Hello, Assalaam Alaikum, peace and blessings,
My name is Sabeena and this is my message for World Cancer Day 2020!
My beautiful mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer March 2012, she was 59 years old.
Mum courageously received 4 years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy before she returned to her maker April 18th 2016, she was 62 years old.
My siblings and I miss her terribly.
The Noble Quran - Chapter 89 Verse 29-30
Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, UAE - 2010
It will be 4 years this April since I last saw my beloved mother.
Its been a roller-coaster of emotions as I cope with my loss, grief and bereavement.
I still remember hours after Mum took her last breaths how distraught, numb and lost I was.
I always want to remember Mum for the strong independent happy, healthy woman she was with a beautiful smile.
Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano, Edinburgh Castle
My grief journey has been difficult and challenging.
This is a wonderful poster and resource titled
'BEREAVEMENT - How People Can Help' has been designed by the Care For The Family Organisation.
Bereavement - How Other People Can Help -
Credit and source Care For The Family UK website
If I had to describe my healing journey using the poster below I would describe it as 5 steps back, 2 steps forward, lonely and overwhelming.
Healing Can Feel - Credit @Spoonie_Village
Since Mum's passing I have continued with my fair trade campaigning and work.
Mum was a fairtrade advocate and supported fairtrade producers.
Recording videos like this is also part of my healing process.
I also purchased books about healing.
Due to the lack of support my siblings and I received after my mother passed I completed an online course 'Talking About Cancer' with Cancer Research UK.
I have attached a link below for those interested.
During early January 2017 I found a lump in my left breast and immediately made an appointment to see my breast consultant. Luckily, my lump was a cyst and it was removed successfully.
Due to a history of breast and ovarian cancer in my family my consultant advised that I take the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genetic testing.
My results were normal and I do not carry the BRAC 1/2 genes. I am very relieved.
Self examination is the key to early detection of cancer and survival.
Women who have a history of cancer in the family should attend their annual mammogram and pap test.
As I mentioned earlier self-examination is the key to successful treatment and survival.
Below is a poster designed by the World Health Organisation about recognising the symptoms of Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer Symptoms - World Health Organisation
On this healing journey I have decided to educate myself and understand bereavement and loss in more detail and depth.
Here is some of my bereavement collection.
You'll Get Over It - Virginia Ironside
Bereavement - Colin Murray Parkes and Holly G Prigerson
A Grief Observed Book Cover - C S Lewis
After Life Death Book Cover - Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood
Once again I would like to reiterate that the body goes through hormonal changes and not all lumps are cancerous.
If you notice any abnormalities in your body please make an appointment to see your General Practitioner.
If you are uncomfortable about attending your doctors appointment, mammogram or pap test alone ask a family member or friend to go along with you.
However hard it may see at the time, talk to someone about how you are feeling.
Worrying never achieves anything and knowing that you've opened a conversation about your health is a step closer to making you better and healthier.
Before you attend your appointment make a list of all your symptoms and talk openly with your doctor about your worries and concerns.
I am hoping that by recording this video I can reach out to other ladies in similar situations and Pakistani/Asian carers who would like a listening ear and some moral support.
It is my aim that the Pakistani and Asian community talk openly about cancer and support those instead of giving them a death sentence.
Cancer is a taboo subject and it's so important to dispel the myths surrounding it.
Due to the lack of support my siblings and I received after my mother passed I completed an online course
''Talking About Cancer'' with Cancer Research UK.
I have attached a link below for those interested.
This World Cancer Day support a cancer research organisation by volunteering your time and raising awareness about cancer.
Love and best wishes to all cancer patients past and present, their families and carers.
I wish you a speedy recovery and a happy healthy life.
Love and prayers for those who have lost a loved one!
Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano with Sabeena Ahmed
celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight Dubai, UAE - 2015
In 2015 my Creative Director Helen Barlow Scott and I worked to design The Little Fair Trade Stamps which would be included in the launch of The Little Fair Trade Shop website Quarter 1, 2016.
In this blog I explain what each stamp means and introduce you to a fairtrade producer who has aligned their business to implement and promote a living wage, decent working conditions, transparency and accountability, empowerment, environmental sustainability, dignity and self respect for all.
This is my second year participating in Plastic Free July and due to my three surgeries and Covid-19 I have found the challenge difficult.
The UAE ethical movement is still in its infancy and substitutes for products like reusable/circular feminine hygiene and natural beauty products for acne/sensitive skin are limited.
I hope to continue my plastic/zero waste journey and hope to gradually reduce my consumption of menstrual hygiene and cleaning products and learn how to make my own soap, body wash, bread, conditioner and compost my waste..
It will be a long work in progress, but I'm optimistic.
This is my summary about how I am consciously trying to live a fair trade ethical life.
This blog illustrates the small steps I have taken to live a life free of clutter, materialism and throw away society.
It has been a natural progression from fair trade campaigner, educator and social entrepreneur to ethical consumer.
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