Jeroo Wadhera To JWB: ‘I Am Waiting To Step Out The Day My Chemo Gets Over’
- IWB Post
- October 22, 2016
This Pink October JWB celebrates the courage and spirit of breast cancer survivors unearthing their emotions and struggles. JWB’s campaign ICANcer will introduce you to the journey of these women fighters who fought and survived breast cancer.
Each of those women inspired me in the true sense but there was something a little extra special about the courage Jeroo Wadhera possessed. I got to know that her cancer had reoccurred, and she is undergoing her chemo. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 at her second stage and had to get a mastectomy done then.
In her soft voice, she went on to explain, “I had a very severe cough for over seven months and I consulted several doctors for the same. I couldn’t eat, and I lost weight eventually. So I asked my doctor who used to treat me for diabetes and blood pressure, and he advised me to get my CT scan done. But by then I was so scared of these machines that I wanted just to get cured by medications. As time passed, it got worse, and I had to get my CT scan done. It was then revealed that my lymph nodes had enlarged and thus I had to get it removed. After a few other tests, I had to undergo biopsy, and then immediately my chemo started.”
Me: What keeps you motivated to fight this battle all over again?
Jeroo Wadhera: I was and am very positive about life and that urge of wanting to get healthy again keeps building my confidence.
Also, during the first time I was a teacher at St. Anselm’s School and cancer forced me to take a four-month leave. All my colleagues made me feel very wanted and loved. I had a great bonding with the fellow teachers and so somebody used to bring breakfast, somebody lunch, and those gestures made me feel really blessed and important. And so, one month post my last chemo, I even started working.
I am a very happy person under any circumstances. I like to be an asset and not a liability, and so with this thought, I keep moving forward in my life.
Me: One craziest thing you have done in that phase?
Jeroo Wadhera: After my third chemo I went to Delhi with my friend.
Hearing this, I immediately asked: “Was it allowed?”
To which she replied with a smirk: “Who asked!”
And, she went to confess how on reaching Bikaner House she started to sink and felt weak.
Jeroo Wadhera: But it’s okay since that was my choice. I am not someone who would sit and sob or feel bad. I mean if I have got it I have to fight it, and there’s no other way.
After going through all that, I have really learned to count my blessings. Whenever I go to the Mahaveer Cancer Hospital, and I see patients whose jaws have been removed or pipes are coming out of their noses etc. , I feel my condition is so much better. Though, this time it has become difficult because I have lost 12 kgs. Otherwise, the last time I was pretty healthy. I had a record of full attendance for many years while I was teaching in Anselm’s.
Me: Did you ever have ‘I give up’ days and how did you cope with them?
Jeroo Wadhera: I am not somebody who likes to complain. And being a teacher most of my time was consumed in school and post that I had to manage the house. I didn’t really get time to give up. And on the rarest of those days when I felt low, I either used to go for a walk in the park or drive off somewhere or go to the temple.
Me: What do you like to do when you meet your closest friend?
Jeroo Wadhera: My friend and I are total foodies. I cook, and she eats. And we are so crazy for food that we like to taste and experiment all the new restaurants and cafes opened in the city. The most recent crazy food memory together was when I went for her son’s wedding to Bangalore. I remember how those 4-5 days were only about trying different cuisines and treating our stomachs totally.
Me: One place you want to travel to?
She: Any place would do where I get to go on a cruise.
Me: One celebrity you want to dance with?
She: (Thinking she would say, Amitabh Bachchan, her answer surprised me. And who she named is my favorite, too.) Deepika Padukone!
Me: One luxury thing you want to buy?
She: A nice fancy solitaire ring would be great, she laughed.
Me: One hobby you want to pursue?
She: I would love to get back to my stitching.
Me: One pet you want to have?
She: Dogs and dogs, she replied. I love them.
Me: What will you do the day you get over with your chemo?
She: I am just waiting for the chemo to get over, get back my strength and step out of the house. I am an outdoor person.
Strength is all that counts when you’re fighting a battle. As Ernest Hemingway put it, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”