About the Healing Circle
Healing Circles at ZenOnco.io and Love Heals Cancer is a sacred, healing platform for cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and everyone involved in the battle against cancer, where we all unite to share our feelings and experiences from the past. The sole intention of these Healing Circles is to help different individuals feel comfortable and relatable so that they dont feel alone. Furthermore, these online circles aim to motivate individuals to come out of their emotional, physical, mental, and social trauma that cancer may have caused. At each of our webinars, we invite a promising speaker to help inspire these individuals, thereby helping them feel content and relaxed. At the same time, we keep the circle open for everyone to share their own inspirational stories.
About the Speaker
Hunny Kapoor is a cancer survivor, motivational speaker and social activist. He was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma in 2015 and lost his leg to it, but is now breaking stereotypes and inspiring others by being a role model. After his cancer journey, he widened his horizon and is now working with different cancer awareness organizations, apart from being a marathoner and rider despite being an amputee.
Hunny Kapoor shares his journey
My cancer journey started at the end of 2014 when I was finishing my graduation from Delhi University. I was leading a very normal life and was very satisfied with it when one day, out of the blue, I developed a Pain in my ankle. I consulted a doctor who did my X-Ray and put me on antibiotics, but I was not satisfied as the Pain didnt recede. I ended up switching my doctors 2-3 times, but none of them could correctly diagnose my problem. Finally, I consulted an orthopedic surgeon, who asked me to undergo some tests and scans. Finally, they found a tumor, but they were unsure whether it was a benign or malignant tumor. But the doctors assured me that an incision Biopsy would be done, and I will be back on track with college life within three days.
I was not the least expecting what life had in store for me. During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon, who had 35 years of experience in his field, found something fishy and did his level best to remove the tumor, but he was also not aware that it was cancer. When the Biopsy reports came, we realized that it was Synovial Sarcoma and that it had already reached stage three.
It was on 13th March that I got to know the news that I had Synovial Sarcoma. I was not able to share this news with anyone for two days. During those 48 hours, I tried to attempt suicide, but then fortunately, I could not succeed in my attempts. After two days, I shared the news with my mom and dad. My mother started crying, but what shook me was when my father also started crying, and that was the first time I saw tears in my dads eyes. Something hit me so hard that I decided the very moment that I am not going to quit because I am their 21 years of investment. My parents could not understand and accept the fact that their son who was just 21 years old, got diagnosed with cancer. It was a disturbing period, but then slowly and gradually, we started consulting doctors, got to know about Synovial Sarcoma and its treatment, and started the cancer journey.
Detaching the stigmas attached to Cancer
Cancer is still a taboo in India, and we need to create more and more awareness of it in our country. We have to tell the caregivers and society that it is not a contagious disease. We need to show love, care and empathy to cancer patients. Cancer patients need to open up and share what they are feeling inside. There are many things that a cancer patient has to go through. For example- the society’s mindset, people lose their hair, lose or gain body weight, making them vulnerable physically, mentally and emotionally, and society judges in all ways. Firstly, you need to accept yourself and the reality and understand that life is just 10% of what happens with us and the rest 90% is how we react to it.
People getting separated because of Cancer
Cancer is not the only thing that hurts the patient or the survivors. The separation and ignorance of loved ones are the main reason people get weak emotionally.
There is no guarantee in life; no one knows what incidence can happen to them. When you are with the person and sharing a bond of either friendship, companionship, parenthood or whatever, be with them till their last. Nothing will bother a person when they know that you are with him/her forever.
Dont separate because of financial reasons, societal mindsets or judgmental things. Please dont leave a person in a hole form where he can not ever come out.
Stigmas attached to Disability
My life introduced me to a U-turn and I was left with the option to get my right leg amputated. Disability by birth and acquiring disability during your lifetime are two different things. I spent 21 years of my life being a normal person, which is what our society has given the name, but then there are many other names for differently-abled people too.
We are different, yet we can do things on our own. Differently-abled are the people who are dependent on others. In my case, I am dependent on my prosthetic leg. Initially, I have fallen down so many times. I have re-lived the moment wherein I hold my parents hand to learn to walk because I could not trust a metal rod to bear my body weight.
I am a passionate rider, and I dont have any customization in my bike; I drive manually. Practice makes man perfect, and it is the key to success.
When I was 21 and got diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, I first lost my health, degree, and finally, my long time girlfriend. I was aware that I had to undergo amputation and was devastated because of this news. Secondly, because of cancer, I could not give my final year exams, and my career got stuck at that point. Thirdly, in my case, my parents were crying a lot, worrying about me. I was also in a relationship with a girl for the last five years, but because of our societys mindset and her dads thinking on what will other people say, I lost that relationship. I was like a free bird with nothing to lose. When I reached that point, I decided not to let one more Hunny Kapoor go through this. No one should get exploited because of our societys mindset, financial basis, lack of support groups or guidance; things that I didnt have during my journey. This is why I decided that I need to do something on my own and show other people that you can still be the reason for happiness in others lives.
How to always remain positive and hopeful?
You need to develop hobbies because you tend to forget everything going around you when you are passionate about something. You need to shift your focus from the Pain to the other things and look out for others who have been through similar situations and see how they came out of it.
How do people start loving themselves?
Reality took my leg away, but then my dreams got wings. I was very determined with the feeling that I had to do it, and I had to achieve. Its been five years since my Synovial Sarcoma diagnosis, and I have kept small goals for me, for which I work very dedicatedly. Firstly, when the doctors said that I had to undergo amputation, I thought I might be bedridden for the rest of my life, but at least I would be able to see my parents, and they would be able to have me in the front of their eyes. Secondly, when I got to know that there are prosthetic legs and that I will be able to walk like before on my own without any support, I started from there. It was painful initially, but within a month, I had started walking, and after that, I started driving a two-wheeler.
I gradually started running marathons, and till now, I have completed almost 50 marathons, including 21 km marathons also. My message is that if I can do this, then you can too. I started riding, swimming, and going to the gym regularly. I believe that the fire is inside you, and you just need to look out for it.
People tend to leave you in your darkest phase of life; how should one prepare mentally to deal with such events?
I lost so many friends and a long time partner because of our societys mindset and pressure. Its been one and a half years since I have been married. It was my first public speaking event where I was sharing my journey, and she was there among the audience. It started from there, and finally we tied a knot of marriage. Her parents were completely against this marriage, but then she took a stand and said ‘I am in love with this guy and I need to get married to him in any which way. I told her that it would not be an easy journey because of our societys mindset, but she stood for me. The point is you need to love someones soul, not the physical body.
Separation can be because of various reasons, and I have seen so many cases around me where people get separated, but the mutual decision is the big thing. It would be best if you decide mutually and not leave a person in such a dilemma that he/she will not be able to fight with the disease. The key is to look into yourself and find out how you can manage negative things and balance your life.
Difference in the workplace after the cancer journey
It was a big-time challenge for me. My parents didnt allow me to shift back to Delhi for my career and job after cancer. Panipat is Asias largest handloom hub, so I started my career here as a merchandiser, but its a full field job as well. I was asked how I would be able to hold goods and always had a question mark over my head. But my answer was always that I would fulfill every requirement they look for in the candidate, but they need to trust me. Though I have some restrictions, and I am slow in some parts, I will be able to fulfill those requirements in one way or another.
You need to change societys mindset slowly and gradually to show them that you can do everything.
Message for cancer patients and caregivers
Rajendra Shah- Every cancer patient should pursue one hobby. They should go for a plantation because it is so soothing and it teaches us many things. I feel so happy when I go and touch green leaves.
Mehul Vyas- Keep yourself busy. Never give up and keep in mind that you have more privileges than others, and you are always better than someone. Lets go one step and one day at a time.
Rohit- Be positive and have strong willpower. All the difference lies in a positive mindset.
Pranab Ji- Survivors and caregivers should have some time to spend with themselves. Support groups are the need of the hour. Caregivers sometimes have fatigue, and to avoid it they should concentrate on some relaxing ways like reading or listening to music.
Hunny- Why to have fear in life that what would happen, whatever may happen at least you would have experience. I believe that broken crayons still color, so if there is any setback in your life, you can become the reason for happiness in others lives. Be creative, believe in yourself and never stop; keep moving forward.