Actress Sonali Bendre is currently in India after completing her chemotherapies for her high-grade metastatic cancer in New York. She had discovered her illness only after reaching a critical stage in July, last year. She now has to go for regular checkups and scans to ensure that the deadly disease won't strike back.
When Sonali had arrived in Mumbai in the wee hours of December 3 after six months of braving her fight against high-grade cancer, she was beaming with joy obliging paparazzi with a heartwarming smile and gratitude. And now the 43-year-old actress has finally opened up about her tumultuous cancer treatment journey that she had faced in the last six months.
"I was clear I wanted to be in-charge of my narrative. I would be dishonest if I say everything was sunshine. There is pain and you go through it and it is hard. The toughest part was the post the surgery. I have a scar which is 20 inches in the midriff. My sister hugged me when I was going, I said don't be dramatic, I'm coming back. That part that I might not be there for my son and family was the most painful. I was happy when I came out of the hospital and said yes, I'm alive. Physical pain is painful, but mental is more painful," Sonali Bendre said at the India Today Conclave 2019.
With support from her family and friends, Sonali has always remained positive in her outlook as she battles the serious ailment. "I think it was love that took me through it. We have to love ourselves to get through this. It was love that saw me through. For me spirituality is to love," Sonali said during the conclave.
While undergoing the cancer treatment, Sonali had shaved her head off but she embraced her bald look like a true fighter. "Honestly, it is easier. A lot of baggage is off. Somewhere I realised, I was hiding a lot behind my hair. It is nice to look at it from all angles. My body is different, but I am making peace with it. It takes a lot of threshold tp do that. I will be ok with my imperfections. I will find beauty in them," she said.
Talking about the implications and trauma after Sonali had discovered her cancer, the actress said she had gone to a psychiatrist in New York to understand if she was doing something wrong that she got the disease. But soon after getting consulted, she realised that she has done nothing wrong and it is not caused by negative or positive thoughts.
"I realised that we have done nothing wrong if we have got this disease. Every cancer is different. The symptoms and treatments are different and every human body deals with it differently. There are no formulas to it. That, I think, was the biggest takeaway for me. I don't know why people hide it and don't talk about it. As soon as I put that post out which was basically because I didn't want rumours or distortion, the response was so overwhelming," Sonali said.
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World Cancer Day… who would have thought it would become such a thing… but it has! And just the mere mention of the C word brings dread in the hearts of anyone who hears it. We fear it so much that we’d rather not talk about it… which is why it’s important to have a day where we pull out the band aid and help us deal with this disease. I was scared too, but soon realised that burying my head in the sand was not the way to deal with this. And so… with the little experience I have had, I urge you all to take the time to understand it. There's more to cancer than being emotional or weak or even being called a fighter or a survivor. It requires you to study it, find out what works for you and to be diligent about your treatment. It requires days of strongly believing in oneself, of knowing that tomorrow will be better than today. It is not a fight against negative thoughts. It's taking a stand to not give in, no matter what. Most importantly, it is about living every day, and not just surviving. Just taking it #OneDayAtATime makes it easier to #SwitchOnTheSunshine. #WorldCancerDay
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