“When I was 26 years old I got diagnosed with colon cancer.
I had gotten engaged just a month ago and was soon going to get married. However, I decided to fight the immediate battle that was in front of me.
I went through a major surgery to remove the cancer and took a sabbatical in order to get my chemotherapy done.
My chemotherapy took about 7 months.
During those days, I had plenty of time in hand. I decided to utilize it for everything that I had been putting off for an uncertain future -- travel more, get better at photography, tick things off my bucket list.
After my treatment ended, I got married.
But then came another jolt I wasn't prepared for. Ten months ago, I lost my father. I was in an unbearable mental frame. I was unable to process my thoughts. I tried busying myself with work, but nothing seemed to work.
So two months ago, when Apollo Cancer Centre told me about an opportunity to go on a Himalayan trek with Indiahikes, I was immediately interested. The idea behind it -- to break the social stigma about a cancer survivor's life -- made me more keen.
Sushrut on the Dayara Bugyal Trek
The exposure to nature had a profound impact on me. Being able to walk in the lush green forests, without having any man-made establishments around took my mind and heart to a different place. Instead of the traffic I was listening to the birds chirping.
On the summit, when we were given a postcard to write a note I could only remember my father. I didn’t expect it, but tears started rolling down my eyes.
If he were alive, I’m sure he would have been so proud of me for doing something like this.
I had not got a chance to reflect on how far I have come in my journey after surviving cancer. Trekking to Dayara Bugyal and having multiple reflections with the other survivors and our Trek Leader Aditya gave me the chance to realize how grateful I am for the life I'm living after cancer.
After returning from the trek, I told myself, "There will always be one more summit ahead. I’ll always be able to climb it. I only have to focus on taking it one step at a time.”
Sushrut, Indiahikes Trekker.