My Cancer Is Me is a thought-provoking and sensitive guide for anyone who has cancer or is supporting a loved one with cancer.
Gratitude To All Our Readers!
Vijay & Nilima Bhat, authors of My Cancer Is Me believe that healing requires a ‘person-centric’ approach, where the focus is the whole person and all the aspects of his inner and outer life, rather than an ‘organ-centric’ one, where the focus is merely the disease or affected organ.
DR. VIKRAM DRAVID
Author of ‘Not Just Cricket’; www.vikdravid.com “A much needed, mind-opening and importantly, de-mystifying treatment of a misunderstood illness. A must read for patients, physicians, care-givers and anyone that would like to understand cancer completely.”
DR. VALERIE GREMILLION
Director, Convergence Consulting; Complex systems scientist and consultant in functional health and applied neuroscience; www.valeriegremillion.com “The authors go beyond their own engaging and insightful journey to reframe basic assumptions about the nature of cancer, leading to integrated ways of both thinking about, and handling the disease. Synthesizing recent research on cancer and the roles played in it by stress, mind-body issues, diet, immunity, and more, ‘My Cancer Is Me’ then provides thoughtful, practical exercises and techniques for healing all aspects of the person. Highly recommended for everyone seeking a positive and illuminating path through the crucible of cancer.”
Medical Scientist; celebrated author of ‘The Biology of Belief’ “An informative and nurturing guide that offers a detailed step by step process to regain sovereignty over your health and your life.”
Findhorn Fellow; Author of ‘Spiritual and Alternative Hong Kong’; Editor of Positive News Hong Kong; www.holisticasia.com “For many years now, I have known and seen Vijay and Nilima’s dedication to turning their experience of cancer into a vehicle of service for others. This book, the fruit of their work, personal passion and of cancer itself holds many keys to helping you turn your cancer experience into one of deepening personal meaning and understanding.”
DR. ALOK PANDEY
Editor NAMAH, Author of ‘Death, Dying and Beyond’ “These are times of transition when the old paradigms are being broken and a new thought is taking hold of the human consciousness. Prominent among this new understanding is the idea of Holism as the governing principle behind all phenomena. In brief, it means that we cannot understand, let alone master anything, unless we know the interconnectedness of all life and the relationship between the parts and the whole. Vijay and Nilima’s book is very much in tune with this new thought. Having gone through a personal cancer crisis, they embarked on a new and interesting journey through the various landscapes of their inner and outer life. In the process they make many fascinating discoveries, some almost revolutionary, turning their personal crisis into a means of change; their illness into a passage towards a new and greater life. It is a bold adventure and gifted as they are in the field of communication, they bring the story of their adventure and the gains of their discovery in a lucid way to the average as well as the informed reader. ‘My Cancer Is Me!’ is not just another book that burdens you with information, but a living experience that opens new doors as you go through their personal account. The insights dawn upon us like guiding stars amidst the cloud-burdened night sky for someone facing the black pall of death. Indeed, this is a remarkable book for the professional and the non-professional alike.”
Assistant Editor, Life Positive; author of ‘One’ and ‘Magic Liquid’ editor of ‘Teaching Stories – I & II’ www.jaijoy.blogspot.com “I am impressed with how Vijay and Nilima have shown the entire world that cancer CAN be tackled. After all, despair can never help anyone but positive steps can. I hope that many people will read and benefit from this book of hope and inspiration.”
KUMAR S. SHARMA
Author of ‘The Age of Ananda: Conscious Evolution to the Life Divine’; www.ageofananda.net “‘My Cancer Is Me’ is a boon for the millions of people who will unfortunately face the verdict of cancer during their lifetime. Vijay and Nilima’s amazing saga of their encounter with cancer and their mission to help and heal others facing this dreaded disease belongs in the noble and inspiring genre of ‘may others gain from our pain’. The disease becomes for them a catalyst for a process of deep inquiry and learning about life and death, the cellular mechanics of cancer, taking full responsibility for one’s condition (and hence the title), person-centric healing, stressors and immunity, and travelling the road from illness to wholeness. By sharing their valuable and unique discoveries in this lucid book, they have empowered cancer patients and their families the world over to approach it as a ‘hero’s journey’ in which all forces – physical, mental, and spiritual – have to be aligned not only to aid healing, but also to transform the quality of post-cancer life itself.”
Founder, Vyaktitva; author of ‘A Flawed God’; www.vyaktitiva.net “I am not a cancer patient. And yet Vijay and Nilima’s writing gripped me by the collar and pulled me in. On reading that cancer, at its best, is a great opportunity for self transcendence, I wondered if I was missing out on a pivotal learning experience!”
Psychotherapist; author of ‘Year Zero: Time of the Great Shift’, and ‘Ilahinoor: Awakening the Divine Human’ www.kiarawindrider.net “We are not separate from what we fight. The stress and chaos of our daily lives is simply the outer reflection of a deeply hidden process seeking to manifest itself. What we call cancer is a profound opportunity to bring ourselves back into a deeper state of balance. In a world where we have literally become a cancer to the rest of creation, it is time to transform our attitudes towards this dreaded ‘dis-ease’, and in so doing heal ourselves and the world. In this groundbreaking book, written from deeply personal experience, Vijay and Nilima Bhat offer tools and perspectives for doing just that. ‘My Cancer Is Me’ should be required reading not just for those who are experiencing the impact of cancer in their own lives, but for every citizen of this planet.”
SANGEETA S. BHAGWAT
Facilitator and Inner Landscape Artist; Author of ‘S.O.U.L – Student of Universal Law’, ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’, ‘The Caregiver’s Manual’ and ‘It’s Your Life – A Practical Handbook for Chronic Ailments’ “Vijay and Nilima have transformed their experience into a valuable resource that will serve those who are willing to walk the path of self discovery and healing. If you are looking to discover the blessings hidden in your situation, read on!”
DR. SHYAM BHAT
Psychiatrist and Integrative Medicine Specialist; www.shyambhat.com “In this important book, Vijay and Nilima describe an integrated and holistic perspective of cancer. Their powerful insights include those about metaphor and language and about diet, lifestyle and stress management, but ultimately, the most important and empowering one is that cancer could be an opportunity for growth and transformation.”
Pyschotherapist, founder of Spanda “I believe that the person-centric way of healing as described by Vijay and Nilima in their book ‘My Cancer Is Me’ will help you heal more than your cancer. It will help you heal your life.”
DR. SANGEETA CHAKRAVORTY
Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA “This is a timely and necessary book, one that helps frame the diagnosis of cancer in the context of a human and humane understanding of cell metamorphosis with the transformational changes it brings in the lives of people living with cancer, and their caregivers. Vijay and Nilima Bhat’s voices, shaped by their lived experience, are like beacons of light, wisely guiding families navigating their course through the stormy uncertainties of cancer diagnosis, treatment and eventual recovery. Whether you have cancer, know someone who does or care for someone with cancer, you will be touched and changed by this book. Grab a copy for yourself and gift one to someone who needs it.”
DR. SONGXUAN KE
Principal, Asante Academy of Chinese Medicine; Co-author of ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’; www.asante-academy.com “An excellent book … well worth reading, for cancer patients and practitioners alike.”
DR. G.S. NAYAR
Managing Director, Ojus Healthcare; www.ojus.co.in “It is obvious from your book that your combined experiences as cancer victim & survivor, caregiver and wellness coach will make this a significant contribution towards our efforts to prevent and cure cancer. The title ‘My Cancer Is Me’ is fascinating. Fear is the key factor in cancer and is all-pervasive among the victims, their near and dear ones and even their caregivers, including physicians. Today we are aware that most of us may have cancer cells or potential cancer cells within us at any moment and that our own defence system prevents them from developing into full-blown cancer. You have managed to soften the horror by ‘humanising’ the tumour and instilling the reality that it could just be a manageable extension of one’s own body. Cancer may be prevented by good life-style management or cured by early diagnosis and treatment. My cancer patients have benefited immensely from your program and I am hoping that your book will help them further. I wish your book becomes a bedside reference book in each family, not only of patients. Once again, congratulations and all the very best for the launch of this much needed book.”
DR. SIU-MAN NG
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Social Administration; Director, HKU Family Institute; Program Director, M.Soc.Sci.(Mental Health) program, The University of Hong Kong “‘My Cancer Is Me’ is certainly an important book, providing a revolutionary view on coping with cancer from an East-West philosophical perspective. Instead of seeing cancer as something ‘not me’ that should be totally got rid of, the authors argue that cancer is an integral ‘part of me’. While cancer may bring us closer to facing death, it also brings us closer to the very basic nature of life. Acknowledging the wholeness of our existence, we may reinvent ourselves and discover new meanings and a new purpose of life through in-depth personal reflection. Apart from putting forward a new paradigm of understanding cancer, the authors also share their personal journey of transcending cancer. This book deserves a strong recommendation to healthcare professionals, as well as people with cancer and their family members.”
DR. U.S. VISHAL RAO
Consultant Oncologist – Head & Neck Surgeon; www.headneckcancer.in “One can’t help but wonder about the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of our fight against cancer. After all, cancer cells are not abnormal cells that have struck from the ‘outside’, rather they are our own normal cells that have gone astray! A child that develops from an embryo in the mother’s womb is also the result of rapid cell multiplication, but which is well controlled and monitored. However, when the same cells multiply abnormally, we refer to it as ‘cancer’ and the result disrupts our health. ‘ ‘My Cancer Is Me” demystifies cancer and has arrived at the right time, bringing together Western medicine and Eastern philosophy. This book will guide readers to strengthen their own immune system, to heal the cancer cells and thus neutralise them.”
DR. PRAMOD TRIPATHI
Health & Stress Management specialist; www.ihealth.co.in “Thought-provoking … and shared from a personal journey of evolution. Vijay & Nilima provide deep insights that the world needs to pay attention to!”
DR. STANLEY S. WETSCHLER
MD “As a physician who had metastatic cancer 13 years ago and having, until then, approached medicine in the conventional way, I can say with confidence that although the medical community receives excellent training in employing the most cutting-edge technological advances in their respective fields, they neglect to recognize the possibilities which exist beyond their formal training. By contrast, the previous chief of the National Institute of Health’s, NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) coined the phrase ‘new medicine’ to emphasise the importance of the mind – body – spirit connection in achieving true healing, and in some cases, miraculous cures. I am delighted that the range of therapeutic modalities emphasized in Vijay and Nilima’s journey encompasses the wisdom of indigenous and ancient cultures. I invite you to embrace the many lessons in this book … and don’t allow your physician, friends or family to ‘steal’ your spirit!”
Vijay and Nilima’s cancer coaching program gave me two very useful inputs to carry on with life after cancer: The first was the concept of a ‘new normal’. We remain the same but with a conscious difference in attitude – leading mainstream life in a positive manner by taking each day as it comes. The second was the ‘cellular healing meditation’ which has helped me to heal myself with an inner strength derived step-by-step with ease and flexibility. It has also made me realise the importance of interventions other than medical treatments and follow-ups to help cancer survivors cope with life.
CLIENT NAME WITHHELD ON REQUEST
I have found the cellular healing meditation to be a holistic way to bring the healing fire of the divine self to every cell of my body.
CLIENT NAME WITHHELD ON REQUEST
Your program had a positive physical effect on my body. I believe the cellular healing meditation has resulted in sending signals and positive energy to the cancerous cells to cure and balance themselves. After sincere practice, my stage 4 cancerous tumours melted away (the PET scan was completely negative) and the anticipated surgery was not needed. My oncologists were stunned and taken aback! This dramatic improvement cannot be attributed to the chemo and radiation and I believe that the meditation accelerated my recovery.
“This book is not just for people with cancer. It is for anyone who is dealing with a serious illness and is looking to heal from the trauma and turmoil that it causes. After a debilitating and life-altering spinal injury, I read many self-help books and this book truly surprised me because its insights apply as much to me, as they to a cancer patient. I only wish I had had this book years ago; it would have eased a lot of my stress. Vijay and Nilima have come up with a sorely needed guide to understanding and healing the self, at every level; I found true support, compassion and guidance in these pages.’My Cancer Is Me’ will encourage you to look at every possible factor causing your ill health, and will help you create your own individual path to wellness. Happy healing!”
CEO/President of The Cancer Club; author of ‘Laugh ‘Til It Heals: Notes from the World’s Funniest Cancer Mailbox’ and ‘Cancer Has Its Privileges: Stories of Hope & Laughter’; www.cancerclub.com Books – and theories – on cancer have not changed much since I was diagnosed in 1994. ‘My Cancer Is Me’ is a profound book; a game-changer in terms of looking and acting upon cancer in an innovative way. Vijay and Nilima Bhat are thought leaders in the field of oncology. Read this book, and you, too, can soar, following a diagnosis of cancer.
Founder-President, CanSupport; www.cansupport.org This book may not be what the doctor ordered. It is, however, essential reading for anyone embarking on a journey of self discovery, which is what cancer is all about. It has the potential to make you bigger and better than you ever dreamt you could be.
Founder & Trustee, V-CARE Foundation; www.vcarecancer.org The word ‘cancer’ is dreaded by one and all, partly because of its association with pain and suffering and partly because of the (mistaken) notion that a cancer diagnosis equals certain death. What compounds the fear is that most people are ignorant about the causes, detection methods and treatments for cancer. ‘My Cancer Is Me’ will be extremely helpful to both patients and caregivers in dealing with the disease, because it provides a holistic perspective drawn from the authors’ personal experiences, their interactions with the medical fraternity as well as their psychological and spiritual insights.
Executive Director, Cancer Patients Aid Association; www.cancer.org.in Having interacted with cancer patients personally since 1986 and professionally since 1999, it is evident to me that there is more to the disease than the disease itself. I experienced the fear and trauma when my mother was being treated and I have witnessed a reflection of that fear in the face of every patient and family member I have counselled. In some ways, it is the stage at the end of treatment that becomes the hardest to bear. Until then, one is running on the mindless treadmill of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, struggling to comprehend what is happening to you. It is when the treatment ends that you have to face the uncertainty of the ‘what now’ questions. I had the opportunity to interact with Vijay and Nilima when CPAA organised a week-long retreat for 19 cancer patients and their caregivers in idyllic surroundings at Deolali, near Mumbai. I went along for the ride and ended up a believer. Their blog ‘Cancer Awakens’ provides an insight into the philosophy this wonderful couple is attempting to spread. Having gone through the experience themselves makes it easier for them to convince those going through them now. Or does it? Imagine how difficult it must be to relive those traumatic events day after day. And yet they have made this sacrifice and committed their lives to helping others. Vijay once said, ‘Cancer is my prasad’. May that prasad bless them and guide them on their chosen path.
LANCELOT (LANCY) PEREIRA S.J.
Author of ‘The Enchanted Darkness’ and co-author of ‘Death: The Final Freedom’ ‘My Cancer Is Me’ has succeeded in shaking me up. I have not encountered another book on cancer so loaded with powerful insights and so brutal in its authenticity. The authors have quite literally stripped their own lives of all pretense and shown us what it took to face bravely and nakedly the challenges which cancer brought to them as individuals, married partners and fond parents. Is it possible that without these struggles, Vijay and Nilima might never have discovered the bottomless depths of their own humanity? There is much to treasure and learn in this book, notably the provocative view that without something like cancer, I might never know me.
Founder & Managing Trustee, Bangalore Hospice Trust – Karunashraya; www.karunashraya.org It is not often that one comes across such a positive view of what is widely, and wrongly, seen as a devastating disease. Vijay, one of the authors, had the cancer but it was addressed by both authors – a young husband and wife team living far away from their usual support mechanisms. The fact that they don’t deny the possible ravages of the disease is in itself refreshing and the holistic manner in which they deal with it is encouraging not only to patients and their families, but also to those who are interested in health and related happiness.
Founder-Director, Samiksha Foundation – Caring for Children with Cancer; www.samikshafoundation.org Perhaps the most striking feature of Vijay and Nilima’s writing is their powerful use of language to influence our ways of thinking about cancer. For example, by replacing ‘statistic’ with ‘anecdote’and ‘survivor’ with ‘thriver’, they have created a fresh approach that is encouraging and invigorating for anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by cancer.
Editor, Hay House, India “Vijay and Nilima’s book, My Cancer is Me, will be read by many people. It will be read by family and friends, of course, but it will be primarily be picked up by readers who are struggling with cancer, either directly, or indirectly because of a loved one. My relationship with this book is somewhat different, but no less involved. In fact, it has been a very intimate involvement for me as the editor of this book. My purpose for writing this is not to tell you what the book is about. I’m sure you know that already. But as someone who has worked on this book day after day, through every word and every thought, I want to say that this book is a treasure. If you have cancer or your loved one does, I would want to put this book into your hands. Because it shows you a way out. It shows you a way into hope and light. It empowers you, even if your body is broken and your spirit is shattered. (Actually, that is a fine time to pick up this book.) It tells you that healing your body is so important … but you must also listen to your mind, learn how to caress your heart and, no matter what, always nurture your spirit. This book speaks to you as a complete person, not just a body that needs to be fixed. As someone who develops and edits ‘mind-body-spirit’ books, this is a book that knows you have to join the dots between the mind, body and spirit in order to be whole. Thank you, Vijay and Nilima, I was your editor, but no matter what roles we play in our lives, we are always, first, human beings, and I was as affected by your journey as anyone else might be.”
XERXES S. DESAI
Vice Chairman & Managing Director (Retd.), Titan Industries The authors are to be congratulated for writing this thoughtful, practical, comprehensive and enormously useful book. They explain and advise on how the mind can be made to beneficially manage an occurrence of cancer or, for that matter, any major illness.
Innovation Coach and Author of ‘The Uninvited Coach’ www.ideasrs.com ‘My Cancer Is Me’; delivers hope in the most authentic manner to anyone who has just been told “… it is malignant …” The authenticity stems from Vijay and Nilima themselves, who are genuine, compassionate people who care. And the book is based on their real-life experience. Their empathetic, simple, jargon-free style reaches out to everyone. I hope they translate this book into many Indian languages soon.
Spiritual teacher; www.nithyashanti.com ‘My Cancer Is Me’is a work of astonishing clarity, depth and whole-heartedness: a distillation of lived wisdom, timeless healing principles and great love, disguised as a book. Personally, if I get a single great idea from a book, I consider it worth my time. This book is so filled with grounded and life-changing ideas, that every chapter could be a brilliant book in itself. I have always felt that some books come to you for a season and some come to you for a reason. This one has come to you for a very important reason: to heal not just cancer, but the very roots of what you call ‘me’.
DR. RAJENDRA SISODIA
Chairman, Conscious Capitalism Institute and co-author of ‘Firms Of Endearment’; www.cc-institute.com Vijay and Nilima have taken a traumatic life experience and created something deeply valuable, even inspirational from it. This book is beautifully written, brutally honest, and deeply insightful. It is filled with ‘Aha’ moments, with nuggets of practical wisdom that you can apply to your own life today. What the authors have to say is of value to all of us: those who have experienced cancer and also those who have not. The reality is that we are all pre-cancerous; the only question is whether our body will be able to maintain its internal harmony and eliminate the cancerous cells that are continually being generated in all of us. I have no doubt that the deep wisdom in this book will save and transform lives.
SIR MARTIN SORRELL
Chief Executive Officer, WPP plc; www.wpp.com Vijay Bhat was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2001. This remarkable book, written with his wife, describes the impact of such news not only on the individual but, at least as importantly, on the family. It takes a positive and pragmatic approach, almost detached at times and argues persuasively for an understanding and an attitude that encompass the physical, the mental and the spiritual in equal measure. Vijay’s continued health and enjoyment of life strongly suggest that the Bhats’beliefs can lead to wonderfully practical outcomes.
Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; www.ogilvy.com A very compelling narrative indeed! Vijay and Nilima have themselves experienced the power of personal assertion in reframing cancer as something more than a physical symptom. Now in this book they take the insight and turn it into a veritable system for survival. The lessons are truly remarkable. Congratulations on this!