At times, you go through that one moment in life that feels surreal; the kind that you see in movies or feel always happens to others. That one moment when a doctor is looking at your reports and telling you that you have cancer and what your survival chances are. This is one disease where even if the doctor says you have only a 1% chance of survival, you would grab at it, and will it to become true. But, for many who have gone through the rigours of this disease and its treatment, this acceptance comes a little later.
Survivor stories are intended to inspire, to make you believe, to tell you that you are not alone, that it’s doable, it’s conquerable, and that life does not necessarily stop if you have cancer. While every day millions of ordinary people are fighting this disease and winning, there are many celebrities too who have taken it on. The idea behind them telling their stories is to remove the stigma and fear associated with the king of diseases and the mother of all treatments. That indeed is how cancer and its treatment chemotherapy are described. But, when you say ‘I can’ and don’t give in, you can win over this malaise. Here are a few inspirational survivor stories that could help those fighting it out.
Given only 30% chances of survival due to high-grade metastatic cancer, Sonali is today a proud survivor who has shared her story many times on social media. She also vividly described her journey at an India Today summit. Given the risks involved, her husband Goldie Behl flew her to New York for treatment, and she says how she was initially against going. She shares her struggles with the thought on How could this happen to a positive person like me with a healthy lifestyle?’. She shares a great input on how she visited a psychologist who told her that cancer was nothing to do with one’s thoughts. It was genetics or a virus. Once she convinced herself that she did not get it because of something she did, it was time to start the recovery journey.
She was diagnosed in Jul 2018 and returned to Mumbai in Dec 2018 after treatment to resume work. In one of her social media posts where she shared a bald pic and another post her recovery, she wrote, ‘How time flies… today when I look back, I see strength, I see weakness, but most importantly I see the will not to let the C-word define how my life will be after it’. As she put it, accepting herself in that bald state when she used to be a brand ambassador for many hair-care products was a huge step.
What is amazing is the way she dealt with it. She posted on her social media about her diagnosis and taking time away for treatment and said she did not want to hide it. This bold approach saw many fans and colleagues giving a huge shoutout to her and supporting her with prayers and wishes for recovery. This made her release that she was not alone in fighting it. She also shared her situation with her son, and he too became a part of her journey. Most of all, she shares that it was a wake-up call for her to live for today and not tomorrow. She says that she wouldn’t want to walk around with a cancer survivor tag but will talk about it because it is important to spread awareness.
As recent as 4th February, on World Cancer Day, Sonali posted an awareness video on her Instagram handle, urging others to help known people through a not-so-easy phase of their lives by giving them hope and the comfort they need. She also requested people to go for regular check-ups, so it could be caught early to ensure treatment and cure.
It is a life-transforming disease, you cannot just go back to your old life without it affecting you in many ways. And yet, the transformation can only be for betterment to make you realise how precious life is. The next article will cover another inspirational celebrity, Lisa Ray, and her cancer journey.