“I’ve had a funny relationship with cancer. In 2005, I was detected with breast cancer and I had to undergo 6 chemo sessions and 30 radiation cycles until I was finally cured. I thought I had won the cat and mouse game with cancer, but in 2013, when I started feeling increasingly nauseas and weak, I got an MRI done and realised that I had stage 4 brain cancer.
I won’t lie — At 62, when the doctor told us that I had 8 days to live, I was terrified. I remember that night, lying in Bhatia hospital, processing the news… I didn’t know if I would sleep. But then I visualised my guru, took his name, and said to him, ‘from here on you are responsible for me.’ Then I did, what most people find difficult to do — I let it go completely. I stopped giving it any energy… I stopped making cancer bigger than me. As I went through 20 sittings of brain radiation and one massive surgery after the other — I kept myself busy and amused. Even when the doctors painted a bleak picture which consisted of possibilities of haemorrhage or paralysis I focused all my energy on the beauty of life. I felt liberated.
I still remember that I had lost 10 kgs, but when everyone was around me in the hospital, I would say – ‘check out my muscles’ and they would all burst out laughing. My daughters were scared of telling me that I had a bald patch, so when I went to the hairdresser to get a haircut and saw it for the first time — I burst out laughing and said ‘oh God, now I have lesser hair than your father!’
If they were my last 8 days here – I wanted to focus on the beauty of life and that’s what I did— I lived every moment with love for my family and everything around me.
My daughters and I started meditating to calm our minds, I started doing a lot of yoga, with a heart filled with faith prayed to my guru and moved onto a raw fruit and juice diet. The doctors had given me about 5 medicines to have three times a day and asked for tests every three months. My family would go through immense pain each time I would go for these tests so I made a resolve to become so fit that I was no longer a cause of pain to my family.
And it was with that resolve that today, I can do yoga for two hours each day, my weight has increased again, I walk for about half an hour, take no medicines whatsoever and feel happier and healthier than ever before. In fact, I’ve even started teaching children at a wellness centre.
So there —both 62 and cancer have nothing on me. In fact, I think they’ve come to fear me and my strength— I’m pretty much THEIR worst nightmare!”