About the Healing Circle
The Healing Circle at Love Heals Cancer and ZenOnco.io aim to give cancer patients, caregivers, and winners a safe space to share their feelings or experiences. This circle is built on the foundation of kindness and respect. It is a sacred space where everyone listens with compassion and treats each other with honour. All the stories are confidential, and we believe that we have the guidance we need within us, and we rely on the power of silence to access it.
About the speaker
Cancer Healing Circle Talks with Dr Shruti Pundkar, Cancer Survivor. During her third year of dentistry, she noticed a swelling behind her ear, and it was growing. She realised it was carcinoma after some tests. Surgery was done as a part of her treatment. Shruti realised cancer is just another word which won’t stop her from living. She started focusing on her studies and got the degree she always wanted. She always wanted to give back to the community through research. She says Meditation for 10 minutes can cause miracles. Also, think positively.
Dr. Shruti Pundkar’s journey
Signs and symptoms
I was only 22 when I was diagnosed with cancer. In my third year of BDS, my faculty discussed lymph nodes in one of the lectures. Then I realised a swelling behind the ears. Even my friend agreed with me. After a week, I asked my faculty about it. He said it could be inflammatory or reactive. Lymph nodes can enlarge after any infection. So, I ignored it and focused on my studies and exams. After a few days, when my third year nearly ended, I went home. My mother noticed the swelling and became concerned about it. At the end of my final year, the swelling didn’t go away after almost ten to eleven months. Just before the final examination, I started to have a fever which was not a good sign. So, I fixed an appointment with a doctor. I had gone for a checkup earlier, but the results were normal that time.
The doctors knew about my BDS degree. After USD, it was clear that the swelling was a tumour. But I didn’t know if it was benign or malignant. I gave my theory papers and cleared my exams successfully. I wanted to do an internship after my degree. But the surgery dates also came up. It was scheduled just two days after my internship. During my surgery, only my mom was with me. I didn’t want to scare my family, so I shared the news only with my mom.
The surgery was risky, and it could have resulted in facial paralysis. But it was urgent to remove the tumour. The surgery went well. Biopsy results showed that the tumour was malignant. My family was worried. Even I was concerned and scared. That time was so tough on me.
The surgery was risky, and it could have resulted in facial paralysis. But it was urgent to remove the tumour. The surgery went well. Biopsy results showed that the tumour was malignant. My family was worried. Even I was concerned and scared. That time was so tough on me. In fact, it is hard for many people. You can face it bravely if you have someone with you. I was alone at that time as I am an introvert. I didn’t have many friends to talk to and share my thoughts with. You must find your purpose during these challenging times to keep you motivated. The doctors said that the tumour was wholly and successfully removed. Fortunately, there was no malignant part left behind.
A change in outlook
Earlier, I wasn’t living my life. One may think of taking a break. But it wasn’t an option for me. I wanted to do a PhD after my studies. I wanted to do something big and serve the community. So, I continued my studies and even completed my internship. Currently, I am pursuing community dentistry. I chose this discipline because I want to serve the community.
A sense of purpose
There are seven healing practices. A sense of purpose is one of them. It is seen in many cancer patients that a sense of purpose can help to fight cancer. These seven practices can help win over cancer or extend and improve the quality of life. The treatments like chemotherapy have a lot of side effects. You must be mentally prepared to fight the stress and cope with the side effects. For this, mental well-being is vital. It is where a sense of purpose comes into the picture. It gives the essential strength and willpower to stay motivated and keep fighting.
Other healing factors
You should eat well and healthily. You should be mindful of what you put into your body. You should have an anticancer diet and eat healthily during treatment. Try to continue this diet during and even after your recovery. Another healing factor is staying active. It would help if you remained confined to the bed. Try to do simple and less straining exercises or go for walks. Being physically active can help for a faster recovery.
The third one is stress management. We all have stress. Managing stress is essential. It can vary from person to person. For some, it is talking to friends, while others do gardening to relieve stress. You should have something that will help to cope with the stress.
The fourth healing factor is getting adequate and proper sleep. It is vital to get sufficient sleep. Sometimes, cancer patients can’t sleep. Various ways can help, like melatonin, dim lights, etc.
One of the healing factors is creating a healing environment. You should ensure that your home is chemical-free. You may keep some plants to make you feel comfortable.
Willpower is critical if you want to achieve anything. It is also a healing factor. Being surrounded by loved ones can give you the strength to fight cancer. Will power matter a lot during the treatment and recovery.
You should note that these healing factors are based on much research work and watching many cancer patients. So, you can use these healing factors to heal yourself and move forward with your cancer journey.