From his first statement where he revealed his neuroendocrine tumour diagnosis to the final statement which he concluded with the words, “Wait for me,” Irrfan Khan exuded positivity in his battle with cancer.
Here is a look back at everything the actor said about his battle with cancer:
On March 16, 2018
The first statement released by the actor read, “The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Tumour as of now has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I found within me has brought me to a place of hope. The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes. I hope to be back with more stories to tell.”
— Irrfan (@irrfank) March 16, 2018
On June 19, 2018
After being diagnosed with cancer, Irrfan told Times Of India he didn’t want “fear and panic to overrule him.” He said, “In this chaos, shocked, afraid and in panic, while on one of the terrifying hospital visits, I blabber to my son, ‘The only thing I expect from ME is not to face this crisis in this present state. I desperately need my feet. Fear and panic should not overrule me and make me miserable.’ That was my INTENTION. AND THEN PAIN HIT. The only thing certain was the uncertainty. All I could do was to realise my strength and play my game better.”
On August 2, 2018
Describing how his cancer treatment impacted him, Irrfan told AP, “There’s no guarantee of life with anybody. My mind could always tell me to hang a kind of chip on your neck and say, ‘I have this disease and I could die in a few months or a year or two.’ Or I could just avoid this conversation completely and live my life the way it offers me. And it offers so much. I admit I was walking around with blinders. I couldn’t see what it offered me.”
On April 3, 2019
After undergoing cancer treatment in London for a year, Irrfan returned to India in February 2019. He then thanked everyone for their love and blessings and released a statement on Twitter. It read, “Maybe somewhere in the pursuit of winning, we forget how much it means to be loved. In our vulnerability, we are reminded. As I leave my footprints onto these steps of my life, I want to pause to be grateful for receiving your immense love and support, it soothed me in my process of healing. So I travel back to you, thanking you from the bottom of my heart.”
— Irrfan (@irrfank) April 3, 2019
On May 9, 2019
While shooting for Angrezi Medium, Irrfan thanked his well-wishers once again for supporting him during his recovery from cancer.
Here’s Irrfan Khan’s complete note:
With Love, to all my friends in the media!
Last few months have been on a road to recovery a period to heal to fight the fatigue and face the reel and real world. I am aware of your concern and request to talk to you, share my journey, but I am fathoming it myself inhaling and internalising, taking baby steps to merge my healing with work and trying to experiment the amalgamation of both.
I am deeply touched by your wishes, your prayers and it means a lot for me and my family. I truly respect the way you respected my journey giving me time and space to heal. Thank you for your patience and the warmth and the love all through this overwhelming journey .
“I feel an urge to share with you something. I live my life in widening rings which spread over earth and sky. I may not ever complete the last one, but that is what I will try. I circle around God’s primordial tower, and I circle ten thousand years long; And I still don’t know if I’m a falcon, a storm, or an unfinished song” – Rilke
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On February 12, 2020
But Irrfan’s health deteriorated before the release of Angrezi Medium. Still, the actor didn’t lose hope. He released a video message where he asked his fans to wait for him while he deals with the “unwanted guests” in his body.
In the video, Irrfan said, “Hello brother and sisters. This is Irrfan. I’m here with you and yet I’m not. This film Angrezi Medium is very special for me. I truly wanted to promote this film with the same love with which we made it. But my body has been gatecrashed by some unwanted guests with whom I am negotiating with right now. Let’s see where this conversation goes. Whatever happens, I’ll share with you all.”
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He continued, “The saying goes, ‘When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Sounds good, but when you get a handful of lemons it isn’t easy to squeeze them. And yet we always have the choice to stay positive. In situations like these, it’s up to us to make lemonade. And with this positivity, we have made this film. I hope this film will give you something and make you laugh, cry and probably laugh again. Enjoy the trailer and be kind to each other and watch the film. And yes….Wait for me.”
Talking to The Indian Express, the Maqbool actor shared how this unexpected challenge gave him a different perspective about life. “It’s the micro mechanism of life you touch now. You have looked at life with a new relaxed eye without hurry and anxiety. At least, that’s what I try. There is this realisation that perhaps you don’t control a thing. The time with a capital ‘T’ has become magnetic and wondrous,” Irrfan said.
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