Metamorphosis – Pakistani women who transformed their lives

Dawn: Maha Ahmed Qureshi was a 20-year-old student at NUST Business School when she was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. She was treated with eight rounds of chemotherapy in 2012. Next year, her cancer relapsed and she had to go through another six rounds of chemotherapy. Maha continued her studies throughout her treatment and graduated in the summer of 2013.

After her graduation, her doctors fearing another relapse suggested a stem cell transplant from the US.

“At first, I out rightly refused the transplant fearing long-term damage to my mental and physical health, I feared being physically unattractive once again. Take it from someone who had to shave her head twice, it’s not easy to see yourself in the mirror everyday when chemotherapy destroys every living cell in your body,” she said

Eventually, she realized she wanted to live for her family, who had stood by her through her ordeal. “I understood I was never meant to live a normal life. My milestones would not be like those of my Facebook friends-first job, engagements, marriages, children,” she said.

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