As of April. 8. 2019, Mrs. Monica Roberts, the Alumni Secretary and an advisor for the Class of 2019, has officially returned back to school after being away from the beginning of the semester due to her cancer treatment.
When I visited her house this year with my advisory group, she seemed content to see us despite her physical exertion.
With an apologetic smile, she told us she was sorry that she couldn’t spend much time with us during our senior year. We truly missed her during her absence (despite the numerous tardies we usually received while she was with us).
I visited her alone to conduct this interview later on. Even though she wasn’t allowed to hug me, I felt her embrace as we sat on opposite sides of the room. She was reluctant to have such an interview; she said that she shied away from such things. As we talked casually, I soon realized that she didn’t want her struggle to be highlighted as it wasn’t her who fought cancer.
She said, “It’s all in God’s hands is what I say. He’s taking me through this and I have his strength hopefully I’ll be able to spend the last two months with you all.”
She said that if it wasn’t about thanking the people who prayed for her, I shouldn’t write the article at all. I promised that I would make that the focus and the interview resumed.
The discovery of her cancer was said to be a “miracle.” On a normal medical check-up, an Endocrine specialist had spotted the swelling at her throat, when the swelling was negligible. Many other doctors had seen her but never spotted it.
So after several examinations such as the Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology test (FNAC), the results were positive that it was a “cancerous growth of the thyroid” in her voice box.
And due to its pervasive nature, there was a possibility that it could attack the lymph nodes, the immune system glands.
Soon after, her surgery was booked for Feb. 7 at the Christian Medical College in Tamil Nadu. However, due to her “severe asthma” that limits her lung capacity to “49 percent,” she had to be treated first for four to five days.
The operation in itself was supposedly quite simple and straightforward, however, Mrs. Roberts faced great risks due to her asthma. A tube had to be put down, but it was difficult to pull it back out with such less lung capacity under general anesthesia. Her voice was also at risk of being damaged.
However, the operation was completely successful within two and a half hours. Her voice was fine and within 45 minutes, she had reached her room when she had expected that she would be in “ICU for a couple of days on a ventilator.”
“My voice was perfect. It was absolutely back to normal, in fact, it was a little better,” she said, and giggled.
Mr. Ajay Mark, head of sports and student life coordinator, who is also a cancer survivor, recalled the time when he was in Mrs. Robert’s position.
“When I was going through this similar thing, I know they were very supportive and prayed for me,” Mr. Mark said.
He, too, strongly believed that it was God that had brought them together and helped them throughout the whole journey.
“I think the spirit of God has brought us all together and that bonding will always be there and it’s all God’s mercy, we can only praise god A lot of people have prayed for her. And I strongly believe that it is our prayers that have seen Mrs. Roberts through and will continue to pray for her,” he said.
She was wholeheartedly thankful for all the people who prayed for her as, without them, she said her health wouldn’t be where it is now.
She said, “There were hundreds of people who prayed for me…and I can only give more praise to Jesus…because if it wasn’t for him, I would have been in quite a bad shape after this operation.”
Hyenjin Cho is the Editor-in-Chief of TheWoodstocker
Edited by Rohan Menezes
Photo by Knema Gardener