Ranjan Chawla: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Warrior

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Diagnosis

It all started in April, during the lockdown. I was hosting an online webinar, and being busy with it, I had missed my lunch. I continued my work, but I suddenly developed excruciating Pain in my stomach. The Pain was so terrible that I had to sit down. I consulted a doctor, and he suggested that it could be food poisoning. He gave some medicines, and for safety, he also advised a CBC test. The next morning, I got my Blood Test reports, which showed that my white blood cell count was very high.

Since the Pain hadn’t receded after taking his medicines, I consulted my family doctor with the CBC test results, and he asked me to meet him. But since my area was under red-zone due to Covid-19, I couldn’t meet him that day. But since the Pain had no mood to leave me, I called a cab the next day and consulted him. He asked me for a CBC test again, along with an Ultrasound scan and X-Ray. After receiving the scan reports, I googled it and realized that I was suffering from cancer, although I was not sure it was Leukemia. I met the doctor, and he asked whether I had anyone with me. I replied that I came alone and that it was okay since I knew I had cancer. He was surprised and asked me how I was aware, and I told him of the superpowers of Google. He told me that the test reports show the indication of Leukemia and advised me to meet an Oncologist, and even suggested a doctor. I met the Oncologist, and he did a lot of tests to correctly identify the cancer as Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and also gave me some medicines for relief from the Pain. Thankfully his medicines worked, and I got some respite from the Pain.

The “Why Me” Question

The main question that clouds your mind after the cancer diagnosis is, “Why me?” This is a big question for every cancer patient, and it was the same for me. I had a healthy lifestyle and had never consumed any non-veg food, Alcohol or smoked my entire life. I even preferred juice to tea and caffeine. All my friends and relatives were also talking about how, out of all people, I could have got Leukemia.

Before my Leukemia diagnosis, I used to wake up every morning at least by 6 am. I used to take a glass of water, juice or honey and go jogging. I used to regularly do workouts at the gym, but I had to stop going due to my hectic schedules.

After my biopsy, I couldn’t even complete one round around the park that I usually used to jog three daily rounds. So, I slowly started walking and managed to increase the distance day by day. In around 15 days, I could complete a whole round of the park, which was about 3 km in length. I also took care of my diet. I kept it very simple. Even though doctors usually suggest avoiding milk, I have always been a milk guy and need at least a glass of milk daily. During the lockdown, I found out that a Rajasthan-based company provided pure cow milk. So, I contacted them and ordered pure cow milk to drink during my Leukemia journey. I cooked food for myself and completely avoided spices and oily food.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment

I consulted several doctors before finalizing my treatment procedure. I had also visited an Ayurveda clinic, and all of them were of the opinion that my cancer must have been due to Stress and lifestyle changes. They also mentioned a few diet points to keep in mind, like having only home-cooked food and avoiding spices and oily food.

I didn’t take any allopathic treatment form like Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy and have been using Dasatinib tablet for the last four months.

Family Support

I hadn’t actually told them about my Leukemia diagnosis at the beginning of my cancer journey and told my parents only after I started taking my medicine. I also told only some of my close friends about the diagnosis.

My mom used to tell me to never think about being diagnosed with CML Leukemia. I think her belief and support played a major role in my journey. There is also my friend, Manvi, who supported me a lot emotionally. Even her family used to ask me about my medicines, treatment and health regularly, just like my own family. My Oncologist was also a great support and was always available by chat.

Parting Message:

Our body always sends us a signal if something is wrong. We should take care of that and do regular check-ups. Around January, my body had also given me some signs, but I had ignored them. Therefore, we should always go for regular check-ups and notice the smallest changes happening in our bodies.

We should always follow our passion and be engaged in a physical engagement, let it be cricket, dance or regular exercise. Apart from this, we should follow a regular diet and avoid stress in our life.

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