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We all know Manisha Koirala as an amazing actress and now as a survivor. Many of us are already aware that Manisha Koirala was going through ovarian cancer and in 2013 she successfully won the battle. Manisha was in Kathmandu when she was diagnosed with the disease. For her treatment she went to the US, multiple chemotherapy sessions and a surgery was included in her 6 months treatment.
She says, “When I first heard the news back in Kathmandu, I was in total disbelief. I couldn't think something as drastic as this would hit me. But in my family, we have had [cancer] incidents, so it wasn't surprising.”
Her comeback debut in Sanju and Lust stories is the proof that a peaceful mind can heal everything.
Let’s read her story from her point of view.
“The treatment is not too different here in India and there. Only here the cancer fear is so much. They think it means death. That's why many patients don't share their story because you are scared and people around you are scared too. Being a celebrity I just wanted to get out, do my bit and come back and if I had to die then so be it but at least I did my level best.
During the six months I spent there, I chose to be with and listen to only positive people. My friend, Zakia, told me how her sister coped with it. She said, 'Don't call it chemo but a vitamin shot.' On Lisa Ray's blog, I read that she had a chemo cut which was a bald look. I felt it was a great attitude to have. Everybody had a mechanism to deal with it. They had a certain twang or twist which made it sound fun or spunky. There were also people who psych you out when they say 'Chemo is poison and it's going to go in your bloodstream and you are going to die'. They scare you even more. I chose to be away from them.
I have always refrained from taking extra medicines. I knew I already had a very strong dose of chemo given to my body. On top of it, I didn't want to take more pills. For nausea, they would give pills but I'd look for an alternative. My brother [Siddharth] found an acupressure wristband and it worked for a while. When that didn't work, mum gave me a ginger pickle. After that didn't help, I would take the medicine. There were days that would be horrible and some days I'd just forget. You deal with so much that when you come out you vaguely remember. The worst pain I suffered was because of the Neupogen injections, which are given to increase the white blood cell count. I remember telling my mother, 'If this is the pain I have to go through I rather die.' Mom said, 'What are you talking about? It will go away.' After a long time, I felt that the whole family was spending a lot of time together. With my mom and dad around I became a child yet again. From this whole experience, I got a lot of gifts. Now I am enjoying life much more.
After being diagnosed with cancer, one is in a lot of fear and anxiety about the anticipated pain and the painful treatment. Cancer is something that doctors take years to study and understand. So we should let the doctors do their work.
I just don't want to be known as the face for cancer. It is one part of my life. Yes, it was a major part because it changed me a lot but that is not all my life. I suddenly can't become a preacher or guru [for it]. I am on a new journey and I am also discovering it. I can talk about my experience and what I am right now but to an extent. It may change tomorrow. Through this ordeal, I know how uncertain life is now. For all these years I thought I could live longer until cancer hit me. After it, I realize how fragile it is. But my life doesn't end with the cancer story. I want to move on. It happened, I dealt with it, if it happens again, I will deal with it again and move on.
It's not easy. If I go to a party, people bring up the topic of cancer and I start getting bored. You repeat it once, twice, thrice, but I can't do it ten times. They'll come and tell me, 'My friend died of cancer.' Some people will ask me, 'How are you doing now as if I am dying.' And I think should I go out and should I party or not?
The fear exists. But I don't get victimized by it. I have no other choice but to live with it. You give in to the fear. You just sit with it. The maximum fear is that I'm going to die or have a painful death. I don't panic about it anymore. There is no bitterness about the experience. I am happier and content. “
Manisha shares her tips, what she followed –
She said that there are two ways that will help you recover fast – a proper healthy diet and exercise. It’s important that you revive yourself both mentally and physically. She has been doing meditation courses with Oneness University for seven years now. In hindsight, it kind of prepared her to deal with what she endured in a calmer way. If she had more stamina left she would go for a few rounds of the swimming pool and then just move around the parks or the blocks. She said, “During the period, my mother, brother and dad helped me as they too believe in meditation and deep breathing. Namannji, my guru from Oneness, was always available on Skype. He told me to detach myself from fear.
He'd ask, 'What are you scared about?'
I said, 'Dying'.
He asked, 'What is it like dying?'
I replied, 'I don't know.'
'Then why are you scared of something that you don't know?'
That made sense to me. He asked me to observe my mind and thoughts.
I have been going to Goa for the last 15 years but this New Year for the first time I saw Goa without any hangover. (Laughs) I felt I was really getting a sense of the place more. I was rediscovering it. Everything is new to me. I value everything more including human beings. I feel like giving hugs to people Chalte Chalte. You just feel blessed that you are alive.”
It’s inspiring that we didn’t give up and she fought, this something we should definitely learn from her. I guess, she truly believes in “Hastein Hastein kat Jaye Rastein”, we hope Manisha remains the free spirit she always has been and we can’t wait to see her on the big screen again.
Image Source - Google