Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosis
My first red flag of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma came in 2014, when I was about to join BTech. One day, I was eating pizza and suddenly had a nose bleeding. The bleeding stopped as suddenly as it started too. After a few months, I started having Pain behind the ear. I could not open my mouth completely to eat, and I thought it might be a dental problem or orthopedic problem. I went to both the doctors, but the dentist said that it was not a dental problem and the orthopedic surgeon said it was not an orthopedic problem and asked me to go to the ENT specialist.
I visited all the ENT specialists in Vishakhapatnam, and none of them said it was cancer. Since childhood, I had a sinus problem, so every doctor thought it was sinus. One doctor performed functional endoscopic sinus surgery, but he found a huge mass behind the nose during Surgery. Out of fear, he stopped the Surgery and sent some samples for the Biopsy.
In Vishakhapatnam, the doctors said that the Biopsy reports were all clear, but I lost my trust in the doctors there and shifted to Hyderabad for further diagnosis. There, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.
Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Treatment
My Chemotherapy and radiation got started. During radiation, I had a sore throat and my food pipe got narrowed I am also affected by my thyroid and have a severe dental problem; I have undergone almost 20 root canals. Due to the sore throat; I could not eat anything. I survived on glucose water for almost one month. My eyes got affected, I have a small scar in my cornea, my entire face turned black and dry. Post radiation, I was involved with hypothyroidism and cataract. I also lost my saliva production, got a cataract, and my nose used to bleed frequently during winters. The cancer had started from behind the nose and had spread to the ear and throat. If my treatment had been delayed by one or two months, it would have affected my brain and spinal cord too. I went through all these problems, and I didn’t know that it will be part of my treatment.
For five years, I could not eat anything. I am on a liquid diet, and presently I go to a Gastroenterologist for Esophageal stricture dilation to expand the food pipe, but it is also a temporary solution. I get thoughts on why it happened to me because I have never touched cigarettes or Alcohol. I am not able to come up with answers to these questions; I still need to face many things. If the dentist touches the dental part and anything goes wrong, my nose gets affected and starts bleeding.
Similarly, if any ophthalmologist touches the eye, then too, my nose bleeds. Especially in winters, the frequency of the nose bleed was higher. On the other hand, I feel that it was the real part that happened to me, and it’s because of cancer. I got to know myself better. Now I know my real power and can face anything in life.
My parents were my support system. My father was my motivation. He used to say, “accept the situation, and if you cannot accept it, then everything will go in a negative direction. He also used to say that for every problem, there is always a solution, and you need to find it.
Presently, I am only eating some of the carbohydrates. My doctor suggested that I eat oats, cornflakes, idli, and upma, which are a higher source of protein. I have been suggested to chew sugar-free chewing gum and clean my mouth every time as my tooth could decay quickly due to the absence of saliva. I need to keep my eyes and nose wet by using some drops. I always stick to one thing; “If I didn’t make any mistake, why should I give up? Let’s fight for it. Listening to pleasant music refreshes my mind, or I sleep or go to the beach where I sit alone and drink a cup of coffee.
Helping others makes me feel good
I have a habit that if anything goes wrong, I divert my mind into something like playing the keyboard, listening to music, or helping others so that I don’t get any negative thoughts.
I have now started giving awareness to people in Hyderabad Hospital. I have started my own NGO, Daksha Foundation, where I help cancer patients financially and emotionally. I help poor and needy people also. We have already been able to help 4 children of Rs 1,50,000. My motto is that no other patient should be in my position; they need to be happy and be financially able to afford the treatment. My father took care of me and didn’t take any step backward. Not every family can financially afford things, so I try to help such families.
Accept the situation, search for the solution, and if you have both, then you just need to fight back.