Manisha Koirala talks about fighting ovarian cancer

Manisha Koirala, who had been battling ovarian cancer for three years, has now spoken up about it. Speaking at Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli, she narrated her life-changing journey, and spoke about all of it- right from the moment she found out she had last-stage ovarian cancer to being declared cancer-free.

 “There was a time I would ask the doctors to give me a guarantee of how much time I have, but gradually, I made peace with fear and death. That’s what taught me to make the most of all I have, and it has now become an extension of my personality,” she stated.

She said that in 2012, when shea discovered that she had last-stage ovarian cancer, with “little hope”, it became a metaphor for all that was wrong in her life. “My marriage was broken, I had no film career, and then this happened. I thought I had not lived my life fully; everything was baaki,” she said.

Manisha admitted that it filled her with regret about her unhealthy lifestyle, some times bordering on the reckless. She insisted that no one should take his/her health lightly. “I have learnt to give importance to my health and that’s something I tell others to do as well,” she added.

According to Manisha, the harder part after being declared cancer-free by her doctors in the US was her return to Mumbai, bald, without eyebrows and eyelashes. She said she was worried people would say:‘kya thi aur kya ho gayi hai’.

Once back home, she lacked the strength to look into anyone’s eyes, avoided meeting people, and remained in hoodies and kept her gaze on the ground. “Later, I discovered that not everyone is cruel or mean. People accepted and appreciated my journey; and that gave me strength,” she said.

“Cancer diagnosis is a very lonely journey. I was facing death, but the grim outcome for my diagnosis for me, was death already,” she said adding that she was suddenly forced to realise that her approach life till then had been “rose-tinted” and “ungrateful”.