Arun Thakur (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma): Be Mentally Strong

“I never thought that I had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; I only thought that whatever problems I had were only because of the CMV virus. I prepared myself in such a way that cancer didn’t affect me.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis

On 3rd July 2019, I felt some issues with my eyes, and I went to an ophthalmologist. He detected that I had herpes inside my eyes, and it was a bit serious. He started my treatment, and while herpes treatment usually goes on only for ten days, my treatment went for 40 days.

I used to feel nauseated because of the medicines I was taking. After 15-20 days, my appetite started decreasing, but as I was a little overweight, I thought it was a good thing to lose weight. My treatment went on till August, but I was only able to eat one and a half chapati till then. It was only then that we became serious and went to my family doctor.

He checked me and gave me medicines to increase my hunger, but that too didn’t work. I was losing my appetite more and more with the passing days. I could not even take the smell of the food and was restricted to a liquid diet. We were not able to know the exact reason why I was not able to eat anything. I started Vomiting two times a day, and then later, it rose to 4-5 times a day. I got hospitalized, and the doctor gave me some salines, but that didn’t work well for me either. I was not even able to drink water.

I underwent sonography and CT scan. The doctors could see some black dots in my reports. They thought it was cancer and found that it had already got metastasized.

We shifted to another hospital and got some more tests done, including Endoscopy and PET scan. In a PET scan, the doctors could see some cyst in my stomach. I could feel that cyst for so many years, but it hadn’t affected me in any way. I had already consulted a doctor about it, but they said that I should not get it operated on if it doesn’t trouble me.

For some reason, we were not satisfied with the treatment in that hospital, and we shifted to another hospital. The doctors in the new hospital focused more on why I could not eat or drink anything. They diagnosed that I had CMV virus in my stomach and the black dots that came in my reports were of CMV virus.

I was being treated for the CMV virus, but I was responding very slowly to the treatment. Meanwhile, the doctors sent my sample for biopsy, and we came to know that it was Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, non-progressive cancer. I was 54 years old at that time, so initially, when I came to know it’s cancer, it scared me a bit about what would happen now. In the beginning, I knew that it had metastasized, and I prepared myself for any eventuality. I decided to take the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma treatment, thinking that I was being treated only for a virus.

Conversation with NHL winner Arun Thakur
Conversation with NHL winner Arun Thakur
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Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment

I had lost 35 kilos by that time, so I was not in a condition to take Chemotherapy. The doctors gave me test Chemotherapy to know how my body reacted to it, and the plus point from that Chemotherapy was that my CMV virus came under control, and I was able to take solid food. The doctors started giving me regular Chemotherapy. The doctors asked me to drink a lot of water, so I started drinking 8-10 liters of water a day.

I had some side effects of chemotherapy, but they were not so major ones. My sleep routine was getting disturbed because of drinking a lot of water, but I used to sleep a little in the day time. Later, the doctors suggested me a diet that also helped me to improve my sleep routine. My wife was with me 24/7 for six months. She made me follow the diet very strictly. I feel I didn’t have many side effects because of strictly following that diet.

In my 4th chemotherapy, I underwent a PET scan, and we came to know that my CMV virus was almost gone. The doctors first told me that I would have to undergo four Chemotherapy sessions, but I was advised two more chemotherapies for further recovery.

I was firm with the allopathic treatment, and it helped me a lot. I used to take dry fruits, lemon juice, coconut water, vegetable soup, and simple food without much spices. I followed everything that my doctor asked me to follow.

My Mediclaim got rejected, so I had some issues managing finances, but taking the other three chemotherapies in a daycare center made it easy for me.

It took me 5-6 months to gain my physical strength. My follow up is delayed because of COVID-19. I avoid outside food and only eat homemade food. I don’t have any problems now.

I never thought that I had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; I only thought that whatever problems I had were only because of the CMV virus. I prepared myself in such a way that cancer didn’t affect me. Along with diet, it was because of my positive attitude that I didn’t have many troubles during my Chemotherapy.

My Second Life

My wife mentally supported me a lot. She never left me even for a few moments, and that is why I never felt alone. She used to talk to me continuously; she always kept me busy. I feel that if I got my second life, then it is because of her. She went beyond her comfort to support me and did everything for me to boost my morale. She was the reason that I wanted to live. My son was supposed to go to Australia for his further studies on the same day I was to be admitted. He was confused about whether he should go or not, but my wife insisted him to go and made him understand that she will take care of everything. She gave me hope and boosted my confidence by talking about all the things and responsibilities we had on us.

I learned that we feel more grateful to our ones and realize their importance during the difficult moments of life. Now I look at things very differently and deeply.

Parting Message

Don’t think it’s cancer; think you are taking treatment for a common cough or cold. Take your treatment religiously and drink a lot of water. Focus on your diet, and do exercises. Be mentally strong, and you can come out of everything.

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