A Cancer survivor narrates her tribulations in the most amazing way
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
I have always shied away from talking about Cancer and everything it entailed. I don’t want to be a hero for a condition compared to which many people have suffered and continue to suffer a faith far worse than me, but a hero for the work I do, the business I want to build, the jobs I can create or the change that I can bring about.
The Turning Point
I recently met an individual on a flight, who heard my story after much probing and said, “Kanika – what are experiences worth if not shared.” He went on to highlight how my experiences could motivate someone else in a similar position, how my experiences could shape someone else’s life and how my experiences could ultimately help somebody. So I made him this promise many months ago that I would share it all and here it is the unedited real version.
Cancer happened at a time when I was just about to begin life the way I always foresaw it. It more or less turned my life around in under 5 minutes, one moment my mother and I were busy eating junk food waiting for some regular medical test results to be given to us and the next minute the big ‘C’ had been dumped on me. Initially it all seemed surreal, but over the next 2 days or so as the finer details sunk in, I knew I had to fight it and come out shining – fighting it was my only option.
I have always believed in the power of the mind - If you believe it, you can do it. The events one face in their lifetime are nothing but a reciprocation of a combination of their thoughts and actions. If you think, you believe and are determined to do something; your actions automatically work towards achieving it.
Power of Positive Thoughts
All of us are dealt with a set of cards which are a combination of good and bad. It all ultimately boils down to how well we use each bad card to our benefit. Cancer may have been the ace of the bad cards dealt so far in my life, but I needed to do everything in my power to make it my best card. Step 1 to this was believing and knowing that I would fight the disease and come out shining.
Not once through out my prognosis of chemotherapy and radiation over a period of 8 months did I think why me? Will I survive this? Will I come out successful? What will happen to me if I survive this etc? I know it’s hard to believe, but I suddenly became much stronger and the only thing I thought about was what am I going to do as soon as I recover? How am I going to build the business I always wanted to? How am I going to revolutionize the private aviation industry? How am I going to use my second life to make a difference? I used these 8 months to answer these questions, build the plans I wanted and treated them like the really long vacation I needed. After all how many people get an opportunity to sit at home for 8 full months being looked after completely?
Yes, Chemotherapy was difficult. I am not going to say it was all fun and games. But again it is as difficult as you make it. I looked at each round of Chemo as an additional goal to winning the Soccer game. As the number increased, I knew I was getting closer and closer to my victory. Nobody said victory comes easy, so the pain, discomfort and endless nights of turmoil were the hardships I needed to face to come out victorious. With each round of Chemo, I knew I was that much closer to starting my business and winning the game.
A Life Changing Experience
Every victory is a team effort and you need to have the right support system around you to come out victorious. Whilst fighting Cancer, I had the most amazing support team in the form of my doctor, my aunt and my mother. They were my pillars, who were always there for me and kept me going. In any business having the right team, trust circle and support system is most important.
On the first day after my treatment, I packed my bags and moved cities to begin a new life and to write a new chapter in my life. A lot of people from family to my medical advisors told me I need rest, I need to take it easy for the next year or so and then begin whatever I wish to. But to me I did not have a single day to waste, I was one day closer to building my dreams. I had some savings and no roof over my head, but what I also didn’t have was a plan B. My biggest learning from this has been if you have a plan B, you will never put in everything you need to make plan A work.
Cancer taught me more than the rest of my life put together, it made me stronger wiser, courageous and most importantly, it made me believe in myself more than before. Some would say Cancer was the best worst thing that happened to me – I would say maybe it’s the best thing that happened to me (so far!).