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Salma Elzarka: The Cancer Conquerer

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Salma Elzarka: The Cancer Conquerer
written by
Cairo 360

There is forever hope and trust in change, the feeling of something different occurring for every person in any given stage of their journey. Whatever happens, becoming a better person, facing difficult experiences, and taking every battle as an opportunity to learn to appreciate every little moment, and to visualise the world from a different perspective are things that we can all – hopefully- relate to. 

This takes us to Salma Elzarka’s battle with cancer. Elzarka was first diagnosed with cancer during the summer of 2015, at a time when she was just starting her life as a teaching assistant after graduating college. A small tumour right there inside her body turned her world upside down.

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Unfortunately, right after she came out of the surgery, she was informed that it was an aggressive form of bone cancer and that she will have to have chemotherapy. Surprisingly, Salma managed to obtain a master’s degree, while simultaneously receiving 6 months of treatment.

One day, while crossing the highway, she started feeling pain in her right arm, but it was just a pain, nothing to indicate it was cancer again. She did, however, have to undergo another surgery; this surgery meant that Elzarka could only use one arm. She subsequently learned to do everything with one arm, including the creative use of PowerPoint presentations, study cards, and visual aids in order to keep up with her job as a teaching assistant.

Throughout 2017, Salma’s life had been going normally without cancer. Throughout this time, with all that she had been through, Salma had doubts that her happiness would last. These doubts were realised when, 30 days before her wedding, she received the news that she had been re-diagnosed with the aggressive bone cancer in her right arm!

Accordingly, Elzarka would have to experience pain like no other; her right arm had to be amputated. Despite all these difficulties, Elzarka remains an inspiration to many; indeed, her active presence on social media has touched the lives of many. Moreover, Elzarka shares brief videos, containing great life advise. In one of her videos, for example, Elzarka mentions that she wants to live, not merely survive. Statements like that had social media users calling her a “Cancer Conquerer” as opposed to the more commonly used term “Cancer Survivor.”