08 March, 2021

Survivor Diary

Michael Nobbs, head coach of the Indian men’s hockey team from 2011-2013, shares his experience on how did he survive lung cancer

Illustration by Saahil
Survivor Diary
It’s A Wonderful Life

I was living a wonderful life—coaching, running a small business and enj­o­ying the company of two wonderful children and great friends. In March, I was sitting in Professor Mic­hael Wilson’s office when I received the news that I had advanced stage 3A lung cancer. My world came tumbling down that moment. Questions came flooding in—why me, I don’t smoke, never have, what next, am I going to die, how will I cope, how will I tell the girls, Lee and my friends?

Michael asked if I have any questions. I don’t even remember what I said. I left and sat in my car. I cried and cried—I’ve never done that before. How the hell did this happen to me? After the initial shock, I came to realise what wonderful family and friends I have. My time as a sportsman started to say to me, “It’s just another battle.” The stakes were rather high, though.

I was rather...

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