Discovering Happiness Through Cancer with Sucheta Phadke

Today, I’m interviewing my friend and client Sucheta Phadke. Sucheta is an amazing learning and development coach, teacher, educator and she’s been working with me off and on for several years. And today, I asked her to come on the show because she has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. When I have the fortune to speak with her amidst her cancer treatments, I was completely spellbound by what she has learned from her cancer journey; how it relates to her as a human being, as a business person, as someone who is always looking to learn and transform the things that are happening in for life and what cancer had done to her experiences; how she’s able to come through this experience from a place of peace, love and joy. So I asked her to come on and have a conversation with me about who she is and how this journey has affected her life and what’s happening as a result for her.

Sucheta shares her insights: 

  • My whole view of looking at things change so much. And I said okay I will come out of it. I don’t know how, when, what. I have no clue. But I know for sure, and I remember my brother in law, the first time he took me. I had a training program and I just badly had 15 minutes to finish the program and then go for the doctor’s appointment. So he said I’ll just come in and pick you up. And then he said – You know, this is huge right? So I said – Okay, you know, I think let’s start by thanking God I finished my training program. You, I didn’t even ask you to come, but you came and picked me up and we’re we are on time for that appointment with the doctor so busy. And then I told him – we all have intelligence; we all can read; we are well informed; there’s so many doctors in the family; we have whatever you know we have access to doctors. You know, we have insurance. Okay, maybe you know the money part will take care of. So lots of things to be thankful about. So, let’s start from there – no complaints tonight. Let’s not complain about anything. We are all together. I think I saw him so feeling a little sort of relieved. And then my husband also came and my daughter was there. And I told everybody, my mother. She felt a little denial for 10 days. But then I told her you know, there’s no question of why me. I’m damn sure there is some learning in this for me. I don’t know what it is, but there is learning.
  • And I think that’s what it is, I just believe that everything will be taken care of. Yeah but sometimes I just do fall. I think that sometimes I do get angry. Sometimes, I do feel low. And once in a while, I lose my temper. Sometimes you know, like one thing starts and then in the evening I talked to God and I say – Oh I think, I fell from grace today, let it go, let it go. That’s okay, tomorrow I’ll start it all over again. Then, you talk to God, right, so I think God has become my best friend. Talking aloud to myself in the middle and then telling me – Oh, you look gorgeous, you’re beautiful. It’s all kinds of things that I do, but that keeps me happy. And I think my daughter once told me that when she went from staying with my mom, looking after her and she went back to a place with her friends and everybody asked for how she’s been. And she said – You know Mom, you don’t have any fear and therefore I have no fear. I never realized what your own positivity and it’s not about just saying that I’m positive, it’s feeling it…
  • So I used to chant the name of God and the nice to say – keep going steady. If my mind wavered – keep your mind steady, keep your mind steady. But see these things, I think they help because you have to be settled. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible too. It’s the way you look at it because I mean a lot of release and it’s just shared happiness. Once you give the control to what is there. Once I told God, I don’t know, what they wanted me to do a test, and I was so scared. I got so scared that if this thing comes up and I have to go through something if it will have some effect on my body; 45 minutes, I was with that thought. And suddenly even if I have released that thought came back that so what if I die. The thought came up again. Forty-five minutes, I went through the whole thing and then – Oh, didn’t I tell you that it’s your will. So now, if you want me to die just now. I’m not going to think about it anymore. I’m going to chill out. I’m going to enjoy. But luckily, the doctor said – oh you don’t have to go through this treatment. Your body is responding well to chemo and it’s your choice right, if you want to do it or not. So, that helped me to relax.
  • If we try and understand it, and then I also thought again self pity what am I. So understanding they’re not understanding me, right. But understanding helps. And understanding, I think, you know, there’s another book called True Love that’s says a very beautiful sentence – Understanding requires practice. So that’s practice, that word understanding has such depth giving space to people. Maybe understanding that is fuel within you. And if for example, if you say that out loud and communicate with people then we start becoming self aware and realize that it’s a not judging. But saying, maybe it’s fear. Maybe you’re angry because of it, I don’t know. But it’s your own journey right. So each one of us has our own journey, I think. And that’s so important to look at it from a completely different spectrum. Understanding human beings, we are all connected…
  • All good. It’s all good and whatever happened will be good right. Even if, we all read now right, that the soul, when the soul leaves the body, I think it’s the happiest because… And so it’s easy to say, I tell my mom that it’s easy to say when you go up this way, I will cry. But I will look at it, as your transition and I would really like to share, which you know I read I think there’s a book by … and I can’t pronounce the name but I love one part he took it with teenage boys, so what would you like to tell them and he said that you know we all have to die one day. But and we don’t take anything with us. What we take with us is the feelings and the thoughts. And so that’s why I keep telling her forget your fears, you know, now you’re eighty-seven. Take with you a lot of happiness. So be happy and chill out. Because when you transition, at least on this journey, you have expanded your soul with those experiences and why they still thinking of negative things when you have so much of positivity. So I think that’s one thing that makes me wake up every day and if you wake up, then it’s a blessing, today is a blessing, right…

Sucheta has more than twenty-five years of hands-on experience in designing learning solutions – Technology Enabled Learning – Training, Online Learning, Blended Learning and Instructor – Led Training. As a Learning Strategist, she designs learning solutions that help businesses and organizations to reach a wider audience, improve employee performance, enhance scale of training programs or the overall learning experience using meaningful learning and training strategies. Her time – tested Design Solutions Framework TM, which is built on established learning models and research in the field ensures the design of creative, engaging and compelling solutions which meet the felt and actual business and learning needs.

She works with educational institutions, universities, large corporates, L&D teams, CSR teams, training organizations, start-ups, vocational training institutes, NGOs, content developers, virtual and augmented reality experts for designing learning solutions. She trains individuals aspiring to be learning designers, instructional designers, subject matter experts, content developers, course teams, faculty, teachers and parents.

I take the ‘World to be my stage’ and use technology to connect to teams and individuals globally for training and consulting. And she works closely with her clients, interacting with senior and top management, partnering with their teams using her Design Solutions Framework TM. She provides thought leadership on integration of the learning solution and effective learning delivery to augment reach, access and scale using technology.

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