Sample Chapter: A New Mountain to Climb

What happens when a person is diagnosed with cancer? What are his initial thoughts? Cancer Thriver Vijay Bhat narrates his cancer journey in the book ‘My Cancer Is Me’. Here’s a sample chapter from the book.

I’m going to die

‘I’m going to die’, was my very first thought when the doctor calmly announced my cancer diagnosis on a cold and dark day in December 2001.

Simultaneously, I experienced a strange disorientation. Time seemed to slow down, and the doctor’s words came and went as though they were emerging from a warped record.I felt a choking sensation in my throat as if all the air had been sucked out, and I could not breathe.

Why me? What’s going to happen?

‘What’s going to happen to my family, who will look after them?’ I asked myself, but no answers were forthcoming. It was all a blank. ‘Why me … what have I done to deserve this?’ surfaced soon after. In a trembling voice, I called Nilima and asked her to rush to the hospital. Then, in that tiny, windowless waiting room, I broke down and howled, with rage, anguish and hopelessness all rolled into one. I felt as if I had been brutally attacked, fundamentally violated and even betrayed in some way, even though it wasn’t clear how or by whom.

A Cancer diagnosis is traumatic

Every individual who receives a cancer diagnosis knows what I am talking about; many people have recounted similar experiences. Irrespective of age, gender, socio-economic background or nationality, cancer comes as a shock. It punches a hole through your sense of self, your very identity, leaving you in a very fragile and vulnerable place. Think back to the moment when you first heard your own diagnosis: what happened within you?…

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