May 3, 2019
When you are faced with a cancer diagnosis, you learn a lot of new words – and old words take on a whole new meaning. On 18th April 2019, Nehru Centre with a whooping crowd of 700+ people witnessed a panel discussion organised by award winning NGO Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer on the Importance of Psycho-Social Support in Cancer Care.
Cancer tries to take a lot. The life you had, the life you envisioned or attempted to plan. Your feeling of invincibility. Your trust in your body. Your understanding of age and life. It takes away the control you thought you had. The control over your goals, your opportunities, your future. It tries to trick you into believing you’re alone, no one understands, no one wants to help.
Left to right: Shri Vipin Anand, Managing Director, Life Insurance Corporation of India Limited, Smt. Ruby Ahluwalia, Founder of Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer and Dr. Vani Parmar, renowned Oncologist
Hope, It isn’t just a word, a sound that rolls from the tongue. It’s a beacon, a bright light that is more powerful than anything else on this earth. Entire civilizations have been built upon hope, and millions of people have clung to it like it is the only lifeline they have.
And that is what highlights the importance and need for Psycho-Social Support in Cancer care.
Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer Enriching lives of Cancer patients through innovative interventions
To know more about Sanjeevani kindly view the appended Video www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVb7dwPABPM&t=33s
Snippets of the Seminar can be viewed thru the following link www.youtube.com/watch?v=COwgv7D4p9U
The eminent panellists included the following people who voiced their opinions
Ms. Desiree Punwani – Author and Therapist – began by stating that a state of confusion is the first reaction of the patient towards the diagnosis. She has been touched by cancer very closely as her mother was diagnosed with cancer in the last stage and later, she too was diagnosed. The point which she emphasized on was when the patient receives the news their whole world shatters, thoughts like how the path of treatment would be or if there is a path at all. Every aspect of a person’s life gets affected be it family, relationships or career.
Ms. Viji Venkatesh – Regional head of Max Foundation – who has researched immensely on cancer and even visited international institutions felt that whether in India or abroad the disease aroused a sense of being desolate. Whether in India or abroad the need for psycho social support remains the same everywhere and the need of the hour is to acquire right knowledge about cancer which will help us deal with it in a positive way. Together we can learn and share and help people cope with cancer.
Dr. Vani Parmar – Onco Surgeon with Tata Memorial Centre – agreed that fear is the first thing that is associated with the disease. One needs to understand that cancer isn’t a death sentence and seeking emotional help always helps. It isn’t the end of the road but just another chapter which requires lifestyle changes. The road to recovery does get rough but what is required is support from the family and friends to face the adversity. The society must take responsibility of creating a congenial atmosphere. What was most important was acceptance of the problem and having a positive attitude towards it.
Dr. Anand Parihar – Managing Trustee of Cope with Cancer – vouched for the fact that hardships are not faced alone by the patient but the whole family goes through it. The first and foremost thing to do is to accept the diagnosis only then would one be able to decide the journey ahead. The role of a care giver becomes extremely important to retain a positive frame of mind.
Ms. Ruby Ahluwalia, Founder of Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer, moderated the discussion.
She also talked about, “The Impact Evaluation Research Study on the Importance of Psycho Social Support in Cancer Care” conducted by Sanjeevani in collaboration with Research wing of Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work."
The Research report was released on the occasion.
The research report – highlights key findings from the lens of the doctors and patients – who have unanimously voiced the need for psycho-social support as it is important for patients to receive adequate information, support and skills necessary to manage the illness as well as the disruption in work and family life.
About Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer
Sanjeevan Life Beyond Cancer, an award winning registered Public Trust, is a non-profit organization, working for prevention and early detection of cancer and providing care, counseling and rehabilitation to persons fighting cancer with focus on navigating them from Dis-ease to wellness through various activities.
Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer was founded in 2012 by Ruby Ahluwalia.
Ruby, a serving bureaucrat, was diagnosed with Triple Negative (Stage 3) Breast Cancer in 2009.
Ruby, having under gone the emotional stress, financial drain, physical pain and challenges associated with fighting this deadly disease decided to make the journey for other persons fighting cancer less strenuous.
A socially aware person, Ruby, after completing her treatment, started Sanjeevani Life Beyond Cancer under the guidance of a Board of Mentors which comprises of eminent persons from a wide range of fields viz., Oncology, Finance, Consultancy, Chartered Accountancy, Management Education and Social sector.
Sanjeevani, endeavors to motivate and encourage patients to keep a positive outlook towards treatment and life and enrich the lives of cancer survivors in a way that the patient feels more complete after the whole cancer experience and looks at this experience as an opportunity to blossom up in life and not as a catastrophe.
Started in 2012 with one program at one centre in Mumbai, today Sanjeevani helps patients thru its 11 centres spread across 7 states viz. Mumbai, Nagpur, Wardha Jaipur, Bikaner, Ahmedabad, Kolkatta, Guwahati, Bangalore, Goa and Puducherry.
All programs instituted by Sanjeevani work towards mitigating the hardships faced by cancer patients and their care-givers in one way or the other.
Sanjeevani has helped over 1,80,000 Cancer patients since inception.