World Rose Day is observed on September 22 for the welfare of cancer patients, or we can say that this day marks the hope for cancer patients that cancer is curable. This day is celebrated in the memory of a 12-year-old Melinda Rose of Canada, who was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer and did not give up hope.
The very word cancer evokes a whole gamut of emotions, fears, apprehensions and a sense of slipping into an abyss of despair and helplessness. Though cancer or the Big C is still a dreadful disease, many types of it are curable. A number of cancer survivors have triumphed over it. Their indomitable spirit must be acknowledged and appreciated. Many years ago, a British oncologist told me that, "Not just cancer but any disease can be defeated if you defy and not deify it."
So very true. We seem to be unnecessarily apprehensive of cancer and take it for granted that a person suffering from this malady will not survive. In other words, some sort of a Deification Syndrome regarding cancer has robbed us collectively of our power of defiance. We've meekly surrendered and genuflected before it. But remember, there's no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
A positive frame of mind enables the cancer-patients to tide over this disease of diseases, to use a Biblical phrase. But before empowering and encouraging a cancer patient, society needs to be cancer-sensitive and full of empathy for those struck by this disease. We must rally around cancer patients and make them feel hopeful. Almost all diseases are psychosomatic in nature and are first germinated in the mind.
So, mind over matter counselling does help those who believe that their cancer cannot be cured. A defeatist sense of throwing in the towel will not help. A comprehensive approach to cancer awareness is a must for the patients and his/her kith and kin. Adversities are great, but humans are greater than adversities. Remember, the word cancer has 'can' in it. This opens up a plethora of possibilities, engendering a 'can succeed attitude. A strong spirit of resilience and the ability to bounce back must constitute one's self-healing process to fight it out.
We've numerous examples of people giving two hoots to cancer. Manisha Koirala, Yuvraj Singh, Sonali Bendre, Lisa Ray, to name but a few. All cancer sufferers and survivors must take a cue from these people whose joie de vivre is still intact in spite of undergoing the harrowing experience of getting affected by it. So, cheers and stay unperturbed! Three cheers to all those who've survived cancer and are living life to the hilt with dignity and decorum sans a skerrick of desperation. They're the true role models.
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