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Monica Gulati (Urinary Bladder Cancer): How Cancer Taught Me to Live

Monica Gulati (Urinary Bladder Cancer): How Cancer Taught Me to Live

I finished a PhD in NeuroImmunology from the University of Zurich in 2009. For some reason, I decided to quit Science right after my PhD. During my research in Autoimmune diseases like Myasthenia Gravis and Multiple Sclerosis, I felt I would never be able to come close to a cure for these Autoimmune conditions just by Science. I felt the need for a perspective on the mental and emotional aspects of the patients as well, and only then could a holistic, integral approach be planned.

https://youtu.be/6C36gXxL9UM

I came back to India to be with my parents and began working with an organization dealing with college students, and there I tried to bring actualization in them to live an authentic life. That work somehow resonated deeply with me. In 2010 I found my partner Lokesh and felt deeply connected with him. We then married in May of 2010.

Post-marriage, I started restricting myself to a limited role of being a daughter-in-law or a wife, thus overlooking my life purpose. I realized that this was not my true identity. It felt like I was adjusting to a tight-fit shirt and wondering the roots of discomfort emanating. I became aware of all of these invisible incidences after I got diagnosed with Cancer, and this was when I discerned the importance of life.

And that is why I believe Cancer came as a friend to me, bringing light into my life in disguise. In 2014, after the birth of our second child, I was diagnosed with Stage I Cancer of the Urinary Bladder.

It started with a bit of bleeding in my urine. Since the bleeding used to clear itself after a couple of urines and was completely painless, I thought it to be UTI. But it wasn't. In the beginning phases, it used to happen occasionally. But I got worried when the frequency increased to once and sometimes twice weekly. I did an Ultrasound, which revealed some abnormal cell growth in my urinary bladder.

The Sonologist suspected something sinister was going on in my bladder. And then, I went to a Urologist, who agreed with the opinion of the Sonologist and pointed out the abnormal growth in the bladder.

I was suggested TURBT, a Surgery to remove the tumours from the bladder. My world came to a standstill. The whole world and its activities did not matter. My attention turned entirely within. Somehow my mind became highly vigilant. I somehow had a forfeit that these were my emotions which had led to this concoction manifesting now as Cancer.

It was as if I was getting a practical demonstration of the thought at which I finished my PhD. Thoughts and emotions are the ones that influence the body, and an impaired balance manifests in the body as a disease or as a symptom. Now I had a very intimate experiment to fiddle around with.

Very soon, I found a mentor who helped me detox emotionally and mentored me to clear my mental and emotional prisons. I had put my Surgery on hold for these three months, which I was taking a once-a-week session with my mentor. After three months, I busted fear out of my system, and I was ready to face whatever was in store with gratitude. I underwent the Surgery and then had a standard follow-up treatment of BCG instillations in the bladder for about five months. Because of the mental state that I was in, I was able to make peace with my existing circumstances, thus being calm and more composed than ever before. And now, I am very much grateful for my life and want to make it to the fullest.

There were painful phases during the treatment, but luckily with the support of the whole family and my newfound faith in the Universe, all was just a matter of time.

I am thankful that Cancer happened to me. It woke me up to my essence, to my inner being. It opened me up to the love that generally waits to be unmasked within all of us. It gave a shattering blow to my ego and grounded me in faith in the Universe and its creation. The Universe is not against us; instead, it is for us; whatever happens in life is nothing but a signal to move deeper and closer to our true selves.

If Cancer had not happened, I would have spent a lifetime fitting into those little roles, too constricted to contain the divinity and spark of light we all are. However, now that I have known the truth, I can do justice to any role I play.

I feel I was living with an even more severe illness than Cancer. I was hardly living a more prosperous and fuller life. But now, I cherish each day as it comes, and I do not worry much about the future about to happen occurrences, suffocating myself in the present.

I feel there is a strong faith that has emerged as a result of Cancer that if the Universe puts me on a path, it will ensure that I am taken care of. At the same time, it is not a passive state of living. I engage myself in works that deeply touch and evolve and keep me closer to my essence. It could be anything. I consider the only 'Swadharma' is being in touch with the light we are gifted with; all of it is secondary. Even Cancer or remission then is secondary.

I have developed a solid deep connection with Kabir, an intuitive connection with the Dohas, with his songs from the folk oral traditions. I now run a Kabir Circle in my community, where we sing and discuss doshas and songs, relate them to our daily lives, and share our experiences. I am also profoundly associated with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which inspires me and gives food to my soul.

Whatever I engage in, I make sure that it is one with my whole being and that I am not shredded into pieces while doing anything. And this is what Cancer has gifted it to me.

I wonder how this tail of a dog that I was (maybe still am) would have ever straightened up if I did not have the noose of Cancer hanging over my head.

There is a belief that the difficulty we are gifted with brings light in disguise. It may be a difficult person, a problematic family, or a difficult situation. The role of the Universe is to get in touch with our light; for that, different situations are created, which we start to label as good or bad. They are neither good nor bad; their only motive is to help us recognize that light.

Lastly, I would like to share some books that helped me during my journey:

Dying to be me by Anita Moorjani
Consciousness Heals by Dr Newton Kondaveti
Infinite Self by Stuart Wilde
The Journey by Brandon Bays
Integral Healing by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

I feel grateful to all the mentors and Gurus I met on this path and seekers that I have been blessed to connect with.

Since 2016 I have been healthy: mentally, emotionally and physically. And now I feel my life has just begun.

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