Thriving After Cancer Is Possible


Why just be a cancer survivor when you could be thriving after cancer? Meet Vijay Bhat, and his pet crab, Cancer. See how their relationship helped Vijay to learn and grow from his cancer experience.                    

Cancer: Friend, Foe or Teacher?

A crab is a strange pet to have. While it appears harmless and docile, suddenly it can bite you. After Vijay Bhat adopted a crab, Cancer; he too had a bitter-sweet relationship with  it. Eventually, he befriended it.

Quite like our relationship with cancer, the disease. Most people see cancer as the end of the road. But what if cancer can be a new beginning? The thought of thriving after cancer doesn’t come easily. Hence, after being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2001, Vijay consciously chose a different and empowering relationship with cancer.

Thriving after cancer and finding a ‘new normal’
Steps for Thriving after cancer

The crab reminds Vijay to stop surviving … and start thriving after cancer.

  1. It wasn’t fate that gave me cancer. But I gave it to myself with the life choices I made
  2. So to become cancer-free, I can choose to be healthy and whole.
  3. I’m in charge of him, not the other way around.
  4. When ‘scare-giver’ Cancer brought in the storm, my wife and caregiver, Nilima Bhat was my anchor. Together they kept me focussed and positive.
  5. It’s also important to get over the fear of death and respect your cancer experience. Thriving after cancer is possible!


  • What is your view of illness? Do you see it as a rude and inconvenient obstacle?
  • Review your key lifestyle factors. What changes or improvements can you make?
  • How open are you to seeing cancer as a catalyst for growth?
  • What does your future – your life after cancer – look like?
  • As you contemplate this new direction, what past experiences can you make use of for thriving after cancer?

Nothing can prepare you for the cancer journey. But advice from someone who have been there, done that can certainly make you better informed. You can watch the Cancer Awakens video series here and read the articles here.


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