Vandana Desai (Stomach Cancer): “I was well-prepared to fight it.”

Vandana Mahajan stomach cancer survivor

Detection/Diagnosis:

In 2017, I was admitted into the ICU, after I vomited blood. A series of tests revealed that I suffering from the, dreaded disease. I was diagnosed with Stage III Stomach cancer.

Treatment Protocol:

A surgery was planned and I lost my gastric valve, one-third of the oesophagus, and two-thirds of my stomach. The surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy cycles. I had five cycles of chemo. But, I stood strong. To keep myself away from negative thoughts, I used to put my mind into completing my son’s journals. This gave me comfort and helped me fill in time. He was appearing for his HSC exams.

Challenges/Side-Effects:

I suffered from mood swings, appetite loss, and weight loss, as side effects of the treatments. I had a relapse too, in 2019. This time I was prepared. I did not break down and kept my calm. I treated the relapse as any other regular disease and simply wanted it out of my body. I started my treatment again. This time it consisted of eight cycles of radiation and chemotherapy. By this time, I was a certified yoga teacher. I continued teaching yoga and meditation during my treatment.

Family Support:

As a tribute to my fight against cancer, my son secured admission in one of the best medical colleges in Mumbai. With the help of my family, friends, and the medical team, I completed my treatment. I conquered this battle, thanks to each one of the wonderful members in my medical care team

 

My husband stood like a rock beside me. I know, as a caregiver, he was frightened too. But he was always by my side, holding my hands. Our relationship strengthened after I got stomach cancer. Even my children encouraged me immensely. They never made me feel that I was a patient with a dreaded disease.  Everything at home went as usual. All these played a great role in my healing and overall recovery.

Alternate Methods:

After two months of treatment, when I was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, I joined a yoga class. Gradually, I decided to become a Yoga Trainer myself. In 2019, I became a certified Yoga teacher. It undoubtedly helped me recover from the side effects. I even started a YouTube channel to teach yoga, in easy to understand steps.

Lessons:

I feel that cancer opened my eyes and that it happened for good. I lead a completely normal life and my food habits are simple.

Parting Message:

Allopathy can cure only the physical part of cancer. But, cancer manifests into a mental issue as well. It is imperative to keep our mind calm and happy. Death is the ultimate reality. Life is full of miracles, lots of opportunities, and various possibilities