won over." Mr Chowdhury's grit is an inspiration to everyone.
Interviewed and written by Aysha Zaheen of The Daily Star.