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How Cancer walked into my life – The Diagnosis

Let’s start with a brief introduction of mine. I am a 32 year old female residing in Mumbai with my lovely family. There are 6 of us- My husband, 2 yr. old son, father in law (67), mother in law (65) and Bua in law (my father in law’s sister- 75 yrs. old). My parents reside in Delhi.

By profession, I am an HR working with an FMCG company.

In June’19, when the life was moving as usual, I detected a tiny lump in my left breast. I conveniently ignored the lump when I first felt, thinking that it isn’t anything serious and may dissolve on its own. Afterall, I can’t be the one having ‘that’ lump which we generally read about in Breast Cancer (BC) related news. Further, I am just 32, while even the voluntary mammogram tests (in India) are suggested to be done only after the age of 40.

Little did I know, that this tiny lump had the potential to change my life forever.

Few weeks later, the lump was persisting and I discussed about it with my Husband, who suggested of discussing the same with doctor. In one of the visits to my regular dermatologist (on 15th Sep’19), I mentioned about the presence of this lump which has increased in size by now. The doctor checked and asked me to immediately get a ‘sono-mammogram’ done. The concern in her voice made me rush immediately to a nearby hospital. The test was done. While my radiologist was working on the report, I kept on looking at her face to find any signs of concern. Finally, the report which mentioned the presence of a ‘malignant tumor’ was handed over to me and I was asked to meet an oncologist. On my way back to home, I was thinking and hoping as well for the report to be wrong; further how the hell would I find an oncologist?

I reached home & disclosed the diagnosis to my family and we unanimously agreed that the report can be wrong 😊.

However, since, I had already delayed the matter by a few months and there was a visible concern in the voice of my dermatologist & radiologist, my family decided to get an opinion from an oncologist as well to rule out chances of cancer. With no family history of Cancer and not having come across any cancer patients earlier there were a lot of thoughts running in my head. What if the diagnosis is not wrong?  Am I gonna die because of cancer? How much time is left with me? However, what I was sure of is, even if it is cancer, from this day onwards I am going to give it my best fight till I am alive.

Online searches and reaching out to local communities helped us zero down an Onco-surgeon in Mumbai for Breast Cancer. Fate made us meet one of the BC survivors residing in our apartments itself. In our first meeting with them, the survivor family (husband & wife) opened up for a hearty chat and shared their entire 7-8 mths cancer journey with us. The way they had fought cancer was really encouraging & instilled a new hope in us that survival is possible if the battle is fought with complete positivity & mental strength. We learnt about the line of treatment from them and settled our anxiety. Infact, they were the ones who recommended one of the best Onco-surgeons to us and helped get an immediate appointment.

Waiting patiently for our turn to meet the onco-surgeoon

So, the next day we went to see the doc. We were being positive and hence, while waiting outside the doctor’s room, we were still praying for the diagnosis to be wrong. Our turn came & we met one of the most chilled out doctors (much needed for a doc dealing with cancer patients). Biopsy & PETScan followed. Results came and on 19th Sep’19 and I was informed that I have Stage-2 Breast cancer. However, the good news was that while cancer had spread to my lymph nodes it had not metastasized to any other organ. Hence, was a better case of being CURABLE.

‘CURABLE’, this was the most precious word I had heard in past 6 days and gave me courage to prepare better for the battles which are going to come during my treatment.

These 6 days taught me a lot & looking back I now feel grateful to Cancer (yes, I am crazy) for making me experience these days & many more which tested my confidence, determination and ability to fight. Few lessons I learnt:

  • While fate is decided by the superpower, our destiny is decided by the choices & decisions we make. In these 6 days of uncertainty, when I didn’t know where my fate is taking me – I chose not to spend time worrying & giving up on LIFE here & now. I chose not to cry when day by day the diagnosis of cancer in my body was getting firmed up by each diagnostic test. I chose to lead the life with happiness at home and at work and I feel proud of these choices that I made which became the bedrock of my journey henceforth.
17th Sep 2019- Celebrating Prateek’s (my husband) birthday while he was initially unwilling to
  • When calamity strikes, it’s not only you but your entire family fights. Battles which are fought together give the toughest fight to the opponent. Hence, Love & Respect your family unconditionally.
  • In case of cancer, Early detection does save life. When unsure of the reason for something unusual you are experiencing in your body, DO NOT IGNORE it. Show to the doctor. In case of breast or armpit symptoms like lump or a secretion – your gynecologist can advise for a mammogram if needed.

The life & my perspective towards life have changed dramatically post this diagnosis. I will keep penning down the journey as it unfolds and my feelings & learnings during the same.

Coming up next- Breaking the news to near & dear ones- Oh..It’s Cancer!


Published by shreshtha mittal

I am a Career & Wellbeing Coach, Speaker, Blogger and a Cancer survivor. As a Career & wellbeing coach I partner with corporate professionals or business owners looking for career shifts, growth at existing careers or to get better at managing personal well- being. I have partnered with clients from 11+ countries to support them identify and confidently make better choices in life. I am also a blogger and a keynote speaker for corporates & non corporates alike. Have been able to touch 40K+ lives so far through 12 sessions. My sessions aim to inspire & help people become a better version of themselves. I am actively involved in spreading Cancer Awareness too ( a topic close to my heart being a Breast Cancer Survivor myself). Curiosity & Courage define me. I live by the quote "I am not afraid of failure, I am afraid of not growing" For inspirational speaker sessions/ for hiring a career and wellbeing coach or a life skills trainer, you may DM or connect with me on

51 thoughts on “How Cancer walked into my life – The Diagnosis

  1. Remember , I keep calling you the richest girl in the world 😀 now I can with absolute pride call u the bravest girl that I know .
    This mighty spirit which u hv been displaying since the time of Parth’s medical condition and now wen u hv been a victim of an dreaded disease is beyond words .
    U r an amazing inspiration, great example of courage and determination to all of us.
    I am supremely confident tht u will not only defeat this illness with ur grit and determination but once u hv fully recovered , u will tk this entire experience to make a huge difference to not only ur life but also other people’s life who may need this quite badly .
    My prayers and best wishes r with u and ur family in this journey .
    We all r eagerly waiting for u to return bck to us fully fit and rocking .

    U Tc and get well soon Iron Lady 😊

    Dilip Ramchandran

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The enduring and perseverant Shreshtha. Good to know that you are working with such a strong mindset to combat the illness and at the same time to create an environment of peace around you. The freestyle fight that you are putting up is taking you closer and closer to victory. This time cancer has striked the wrong person and its defeat is inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was moved to the BRG floor , I was so thrilled to sit beside you in that lonely corner and thought to myself Im blessed to have got the seat next to the most pleasant person when my team was far away … your remarks bring a smile to my face at lunch time “Prima Have you eaten “..and the singsong Good mornings …then in Sep that week you snapped with an “unlike “ Shrestha remark and I sat brooding the whole day .. And thought To myself , something is seriously and two days later you disappeared …and then you returned in a fortnight and your look said it all.. I saw pain in your eyes and you came back stronger smiling and with a positive spirit … so again my offer is still open when you need someone to accompany you or be with you Just call .. Im a message away ….keep up the spirit and get back soon as the corner is really lonely there.. So first thing in the morning I say a prayer for you instead of the Good Mornings …God bless

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heyyyy.. our conversations still leave a smile on my face ..I will return soon and we will rock the corner again. .. I am blessed that someone is praying for my recovery daily…now I know from where I m getting the strength to withstand this stuff 😉


  4. Hi Shrestha,
    I can relate with every word written in the blog. It’s difficult to find a positive person like you. I clearly recall that we were having a very intense and engaging discussion on HR related topics and how casually and easily have you mentioned that you will be taking off for surgery. Let me tell you that I am your fan for the way you see life. Keep fighting and smiling!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Shrestha,
    I can relate with every word written in the blog. It’s difficult to find a positive person like you. I clearly recall that we were having a very intense and engaging discussion on HR related topics and how casually and easily have you mentioned that you will be taking off for surgery. Let me tell you that I am your fan for the way you see life. Keep fighting and smiling!


  6. Have known you only thru HR group ! But never knew behind this aspiration HR Leader was also a leader leading life no matter what it had to offer! Indeed a reflection of you mental and emotional strength! The way you expressed your experience from detection to treatment is a source of inspiration and your way to give back and raise hope to the millions who may need these words of encouragement and a message to millions of us who must learn to live life to the fullest! Prayers ..Power… love to you 💕god bless

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loads of blessings to you dear.. you will be heathly and cured completly soon..
    You are the ine of the brilliant girlzs i have met.. i am sure u will be courageous to fight back.. relax and follow medication 100% sure you will be fine

    Liked by 1 person

  8. मंजिले भी ज़िद्दी हैं, रास्ते भी ज़िद्दी हैं,
    देखें कल क्या हो, हौसले तो बहुत ज़िद्दी हैं।
    rare to see this kind of strength and courage.
    Wish you the best things in life ahead. God bless !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Shrestha.. you are so brave and an inspiration and source of strength for all of us. You have gone thru so much for someone so young and come back stronger each time, I am confident you (and we, your loving family) will get thru this as well. We all love you so much !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Shreshtaaaaaaa you will win this fight for sure. You are a fighter… Will pray for you daily and God is there.. God bless you. Take care.. Shreshtaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is very inspiring Shreshtha! I am just blown away by the positivity of your spirit and the strength you have. I am sure that others who are going through their treatment just like you will drive a lot of inspiration from you. Btw loved the photo that you posted on Prat’s birthday right after your diagnosis. You are a super woman and wish you a speedy recovery. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Shrestha,

    The blog made me very emotional, as one of my very close friend is also battling breast cancer.

    I showed her your blog and she was awestruck by the strength displated by you. And so am I in awe.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. Please keep posting. More strength to you and what you habe started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Pavan.. thanks for sharing this…this is one of the reasons why I started penning down my help other fighters to appreciate the journey and trust the treatment process ..your comments give me a push to write more..keep sharing with your friend 🙂


  13. Bravo! I know you will overcome this situation. Our best wishes and prayers for you. Thanks for sharing. It does generate awareness and the inspiration to fight the battle. You are an inspiration for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Fortunes always favour the brave, luckily you are the bravest and hope very soon our nicest shrestha, will join her lovely and sincere team. You are a live example of how one can fight the adversaries of life with positive and hopeful frame of mind. Wishing you a speedy recovery and thanks to Ajay Grover for introducing us with such a lovely, nice and brave girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Shreshtha, we have not been in touch for a while and now I get this blog from you.

    You are truly incredible- in the way you have responded to this crisis. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

    Keep up this attitude and I’m sure you will conquer all odds. Best wishes to you for speedy recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Super …I m so impressed by your indomitable spirit…shrestha…you have already won…thank you for sharing your journey made such a positive impact on me…god bless you..and wish u speedy recovery.. kick the c word out for good….🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Such a positive post, amazing response to a situation that may bully down quite a few, what’s great is that you’ve managed to share that learning as well with others by choosing to share your story… kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dear Shreshtha,
    Thank you for penning your journey and explaining the intricate details of the treatment. My wife is currently undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 IBC with HER2+ and ER-, PR-.

    I have a question regarding the HER2-targeted therapy. Did you continue the same drug Herceptin during your targeted therapy or did you also have new drugs in addition (such as Perjeta, Kadcyla, etc.)?


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