(Bidanya Barassa, Shares her story on her battle with colon cancer and how attitude is everything)

“I started having stomach aches…similar to cramps every morning and after eating. So automatically I knew it must be some digestive disorder.
At first I thought it must be a stomach bug I must have picked from my many travels outside the country.

A few weeks later, I noticed blood in my stool and that’s what made me book an appointment to see a doctor. Through a colonoscopy, my final test after several visits to the doctor we discover a 4 inch growth on the left side of my colon, which later through a biopsy confirmed it was cancerous.    

  Cancer changed me for the better; I’m so happy and living life to the fullest. Not sweating the small stuff and appreciating the little things that we always take for granted! Every day is a new day, a day to celebrate especially after my India trip that confirmed I’m cancer free. Something I already knew but the affirmation through the PET scan made it one of the many happiest days in my life!

Coping with cancer was easy only because I somehow knew it was cancer. So I had to deal with it immediately. There was no time for feeling sorry for myself or angry with the world and God. I told myself that this is just a journey I had to go through especially during the 8 months of chemotherapy which was tough! My God, My Faith, My positive mind, My Family, My Mum, My Friends and My Colleagues made it very easy. I’m a very strong lady. I only realized how strong I was and am after cancer!

They say a human being has 6 incidences of cancer cells in his/her lifetime and depending on his/her immunity they become cancerous BUT if your immunity is compromised due to stress, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, smoking, poor diet ( sugar, fat, red meat, lack of fibre) etc, your chances of getting cancer is high. Cancer is only 5% hereditary the rest is lifestyle! I have made a number of lifestyle changes…the major one that is related to my colon cancer is water, high fibre intake, exercise and NO TO STRESS!

Whatever life throws your way, whatever cards you’re dealt with, the power of the mind is important. We must feed our minds with positive words, books and people. And in whatever you do or plan, have God as your partner! Faith did wonders in my life and still is and does! I’m going places; I found my purpose during my victory with cancer. I have a purpose in life! Cancer did that!

Bidanya is an idealist…I believe things must be in a certain way…I don’t believe in grey areas. It’s either black or white! I’m also very passionate and optimistic. I’m a romantic at heart and love it when I’m swept off my feet.
I am a former model but as they say from catwalk to corporate.  Since the age of 18, I had a career plan. Modeling was part time. After completing my undergraduate I went to the US to do my MBA. I later came back worked in an agency for some time, moved to Nestlé and I’m currently Marketing Manager at Tetra Pak.

Ultimately I’ll have a successful enterprise and dynasty! My advice is have a plan for both your career and personal life. You need to know what exactly you need in order to move forward. You cannot be successful by yourself, you need help, support and networks and knowledge. Self development, education is also very critical. Whatever you choose, do something you love, something you are passionate in! Something you can be an expert in. Find your life purpose and go for it! And have a bucket list which encompasses both your work and personal life. LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and have FAITH!     

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