World Cancer Day 2022: Shormistha Mukherjee battled breast cancer with a dash of humour
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
Cancer, a word that sends shivers down our spines, is often portrayed in films and shows as a formidable villain that leaves us feeling helpless. But amidst the fear and discouragement, there are individuals like Shormistha Mukherjee, who faced breast cancer with a unique blend of humor and sass. As the co-founder of a digital agency and the author of “Cancer, You Picked The Wrong Girl” published by Harper Collins, Mukherjee shares her personal battle with cancer, offering a heart-to-heart conversation that inspires and uplifts.
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A Satirical Perspective on Cancer
We often associate cancer with seriousness and despair, but Mukherjee’s story will make you laugh and cry at the same time. When asked how she approached the topic with humor, she emphasizes that her intention was never to make light of cancer. She simply wanted to document her own experience, finding solace in the stories of other women who had been through a similar journey. While she came across many motivational accounts, she craved authenticity and wanted to share the “real” side of cancer.
Mukherjee started by documenting her journey on a blog, uncovering unexpected challenges such as losing eyebrows and eyelashes. Her blog quickly gained attention, with people reaching out and sharing their own experiences. Eventually, she received an offer from a leading publisher, which prompted her to write a book. The goal was not to provide advice but to give a voice to those who often go unheard.
Breaking the Silence Around Cancer
Writing became Mukherjee’s therapy, a way to process her emotions and make sense of the challenges she faced. However, she realized that her honesty could be distressing for her parents, who were still grappling with her treatment. Despite this, the outpouring of support from readers and the opportunity to help others encouraged her to continue.
Mukherjee emphasizes the importance of transparency when writing about breast cancer, a topic that is often shrouded in silence due to its connection with the female body. By openly discussing her journey, she hopes to break down the barriers and create a space for honest conversations.
Early Detection is Key
Reflecting on her own experience, Mukherjee emphasizes the significance of early detection. Even though she had a history of benign lumps, she made the mistake of assuming her latest diagnosis would be the same. She urges everyone to seek medical attention at the first sign of suspicion, emphasizing that breast cancer can be detected at stage zero.
Mukherjee also highlights the fear and stigma surrounding cancer, recounting an incident where someone hesitated to touch her book on breast cancer. She emphasizes the need to overcome this fear and take action, encouraging people not to make the same mistakes she did.
The Physical, Mental, and Emotional Struggles
Whether it’s breast cancer or any other form, the physical changes experienced by survivors are not easy to accept. Mukherjee admits that seeing these changes in the mirror or being aware of how others perceive her was incredibly challenging. Cancer treatment not only affects the body but also takes a toll on mental and emotional well-being.
Throughout her journey, Mukherjee was grateful for the support of her family and friends who treated her with love and understanding. She acknowledges the importance of tough love and the power of being there for someone during their most vulnerable moments.
What NOT to Say to a Cancer Survivor
Mukherjee sheds light on the common struggle of figuring out what to say to a cancer survivor. She advises against projecting one’s own opinions or experiences onto others, as it disregards the individual’s unique journey. Instead, she suggests being a good listener, asking how you can support them, and respecting their choices and preferences. Above all, she emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding.
Shormistha Mukherjee’s book and her candid conversation offer a fresh perspective on battling breast cancer. Through humor and authenticity, she exemplifies the strength and resilience needed to face such a challenging journey. Her story serves as a reminder to approach cancer with courage, compassion, and a touch of humor.