Survivor Stories 2015:
Mary Sidhwani, RN, PsyD, CCht
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
I first find out I had cancer after a biopsy following an abnormal routine mammogram.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
When the surgeon called me after the biopsy with the news, I was shocked and extremely fearful. I am a therapist presently but was a nurse for many years. I thought I would feel more prepared for such news but I remember feeling as If the floor beneath me was opening up and was falling into darkness. I struggled to focus on what the surgeon was saying to me as he talked at length about statistics , data and other information.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
I was fortunate as the malignancy was discovered very early , it was stage 0 and localized within the duct. So the course of treatment was lumpectomy followed by daily radiation for one month to prevent recurrence.
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
What surprised me most about my treatment was how it became very routine to drive to the radiologist/oncologist each day and then just return to my practice afterwards as if it was an everyday errand. Yet , throughout that month, I did have sudden moments of fear as I became aware of the diagnosis; how all was happening so rapidly and felt in those
moments as if I was in a bad dream.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
I would be honored to share the following advice to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis. Please reach out to others during this time for support. Also, write down all the questions and concerns you may have so you are sure to receive as much information as possible during dr. visits. I would recommend bringing someone with you for support and also to help in remembering all the information you will receive from the various specialists.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
I was diagnosed 10/16/13 and so have been cancer free for about two years.
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
Through this experience I learned how the storms and challenges in our lives equal transformation. We find strengths, resources and wisdom; all which bring us through these challenges and remain with us. My experience strengthened my connection to God deeply, my heart understands from a different place and my work continues to come from a deeper level of compassion.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
If I could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers it would be to direct all the loving care you continuously give out to others to yourself as well. To continue to nurture and nourish yourself as you nurture your family. You are worth it!
Dr. Mary Sidhwani is a hypnotherapist and has been in private practice since 2000. Mary is also an R.N. and certified in clinical hypnosis and cancer support. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science, a Master’s in clinical hypnotherapy and a Doctorate in counseling psychology and psychotherapy. She is also a professional speaker who has presented at NASA as well as other institutions and is a contributing author in the “Heart to Heart: The Path to Wellness” book and created the CD series “Recognize the Truth Within.”