Sonali Bendre on ignoring signs of cancer: As women, we are taught to endure pain

No more do we know Sonali Bendre as only a beautiful actress who lit up our screens on various occasion, especially during the '90s.  Sonali is now a warrior who has successfully passed through a taxing battle with cancer and still remains alert. Having been diagnosed with high-grade cancer, she flew to another country to get herself treated. While the country prayed for her, she put up a show of utmost bravery, inspiring many in the process. The actor, at the recently held CAHOCON 2019 organised by Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisation (CAHO) in Mumbai, opened up about her battle with cancer.

“I kept telling myself that I am putting in an eighteen-hour day, so obviously I am fine. And now that I look back, I ask myself – How did I do that? Then the question is – Why did I put up with this pain? What was I waiting for? For me to collapse and understand what my body was trying to tell me?" she said, recalling how she overlooked the signs that her body was giving her.

 

She also spoke about how women are often told (and taught) that enduring pain is a quality; especially with the reference of the painful process of giving birth to a child. "I did not look at what was happening to me. I did not ask too many questions. Probably as women, we are taught that ‘sehen-shakti acchhi baat hoti hai’ (it is good to have will power and tolerate pain). We have to be tough and endure pain. We are told that we have to bear a child, so we have to bear the pain. We are all told this and so we kind of internalise that. You tell yourselves that we can bear the pain and go on."

She also emphasised how crucial was it to detect cancer as early as possible and proceed with the treatment. Sonali's husband Goldie Behl was a rock-solid shoulder behind her. After the first lot of her treatment (and we do hope she doesn't need any more of it), Sonali has returned to Mumbai and has resumed work with much gusto.

More power to you!

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