Mayank Agarwal (Anaplastic oligodendroglioma)- Hope is the one thing that can help us get through the darkest of times

How it all began:

My family story is slightly old, like 25 years ago. In June 1996 my father was diagnosed with a hybrid brain tumor. This made my father’s energy level go down. After checking with a doctor in AIIMS Delhi, it was very clear that he needed surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

The diagnosis was so bad.After the surgery the doctor informed my mother that he does not have a life span of more than 1.5 years. We had an option to go abroad but we decided to stick to Indian treatment as our neurosurgeon was one of the best. My father had a will to fight. In the last 6 months of my father’s life we went through very aggressive chemotherapy treatments. We knew he was sinking and it was tough to save him. In Sept 2001, due to a strange reaction in one of the chemo drugs, he lost his eyesight. This was a very dark period in our life. Initially, we were thinking that he lost only partial eyesight.

 One day while we were sitting in the room and he asked us to switch on the light or pull off the curtains. We told him the lights were on, but he was not believing. We then realised how bad the situation was. He too realized what’s going on and stopped talking as he was in shock. He survived from June 1996 to June 2001. We are  satisfied with the fact that we did not leave any stone unturned. We even went for gamma knifing in which they burn the cancer cells. This can not be done for all types of cancers. For example in the case of blood cancer we can’t burn blood. We also tried Ayurvedic treatment from Ahmedabad. We also did Gayatri’s mantra Jaap every morning to keep him fresh and to increase his power to fight.

How did you manage your student life?

My student life was from 1995 to 1999. When my friends used to make  plans to go somewhere I was always in a hurry to get back to Delhi.My Brother and I focused more on career because we wanted to give our parents  a good quality of life.

How did we handle the news of Cancer?

Initially, we were surprised by the fact that a person who exercises so much and has an active lifestyle can get such a disease but then we were more focused on his treatment. My mother was upset listening to what doctors were telling. She wanted him to be with her all life. We were upset when we realized that the tumor was spreading rigorously to other parts of the body. Also, the treatment had side effects,

Parting message

However bad the news is there is always hope. Support the patient, give them the will to live and fight. Explore all lines of treatment, read the internet a lot, And it’s also very important to sort out finances. It’s very important to sort out the answers. They will not find themselves out. There are very innovative products in the market and one should be knowledgeable of all the modern facilities.

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