June 2015 marked a doom to the fun loving happy homemaker attitude I inherited to my personality. I suspected caution one day as I felt an unusual lump in the chest. The diagnosis revealed that I had already surpassed the second stage of breast cancer. This is the end, I thought, I won’t be able to survive anymore.
My husband and the consulting doctor came to my aid at once. They restored my faith into science and positivity and filled my life with a new zest. My sisters came in as an added bonus to add to my strength and beliefs right from the onset phase. I realised I owed it to my family to fight this disease rather than give up and drown in self-pity. I stopped asking “Why me?” and started asking, “What do I do next?”
I stepped in for the surgery in full glory. Wearing the best make up to lead my life head-on. My family remained stunned to see me move ahead bravely, unobliging of the storm of fear and anxiety growing in my body. The smell and the atmosphere as I was moved into the operation theatre, jiggled my veins.
One of the hardest parts of my post-surgery phase was losing my long, beautiful hair to chemotherapy. But again, my family accepted my new avatar ever so happy and made me feel more beautiful and enchanting than ever.
Was it smooth sailing throughout? Of course not. I struggled with an initial loss of confidence, a bitter and metallic mouth, chronic constipation, nausea, vomiting, white blood cell count going down, weakness… but I remained motivated to put my best face forward as I didn’t want my sufferings to take away the peace and happiness of my kids. My husband was my strength, and I couldn’t think of appearing to him as a weak and fragile patient. I attended my sessions for chemotherapy and radiation alone, as I knew this was my mission, my battle… I wanted my family to see me smiling without any hint of the pain I went through.
The treatment went well and things started falling into place to make me feel triumphant, But then cancer was a tougher enemy, it struck back! This time my attitude was: Cancer, I’m not going to fight you, you’re going to have to fight ME! I positively and confidently with the 25 settings of radiations.
I kept my vigil going on in high spirits. Posing for selfies with my kids and updating my sisters of my inner strength regularly. The journey from faking it to making it, truly developed me with a new attitude to life.
I have learnt a lot through my cancer journey. We should grow, through what we go…
So here I am, on medication and yes at times really scared and nervous. Following Buddhism ardently has helped me change the perception to living a human life. Cancer forced me to live life to the fullest every passing moment, spreading happiness and love to every living being possible
I know I can and I will overcome this illness and eradicate it completely.
Today, I am still a free-spirited, fun-loving homemaker and to add to these, a determined fighter against breast cancer. A happy heart can overcome all the odds, isn’t it?
Story By – Mansi Dhanak | Mission Josh