Yavi Madurai

It’s strange, how in a single brief moment in time, with only a few words spoken, one’s life can change so completely. Suddenly all you know, trust and rely upon, is plummeted into the depths of the unknown.

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This is precisely what happened to self- professed 33 year old, “control freak”, Yavi Madurai. On the 14th of November 2003, at 15h02, her doctor uttered those words, “It’s breast cancer”. As life around her continued on as normal, the earth still spinning on its axis, people still going about their daily lives, hers came to a painful, grinding halt. Hopes, dreams and wishes seemed far away now – especially those of becoming a mother.

What followed in the next two weeks, she can only describe as a “Brown Blur” – A surreal experience of living in the limbo between brown medical buildings, carrying brown envelopes containing test results. Soon this muted hue seemed to seep into every aspect of her life, staining her days with sorrow. But a bright reprieve was to soon emerge from the depths of this monochromatic existence, coming in the form of another cancer patient. Her story acted as a catalyst for Yavi, triggering a metamorphosis within her. And like the seasons bring about the change from caterpillar to butterfly, so the new Yavi was born.

Previously her life had been lived in the fast lane, ambitious, driven and always on the go. She never stopped to appreciate the beauty contained within the tiny moments between life. But now, Yavi had been presented with the precious gift of choice. It was as if her cancer said, “hey listen, wake up, value it”. She began to view the world through different lenses, counting her blessings for the things she had previously taken for granted. She decided that her greatest weapon against cancer would be a positive attitude. Even through the physical and psychological devastation of a partial mastectomy and the aggressive courses of chemotherapy and radiation, her positivity was unwavering. Yavi soon discovered the undeniable, yet inexplicable power of the mind-body-connection, as her new attitude began to have a marked effect on her recovery.

But perhaps her greatest gift came from the “Moments in Time” project, which made her see her cancer as a gift from God. This knowledge allowed her to find profound meaning, in what was once a seemingly senseless struggle.

Cancer was no longer a burden under which she stumbled and faltered. Rather, it was a second chance at life.

And then, as if by some act of universal synchronicity, Yavi was granted her greatest wish, giving birth to a beautiful baby girl in October, breast cancer month. This survivor had come full circle, from fighting for her life, to giving new life.

She believes that her cancer not only prepared her for the challenges of motherhood, but also gave her a priceless heirloom, a legacy that could be passed onto her daughter; the fundamental values she learnt, that so wholly transformed her life.

Today, Yavi is grateful for every new day and loves getting up in the morning. “I feel alive and know that I am now living in the moment”.


About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.