Neck cancer didnt stop this survivor from becoming a classical singer

Neck cancer didnt stop this survivor from becoming a classical singer

by Vinod Mudliar


Posted on November 16, 2017 12:11PM



It was July 2010, I was just done with my final year engineering exams. Monsoons have arrived in Mumbai and what better way to enjoy the evenings than a game of football with friends. Few minutes into the kickoff and it wasn’t just another usual game. I blacked out for some time and it was quite alarming as I sensed something was very terribly wrong. My doctor gauging the seriousness of my complaints immediately asked me to undergo scans, which revealed a lesion and without any further delay I was asked to undergo a surgery.

A week later my family, friends and I were in for a rude shock when my biopsy reports confirmed that the lesion was malignant. I was diagnosed with third stage cancer of nasopharynx. The news of cancer itself came as a thunderbolt and it was all the more difficult for a reason seeking mind to accept the diagnosis; my oncologists ruled out all possible causes of this particular type of cancer and declared that the disease occurred for unspecified reasons. It was a complete irony to have been struck by cancer despite being a teetotaler and a non-smoker. (The risk and susceptibility of cancer in smokers is very real, and statistically proven) 

 "I was seeking reasons as to why this has happend to me but soon I realised that this is a futile exercise as it only put me through more stress, anxiety, distress and mental trauma. All of those emotions which will certainly not help you or make your life easier in your fight with cancer." 

I was seeking reasons as to why this has happend to me but soon I realised that this is a futile exercise as it only put me through more stress, anxiety, distress and mental trauma. All of those emotions which will certainly not help you or make your life easier in your fight with cancer. Very soon I realised that even if I knew the answer it wouldn't change the outcome of my treatment. I was motivated to make further positive holistic lifestyle changes for my well-being and to beat my cancer.  As time passed, I made peace with the fact that even in the modern age of technological advances, not everything happens for a known reason.

Having undergone grueling treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for nine months, I feel blessed to have got a new lease of life. Thanks to the support of my family, doctors, nursing staff, friends, well-wishers and music I could reach the light at the end of the tunnel. The two years of treatment and recovery were one of the most trying times of my life. It was a battle on physical, emotional and mental levels and fighting stigma attached with the cancer didn’t come easy either.

"Life has changed in many ways post cancer treatment. I have learnt to take my worst pains in my stride and I have only grown stronger from this entire experience."

Life has changed in many ways post cancer treatment. I have learnt to take my worst pains in my stride and I have only grown stronger from this entire experience.  Post cancer I have always wanted to work for cancer patients and help them and their family in their battle against cancer. I have been acquainted with cancer NGOs and I have found the experience of reaching out to cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, participating in anti-tobacco campaigns, advocating for awareness of the disease and addressing the stigma attached to cancer very fulfilling and purposeful.

I have been very passionate about music right since childhood. It’s with great humility I share that I completed Visharadh in Hindustani Classical Vocals in 2016. It gives me a great sense of achievement to get back to singing from times when I couldn’t speak, eat or even drink water and was on PEG feeding for 9 months of the treatment. Over the years my interests in field of cancer care grew strong and I switched fields from engineering to counseling and psychology. To this effect I completed my Post Graduate Diploma in Counseling from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and I am currently pursuing my masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of San Diego. 

"Cancer diagnosis is no doubt tough to come to terms with, but early diagnosis is key to cancer treatment. With modern medical and technological advances, cancer treatment has made tremendous progress in treating the disease."

Cancer diagnosis is no doubt tough to come to terms with, but early diagnosis is key to cancer treatment. With modern medical and technological advances, cancer treatment has made tremendous progress in treating the disease. There are plenty of inspirational stories of cancer survivors to draw strength, courage and motivation from. Fighting cancer is not a one Man’s/ Woman’s fight and I would encourage family, friends and caregivers to support patients through their journey to fight the ‘Big C’. I wish and hope your battle today will be a great source of motivation for fighters to come!

You can listen to few of Vinod's songs here

 

 

 

 

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