Visakhapatnam cancer survivors say no disease can touch you mentally until you allow it to happen

By looking at P. Padma, an embodiment of strength, none would think that she had undergone chemotherapy eight times.

The woman from Vizianagaram says that will power and confidence made her survive breast cancer.

“No disease can touch you mentally until you allow that to happen. The moment I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was prepared that I should fight it out. No matter how much my family members were broken, not even once did I shed tears,” she explains.

She says that by removing her left breast, her feminine identity has not been compromised.

“Life doesn’t end when your infected breast is removed. In fact, you feel fresh to start a new life like a rebirth and support your family,” she says, flashing a broad smile.

Narrating her experience, artiste Satyavathi from Srikakulam says that the trauma that a person undergoes during treatment is something inexplicable. More than the pain of laryngeal cancer, she feared that her favourite career would come to an abrupt end. “Being an artiste, laryngeal cancer disturbed me psychologically, emotionally, and physically. I thought I had to stay away from acting, singing, and dancing, and do nothing about the disease. However, with periodical radiation therapy, I was able to recover my voice within three months,” she said.

With social stigma attached to cancer, not many are able to escape from unwanted stares when they step out.

“I felt suicidal when I lost my hair due to chemotherapy. But once I started recovering from the terminal disease, my physical appearance showed signs of improvement. Today, I can proudly say that from the stage of dragging myself to the toilet, I am able to work in a company by travelling 25 km every day,” says M. Venkata Rao, another cancer survivor. Swathi (name changed), a breast cancer survivor, says that it is very essential to keep oneself occupied to avoid negative thoughts lurking.