A journey back to life : The Tribune India


We have two options, medically and emotionally— give up or fight like hell,” says Lance Armstrong, whose book It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life has given hope to people across the globe, who are fighting the deadly battle against cancer, literally.

As the first Sunday of June is celebrated as the Cancer Survivors Day, as a reminder that ‘life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality,’ we pick up inspiring stories that set examples on how to claim back one’s life from the clutches of the disease.

A day at a time

Actor-turned-author Sonali Bendre asserted her ‘fearless streak’ while fighting with metastatic cancer. Going bald, and bold, she chronicled her journey on social media breaking the taboo attached to the ‘C’ word. Sonali went through phases of pain and low energy only to recover and how! With books and support from her friends and family, by and by she switched on to her inner sunshine. Sharing her experiences through #SwitchOnTheSunshine and ‘#OneDayAtATime, the Aankhon Mein Base Ho Tum actor stood strong against cancer.

Power of prayers

Author, cancer activist, accidental actor, global Indian and a mother, Lisa Ray didn’t know how to react when her doctor revealed that she had incurable, fatal multiple myeloma.

Now, this ‘cancer graduate’ believes in the power of thoughts. “As a Buddhist, I believed in my prayers and made sure I defeated my illness every day. With this, I learnt how to master my mind and not let the unnecessary thoughts bully me.” She calls her book, Close to the Bone, a travelogue with a soul.

Master your mind

“The first step to fight cancer is to be happy. I feel when it comes to fighting cancer, 50 per cent cure can be attributed to medication and another 50 per cent to will power,” says director Anurag Basu, who fought acute promyelocytic leukemia, a type of blood cancer. When doctors gave him two months to live, the man who gave films like Murder, Gangster, Life in a… Metro and Barfi! fought valiantly to come out a winner.

Choosing hope over hopelessness

Writer-director Tahira Kashyap wears her scars as a badge of honour celebrating the spirit with which she fought cancer. “I agree that cancer scares you, but I wanted to change that. I wanted to give people hope. I don’t want cancer to be associated with something very negative,” she says. She found strength in Nichiren Buddhism that she and her husband actor Ayushmann Khurrana practise.

Focus on your goals

Yuvraj Singh’s is an inspirational journey of winning the World Cup 2011, fighting cancer and founding the YouWeCan movement, which he has captured in his autobiography, The Test of My Life. Aiming at empowering people to fight cancer through awareness, early detection and building a support system, the cricketer says, “The side effects of chemo made me reel at times. But, I was determined to come back and play for my country. That’s the one thing that always motivated me.”


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