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Bhupendra Tripathi (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma): Full-Time Fighter

Bhupendra Tripathi (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma): Full-Time Fighter

I have survived non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this is my story. I was the grade 12 Science CBSE topper in Gujarat and 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 in my resignation. It was the year 2012 when I decided to focus only on my health.

I suddenly collapsed on the floor as I walked out of the washroom one evening. I tried to get back on my feet but failed repeatedly. My mother and domestic help somehow put me to bed. Again, the following day, I could not get up on my feet. Sensing numbness and abnormality, I called a neurosurgeon who confirmed I was paralyzed. 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 the false negative result of no malignancy, the second biopsy using a sample from my bone marrow and a full-body PET-CT Scan confirmed cancerous nodes not just in my spine but also my bladder, intestines, liver, tail bone, etc. It was in stage 4.

The doctors said I was a terminal case and would not survive beyond five to six weeks. My vulnerable condition and lack of time prevented me from flying to the U.S.A. to my siblings for advanced treatment. Most of the doctors we referred to found it pointless even to 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 await. Her determination instilled courage and willpower in me. And so my treatment started finally. I remember that it was my birthday. Doctors believed it could be my last, so I better spend it with my family and initiate treatment the day after. But I resolved otherwise. The best birthday gift I could have given myself was a step toward better health.

I had a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Since it was one of the most aggressive forms of NHL, it spread rapidly in my body, possibly in six to eight months, leading to my deteriorating condition. Before my radiation and chemotherapy sessions, I was advised of a complicated spine surgery. The specialist had told my mother that I would still be wheelchair-bound even if it were successful. I had tears in my eyes because my parents had worked so hard bringing me up all my life, and now, when I was ready to support them in my youth, I would burden them. My parents assured me that, just like in the past, they would always be proud of me going ahead! That evening, one of my big toes almost magically 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 radiation sessions. Meanwhile, I would regularly undergo physiotherapy sessions, initially passive and later active, 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 led to twists and grim complications. The doctors advised us to follow a protocol to avoid bed sores. Bedsores occur when a lack of air passage between the bedsheets and the prolonged inertly lying paralyzed body can lead to fungal infections. Thus, three people would simultaneously change my sides every two hours 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 knew 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 conventional treatments, I also explored multiple alternative therapies such as consuming coconut oil, wheatgrass juice, cow urine, and Tibetan Medicines; undergoing Reiki/Pranic healing sessions; practicing Pranayama, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation, Mantra chanting, and agnihotra yagna. A suggestion to all cancer patients is to avoid intake of RO water and processed/packaged foodstuffs and drinks. I followed a more liquid-based diet than solid foods and resorted to nutritious soups, coconut water, and lemon-honey-turmeric water. Avoiding dairy products and considering an ozone veggie-wash system is also recommended. Presently, at our home, we consume only chemical-free organic items such as cereals, rice, fruits, vegetables, pulses, oil, and others. Another critical therapy to include is the frozen lemon therapy. We used to freeze a whole lemon after washing it and grate it as garnishing for 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 the second innings of my career, I am a manager at the Reserve Bank of India. I am posted in the Office of Banking Ombudsman, Ahmedabad, and have been recognized by RBI several times for my performance. Besides my professional growth, I feel blessed to be a life coach, an influencer, and a prolific motivational speaker whom various schools, universities, NGOs, and corporations across India have invited. My interviews are often published in prominent print/digital media and news channels. I recently turned into a TED Speaker! I also deliver my success story over cancer through my YouTube channel.

I want to tell every cancer fighter that you must singularly focus on your attitude because that is the most significant building block of your healing. No matter at which stage of your career, 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 under challenging circumstances.

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