Love story: They battled cancer, conservative families and emerged victorious
Love is beautiful.
Like that of Sachin Kumar and Bhavya from Kerala who not only had to face family and society constraints but also had to battle the Big C.
Perhaps, it was their unconditional and irrevocable love that gave them the strength to convince their extremely conservative families for their wedding and to fight Bhavya's deadly Stage 4 cancer.
Here's their story.
Sachin confessed his feelings to Bhavya after six-months of friendship
After completing his undergraduate studies, Sachin took up an accountancy course in Nilambur, and that's where he first met Bhavya.
After six months of friendship, Sachin confessed to Bhavya that he liked her.
"When I told her about my feelings, she didn't say anything, but I understood that she felt the same way. That's how it all started," the 23-year-old tells The Better India.
Both Bhavya and Sachin's families were opposed to their relationship
The duo's love blossomed in the first two months of their relationship.
But, Bhavya's family was strictly opposed to it and had told her to leave their house forever if she gets married to Sachin.
Sachin's family was also not in favor of their marriage.
However, their families' dismissal didn't affect their relationship.
After the accountancy course ended, Bhavya started working at an institute.
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Bhavya complained of backache, scan revealed small projection on bone
During the time of her job, Bhavya started feeling a consistent backache.
The couple initially assumed it was due to her regular bus travel to work or her sitting in front of the computer for hours.
Bhavya even tried two weeks of treatment but in vain.
Finally, they went to another doctor and a scan showed a small projection on her bone.
Bhavya was diagnosed with rare cancer affecting bones, particularly spine
The duo was then asked to consult "much more specialized practitioners."
Thereafter, they left for Kozhikode to get Bhavya tested without informing their families.
She then was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing's Sarcoma, which is a rare type of cancer affecting bones and specifically the spine.
"She had to start with chemotherapy as soon as possible," Sachin explained.
Sachin and his friends raised money for Bhavya's chemo sessions
Bhavya's family had a tough time acquiring money for her chemo sessions.
"I teamed up with my friends and did odd jobs to raise money. On March 21, 2018, she had her first chemo session," Sachin said, while wholeheartedly supporting her when she had to tonsure her head.
This was the moment when Sachin realized the intensity of his love for her.
Sachin and Bhavya got engaged on April Fool's day
"When cancer came unannounced into our lives, I realized how much I loved her, and if there was only so much time left, then I wanted us to spend every second of it, together," Sachin said.
"Despite opposition from both of our parents, and especially with Bhavya's precarious condition, we got engaged and that too, on April 1," Sachin laughingly added.
Couple got married last November in front of families, friends
Further, as the need for money kept rising, Sachin gave up his dream of working in the Gulf.
He started working as a tile-laying daily wage laborer to earn money.
Meanwhile, their friends collected funds for Bhavya's chemo session through social media's help.
In November 2018, after six chemo sessions, Sachin and Bhavya got married in front of their parents and relatives.
Tumor had shrunk, doctors confident of removing it from vertebrae
Thereafter, the couple went for a check-up six days after their wedding.
"While the initial prognosis ruled out any possibility of the surgical removal of the tumour on Bhavya's spine because of her advanced stage, our immediate intervention with chemo sessions paid off. The doctors were now confident about removing the tumour from her 10th vertebrae, which had considerably shrunk," Sachin said.
Bhavya might be cancer-free after three more chemo sessions
The surgeons were successfully able to remove Bhavya's tumor and she had finished 13 sessions of chemotherapy.
After three more sessions, Bhavya will be declared cancer-free and she'd only need her regular medication.
"Nobody has given a 100% guarantee, because this is a recurring disease...there is a chance that the tumor could come back in five years," Sachin explained.
We hope not!
Stage 4 Ewing