Sonali Bendre’s struggle against cancer has been an inspiration to millions who are battling this dreaded disease. Since July last year, when she first told her fans that she has been diagnosed with it, she has been constantly posting updates of her fight on social media and, quite literally, taken people along. While she has described about her feelings during the process, it is only now that she has opened up about the first few days when she came to know of her disease.
Speaking to Rajeev Masand, she said at first they weren’t told what stage of cancer she had. Subsequently, on reaching New York, it was her doctors there who told her that not only did she have Stage IV cancer, she had 30% chances of survival. She also said it was her husband Goldie Behl’s decision to go to New York and that till she reached New York, she wasn’t convinced about it.
She said: “I didn’t want to go to New York. It was my husband who wanted to go. And I fought with him all through the flight. ‘Why are you doing this? We have good doctors here. Why are you taking me away?’ My home, my life… in three days, we literally just packed and left and, I don’t know, what was happening. I was like let’s, at least, speak to the doctors here and he was just quiet through the whole thing and focussed. In the day, he was organising and, in the night, as New York was wake; so he was organising, so day and night–he was at that. So I got him and actually cribbed about the whole thing, on the flight. Through the flight, I have cribbed; I was really venting.”
“I land in New York and next day, we go to the doctor. He looks at everything and we had sent all our tests and he says, you know, it is fourth stage and you have 30% chance of survival. That really hit me; I just turned to Goldie and I remember saying: ‘Thank God, you got me here’. Goldie always says that ‘tomorrow I’d rather feel I over-reacted, over-spent than under-reacted and have that regret that I should have done that’. There was no time for it and we were not told that it was fourth stage but Goldie had started reading about it and he was suspecting it.”
In early December last year, Sonali was back in India, after spending close to six months in the US. She is slowly getting back to work