Cancer Survivor Vanshaja Kicks The Tumor Out Of Her Life
Vanshaja Shukla, 31 years old, Advocate, practising before the Supreme Court says, “Lows in life, tell us about the true strength of one's character - something which holds spot on for me! We give too much of a relevance to what's gone by in our past and what's going to come in future - in between we miss the most beautiful part of our life - the present.”
Just after her 30th birthday she was diagnosed sinonasal neuroendocrine tumor.
She is a cancer survivor and her zest for life shows in how she lives every day. Vanshaja was grappling with Cancer in her alternate world. Her reality was something for which she had never prepared for or predicted it coming her way.
However she dealt with it all with élan, strength, grit and optimism. How does a real life warrior princess tackle her modern day battles? She shows this is how it is done.
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When most people are cribbing and fretting, taking their own life and others or granted, in a similar time life was playing out differently for this young woman.
As she waged a war against the disease, dealt with the worst in her life, her spirit was unassailable.
Vanshaja says, “It's up to you - if you want the trauma and scar of a bad event in life and let that define you. Or you try to take the positive from it? Like in my case, I have learnt to love myself, which shouldn't be confused from being selfish.”
A sanguine yet pragmatic and realistic outlook is what drives her.
Looking back at her childhood, she shares it was very close to nature since her father was an officer in the Indian Forest Services. Her younger sister is also a lawyer and her parents brought up the girls in a gender-neutral environment. Her confidence about life comes from that. Her strong and rooted upbringing is what led her to grow into a strapping tree with strong branches. Branches which sway and dance to the harshest possible storms and winds, even when they get broken.
Vanshaja asserts and tells everyone, “Pamper yourself”.
We just let time pass by and give excuses to our own self; that how we need to take care of everything or others, throw the whole busyness business around and shift focus or blame. And in this whole circle, self care becomes a redundant concept. This results in dissatisfaction from life.
She exerts, “Take care of yourself. That will spread happiness within you and around you. Small things like, my husband and I now don't wait for the weekend for a lovely dinner or lunch! My parents have been fond of traveling a lot, so I have been trying to make more family trips with them and do that one thing that we like as the family most.”
As a cancer patient, she fought multiple battles simultaneously. Bodily, the fight is against the malignant cells. Internally and externally at a physical level the fight is about the transitions in the body.
Mentally, emotionally and psychologically there is the fear of losing one’s own self, at times it can get difficult to recognize one’s own self. With that one combats the excruciating pain to see their loved ones hurting and feeling helpless.
Vanshaja accepts, “It's a huge challenge and it is a traumatizing phase. But one must have faith and determination to win this “War”, in toto! These battles are a part of the war that you have waged against big C. “
It is easier said than done. But she says, “My biggest fear, like anyone would be the fear of losing your loved ones. I also feared that I would not be able to achieve as much as I aspired to do.”
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Time has its own charm, joy, beauty, wrath and inflictions. So she has seen and firmly believes that whether it is good or bad time; time passes by. Trusting time is crucial. Vanshaja believes, “The course of your life has already been destined, but you surely can navigate the path.”
Passionate about her profession, she handles her clients with compassion. That's her motto at work.
Vanshaja shares, “ I am focusing on spreading awareness on cancer as there needs to be some positive that should come out of the pain I endured. I try and help patients to see my Oncologist - Dr. P.K. Julka, who is like a fatherly figure in Oncology. Talking about cancer is such a taboo. By speaking openly about my journey, I am trying to make a small effort, in my own way. At work, I have started to take more pro bono briefs. I think I have developed a sense of empathy towards my clients now - as I understand pain better now.
Watch her FB story here.
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa