Sunday, December 28, 2008
My Hero! 1
Members of Aastha Breast Cancer Association
Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves
-Carol Lynn Pearson
American writer and poet
My Saturday evenings are generally spent taking lift on my colleague’s bikes or in cars as bus get stuck up at railways crossings for hours at a stretch. The aim is to hit Pune station as fast as I can to catch up the speed-express Intercity to take me home to enjoy my frugal weekends. But this Saturday was special; I decided to take a break from my usually jam-packed hush-hush weekend schedule and opted on staying back. Since I had time on my hand I went to attend the Aastha Breast Cancer Associations function at the IMA Hall, on Tilak Road. They were felicitating Dr. Rajan Badwe for his huge and relentless contribution to the field of Breast Cancer.
There in his address to the crowd, Dr. Rajan Badwe narrated a very touching incident. He said that more than the cancer, it’s the reaction to the cancer that matters the most. He recollected a memoir where a Lady was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Mammography and he had just disclosed the findings to her. Tears had rolled in her eyes as she stared in the vacuum with vacant eyes void of expressions. She was not receptive to what the Dr. Badwe was explaining. Obviously when hell breaks loose on someone the initial reaction is of denial, loss, apprehension about future and “why me” approach. Since the medical process that she needed to follow was not deciphering in her brains the doctor requested her to go and sit outside, compose herself and then comeback. The lady left tearfully. After sometime when the lady returned she was beaming with joy. This put the doctor in a complete perplex. He asked her the reason of her sudden metamorphosis. The lady’s reply almost stunned me. She said that while waiting in the lobby she read that out of every 30 ladies in India only 1 gets Breast Cancer. This implies that if she has got the disease the rest 29 won’t be affected by it. And she was very happy for them. I couldn’t help clapping when doctor narrated this incident.
Such brave selfless attitude to put our own griefs behind and to embrace happiness for others is something that has inspired me a lot. I think there is a lot to learn from this story. My inference is that it is not the adversity which affects us our attitude towards it that makes all the difference. We can choose our reaction and decide whether to let it affect us positively or negatively.
I saw the patient volunteers of the NGO who had steered clear of the disease and were helping other women who were entrapped in the clutches of this curable but deadly disease. It was so encouraging to see all these ladies arranging free mammography tests, helping the poor ladies who couldn’t afford the expensive treatment, holding free of cost camps for the awareness, inviting a panel of expert doctors to speak on the same and more importantly providing the mental and emotional support that a lady requires on discovery of the Breast Cancer.
One look at them, and you could never think as they have fought such a ghastly malignant disease. All of them radiated with joy and enthusiasm.
One could see the level of efforts that they had put in to make the program a grand success. They even read a poem about giving up ignorance and spreading awareness in the public. One thing that the cancer had left unaffected was their incandescent sprit with a huge jest for life, all of them looked so accomplished and happy. One lady among them in particular has always helped me in my testing times. She has inspired me to be happy come what may and to have a stiff back-bone to stare the world in its eyes …She has helped me immensely in gaining back my lost self-worth... I admire her a lot! She has been a continuous source of inspiration in putting my pain behind and working towards a larger and more fulfilling goal. I have deep reverence for her.
Every day in life, we come across people who are heroes in their own right. Who have distinctly survived an adversity and have taken life with its lapels and driven it in their chosen direction. These Breast Cancer patients have fought a very painful emotional and physical battle. Their endurance shows in a constant smile that graces their face……these ladies are my heroes because they have trodden a painful path and yet have chosen to put it all behind and act torch bearers to many others……I walked away feeling enriched with so many valuable Life’s big lessons in a small scoop that day!!!
I salute thee brave hearts…..hats off to the courage and optimism that you personify!!!!!