Rectum Cancer Diagnosis
Every year I used to go for a body checkup without fail. So, just like that, on 24th January 2016, my friend came and invited me to go for a body checkup with him. I was not willing to go initially, because I usually do it on my birthday or nearby my birthday, but as he insisted, I went with him. In the reports, it was found that there was some blood in my stool. I have a good number of friends who are doctors, so I just told one of them, and he asked me to go for a colonoscopy immediately since my mother had cancer.
On 31st January, I underwent colonoscopy, and it showed that there was a tumour in the rectum. Immediately my doctor suggested going for a CT scan, and in that too, the doctors said that there was something wrong in the liver. So, the next day I underwent an MRI and PET scan. In the MRI and PET scan, they found no problem in the liver, but I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectum cancer.
Rectum Cancer Treatment
My treatment for rectum cancer started, and my operation was scheduled for 27th April. The operation went on for around 4 hours, and when I came out of the operation theatre, the first news that the doctor gave me was the good news that I didn't need a colostomy. Immediately, I was shifted to ICU, and the first thing I did was sent messages to all my friends telling that I am fine, and everything went well.
I am claustrophobic, so I cannot go for a CT scan or MRI scan that easily. Likewise, I had a problem going for radiation, so I started learning music to overcome it. Cancer gave me a chance to sing. I used to sing songs during my radiation; I underwent 25 radiation cycles, and I sang 25 songs.
I have a good garden at my home where there are a lot of jasmine flowers. There were no flowers on 27th April when I went for my operation, but when I came back home on 1st May, all the plants were full of jasmine flowers. It felt as if they were welcoming me, and I was thrilled seeing nature's beauty and found this incident as a miracle.
Later, I had to undergo Chemotherapy. I was suggested to go for Chemotherapy for four months, i.e., two Chemotherapy sessions in a month, which would be of 48 hours, and I would have to stay in the hospital for two days.
I went for the first chemo on 2nd June. Somehow, I was not satisfied with my doctor, so I said this to my friend, who suggested another doctor to me. I went and met him, and he took more than half an hour to explain everything very clearly. I was so happy and satisfied that I immediately changed my hospital and started my treatment under his guidance. I always advise that the doctor should give you time, and if he is not giving you time, then there is nothing wrong with changing your doctor.
I went for a small Surgery for chemo port because the first Chemotherapy that they did through the veins were very painful. I was always in such a cheerful mode that even the receptionist was in doubt and asked me how I managed to be in a cheerful mode every time. After a few days, the receptionist suggested some patients just to meet me. When they came to me, I told them that whatever has to happen has happened, but now, you live your life happily because, in the end, it will all be okay.
One patient was a priest in a temple, and he told me that for 33 years he'd been praying daily then why he got diagnosed with cancer. I said to him that bad things sometimes happen to good people, so don't worry, and everything will go alright. I gave him a book named Oh God Why Me, which was translated into English by me.
The entire journey was so beautiful, and it was only in my 4th Chemotherapy when I developed some problems, including Diarrhoea. As my oncologist was not in the town, some of my doctor friends suggested me to take some medicines, and after taking them, I felt good.
Before my sixth chemotherapy, I went to meet my doctor's mother, and she gave me blessings and said that nothing would happen. In the sixth, seventh, and eighth Chemotherapy cycles, I had no side effects; it was so peaceful. So, I always believe that the blessings of the elderly really works.
Whenever I used to go for chemotherapy, my oncologist used to sit with me for 15 minutes, not for any medical purpose, but to ask me a lot of questions about astrology as I was deeply interested in astrology.
My entire cancer journey was so peaceful, and I came in contact with many people. I talk to patients and try to motivate them that they can successfully defeat the disease.
My wife, family, friends, and God were always with me. My friends supported me immensely. I have a good number of friends who are doctors, and whenever something happened, they immediately gave me the correct advice. I always believe that motivation and mental strength helps a lot in conquering cancer.
Nutrition and doing what you love is important
I am interested in reading on astrology, philosophy, doing meditation, yoga, pranayama, aerobics, and singing, which helped me a lot during my journey.
Cancer cells are anaerobic, and they cannot survive in more oxygen, so I always tell people to do pranayama; you should inhale more so that more oxygen would go to your brain and body. I read a lot of books on nutrition. Antioxidants and Green Tea are essential for your body. I also take turmeric powder daily because it contains curcumin, which is very good for fighting cancer. I take Fenugreek Seeds and two glass of warm water with squeezed lemon in it every day.
Life after cancer
I gave a talk on 'Cancer as my friend'. My perception of life has changed after cancer; I got a second life. I enjoy my life now. The past is not going to come back; the future is not in your hands, enjoy the present, which is in your hands. Cancer has tremendously changed me.
Cancer has made me enthusiastic. I was never into singing, but now I have learned about 150 songs. I feel meditation and music make your mind peaceful. Now I am learning classical music and harmonium. In four years, I have learned to repair mobile and laptop. Life after cancer is just a sea of opportunities for me.
When difficulties come, you need to think that everything will be good and only good things will happen to you. After cancer, too, you need to take care of yourself, continue with your exercise and good food habits.
Life is beautiful; enjoy life. If you can make any person happy, then you are making God happy. Make everyone happy. Keep joy with you.
Key points from Rajendra Shah's Healing Journey
- Every year I used to go for a body checkup without fail. So, I went for a checkup on 24th January 2016 and found that there was some blood in my stool. I consulted the doctor, and he asked me to go for a PET scan, and when PET scan reports came, I got to know that it is stage 3 rectum cancer.
- I underwent surgery, eight Chemotherapy cycles followed by 25 Radiation therapy cycles. I am claustrophobic, so it was hard for me to go for radiation, but singing songs became my saviour while taking radiation.
- Doing yoga, pranayama, meditation, taking good nutrition, reading about astrology and philosophy helped me a lot on my cancer journey. I also learned to repair mobile and laptop. Now, I am learning classical music and playing the harmonium. I think one should do things which makes them happy.
- When difficulties come, all the help comes to you, but you need to think that everything will be good and good things will happen to you. After cancer too, you need to take care of yourself, continue with your exercise and maintain good food habits.