I am a colorectal cancer survivor and Joint Secretary of the Ostomy Association of India. I am a bus conductor in Maharashtra State Transport Corporation by profession. Post treatment, I am living a very happy and healthy life.
Diagnosis and Treatment
I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 30, and the doctors said I have minimal chances of having a kid after the surgery. By God’s grace, I have a kid and he is 18 years old now. When my cancer was diagnosed, I was a little worried, I had no idea about it. I got married just two years back. I decided that I had to live for my family. I will do my best to fight cancer. My wife was very supportive during my whole journey. Even my parents and other family members also supported me at every step.
Challenges during cancer journey
There were many challenges I faced as a cancer survivor. But through it all, I took each day at a time and tried not to dwell on the challenges ahead of me. The experience I went through is not unique. Millions of people around the world go through it each year. The fact is, cancer doesn’t always destroy you; it often makes you stronger.
Adjustment with Colostomy bag
I underwent colorectal cancer surgery and was provided with a colostomy bag. A colostomy is a surgical procedure that changes the route of food waste through your bowels. When part of the colon needs to be bypassed for medical reasons, doctors make a new opening in your abdominal wall for poop to come out. With a colostomy, you poop into a colostomy bag. Everything was new for me, but I soon got adjusted to it. It took me some time to become comfortable with a colostomy bag. Now It has become just part of my life. I can do all my work with it.
Support from family
I am very grateful to have a wonderful family who was with me throughout the journey. My wife was supportive. My parents and all the other family members did their best to help me. Without their support, I could never reach this place. After my surgery, I was always worried about my life. But with the help of my family, I could overcome this fear. Now i think of myself as a other normal person.
Other Support Group
There are different support groups that help cancer patients in their journey. I am also associated with many support groups. I am also Joint Secretary of the Ostomy Association of India.
Along with the Ostomy Association, we are fighting for all the survivors who have stoma bags. The Ostomy Association believes that people with stoma bags should be considered in the disability group and should get all the benefits of a disabled person.
We all have goals for the future, whether to be healthy, travel to new places and meet new people, or raise a family. You have had to adjust your life because you or your loved one has cancer. But you don’t have to give up your joy in living. Always keep a goal in your life. It will help you to move ahead.
Life after cancer
I had to make some adjustments to my life after cancer. Initially it was a little difficult but now I am used to it. There are certain jobs I can not do as I used to do before, like farming, climbing trees, and weight lifting. Apart from this I can do anything. I am a bus conductor, I travel around 300 km everyday. I don’t find any difficulty in it. Sometimes I don’t find a washroom on the way, but I can easily manage.
Message for others
The best advice I could give would be to have faith and believe that you will make it. Pray for yourself, your family, and for the care and hands of the doctors and nurses as well. I know that this mindset helped me recover and gave me back my normalcy, my life after cancer. Having a good support system and keeping a positive mental attitude is essential.