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Kavita Kelkar (Colorectal Cancer Survivor)

Kavita Kelkar (Colorectal Cancer Survivor)

Symptoms and diagnosis

I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2017. My detection of cancer was very accidental. I was an anemic patient. My blood count used to be six or seven. In 2017, suddenly I felt giddy and fainted. My son took me to the doctor. The doctor kept me under observation. The routine checkup was to check your sugar level and other things. One day, my blood count was just four. I never used to have any bleeding issues. My doctor just started asking me about my history.

I had a problem with the pregnancy-induced piles. I went in for the MRI test. I had surgery after this. At one stage I could see that the healing just stopped and there were some blood drops from a stool. He sent me for another MRI. I had my biopsy, but nothing serious was figured out. The second time I had to go for surgery for my fistula. The third time I had my operation again. And that was the time when the biopsy showed that I had cancer.

My reaction after the news

It was very shocking news for me. I never even could imagine that something like cancer could happen. It's because I never showed any symptoms apart from my hemoglobin levels. I heard that word and just stopped moving. It was so shocking. So on my way back home, I just called up my son. He just said that my cancer can be cured but I have to be strong. And if you're not strong, then the entire family will collapse. It's a mental issue. If you are not strong, then cancer will start taking over you. Even my husband couldn't believe that it could be cancer.

Treatments underwent and side effects

I never thought that it was such a major surgery or that I couldn't have a normal life. I thought this was an episode, and I had to come out of it. I have to be positive and I remember my family. So I had surgery along with the reconstruction. So it was a double surgery. My rectum area was closed with a flap. I realized that my very positive approach to surgery helped me recover very fast. I was in the ICU for only half a day. Three days later, I started walking. I went home on the 8th day. What gave me this confidence was my doctor who before my surgery explained to me that I would have a permanent bag and my fecal matter would be collected in the bag.

I was just wondering after surgery what life would be like. He introduced me to one lady to know how she was managing. Sister Menon, who was a staff there had a bag. I saw her walking around the corridor and I felt that she was so normal. She didn't look like a patient. She was leading a normal life. So, I decided not to cry over the fact that I have cancer and that my normal life has ended.

Then I had my radiation sessions. I remember the last day of the radiation and I traveled by bus on my own. I felt so good. Then I had my chemo. After my second chemo, I started getting intestinal bleeding, which is very rare. And once I finished my chemotherapy, I started my classes also. And then I joined the OIA and I'm a part of the support group. 

Life lessons I learned

According to my experience, one should have a positive approach towards it and should be thankful that at least there is a solution. At least you have the option of imagining your life, which we never had. That could have been worse. So that's what I believe. Keep positivity and move around with positive people. Sometimes you feel very low, so just to boost my mood, I used to watch comedy. I started reading again. I tried to stay positive. I started doing all those things that made me happy.

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