The tributes and the reminiscences have continued to pour in since Uzma breathed her last over a week ago. I have also seen some people write about her on their own social media pages. All of them speak of Uzma in glowing terms. However, some of them say, “Uzma lost her battle with cancer” or something along those lines.
Uzma would have hated, and I hate that description.
Uzma would have said — It is unfair to cancer patients and their families to describe the outcome of their cancer journey as winning or losing. The disease can be such that one can survive and thrive for years after only one bout of treatment. Or it can be relentless and overwhelming, and fail to respond to treatment after treatment. The only choice those with cancer have is whether to embrace their illness, connect with others and live their life fully irrespective of its length. That’s it.
As she says in her book, “That’s how you rock it (cancer). You talk to others, you connect with survivors, and you keep your head high. You make friends with fear. You learn that uncertainty is cancer’s middle name. You stay grateful even in the darkest days. You dress up for chemo. You sport fashionable headgear. You fall and get up again and again and again.”
Uzma did not lose her battle with cancer. Her cancer died with her. But while they were both alive, it was a no contest. Uzma had her cancer beat every single day that she was alive.