ISLAMABAD: Pakistani actor Nadia Jamil, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, recounted her cancer journey and stressed on the importance of self-breast exam.
During an interview with Muneeba Mazari, the Behadd actor who is now cancer-free reflected on her extraordinary battle against breast cancer and shared how she stayed strong during her treatment.
Jamil shared, “I just constantly felt that I’m not alone, that there is a force holding me together. It was God, reassuring me with the life around me – even if it included trees – that I will live through this. So that gave me strength.”
Jamil then told how she found out about her condition, she said, “My father had cancer, he fought it twice or thrice. My grandmother also had cancer and my grandfather died of it. So I always had that sense of responsibility towards myself that I have to take care of myself, and get regular checkups. So while taking a bath one day I felt a lump around my chest and I went to the doctor immediately.”
She added, “My cancer was detected on stage one. But the tumour was on stage three, it was spreading quite rapidly. So had I even waited a month more, it could’ve spread into my bloodstream and my lymph nodes.”
Jamil revealed talking about her journey on social media platforms kept her motivated throughout her health crisis, “When I was sharing my journey, a lot of people messaged me and I pray for them so much today because when I was all alone and only God and my 13-year-old son were with me, these people would share their own stories or their loved ones’ who had survived breast cancer. That gave me hope. Because when a person develops cancer, everyone around that person is affected too. So it’s very important for people to constantly support each other.”
The Mujhay Jeenay Do recalled, “When I looked at myself in the mirror for the very first time after turning bald, I focused on how beautiful my eyes were. And that’s funny because I didn’t love myself before cancer.”
Jamil added, “It’s like my cancer told me, ‘Nadia, you don’t need to hide behind your hair anymore. This is your face, and it's is all you have. So look at it and love it.’ And I was very proud of my long thick hair back then by the way. But when cancer stripped away that pride from me, I learnt to love everything else about myself, which I had been hiding all along.”
“My breast cancer reminded me that I was born alone and am bound to die alone, taking no one and nothing with me. So might as well take care of who I am; the person I am and befriend her instead of constantly transforming and hiding her away with hair and makeup, instead of keeping up a façade,” she concluded.