Writer and director Tahira Kashyap is the one name that can't be overlooked when we discuss breast cancer awareness this October. Her social media posts have been inspiring and fearless as she battled stage 0 breast cancer. This 35-year-old posted her first picture post surgery with her actor husband Ayushmann Khurrana and it is inspiring to see her positivity.
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This is a special one as this is a first for the both of us together. Haven’t gotten ourselves clicked like this in the past 17 years (including 10 years of marriage) except for the last time at our marriage where we adorned our wedding as Christmas baubles sitting on a red sofa accepting shagun that would contribute to the wedding expense. Yea very middle class but much fun. The memories of that day do tickle a funny bone but some are scarring like the one with the photographer. He made us make poses that were extremely cliched but then he had to exhibit his artistic side too. So from looking from the corner of our eyes towards each other, to looking away from each other with our hands intertwined strategically exposing our wedding bands. From him standing behind me & me sitting in front of him & visa versa. From his hand holding my hand but not directly, Alas that would be too tacky for the maverick behind the camera. So the genious had my husband run his hand from behind my waist & hold my hand from the front & his other hand ran from the front of my waist stretching enough to reach my other far fetched suffocated hand that was trying hard to breath through the little pores that were sparingly left sans the mehendi, the 2 dozen red & white bangles, nani mama’s golden bangles, my mother’s favourite bangles, Babaji’s Kadda & last but not the least the kalira’s (golden embellishments hanging from the bangles). Amidst the many such contortions the only one left was us twisting our bodies around each other like the Naag & Naagin. Though that crazy man was making us dance to his tunes anyway! So from then to now, it’s quite a leap. Thanku @subisamuel @htbrunch I thought it really would require a special day for us to get ourselves clicked professionally. But I didn’t realise the day would just not be special it will also be memorable for not only am I more comfortable in my skin today but also for the awareness of the cause that I am spreading & enduring. Guess there is still more scope to love myself hence going through another testing phase. I somehow feel I’ll surge. If I was ok being a X’mas tree at my wedding this better be ok! #breastcancerawareness
Tahira got diagnosed in September, incidentally on her husband's birthday, and since then, she has been vocal about encouraging women to get regular check-ups done and not be shy about their bodies.
She even wrote an article for a leading newspaper, titled 'Cancer can happen to anyone.' In the article, she shared her journey from diagnoses to finally facing the treatment. "Getting a health check-up or more specifically a mammogram, is something women or their family members hesitate doing. Some feel if they get the screening done, they might end up getting it. Not true, neither do your breasts have an extra magnetic field of their own nor do they have some centripetal force that they will attract something onto or into themselves. Also, they do not secrete pheromones that cancer will get attracted to. Some get conscious about getting their breasts examined. Hesitation that can cost you your health and life is not worth it. And trust me, the technicians see so many breasts in a day that no matter how much you want to believe, yours still wouldn’t be a rarity. So, please take that bra off and let that goddamn machine do its work on them. The feeling or the thought that it can’t happen to me, should be buried. Let’s all of us exercise our wisdom," the mother of two shared.
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An opportunity to give competition to the Kardashians just went wasted! A week back I mentioned about ‘my badge of honour’ that I was going to receive. And I did and am happy to share about it with the intention of it being received with love. As that’s the only reason I am posting it. Love for self and gratitude for the universe. The picture might be disturbing for some, but these drains have become my dumbells for a few days. I was detected with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in my right breast with high grade malignant cells. Simply put stage 0 cancer/ pre-cancerous stage, with cancer cells multiplying in a contained area. The result I have become a half Indian version of Angelina Jolie (since only one breast was involved)! I told my doctor now is the time to give some competition to the Kardashians since Pamela is passé. But no one listened to me, so now I have a portion of my back tissue in my breast. Perhaps now I can do chin-ups with my breasts! Jokes apart, this obstacle has given me a new definition of life. Respect it’s unpredictability and have the faith and courage to be the hero of your own drama of life. The invincible human spirit is God like, gives you the courage to endure and the will to revive. There is nothing that human spirit can’t do. Also I want women of all ages to be aware. I am 35, and I was returned twice over from a mammogram. If any symptoms come up, think of it as a protective force and get yourselves examined. Also we are so obsessed with boobs. This mastectomy has left me with even more self love! Big, small, left or right inclined , gravity pulling or defying, or even none, each breast the presence or lack of it has a story to tell. Mine has made me a 2.0 version of myself! This post is dedicated to awareness, self love and resilience of a warrior that I know each one of us possesses❤️ #breastcancerawareness #selflove #determination #faith #bodhisattva #bodhisattvaoftheearth
In her post, sharing her story on her Instagram account, Tahira spoke about how women often ignore symptoms and are unaware of their own body. She even mentioned Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood actress who is a breast cancer survivor herself. The actress had a double mastectomy (surgical removal of breasts), three years ago and even had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventive measure.
When asked about his wife's journey in a recent interview with a leading newspaper, Ayushmann spoke about the day his wife was diagnosed and how the couple, who have been married now for seven years, dealt with the news. "She was diagnosed on my birthday (September 14)," he recalled. However, they didn't let that get them down. "We had to maintain a happy life state to deal with it. In fact, after we got to know about her condition, we went to see Manmarziyaan that evening. We told ourselves, ‘Okay, we’ve been diagnosed. We can’t go home and cry about it. It’s better to go for a film.’ So, we watched the film, came back and got the date for her operation."
The journey wasn't easy, the actor shared. He talked about how he would shoot all day and spend nights at the hospital, staying sleepless for seven days and seven nights. Ayushmann revealed that his wife inspired him constantly when he had two films releasing and she was in the hospital.
For every woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer, one dies in India, according to the National Institute Of Cancer Prevention And Research. But these stats only apply to the women who have been diagnosed, what about those who didn't see a doctor? Early detection, like Tahira's case, reduces the risk of cancer spreading and increases the chances of survival. POPxo's initiative this October, #POPxoBoobCheck, aims at encouraging you to go see a doctor and get yourself checked for breast cancer.
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