The beautiful life ahead...

The beautiful life ahead...

Life's ups and downs

Joys and sorrows

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Funny how the last sentence is a pun on "hair", although hair was gone then, here now. :)

It's been almost 10 years since my cancer diagnosis (completing 10 in Jan 2018) and I feel stronger than ever. Time just went by so fast that it was easy (maybe now it's easy) to put the rough past behind. And there were a lot of learnings that came from that experience; those will stay with me forever.

As a volunteer health educator/health coach and advocate for breast cancer patients and survivors, I feel that much has been done to raise awareness, but a lot more needs to be done to break the cultural barriers and stigmas associated not just with breast cancer, but many other diseases.

To all the people taking a break from their career for treatment/health, and to their care givers, this is just a small bump in the road. There's a beautiful life beyond this that awaits you. You will return to work, and some like me, will go back to school and restart a career. Be thankful for the support you have and never hesitate to reach out if and when you need help. Communication is very important! Share your story and become a health advocate, if you like. Or read stories similar to yours that will give you strength and courage. Along with the many informational/educational resources available online, there are many groups, communities, and blogs to help you with your social and emotional needs. Some of the resources I trust (credible according to me):

- breastcancerindia.net

- healthunlocked.com/breast cancerindia (you can also find my story posted here)

- Look up "Beyond the pink moon" and/or " BRCA Sisterhood," groups on Facebook for cancer patients, survivors, and previvors

- Facebook page: I can fight it

- youngsurvival.org

- brightpink.org

- thepinkinitiative.org

- Read my story in Rutgers news (2013): news.rutgers.edu/feature/ru...

Know that it's the disease that should be defeated. Don't let that defeat you!

Stay healthy, stay happy. Chin up, move on!

7 Replies

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  • Good to hear from you after quite some time, Shikha! You have always been a super fighter and a phenomenal motivation for all! Please do keep passing your positivity to those who have been recently diagnosed and are passing through a rough patch in life.

  • Thanks Sumeet! I want to let you know that you have been a motivating force in my journey! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there!

  • What a wonderful post! It's so good to see the way you are "paying it forward"!

  • Pkenn, you are another lady I have my immense respect for. After fighting three different cancers over a period of time, the calm yet bold manner in which you have taken everything in your stride - hats off to you! People like you, Shikha, Ujwala and many others, are an absolute inspiration and role models. And then there are some relatives of cancer patients who are immensely motivating. Like Kontak here. she joined this board when her sister suffered from cancer. And she has been so helpful ever since; replying to almost every other post, giving words of solace.

    You are are beautiful people. Lots and lots to learn from you all. You all give me strength. To do more. And to keep doing.

  • Thank you. As one of my CLL friends says, "We're all in this together!" It's so much easier to keep moving forward when we all, patients, caregivers, and doctors work together.

    Pat

  • Thanks pkenn! You are right! We are all in this together, each other's support!

  • Hello Sikha - nice to see you in this forum after a long time. Do share your experience here in this forum also which will help a lot to all who are struggling n fighting to kick the cancer.

    Thanks Dr Sumeet for the kind words - it matters a lot for us

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