Avinna Kumar Patra (Osteogenic Sarcoma): Helping others makes you happy

I completed my diploma in engineering in 2006, and then I started working at a private firm. I was thrilled that I was just 18 and was doing a job 2000km away from my home town Balasore, Odisha. I started everything from the small village and then became the backbone of my house. I had so many thoughts and plans for my future. I was about to have a promotion after one year of my job.

Osteogenic Sarcoma Diagnosis

I was just a few steps away from all the small moments of happiness I was thinking of, but then suddenly, I developed an internal Pain in my right femur. I tried taking a Pain killer, but the Pain was still there.

I consulted a doctor who did a minor Surgery and seen some unwanted views and send for Biopsy report. After ten days the Biopsy reports came, I got to know that it was osteogenic sarcoma, though I didn’t know then that it was a type of bone cancer. The doctors asked me to go to Mumbai. The doctors didn’t tell me that it was cancer; they just asked for the CT scan because they could see cysts in a few parts of my body.

I went to TMH Mumbai and I got my CT scan done and came to know that osteogenic sarcoma is basically a bone cancer. I lost all my patience and positivity when I realized that it was cancer andneeded treatment for one and a half years. I was utterly lost. It felt like the ground has slipped off my feet. I had many negative thoughts; I thought what would happen, should I end it here only because now there is nothing to live for? I had suicidal thoughts. I didn’t have the money for the treatment.So I thought that even if I started my treatment, I would not be able to complete it and would only end up spoiling my family’s life too.

I cried a lot in front of the hospital. As my parents didn’t know Hindi, they were away from this news. They didn’t have any idea about the treatment and the side effects; they only knew that it was cancer. They also cried a lot after seeing me cry.

After one hour, I went to the doctor and asked him what will happen if I don’t take the treatment.Dr Manish Agrwal gave me so much strength and support and said, “I am with you, and you start your treatment.

Live for Friends. I belong to a middle-class family, and we did not have much financial security. Somehow, my friends circle collected some fund and they promote me to start primary treatment at TMH Mumbai, after that my parents managed the funds for my second Surgery by selling a few of our agriculture land and properties.

Osteogenic Sarcoma Treatment

I went to Bharat Seva Ashram Sangh, vashi, Navi Mumbai for free accommodation . Bharat Seva Ashram was near about 40km from hospital . I was in Mumbai for one year. I was taken six cycles of Chemotherapy (3# before Surgery & 3# after surgery) In August 2007, I had my implementation in the right femur. I have always heard that people tend to leave you in your dark phases, but I never thought it would happen in reality. I lost many of my friends on my cancer journey.

I had an infection during my second Chemotherapy. I was admitted on hospital bed for 28 days for that infection. I was then out of money. I didn’t have money to at least eat something. I could never forgive those days. My parents didn’t understand Hindi, so they could not communicate with doctors or with anyone; they didn’t know what was happening. I was not able to move; I was in a wheelchair.

Out of anger, I asked my Oncologist Dr S.k. pai that if any injections can end my life, please give that to me because I don’t have money. That doctor sent his assistant, who removed my catheter. He then converted my file in general and told me that I could meet him anytime at his clinic. I used to take Wheatgrass. I lost my taste buds during my Chemotherapy. I could not drink water, but my mother still used to feed me at least two spoons of water every hour. My Friends, father, brother, family, doctors, nurses, and Bharat Seva Ashram Sangh supported me immensely.

Later, I had my second surgery, and in 2007, my Chemotherapy was completed. I celebrated the new year at my home. Many people came to my house to meet me.

Conversation with Osteogenic Sarcoma winner Avvina Kumar Patra
Conversation with Osteogenic Sarcoma winner Avvina Kumar Patra
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I tried to gather my courage throughout the cancer journey, and from the financial crisis, I learned that how we can move forward and how we can make it easy through various helps many people and organizations provide.

From 2007, I was on follow-ups, and I also started a small business. In 2011, I had infections in the lungs. I had surgery, but there was no evidence that it was cancer. The infection in the lungs . I later had an asthma attack.

Daily life became a struggle. In 2012, my right femur implant got damaged.

I had to go again for my implantation, and then again in 2016, I went for another implementation that was much better but a little expensive.But thanks to my doctor Asish Sir, who supported me a lot, I could get it done.

I tried to get settled in Mumbai. I stayed in Mumbai from 2011 to 2016. I did a small job there and helped a few patients emotionally and mentally as it gives me inner peace and happiness. Every weekend I used to go to Bharat Seva Ashram Sangh and try to make patients and caregivers smile.

Later, my parent’s health deteriorated, so I left Mumbai, came to the village, and settled there. Now, I have created the AVINNA..JYOTI Trust Foundation. I do cancer awareness programs. We have made a small team to help people during this COVID-19 period. I feel happy that I managed to help 37 cancer patients as a caregiver during this COVID-19 period.

Life lessons

I learned not to get panicked in challenging situations. Have faith and keep on trying; you will definitely succeed. It gives you happiness when you try to make others happy.

I never restrict myself from doing anything. I never get nervous in difficult situations. I try to do everything I can to help other cancer patients.

Parting Message

Don’t get scared; face the situation. Take help from organizations. Stay positive and try to keep going. There are people to help you, so don’t worry about anything. Try to help other people because it will make you happy.

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