25 December 2008
by Dipti Barve
Patients from the city share their survival stories with Pune Mirror and illustrate how they have been living with this merciless illness and battling it bravely
I considered my illness as the Mount Everest and motivated my–self to climb it. I considered every step of my cancer treatment as one advance camp towards the Everest, these are the words of a cancer patient, who is living with the illness positively. Pune Mirror chatted up with few such positive cancer patients.
Vidyasagar Mahajan, who suffered from acute Myeloid Leukemia (a type of blood cancer), says, “I was diagnosed of this disease in January this year. My pathologist Ravikiran God–bole informed me that this is one of the diseases in which there is an ab–normal growth of immature cells. Al–though it is a form of cancer, it is curable. The word 'curable' gave me the strength to fight it,” says Mahajan.
He further shares that his family was his biggest support. "My whole family stood by me like a rock throughout this battle. My elder brother even donated his stem cells for the bone marrow transplant therapy on the eve of my birthday. The gift of life is truly the best gift anyone can get. Due to the wholehearted support of the trained staff and doctors of Ruby Hall clinic, I am proud to say that I have successfully won this battle for life!"
Rukmini Pujari, (58) is suffering from Multiple Miloma (bone cancer). She says, “In the initial period, it seemed to be a common backpain but after four months of being bedridden, my son realised that I am suffering from bone cancer, which I accepted gracefully. My family members never speak the word ‘Cancer’ in front of me.” Rukmini's son Vishal Pujari, himself a doctor, says, “We planned my mother's treatment course accordingly so that she could attend each and every festival, like Ganpati, Diwali celebrated in our house. We ensured that she would never feel isolated.”
Aniket Shelar, (9) is struggling with Acute lymphoblastic Leukemia (type of blood cancer) since June 2007. “I was completely shattered when I got to know that my son is diagnosed of cancer. But later after seeing other children suffer much more 1 changed my mind. The first six months of treatment were crucial,” says Archana Shelar, Aniket’s mother.
“We are feeling relaxed that Aniket is not afraid of cancer treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. He is positive about his treatment,” says Ashok Shelar, Aniket's father.
Vijay Ramanan, clinical haematologist of Ruby Hall Clinic, explained the psychological stages that take place in cancer patients. Initially a patient does not agree with the fact and denies that he is suffering from the ailment. Then the patient keeps cursing his destiny and himself for what–ever has happened to him. The patient also remains frustrated and has mood swings. Sometimes, the patient may also have bouts of depression. Then most patients are seen bargaining by suddenly developing a strong sense of devotion towards God in order to cure his illness.
In the fourth stage, the patient accepts the fact that he has been diagnosed with cancer and tries to find out the best solution to treat it. This is when the patient accepts his illness and makes up his mind to get treated with the help of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He gets mentally geared up to face whatever is required to get cured of cancer.