The Earliest Symptom:
My story is a journey of ten long years. The journey of a decade. Ten years ago, the first-ever symptom of cancer altered my life forever. We were holidaying in New Zealand in May 2010 and arrived at Christchurch on the 1st of June.
It started with numbness in both my legs but I attributed it to the icy-cold weather. The numbness kept increasing every passing day. I did not feel exhausted either. But what happened on the 3rd of June transformed my life forever.
I fell and was unable to get up. A few hours later, the realization began to sink in that it is paraplegia. Without support, I was unable to stand or get up at all. We caught the earliest flight back to Mumbai.
On 7th June 2010, the MRI showed plasmacytoma in the Dorsal Spine (D8/D9)region. The neurosurgeon suggested a surgery to remove the excise from the spine. By the evening, I was admitted to Lilavati Hospital and was operated on 9th June 2010 by Dr.Bhojraj.
I was asked for complete bed rest for the next six months along with physiotherapy. I was even told that I might not be able to walk properly, ever again. But I fought all odds and after 28 grueling months of physiotherapy and exercises, I started walking normally again.
Symptoms of Myeloma:
Some symptoms of myeloma include back pain, high creatine levels, and blood pressure, high calcium, low hemoglobin, low White Blood Cells & platelet count. Other symptoms might include frequent fractures, foam in the urine, frequently occurring cold, bone pain, High ESR, and Renal issues.
We are a family of six. My wife Neelu has been my caregiver and stood like a rock throughout my bad days. My two sons are into a full-time business and my daughter-in-law is expecting a baby. Our beloved pet Enzo keeps all of us in splits.
My son got married to Dr. Vrinda, my best friends Dr. Rajesh and Dr. Pragya. It is only due to my family’s support that I could continue running my loss-making Architectural Consultancy business.
Food and Nutrition:
I have dry fenugreek seeds, almond shots, and dry dates every morning religiously. That is complemented with a glass of warm turmeric milk with black pepper, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon.
A roller-coaster ride:
I have been through paraplegia, spine surgeries, multiple bouts of myeloma, induction therapy, bone marrow transplants, diabetes and dengue, remission period of seven years, two nasty relapses, Cytogenetics, MRIs, X-Rays, research, seminars, IV’s and whatnot.
Right from ward boys and ayas to matrons and nurses and the compounders; I wish to thank all the medical team members including my doctors and the hospital staff.
I also take this opportunity to thank Dr. Shekhar Bhojraj, Dr. Abhay Bhave, Dr. Tapan Saikia, Dr. Shajikumar, Dr. Advait Gore, Dr. Rajesh Advani, Dr. Krishnamurthy, Dr. Mukesh Parikh and my beloved father who is blessing me from the heavens!
As most of the cancer survivors say, early detection gives you an upper hand in combating the disease. Prevention is better than cure. If I can do it, so can you! Practice affirmations. Using affirmative language in day to day conversations works wonders.
I constantly work on my subconscious mind and feed good thoughts in my subconscious mind. Being happy in any situation and always remaining presentable helps a lot. I love traveling and driving.
I am a part of several groups like the Indian Myeloma Congress, Vcare, Yoddha, Max Foundation, and IMAGe Society. I founded Myeloma Friends Charitable Trust to help Myeloma patients and their families.
I love inspiring people and helping them fight cancer. My dream is to build a charitable cancer hospital. I engage myself in spreading awareness about the disease and educating patients.
May Maa Ambika Bless us all!