Breast Cancer Thriver, Anju Kurien Says ‘I Love My Cancer’ (Part 2)

A very strange thing to say, isn’t it? But Anju Kurien, Breast Cancer Thriver and Cancer Awakens Sherpa thinks otherwise. In the 2nd part of this 2-part series, find out how she found renewed strength on her path of self-discovery.

Exploring Complementary Therapies

When she asked her onco-surgeon, “What more can I do besides this treatment”, he replied, “Make the most of what you have.” She went a step further and tried all possible complementary therapies that came her way.

That included Reiki, meta-healing, hypnotherapy, Japanese healing therapy, acupressure and chanting during her cancer treatment. She danced a lot, and even learned Kathak. Practicing pranayama yoga and following a vegan diet is something she does till today. And she believes that it has worked wonders for her.

She jokes,

“I ‘ve tried everything. only Vipassana remains!”

From Breast Cancer Victim to Breast Cancer Thriver

She received unbelievable support from friends and family and is convinced that it helped her sail through the treatment.

Anju believes firmly that recovering from cancer really starts with the mind. So it is important to address it, embrace it and understand it. Before her cancer diagnosis, she thought she was leading a perfect life.

“Conflict of any sort was brushed away. Life was work -party- kids. I was super stretched but I wore the ‘super mom’ badge . nothing could happen to me, I thought. I enjoyed food and ate everything that came my way. Trapped in material representations of car, house, travel. sacrificing myself, while Constantly looking after everyone’s needs –  family, friends, office colleagues –  gave me great joy,  or so I thought.

Professionally too I worked very hard to ensure that I was popular and liked by everyone. I strived hard to deliver and always felt a bit of a victim in what I thought I deserved and what came my way. I over-stretched  and drove myself too hard.”

Breast Cancer Journey Highlights

During her journey to becoming a breast cancer thriver, some things she learned – and now recommends – are:

  • Never be short on sleep. If tired, just sleep wherever you are.
  • Reduce self-doubt.
  • Stop seeking appreciation.
  • Yoga and dance are great to stay fit.
  • You don’t have to be everywhere and do everything.
  • Share your insights and experiences with others so that they too can learn and benefit.

From Cancer Thriver to Cancer Coach

Among the many things Anju experimented with, she also sought help through cancer coaching. After her sessions with Vijay and Nilima Bhat, she felt she derived a new perspective and a new direction. In fact, many of the complementary therapies she tried in dealing with breast cancer, came through the coaching.

Particularly, she found the 45-minute Cellular Healing Meditation to be extremely helpful. In it, she feels that everything eventually came together, so she could ‘center’ herself.

What she gained from the cancer coaching motivated her to become a Cancer Awakens Sherpa (cancer coach)

“If something helped me, I should also be helping someone.”

I Love my Cancer, why?

Anju confesses that despite being full of life, she was operating from fear and put on a superficial bravado. Cancer helped her let go of that fear.

That’s why she often says,

“I love my cancer. Because it drew me towards a different path of self-discovery. I would not have gone that way otherwise. Cancer made me more self-aware and self-confident.”

Her son Aman adds,

“I was extremely inspired to see my mother fighting through it, whilst keeping her life going. She didn’t let it get in the way of the things she wanted to do. I feel her attitude towards dealing with cancer was definitely a big lesson in my life.”

Kurien tells us,

“’Anju is a fighter, ‘so don’t worry’ was a reassurance that I got from almost anyone who knew her. She proved that beyond doubt. Even now, she lives life with a motto: one day at a time.”

And Naina sums it up perfectly,

“If there is such a thing as #BeatingCancerGoals she definitely deserves to be on the top of that list, inspiring all of us to look at life very differently and be better every day. She is definitely one of the strongest people I know.”

Reflection

  • What complementary therapies can you use alongside your treatments, to deal with cancer effectively?
  • What lifestyle changes can you make to recover better? Have you considered seeking help from a cancer coach?
  • What unknown or lesser-known side of yourself has cancer introduced you to?
  • As a cancer thriver, how can you give your insights and learnings back to society?

To go back to Part – 1 of this series, click here.

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