A true fighter, one that put out all the negativity, trusted her divine blessings, and went with the flow, Ravina Belani fits the best definition of an inspiration. Not just to people battling cancer, but to humanity in general. To accept in ways that she neglected her health, and realised how panic isn’t a solution, dealing with the situation leaves her to be a true hero.
- How did you find out you had Cancer and what was your reaction to it?
Personally thought I was menopausing, but the ultrasound showed that I had cancer. My doctor sent me to someone else, without telling me what it was. And they said I had to go through a surgery to remove the thick layer which had formed in my uterus. A layer that is supposed to be 7 inches, but mine was 32 inches. I was sent for a biopsy, and was detected with grade 1 A. I had absolutely no symptoms, but was blessed with an extremely good doctor. Soon as the reports came, I went to see her and heard about it, she didn’t want me to waste any time, just wanted me to go through an MRI and ultrasound. Found a malignant tumor, removed the uterus, fallopian tube, ovaries, nodes and tissues, everything. My family, the divine blessings, my extremely supportive husband and daughter saw me sail through it all. Everyone around me was in severe stress and anxiety, I didn’t get stressed, but rather had the ‘in your stride’ attitude towards things, that just give you faith. The doctor too had a calming effect on me, and made me go with the flow, more like it was something that had to happen, it is what it is. No thoughts at that point, when I was recovering, there was a little fear, that there shouldn’t be an extra cell when I went again for the biopsy.
- What was your support system like?
I had my entire family, lots of friends and a lot of positive energy around me. I was home, but I had people talking to me, didn’t take alternate therapy like Ayurveda or homeopathy. But I did natural therapy. Support from everyone came in and luckily I didn’t even find the need to go through counselling.
- How did you combat your dull days?
The days right after the surgery were unbearable, they put me on a treatment of pain relief. And that somehow wasn’t enough. Every minute of every day was difficult, but I just went through it. Completely switched off myself from the world, put off all my devices and gave up on my social life. In the end it was all the support of my family, my own will and positive energy that got me through the process. Pranic healing was my boat in sea, it removes the negativity within, cannot take away your pain, but just gives you more will power.
- How did you spend the days of full energy?
Days would go by with people visiting me. I was always a very social person and in touch with everyone near and dear to me which I loved. But for a short period, I had given up on it all. It was great that people came home, I’d listen to them and that would make keep me going. Close friends and family around me were very positive, and that energy made all the difference and got me to bounce back.
- Did this surgery have an impact on your food intake? What worked best for you?
My digestive system was in perils, I ate light food, and had things that I wouldn’t eat before, a lot of liquids and juices. Pomegranate with apple or vegetable juice, not too much of sweet stuff. Food took a lot of time to settle, so I had a completely new, light diet, very different too. I did exactly what the doctor said.
- This surgery must have taken a toll on your social life. How did you go about this?
Initially I didn’t go out, when I did it was just for an hour or so. Didn’t go out for a few months because of the fear of infection. Post cancer I’ve realised the importance of life, which showed me that it was not worth risking life for anything. Post my first biopsy, after a month, I travelled to Boston to meet my daughter, did exactly what my doctor asked, and I spent quality time for a month with my family and again started wanting to walk around and go out a bit. I recovered a lot more when I was away from home and in pleasant climate.
- Were there any new ways in which you managed your oral care, and your spa needs?
I would go to the hair salon often before my surgery, and even though I neither had chemo nor radiation, I would later get the parlor lady to come home, so I would feel good. I would get my hair and nails done at home and I would feel great.
- Any instances of you being unhappy with your doctor? How did you work around that?
Not even once, all my doctors were fabulous, the whole team was great.
- Do you have anything from your experience to particularly mention?
I solely blame myself for what befell on me. I was very negligent, with not a single test done after I delivered my daughter. It’s extremely important to make sure we keep our health in check. I would tell everyone to get it regularly done. And now I realise its importance. Had I been more careful I wouldn’t reach where I am and I would've found out at an initial stage. We tend to take things for granted. Mammograms and ultra sounds, the routine checkup is very important. If there is even a little problem, it can be dealt with early on and you wouldn’t have to go through the added pain.
After my discussion with Ravina Belani, I only am left to think how the value of what you lose can only be felt when you’re at the verge of losing it, or have lost it all. Life to her, she proved was precious, and had a chance to talk about it and help another person.
Ravina Belani - Fashion Designer
- As spoken with Chandini Hemdev