“You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.”

-Dave Pelzer

She was all set to go on a pilgrimage to Mansarover in May 2015, but had to postpone her trip because of the massive earthquake in Nepal. She is 53 years old and weighs 80 kgs.This is no barrier for her. Not even the fact that she has undergone a major operation for breast cancer. Meet Mrs Meenabehn Nathwani of Rajkot Gujrat, who has become an epitome of courage and will power by defeating the scourge of cancer with the help of medicines, yogic exercises and meditation.

Meenabehn belongs to a middle class family. She did her graduation in Commerce and got married to an Army man. Her husband had to quit his job after 5 years because of his father’s serious illness. Back home the couple started running a canteen in a local College about 15 years ago. They sell snacks to the College students from 9 am to 12 noon.Meenabehn is fond of cooking a variety of dishes. This hobby soon became her profession. She started supplying ready-made food for birthdays and kitty parties. People praised the tasty dishes prepared by her. She says she never took it as a burden, but put her heart and soul into it. Her involvement can be seen from the fact that she always imagined the appreciation and blessings from the people who would eat the food cooked by her. Her husband also helps her in the Canteen as well as the catering business.

Meenabehn

                            Meenabehn Nathwani

Meena was leading a normal life bringing up her two sons and getting them married. The happiness of the family was punctured by an unexpected incident in June 2014, when she was diagnosed of breast cancer stage two. This shocking news disturbed her sons and daughters in law but she remained calm and stable. After a battery of medical tests she was advised to undergo operation.

She had a doubt whether the cancer had spread to other organs, so she got further tests done. Fortunately she was relieved to know that it was only localized. She heard an inner voice telling her “nothing will happen, you will be alright”.She believed it with unwavering faith and all the negativities vanished! “I decided with firm determination that I have to defeat cancer” said Meenabehn.

She prepared herself mentally for the D day .Belief in God and constant prayers gave her strength. The operation was successfully performed on 12 Sept 2014.Regular doses of medicines along with Chemotherapy sessions continued for about three months which caused weakness and aversion for food. Her positive bent of mind kept her away from depression. “I took all nutritious food even if they were not to my taste or liking, as I needed energy to recoup” said Meena. Her family supported her all through her illness and always gave her hope. Her main source of strength was her affirmation,”I am perfectly healthy and full of energy. Each day and in every way I am getting better and better”

Her belief in God has stood her in good stead all through her life. She has gone on pilgrimage to Amarnath and other shrines. Three months after the operation she consulted a yoga teacher Nirmal Sinh Jadeja who advised her to practice Pranayama & meditation. After another three months she resumed her ‘asana’ practice & in next six months she was diagnosed completely healthy by her doctors .Meena does yogic exercises daily for one hour in the morning and meditation for one hour daily in the evening. Talking about her philosophy of life she said, “no one is aware of the future, there will be ups and downs in life. Sad moments and illness may occur, but one should maintain his balance.Strenghten your will power and don’t let negativities come near you.If you do this then you can achieve whatever you want.” When asked to give a message to cancer patients, she said “Don’t worry or panic when cancer is detected.You should remain stable and after six or seven months you will get back to normal life. Always think positive and expect the best. Draw strength from prayers and you will be blessed. Meenabehn radiates hope and confidence in cancer patients when she talks to them. She is all set to go on a trip to Mansarover, which is not easy for normally healthy people.

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