• July 10.2020

  • ANJANA VINOD

First Winner of Bolega Bharat – Digital Storytelling Competition by MS Talks

When you talk about being an inspiration in people’s lives, is it really very easy to be an inspiration? Honestly, it depends, it depends on what is inspiration according to you. For Ms. Anjana Vinod from Mumbai, being an inspiration is very simple. She believes if you can make a smile emerge on somebody’s face just by a look of you then you are an inspiration. If you can make people believe that life is not difficult and in fact it is beautiful. If you are able to do that then yes, you are an inspiration. And today, she is going to share the story of her life.

17 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, one side of my breast had to be completely removed. At that point in time, I had a daughter who was one year old. Life wasn’t simple it wouldn’t have been simply because I wasn’t sure that after the surgery will I be alive? I did not know how I will struggle in my journey with cancer. Chemotherapy was painful. Getting pricked almost 15-25 times just because the doctor couldn’t find the nerve to give you the drips of chemotherapy was very painful. To have fingers with dark spots that continue to stay lifelong with you, not easy. Are you going to look at that and say that “My life is very bad” or are you going to get a smile on your face while looking at it and say “No problem, it is a part of my life? Problem aaya hai toh jaega bhi!” When the sun sets, it does raise the other day. When the darkness goes, there is light at the other end of the tunnel. That’s a choice you make. But do you want to fight it out or you want to sit and cry? I remember becoming a cancer coach. It was not by luck, it was by choice that yes I am a breast cancer coach. Today I train and I talk to people about staying positive irrespective of what battle you are fighting. It’s a choice that you make. I operate out of three circles-circle of control, the circle of influence, and the circle of concern. A circle of control is something where everything is under your control. It is a choice that you make. It is a decision that you take for yourself. While undergoing chemotherapy, when I was struggling and I had a choice. Either to sit back home for the entire six months and say “Hey guys, you know what, I’m undergoing chemotherapy and I’m not going to come to work.” Or after every chemo cycle, like I decided that I will go back to work. Three days after my chemo cycle, I would stay at home and on the fourth day, I would go back to work. There were times when my boss would say, “Anjana, tomorrow morning at 11 am, there is a meeting” and I would look at him and say that I’m not coming tomorrow. He would say, “How many leaves will you take?” I was like “I have chemotherapy tomorrow.” He would completely forget about it. Not because he forgot about it but I made him forget about it. I did not remember that I am a patient. When you start showing sympathy to yourself, that’s what you expect the world to do to you. But if you’re powerful and you’ve made the choice of being happy, the world will look at you from a completely different lens. The lens from which the world looks at you is a choice that you make for the world to look at.

Perceptions are not formed directly. They are made from what you want the perception to be like. Think from your heart and execute from your brain but make sure that the brain does not take charge because yes like it’s very strongly said “Brain- an excellent servant but a worst master.” Choices that you make are decisions that will help you to think positively and work positively towards life.

Today as a breast cancer coach when I coach a lot of breast cancer victims, I remember that there is a phase where I have people who come back to me and tell me, “Anjana, this is very difficult.” Nothing is simple but it’s how you want to look at it and make it feel simple. It is a choice that you make in life which will make all the difference. Define your purpose. Define your life. Define the decisions that you take. Define the choices that you make. Either to sit and cry or to laugh and say, “Hey guys! It’s a passing phase. Aaya hai toh jaega bhi.” Leave it up to you for the choices that you would like to make for yourself.

Cancer has changed Ms. Anjana Vinod in a significant and encouraging way. With her ‘Zidd’ towards the journey of her life, she has inspired so many women in our society. ‘Kahaani Zidd Ki’ salutes her courage!!

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