A steely resolve to fight cancer ultimately saw NCP supremo Sharad Pawar emerging triumphant in his battle against the deadly disease, which had also caused turbulence in his political career.
"I got cured of cancer because of a strong will to fight the disease. If I had given up the fight and stopped working, cancer would have won," Pawar said in an informal chat with reporters at the two-day NCP state-level convention which was inaugurated on Saturday.
Pawar, who was diagnosed with mouth cancer a decade ago, recounted his battle against the disease saying it was important to defy it by remaining strong mentally.
"Investigations started when a doctor friend of mine noticed a swelling on my cheek and suggested a biopsy. The treatment started. It was painful as the skin inside my mouth was burnt making it difficult to consume food," he said.
After undergoing a surgery, he was sworn in as Union minister within a month, Pawar said adding with a smile that the members of the House cooperated with him by not addressing too many questions to him.
Asked whether he considered that period as critical in his life, Pawar said apart from his will power, he had strong family support in his wife and daughter.
"What I was more worried about during this period was the emotional vulnerability of my party workers, who are attached to me," he said.
The Union agriculture minister added that he drew his mental power from his mother, whom he described as a "very strong woman, who fought against all odds".