Cancer can make you bitter or better. Here is how Cancer Thriver Raksha Khanna learnt to stay positive despite the odds.
“I am sorry but you have been diagnosed with cancer” were the words of gynaecologist Dr. Prasad Mahadevan, to Mrs. Raksha Khanna, a 39-year old mother of two, who lives in Dubai. She says, “25th September 2010 was the most unforgettable and shocking day of my life.”
The shock and horror of a cancer diagnosis
What goes through a person’s mind when they are told they have cancer? For some, it is the fear of death, for others, it is the fear of losing loved ones, for some others, it is extreme sorrow and despair. Raksha faced all these emotions she was diagnosed with 1st stage endometrial cancer.
Yet, one year later …
Raksha says things like
“Come on let’s go clubbing! Oh my God, am I looking fat in this skirt?! Stop being such a bore! We should live life for today and not tomorrow!”
Meeting Raksha today, I see a woman who is as much a fighter as our brave soldiers on the front line.
Her thinking, her attitude towards life and her positive spirit gave me the strength to face trouble in a better way – and my problems now seem so much more trivial.
Raksha Khanna overcame cancer and has emerged a stronger, healthier person. How is this possible? What made her so confident despite the heavy burden of cancer? It’s simple: it is the positive attitude with which she perceives life.
A doctor and a friend
Major uterine surgery, heavy chemotherapy, a bland diet and hair loss initially led to tears, a lot of sympathy and low motivation.
Raksha feared she may lose her family and felt like giving up on life. But there is a ‘ray of hope in every one’s life’ and it was no different in her case.
Her oncologist, Dr. Shishir Shetty, asked her to be strong and promised her a complete recovery after the surgery. He put her through a few counseling sessions which helped her to stay positive and to see her whole life in a more holistic manner.
Dr. Shetty is not only her oncologist but has also become her great friend. It is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects to her recovery: the human connection, the bond of friendship and the assurance of a doctor who genuinely cares for a patient were life-changing in more ways than one!
A new lifestyle, a new life
Raksha, who previously weighed over 100kg and who lived life for others, was able to lose an incredible amount of weight and made herself look younger and more beautiful in spite of her medical condition.
It wasn’t easy, but she did it through regular workouts, a new and healthy diet, by doing things she loved and living life the way she wanted to. Although she had to go through monthly checkups and required heavy medications, her positive attitude made it easy for her to cope and come out of the ordeal stronger, healthier and more vibrant than ever.
Her husband, kids and family have been by her side all the time and are happy to see her confidence growing by the day. She now aims to counsel other cancer patients, share her story and strategies and give them courage.
As Raksha sums it up:
“After all, God has given us this one life in which there will be ups and downs. But it totally depends on us as to how beautiful we make it.”
- Shock and fear are inevitable with cancer. How will you bounce back?
- How can you develop a humane and equal relationship with your doctor, so that you are both working towards the same goal?
- How has the cancer experience changed you and your outlook towards life?
- Besides staying fitter and healthier, what can you do stay mentally positive?
This article has been contributed Ashvita and Prashant, who are both students of Event Management at EMDI, Mumbai.