‘When I was first diagnosed with Stage One of an aggressive type of breast cancer, I was stunned and disappointed in myself but quickly found my resolve. I chose to fight cheerfully? A day of life is still life.’
Cancer finally claimed Ananya Mukherjee, but she remained her own person—inimitable, indomitable—to her last day; refusing to be crushed, even as she remained clear-eyed about the limits of hope and medicine. And she left behind a host of memories for those who knew her, and a beautiful, unusual legacy for the world—a moving and inspiring diary of her ‘cheerful fight’.
Armed with humour, Ananya makes light of the darker moments of cancer (comparing her balding head to the dishevelled crow on her windowsill); gives practical advice on gifts to bring a cancer patient (piping hot machcher jhol along with a good story or two); and tells us what a cancer patient on morphine tablets might dream of (cycling in a yellow meadow as huge as the universe). It is a book of defiant spirit, courage, even sunshine—not only for those living with cancer and their caregivers and loved ones, but for anyone determined to live life on her or his own terms despite adversity.