Posts Tagged ‘inspiration


The remedy within

The disease has such a mystery around it in terms of its causes and various supposed cures as none other I guess.

Apart from the standard causes like smoking, is it, too much food? Too much processed food? Too much sugar? Lack of exercise? Exposure of food to plastics or perfluorooctanoic acid in non stick cookware?

And it seems cure is not supposedly confined to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or transplants.

The other day, one of my docs told me that one of her patients seems to be on amla (gooseberry) therapy. On the other hand, patients who had wheat grass (believed to have anticarcinogenic properties) during the therapy seem to have a relapse.

Another one I know gave up the chemotherapy midway and switched to homeopathy and seems to be doing fine since few years now.

And prayer – how many of us are willing to take the chance that prayer alone can heal? Apparently, one of our friends, who happens to be a very good allopathic doctor and is very spiritual, had actually applied that to one of the family members. The tumor was gone without any of the standard therapies and has not reappeared since eight years or so.

So, what does one believe and practise to put an effective barricade and if it does invade, shove it out so that it never looks back? Obviously, there are no established answers.

Thankfully, despite the disease, most of us are free to steer our mind towards positivity and determination. For it seems, time and again, it is the positive determined mind that has reigned supreme over the physical effects of the body. The most famous example of that is Lance Armstrong who won the Tour de France, one of the toughest races in the world, seven times, after having been treated for testicular cancer. Ananda Shankar Jayant, reknowned classical Indian dancer and Padma Shri award winner, overcame the debilitating effects of breast cancer treatment and continued to dance.

Many times, the doctors give a few years to live, then the patient lives for many more. What fills that space?

Phoebe Snetsinger, who held a record for bird sightings, was given one year to live after being diagnosed with a terminal melanoma. She went on to pursue birding passionately, travelled widely and  lived another 18 years. And the end when it came wasn’t the result of the cancer- it was a road accident.

So, all those having had experience with this invader (or for that matter, anyone else having/having had debilitating effects) and searching for answers for what works and what doesn’t, could, for one, at least stay positive with whatever treatment they have chosen to follow. Whatever else may or may not be a trustworthy companion, our mind surely can be made to be.

Secondly, I believe, we would need to steer the mind towards a steadfast vision of where we want to go and work towards it to the best of our ability.

Undoubtedly, all this does require persistence. However, it is a challenge from which we, including myself, must not back out.

The examples above are of people who were famous and therefore we have come to know of their determination by what they have achieved. There may be so many unsung heroes who have fought or are fighting their inner battles everyday. This post is dedicated to all those people. I feel there is no conquest of the disease here as some like to say. I guess, if at all, we can just conquer our own mind.

Any thoughts from readers on this subject would be welcome.


Inspirations and questions …

How does one cope with cancer?

One of the most important things that I realised, for me, was, the positivity around me – in my family and fortunately, in a cheerful doctor and friendly nursing staff. I shudder to think what it would have been like if I had to see gloomy faces around me most of the time. It surely wouldn’t have sent good signals. It’s true I haven’t been a smiling patient all the time, but the family has made sure I didn’t get much opportunity to wallow in self-pity.

The situation has many a times made me irritable and prone to lose temper. However, of course, it is not really anybody’s fault and one has to realise then that this too shall pass.

I have also been reminded of my blessings in that the disease was diagnosed in time, that there was good medical care available and that I was fortunate enough to be able to afford it.

The visits to the hospital also brought me closer to the reality that this disease is not such a rare disease any more. Men, women – young, old – children, rich, poor – anyone could be a victim.

One such inspiration was a child with whom I happened to share the room during my very first chemo session. The child’s case was more complex than mine and he was more in the hospital for about 6 months or so than out of it. However, his generally calm demeanour made me wonder if I had any right to complain at all.

Seeing the children I wondered what is it that they have done wrong already at such a tender age to deserve this. Genetic causes could perhaps be one of the reasons but one cannot but be baffled by the sights.

The cause in my case is unknown too. As far as diet is concerned, for at least the past 7 years or so, we have been more careful with our food habits. This has meant minimum processed foods, primarily home cooked food including the breads, and mostly organic whole grains and pulses. Flaxseed (believed to be anticarcinogenic) had been an important part of our diet too.

True, a form of the disease (a different type of cancer) was there in the family (my father was diagnosed with it, almost 28 years ago, in the abdomen in a very advanced stage, though the cause of death subsequently was heart concussion). However, that is also a grey area as we do not have information about the type of cancer he had and we cannot ascertain if my cancer is inherited.

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Cancer cells in motion

Cancer cells dividing


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