In 2013, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, I was 30 at the time.

The first time I heard about cancer, I thought my life was over. Most people in my circle didn’t know much about cancer. While undergoing treatment, I stayed with my mother and sister for over a year, and my brother also helped with all he could. After the first surgery, doctors referred me to the ‘oncology’ ward for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs made me feel weak and often caused severe joint pains. I’d sleep all day after getting the chemotherapy. However, fighting physical sickness was not the only trial but I was also dealing with deep and painful emotion of divorce. It was the most difficult and challenging period of my life.

During the process of chemotherapy, I was doing handicraft business. I wanted to live for my daughter and be a strong role model for her. Slowly, life started making sense; I was getting better each day and healing from both my past and my disease. My friends and family stood by me during my most difficult time.

Dr. Ugyen always told me that I was given a second life. I’m thankful to her for the treatment. Prayer and faith made me stronger. Each day, I remember the sacrifice that my mother, brother, and sister made for me. Now, I live happily with my daughter in the house I build for us. However, I still miss my younger daughter who lives with her father.

On this International Women’s Day, I want to encourage every woman to have faith and fight her battle. Let’s take control of our health and our lives.