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The Story of Yara

سرطان..

خلينا نكون واقعيين، ما في حدا بيسمع بهالمرض إلّا ما بفكّر بالموت. ما في حدا، لو قد ما كان قوي ما رح يخاف من الوجع. ما في حدا ما بيستوهم. أوّل ما انسان يتشخّص بهيك مرض، بينهار. طبيعي ينهار، مش غلط ينهار او يخاف، لو قد ما كان صغير او كبير. وبهيك لحظات ما في انسان بفكّر بالإشيا المنيحة، ما في انسان الا ما بفكر بأسوأ الحالات. ما رح قول انّو السرطان ما بيقدر يغيّر حياة الإنسان، بس نحنا اللي منسيطر عليه ومنسيطر على قدّيش وكيف بيقدر يغيّرنا.

الحياة عالاكيد ما رح تبقى نفس الشي، بس إيمان الإنسان لمّا يدفعوا انو يتمسّك بالله ويسلموا أمره، كلّ شي بصير أسهل. المريض بصير اقوى، وبس هوّي يقوى، بقوّي الكل حولو ... بيخلق جو راحة.

نهار السبت ١٧ آذار ٢.١٨، تغيّرت حياتي. كنت بنت عمرها ١٦ سنة، متل كل هالبنات بحب الحياة والمغامرات، واحلامي كبيرة. بهيدا اليوم، وعّتني امي الصبح لإنزل اعمل فحوصات لأنّو كان صرلي فترة عندي تعب وفاقدة طاقتي. كان الكل حاسس عليي، لأنو كنت عم بطّل انا، يارا القوية المليانة حيوية، اللي بتضل تغنّي وترقص. لمّا نزلت على المستشفى، اخدولي فحوصات، بس قلبي كان حاسسني انو كان في شي غلط. اوّل ما اجت الدكتورة واخدت اهلي لبرّا الغرفة، تأكدت انو اللي صاير معي اكتر من فقر دم. اهلي ضهروا لبرّا بس تركوا الباب مفتوح وجرّبوا ما اسمع حكيهن بس انا اكيد سمعتوا.

لوكيميا، سرطان الدم. باللحظة يلي سمعوا فيها هالحكي، شفت امي واخواتي، من قزاز الباب، قعدوا على المقعد والدموع تنزل على خدودن. شفت بييّ وخييّ كيف وطي راسن وانكسر ضهرن، شفت مرضي شو عمل فيهن كلّن. بس انا، الغريب انو ما نزلت من عيني دمعة، ضلّيت ماسكة حالي، مرعوبة وخايفة، بس ما عم ببكي. طلبت طلب واحد بس: انّو ما يخبّو عليّي شي وضلّني على اطلاع بمرضي، ولحظة اللي قلت هالجملة، خانوني دموعي ونزلوا. من بعدها صار عندي ارادة، ايمان، وقوّة مش طبيعية، ما بعرف من وين، بس عرفت انّو الله ما بحمّل انسان أكثر من طاقته.

رحلتي مع السرطان ما كانت هينة. تعبت وتوجعت بس ولا يوم فقدت الأمل، ولا يوم قبلت إني استسلم واخسر هل معركة. هالمرض علّمني دروس الحياة على بكير، علّمني اشكر الله على كل شخص بحياتي، كل لحظة بعيشها، حتّى كل محنة بمرق فيها. السرطان وجّعني كتير جسديّاً، بس يلّي وجّعني اكتر هوّي انّي بلحظة من اللحظات سبّبت وجع كتير لناس ما بحياتي كان بدي وجعها، بكيّت اهلي وحمّلتن همّي. بس انا كنت دايماً قول الحمد الله انّو هالوجع فيّي ومش فيهن، الحمد الله انو الله اختارني انا لحارب هالمرض مش هنّي. صح انّي بكيت كتير ليالي، ومرقت فترة كنت فيها عاجزة عن كتير اشيا، كنت بلّشت حس انّي عم بخسر شخصيتي المستقلّة القوية المرحة بس مقابل كل يوم صعب عشته، إجا عشرة حلوين. بهالمرحلة عشت أحلى ايام حياتي، احتفلت بعيدي ال ١٧ و١٨ مع عيلتي الجديدة وتخرّجت من المدرسة "ترمينال" معهن كمان، غنّيت وحققت حلمي بإنّي شوف جوليا بطرس واتعرّف عليها.

كل هاللحظات الحلوة كانوا بهالسنتين وصرت هلّق اتذكر ايّام الوجع والتعب وحسّ انو صار مارق عليهن اكتر من ٥ سنين. هلّق صرت جرّب ساعد كل مريض جديد، خبروا عن تجربتي وخبرتي بإنه هيدي فترة ورح تقطع. هيدي مرحلة اختبار ليكتشف كل انسان قديش انو قوي وقادر يتحمّل، قديش عندو ايمان وقديش الحياة حلوة وبتستحق انو نحارب كرمالها. مرض السرطان متلو متل كل هل امراض، الفرق انّو أخبث من غيرو، بس اكيد بينغلب لأنّو ما فينا نتركوا يسرق حياتنا منّا ونتفرّج عليه.

انا بعدني عم حارب السرطان، باقيلي ٣٢ اسبوع من هل رحلة وبخلّص بس هلق صرت اعرف انو لو قد ما واجهت إشيا صعبة بالمستقبل، رح شوفها هينة مقابل هالمرض يلي بدوره فتّحلي عيوني على اهم النعم بحياتي وقرّبني من ناس رح حبّها كل العمر وما رح إنسى فضلها عليي، ناس كانوا بكل دمعة، بكل ضحكة حتّى لو بتخت المستشفى، ناس كانوا يجوا يزوروني ويجيبوا الفرح لقلبي، ناس لو مهما يطول الزمن ما رح أقدر اوفيهن.
اصلاً شو كان بدي اكتر من انّي محضونة بعيلة مركز سرطان الأطفال اللي ما بيرضوا يشوفوني زعلانة او موجوعة. العيلة اللي بتسعى لراحتنا، العيلة يلي افرادها صاروا اخوتي واهلي، العيلة يلي مش طالبة منّا شي غير انو نتمسك بالأمل ونحارب كرمال حياتنا.

كنت دايماً اسمع عن مرض السرطان بس ولا مرّة تخيّلت انّو ممكن يقرّب الي بس هالشي صار. السرطان ما بينطر ولا ما بفرّق بين كبير او صغير، كل شخص معرّض لهالسبب لازم كل انسان يقدّر نعمة الصحة ويحمد الله عليها ويدعم مركز سرطان الاطفال، لأنو السرطان قادر يدخل اي بيت بين ليلة وضحاها.

Cancer …
Let’s be realistic, the first thing you think about when hearing about this disease is death. None of us, no matter how strong we are, wouldn’t be afraid of the pain. None of us will take it lightly. You collapse. It is the first and most natural reaction when you’re diagnosed with cancer. No matter how young or old you are. You simply collapse. And during those moments, you can’t think of anything positive in life, all you think about is death. Cancer can change a person’s life, but we are the ones in control we control, how much we accept to let it change us.

Life certainly does not remain the same, but your faith is what pushes you and lets you cling to God and to life. Only then, everything becomes easier. Every patient becomes stronger and stronger and this will strengthen everyone around, creating an atmosphere of peace.

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, my life changed. I was a 16-year-old girl, and like all girls my age who love life and adventures, I had big dreams. On that day, my mother woke me up in the morning to do blood tests because I hadn’t been feeling well for a while. I had little energy to do anything and I always felt tired. Everyone felt it because I was not myself anymore. I was not the strong, lively Yara who continuously sings and dances. When I arrived to the hospital, I felt something was wrong and my heart sank in my chest. The doctor took my family outside the room and made sure I can’t listen to what he was saying. It was more than anemia. I certainly heard everything.

Leukemia. The moment I heard this word, I saw my mother and sisters, from door’s reflection, sitting down and tears running down their cheeks. I saw the tears of my brother and my father and how broken they looked. I saw what my illness did to them. But, strangely, I did not have any tears in my eyes. I was lost, terrified and frightened, but I did not cry. I had one request though, that they do not hide anything from me and to keep me informed about my illness. The moment I told them this, my tears betrayed me and I cried. I cried a lot.

After that, I felt an unnatural will, faith, and strength. I do not know where all this came from, but I believed that God will not burden me with more than I can carry.

My journey with cancer was not easy. I am tired and hurt, but I never lost hope, not even for a day. I have never surrendered and never thought that I will lose this battle. Cancer taught me life lessons early on. Cancer taught me to be thankful and grateful to God and to every person in my life, to every moment in my life, and even to every ordeal I live. Cancer caused me a lot of physical pain, but what was more painful is that it made me aware that I caused a lot of pain to my family. My family cried and worried a lot about me, but I was thankful that it was me, not them. I’m grateful God chose me to fight this disease and not someone else from my family. I have cried myself to sleep many nights, and there was a time when I was unable to do almost anything, I even thought I lost my independent and playful personality. But for every painful day I lived through, I experienced ten sweet days. At the center, I lived the sweetest days of my life. I celebrated my 17th and 18th birthday with my new family and graduated from school with them, too. I fulfilled my dream in singing and met my idol, Julia Boutros.

All this passed during those two years. Looking back at the days of pain and fatigue, I have a feeling as if it were for more 5 years. Now, I am trying to help every new patient, by sharing my experience and what I have learned. Cancer is a test for every person to discover how strong and capable each one of us is, and how much we can endure. With faith, life is so sweet and worth the fight. Cancer, is like all other diseases, but we certainly won’t let it win because we will not let it take over our lives.

Today, I’m still fighting cancer. 32 more weeks to go, but I am not worried. Cancer opened my eyes to all the blessings life has given me. To all the people around me who supported me with every laugh and every tear, even when I slept on my hospital bed. I am forever grateful to those people at the center. No matter what I do, I will never be able to thank them enough.

I couldn’t ask for more than what I was offered from the Children's Cancer Center family. This family that seeks our comfort, this family that takes care of sick kids until we all become brothers and sisters. This family that pushes us to hold on to hope and fights for our lives.

I had always heard about cancer, but I never thought it would be me. It can hit us all. However, it is necessary for every person to appreciate the blessing of health and the support the Children's Cancer Center, because cancer is capable of breaking in your home, overnight.