I have survived non hodgkin lymphoma and this my story. I was the grade 12-Science CBSE topper in Gujarat, went on to study engineering while earning the prestigious Dhirubhai Ambani merit-based scholarship for four years . With more than eight years of work experience in TCS, Mumbai, and Gandhinagar, I was all set to start a new exciting journey in Finland. I was being posted as the Onsite Project Manager. My visa was already stamped. But a drastic change in my life was about to happen. A setback that eventually made me put my resignation. It was the year 2012 when I decided to focus only on my health.
As I was walking out of the washroom one evening, I suddenly collapsed on the floor. I tried to get back on my feet but failed repeatedly. My mother and domestic help, somehow put me to bed. Again, the next morning, I was unable to get up on my feet. Sensing numbness and abnormality, I called a neurosurgeon who confirmed that I was paralyzed waist-down. Further tests revealed that I had multiple tumors in my spine and a set of two damaged vertebrae. That had caused severe paralysis. While the initial biopsy of my armpit sample showed false negative result of no malignancy, the second biopsy using sample from my bone marrow, and a full-body PET-CT Scan, confirmed cancerous nodes not just in my spine but also in my bladder, intestines, liver, tail bone, etc. It was in stage 4.
The doctors said that I was a terminal case, and I would not survive beyond five to six weeks. My vulnerable condition and lack of time did not allow me to fly to the U.S.A to my siblings for advanced treatment. Most of the doctors whom we referred, found it pointless to even begin my treatment. no one had a ray of hope. That is when my mother became my rock-solid support and convinced everyone that miracles are waiting to happen. Her determination instilled courage and will-power in me. And so my treatment started finally. I remember that it was my birthday. Doctors believed that it could be my last so I better spend it with my family and initiate treatment on the day after. But I resolved otherwise. A step towards better health was the best birthday gift that I could have given myself.
I had a rare type of non hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). Since it was one of the most aggresive forms of NHL, it had spread rapidly in my body, possibly in merely six to eight months and led to my deteriorating condition. Prior to my radiation and chemotherapy sessions, I was advised a complicated spine surgery. The specialist had told my mother that even if it was successful, I would still always be wheel-chair bound. I had tears in my eyes because all my life, my parents had worked so hard bringing me up, and now when I was ready to support them in my youth, I would be a burden on them. My parents assured that just like in the past, they would always be proud of me going ahead! That evening, almost magically, my one of my big toe demonstrated some movements. The Doctor was excited and decided to postpone the surgery since my body was perhaps responsive to medications. That surgery never happened!
I underwent a protocol of eight and a half cycles of chemotherapy and eight sessions of radiation. In the meanwhile, I would regularly undergo physiotherapy sessions, initially passive and later active ones, thrice a day. I had to wear a robot-like steel jacket which kept my spine erect and in place because any bends could have lead to twists and grim complications. The doctors advised us to follow a “log procedure” to avoid bed sores. Bedsores are a condition when a lack of air passage between the bedsheets and the prolonged inertly-lying paralysed body can lead to fungal infections. Thus, every two hours, 3 people would be simultaneously changing my sides like a log of wood. This continued even at night.
I won the battle against non-hodgkin lymphoma cancer in February 2013. There were huge celebrations in the Hospital. The joy of my family had no bounds. Once, I had told the doctors that I was not merely a “patient” but a fighter, so they better address me as a “hero or a champ”! In addition to the conventional treatments, I also dwelled upon multiple alternative therapies such as consuming coconut oil, wheatgrass juice, cow-urine, Tibettan Medicines; undergoing Reiki/Pranic healing sessions; practising Pranayan, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation, Mantra chanting and agnihotra yagna. A suggestion to all cancer patients would be to completely avoid sugar intake, RO water and processed /packaged food-stuff and drinks. I followed a more liquid-based diet than solid foods and resorted to nutritious soups, coconut water, and Lemon-honey-turmeric water. It is also recommended to avoid dairy products and consider having a ozone veggi-wash system. Presently at our home, we consume only chemical-free organic items such as cereals, rice, fruits, vegetables, pulses, oil and likewise. Another key therapy to include is the “frozen lemon therapy”. We used to freeze a whole lemon after washing and grate it as garnishings of my meals. Ensure that you also have at least one frozen lemon each day. To improve the PH-value of your drinking water, add a piece of cucumber to make it alkaline.
In my second innings of career, I am working as manager at the Reserve Bank of India. I am currently posted in the Office of Banking Ombudsman, Ahmedabad and have been recognized by RBI couple of times for my performance. Besides my professional growth,I feel blessed to be a Life-coach, an Influencer, a prolific motivational speaker who has been invited by various Schools, Universities, NGOs and orporates across India. My interviews get often published in prominent print/digital media and news channels as well. I recently turned into a “Ted Speaker”! I deliver my success story over cancer through my own Youtube channel as well.
I want to tell every cancer fighter that you must singularly focus on your attitude because that is the biggest building block of your healing. No matter at which stage of career you are in, you must not hesitate to step down, if that is the need of the hour. Remember folks, your health comes first! You must always be full of positivity especially when things are falling apart. That sounds tough but that is the secret of unleashing miracles in difficult circumstances.