Roar of Lions: How I Healed My Breast Cancer: An Insight Into Spirituality

Roar of Lions: How I Healed My Breast Cancer: An Insight Into Spirituality

by Nazmina Ladhani


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452569017
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 03/27/2013
Pages: 102
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.24(d)

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Roar of Lions

How I Healed My Breast Cancer: An Insight into Spirituality

By Nazmina Ladhani

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2013 Nazmina Ladhani
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4525-6901-7



Personal Story: Entering the Jungle

Have you ever had a perfect morning? One where the sun was shining brightly, the sky was clear and blue, and the air was fresh? I had such a day. It was a stunningly beautiful Saturday morning with a clear, azure sky—an absolutely perfect summer's day. At that time, I had already been off work due to another health issue and was in Toronto for a "recuperation" weekend. I had activities planned and was looking forward to a fun and relaxing time. Little did I know then that my life was about to change.

While taking a refreshing shower on that superb summer morning, I discovered three lumps in a cluster in my right breast on the side leading toward the armpit. The cluster wasn't visible with the naked eye (I had checked in the mirror), but I could certainly feel them when I touched the area. I was understandably surprised, but at the same time, I was not overly alarmed. I knew that many lumps are benign, and certainly, I wasn't going to worry about them at this point. I didn't even know how long the cluster had been there, as I had not been doing regular checkups on myself. Of course, this was the first lesson I learned—always do regular checkups. Deciding not to pay too much attention to it at that moment, I was determined to be as positive as possible. Lots of fun things had been planned for this weekend and I'd really been looking forward to it for a long time, so nothing was going to spoil it.

The first step when I returned to Ottawa was to consult with my family doctor. His initial impression was that they looked benign, but to be on the safe side, he recommended tests at the hospital. The appointment was two weeks away.

During those two weeks, I decided that the best medicine for me was to take control of this issue and the first step on my journey was to remain positive. I worked hard at trying to train my self-conscious to work with my body in sending and receiving positive messages. I continually told myself that the lumps were not cancerous. This had put me more in a better frame of mind for my appointment.

My goal right from the start was always to be as healthy as I could be. I have always felt that worrying is a waste of energy. I needed my body and mind to work together on this issue, so it was important to be positive no matter what came my way. I wanted to have a good perspective, be able to see things clearly, and remain calm, so that I would be better able to make the right decisions along the way. Especially if the news was that I had cancer. It was going to be mind over matter.

When I went for my mammogram, I was mentally ready. I wanted the test so that we could determine my state of health. The test went well, but the results still were not very clear. I was a bit apprehensive, but I always believe that worrying is a waste of energy. I controlled myself and trusted enough in me to look ahead in a positive manner.

The next step was to have a biopsy so that a more accurate reading could be made. I had to wait almost a week for my results. The waiting wasn't very pleasant, but I relied on positive thinking to get me through. Again, I wanted to be in the best frame of mind to receive my results.

"Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." Hippocrates


Diagnosis: Roar of the Lions

I was at work feeling a bit apprehensive, as my mind was wandering. A week had passed by since my biopsy, and somehow I felt that my results must be in at the doctor's office. I had an intuition that something was wrong. In the midafternoon, I called the doctor's office and was told they would call me back. This raised a big question mark.

Finally, the big moment arrived. The doctor phoned me and said that the results of the biopsy were positive: I had breast cancer. The next step was to see the oncologist in nine days. The doctor also said that surgery would be performed, but he couldn't tell me what kind. I had to go and see the doctor.

It was around 4:30 p.m. and I was at work. My first reaction was to talk to my supervisor. She was affable and very sympathetic and offered me to drive to the doctor, but I did not accept the offer. I thought I could handle it on my own.

I left work and walked toward my car, where I felt guided to check my tires. I was amazed to see one tire was almost flat. Luckily, there was a gas station with a garage next to the parking lot. I drove my car to the garage and the problem was fixed after removing the glass from the tire; the mechanic was able to patch the tire. It was around 6:00 p.m., so I decided to phone the doctor and explained the situation. After talking with the doctor, I felt it was a blessing in disguise. Otherwise, I could have gotten stuck in traffic. But the obstacle of the tire facilitated me going straight home.

I was shocked and devastated, and for the first time, I could hear the roar of the lions. My reaction to the news was the same as if I had heard the roar of lions in a jungle. I would try to ignore the roaring, but I would likely still listen. The lions would become my focus. I was mentally prepared, but at the same time, it certainly wasn't a message that I wanted to hear. I couldn't help feeling a sense of uncertainty, and I was worried about such things as losing my hair, being off work, the side effects from treatment, the reaction of family and friends, and the possibility of death. I simply couldn't believe that it was happening to me. I felt that my brain and my thoughts were out of control. Yet I knew that I had to silence the lions as much as possible and remain hopeful.

I talked with other women who had gone through cancer. They were feeling sorry for me, not being encouraging or constructive. Their stories just made me feel worse and even more discouraged. I felt timid and had lost my self-confidence. Although I knew that somebody else's experience, good or bad, does not necessarily apply to me, their stories still influenced my emotions.

I am a strong believer that one who feels sorry for oneself has no control over oneself, so I had to be in control. Instead of being entangled in this situation, I had to step back. I had to see what my perspective was. By being detached, I could see the perspective. By stepping back and seeing the situation, I felt more in control and in charge. By going back again in the situation, I was more in control with my emotions. With meditation and breathing, I felt even more in charge.

Additionally, at that moment, I did not know if the cancer had spread or not. This was another worry and another thing that I had to prepare for. During the night, I was flooded with negative thoughts to the point that I did not have a peaceful sleep.

During those two weeks, the roar of lions was encircling me, but I had to go back to basics, which for me was to think positive. It was my primary survival technique. Positive thinking is easy to do when life is going well and you are happy. But the test is when you are faced with a major life challenge. Knowing the implications from having breast cancer conjures up many negative feelings, so it is hard to think positively during those times. Yet I knew in my heart that unless I did something fundamental to relax my body, I would continue to feel depressed and negative and make the situation worse. In the end, it was up to me to take control, and that is what I did.

The next day, I went to work with an optimistic outlook so that I wouldn't burden anybody with my problem. For the most part, I kept to myself. However, I took advantage of the beautiful sunny day and decided to go for lunch with my coworker. I found it soothing to sit beside the river while I ate a healthy salad. I told my friend I had breast cancer, and she was shocked to see how well I was handling it. I felt that her comments confirmed that my breathing exercises were working. If I was being positive on the inside, it should therefore show on the outside in my appearance. I felt I was on the right path to health.

That evening, I had an appointment with my chiropractor and talked to him about my cancer. That was the best thing I did, because he was very supportive of my situation and gave me a book on how to fight cancer with nutrition. Every evening, I read that book and it helped me, giving me the strength to fight the cancer. I followed a vegetarian diet instantly. I hung in there for nine days, doing my breathing exercises, which gave me lots of energy. For me, the goal was to focus on getting well. Negative thoughts would have only drained me completely, which would, of course, make the disease worse.

The big day finally came for me to see the oncologist. In a way, I felt that I had been waiting forever. That morning, I woke up early feeling a bit nervous. I took a shower, had breakfast, and left at eight o'clock in order to make it for my appointment at nine o'clock. I was surprised to see the heavy traffic on the bridge. It was September and the colors of the trees were changing, so it looked immaculate around the Ottawa River. I have an affinity for water and everything around started to look attractive. The sky was clear, and a clear sky in the morning was an auspicious sign on the day of my appointment.

Surprisingly enough, I panicked, thinking that I wouldn't make my appointment. If I missed it, then I would have to wait longer to see him. At this point, my intuition kicked in. It directed me to take the second lane, which is designated for a taxi or two people in a car. I took that lane, and by chance, there was no sign of police that morning. Luckily, I made it for my appointment on time.


Treatment: Entering the Lion's Den

The cancer specialist was a young man from London, England. He was a very professional and friendly doctor, and we had a good personality match right from the beginning. Given that the appointment was at a teaching hospital, he also had an assistant student doctor with him and was explaining everything to her at the same time.

At the round table in his office, he shared the results of my test with me. He explained these by giving me an example of a slope ending in the river. He explained that at the present moment, we were at the top of the hill and we did not know what the condition of the water was down at the bottom of the hill, as it was obscure, unclear, and clouded. He had a very philosophical explanation, which made a lot of sense. Only during the operation, when he removed the lump, would he know more, such as whether the cancer had spread, how far, and whether I would need a mastectomy or not. As it happened, there was a cancellation, so my operation was scheduled for two days later. So luckily, I did not have to wait long; otherwise, the encircling of the lion would be elusive.

Before leaving the hospital, I was asked by the head nurse if I had any issues, and my main issue was taking time off from work as I only had two weeks of sick leave left. I was in this room where this nice nurse was and was planning to discuss my future concerning time off from work and my finances. I felt claustrophobic and excused myself from the room. I just wanted to go home to my cozy nest.

After I left the hospital, I was very emotional and cried; I was very worried. Before I left the hospital, I was given a book about cancer-stricken people who had gone through the operation with different scenarios.

After reading this book at night, I was becoming weak and depressed. I was thinking of the worst happening to me, as some of the pictures were not pleasant—the pictures where mastectomies had been performed. Also, the stories of couples—how their lives changed after having cancer and they managed to cope with it. It took them a few years to have normal lives again. Some of them had to go to counseling in order to live a normal life again. In order for me not to hear the lions, I listened to the audio tape Cancer: Discover Your Healing Power, by Louise Hay, which helped me tremendously.

The following day, instead of being dismal, I took it easy and meditated. I did yoga, which was comprised of different breathing techniques, stretching, and toning of my body. I listened to the tapes of Louise Hay, which inspired me to prepare a nice dinner and be healthful. I pampered myself by taking a tub bath with a gentle aroma in the air and lit candles around the tub; I felt pleasantly calm and peaceful. I felt blessed to have the feeling of pleasantness. I felt ready for my operation the next morning.


Facing the Lions

When I woke up in the morning, I could still hear the birds of September. I felt peaceful and connected with nature.

My operation was at 8:00 a.m., and afterward, the doctor said it was successful. He said that it did not seem like the cancer had spread, but my biopsy still had to be tested, and I would have my results in a week.

Out of the three lumps, only one was cancerous. At that moment, I counted my blessings. I felt content and blessed to have this oncologist as my surgeon. Also, I was blessed to have my friends who came to visit me and showered me with flowers and goodies. Well, I said, "What more can I ask?" I was alone in Ottawa, yet I never felt alone.

My seven lymph nodes were removed and sent for testing at the laboratory. At home, I tried to heal myself, and I had to do the exercises for my arm by moving my fingers against the wall, climbing up and down, which would help my pectoral muscles. I did this religiously in order not to have any defects with my arm. In the beginning, it was very hard, as my arm could not go all the way up on the wall because the lymph nodes under my arms had been removed. I was not being sluggish when it came to exercising my arm, but I was genial. My operation did not stop me from taking daily showers, which slowly removed the patch that was on the stitches where my lump had been removed. In other words, I had a lumpectomy and my stitches started to dissolve.

With sheer determination, it started healing. I was feeling positive again because of my breathing exercises. I was the fan of my own club. My tenacious effort in meditating and doing yoga helped me to tap into the field of pure potentiality and practice silence, which helped my healing process. It also made me feel supported by the universe, which helped me a lot. It made me cope with the lions.

After a bit more than a week, I had an appointment with the oncologist again, and I was showered with the good news that I was healing well and my lymph nodes had tested negative. This was a huge relief for me, and I thanked God for it. I have always believed in the saying that "God helps those who help themselves." I was told that I would be contacted by the other oncologists, who would talk to me about chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

I had an appointment with the chemo oncologist. I had a discussion with her regarding what would happen if I did not take the chemo. I was a little dubious about chemo in the beginning but decided it was my best option after the consultation with my chemo oncologist.

In the beginning, I decided to take a slow chemo and was given some oral chemo tablets that I took for a week. On the third day, which was Wednesday, I was feeling terrible. I had called the hospital about my feelings and they said that it was normal. By Saturday, I was feeling terrible and talked to one doctor who said it was normal. I had an intuition that something was wrong, but I did not follow my intuition. I deviated from the spiritual path. I could have done some research on the tablets, including the side effects and relation to the bone marrow, in order to find out why was I feeling so awful.

It was a dark moment in my journey. I felt I was going to die.

Finally, after a week I had an appointment with the chemo oncologist. From the blood test, it was discovered that my bone marrow was sensitive to chemo and had stopped producing new white cells. I was asked to immediately stop taking the chemo tablets. The chemo oncologist wished I had not taken the tablets that morning. During that week, I really suffered due to my white cells being destroyed and not reproducing.

In order to have chemo, I was told I would have to have injections, which would produce the white cells, and then medical professionals would give me the chemo, which would kill the white cells. I was ambivalent about having chemo. I felt like just a number, as if chemo was given to every cancer patient. I am very glad that, in the end, I decided not to take chemotherapy. But the chemo oncologist was not very happy with my decision and said sarcastically that I never wanted to take chemo from the beginning.

Even after the chemo oncologist's negative remarks, I still felt positive about my decision: my lymph nodes had tested negative and my cancer had not spread. I decided to take radiation therapy only, which made so much sense to me, as it would kill any cancer cells that were left after the surgery. I was scheduled for radiation therapy three months after my surgery, starting on January 15. I would get it every day for four weeks, excluding weekends.

Excerpted from Roar of Lions by Nazmina Ladhani. Copyright © 2013 by Nazmina Ladhani. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents


Preface....................     xi     

Introduction....................     xiii     

Chapter 1 Personal Story: Entering the Jungle....................     1     

Chapter 2 Diagnosis: Roar of the Lions....................     5     

Chapter 3 Treatment: Entering the Lion's Den....................     11     

Chapter 4 Facing the Lions....................     15     

Chapter 5 Recovery....................     23     

Chapter 6 Things to Know (Lymphatic System)....................     25     

Chapter 7 Lymph Nodes....................     27     

Chapter 8 How to Take Care of Yourself....................     33     

Chapter 9 Taming the Lions: Tips....................     35     

Chapter 10 Added Tips....................     55     

Final Thoughts: Tamed the Lion....................     77     

Poem about 3 months at the Ayurveda School in India....................     79     

About the Author....................     83     

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