"I Had Already Climbed My Everest The Day I Decided To Not Let Cancer Take Over"
“I’ve always believed that you can never control a situation, but you can always control how you feel about it. I was in the office when I saw my medical reports on my phone. As I googled ‘Carcinoma’, the words ‘breast cancer’ flashed on my screen.
Weirdly, the first thing that popped into my mind was a story from Chicken Soup for the Soul that I’d read as a child. I don’t know why but it had stuck with me. A monkey and a woman are diagnosed with the same disease. While the woman pities herself everyday and stops living her life, the monkey, unknown to its condition, keep living its life as is.
That evening I met my husband and broke the news to him. I had never seen him cry so much. But I knew I had to let him process it in his own way. He later told me that he thought he was going to lose me and that thought scared the living daylights out of him.
That was when I understood that the word ‘cancer’ for us was often meant the absolute end. That’s why, when I told my mother, I broke it over a cup of evening chai, casually. I told her this was something we were going to beat, together.
I had already decided how to go about my treatment. I was going to opt for a nipple sparing mastectomy – a form of surgery which leaves the nipple intact. A lot of people told me that being cured was more important than my physical appearance. They told me, ‘take care of cancer then do all this’. I didn’t get it — ‘all this’ was the rest of my life. I wasn’t going to put my life on hold for cancer– it was a small chapter in my book!
Before and after my surgeries, I would have parties with my friends in the hospital! I have pictures with my nurses and doctors after every round of chemo. Let me tell you, the most cancer takes away is the control you want on your life. I didn’t want to give it that. So before chemo, I went to my hairdresser and got a mohawk! I have to say I looked quite badass. I even made the patients in my ward take off their wigs and celebrate our baldness together!
After my last cycle of chemo, I wanted to prove that cancer hadn’t gotten the best of me. So I’ve decided to prep for a trek to the Everest base camp! The plan is to begin with a trip to Ladakh and then end with Ishatgarh – the thought of it makes me feel invincible!
I leave tomorrow, but I’m still on heavy injections for my treatment – so my friends and family are worried. But I’ve told them that I had already climbed my Everest the day I decided to not let cancer take over. The day I decided that I would beat cancer by living…kingsize!”
“I've always believed that you can never control a situation, but you can always control how you feel about it. I was in…
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