My name is Prakhar Modi. I am a colorectal cancer survivor. I am 34 years old, a father of a two-year-old kid and an IT professional. For me, survivorship means living life at its best and being there for those who have just been diagnosed with cancer. Survivorship means showing other cancer patients that there is life, not only during cancer treatment but after cancer treatment. You can live an entire life even though you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and through the cancer journey.
How it began
Last year, I experienced constipation. I took some home remedies, but they did not help. Then my wife suggested that I consult doctors. The doctor misdiagnosed it as piles, I was given medicine for that, but it did not work.
When my condition worsened, I scheduled an appointment with another doctor; this time, I was diagnosed with a fissure. I was having tremendous pain in my anal area. I took high doses of painkillers and used to sit in hot water tubs for relief. As I was not getting relief even after taking medicines for long periods, my doctor suggested that I go for a colostomy. My cancer was diagnosed in this test.
A setback for my family
It was unbelievable for me to know that I have cancer. I am a pure vegetarian. Before me, no one in my family had cancer. I neither drink nor smoke. I was devastated and in shock. My whole world turned upside down. Terrible thoughts went through my mind. I worried about how I would tell my family if I had cancer. My mind was racing with worry. I called my dad and gave him this news. He consoled me like anything and suggested we come to his place in Indore. I went there along with my wife and kid. I went for a complete check-up there. In an MRI and city scan, I was diagnosed with stage 2 adenocarcinoma cancer. That moment changed our lives so that we could have never imagined.
Treatment and its side effects
I went to Mumbai for treatment. I was fortunate to have an experienced doctor. I was given chemotherapy and radiation as part of the treatment. My treatment started with oral chemotherapy. It was a difficult journey. I was finding it difficult to cope with it. I was given a 2000 mg chemo tablet twice a day. I have always had a suicidal tendency. As a side effect of medicine, I became very short-tempered. I used to shout at my small kid. Because of treatment, my anal region was peeled off; I can not express my pain in words. Even a little spice in my food had a painful effect on my anal area.
Once my chemo and radiation therapy got over, I went for surgery for a colostomy bag. Initially, I was not ready for it, but my doctor counselled me about it, and eventually, I agreed to it. I got operated on on 5th October 2021 and discharged on 14th October.
During my whole journey, my father, mother, wife and office friends helped me. Without their support, this journey was not have been possible. As a side-effect of cancer, I had become very short-tempered. I used to shout at everyone, even at my one-year-old kid. I am very thankful to my family for understanding my situation and tolerating me. Even everyone in my office supported me. Without their support, I could not manage this situation. My colleagues, my senior and my client in Israel all gave me full support in my journey against cancer.
Medical insurance is a must.
The cancer problem continues to grow worldwide, exerting tremendous physical, emotional and financial burden on individuals, families, and communities. Even in the primary stage, the cost of treatment can reach lakhs, making it difficult for anyone to manage. In addition to screening for early detection, diagnostics and medicine, the cost of post-care treatment and tests is also prohibitive. Everyone must have medical insurance. I am very thankful that my friends in the office collected donations for my treatment. My client in Israel also donated for the treatment. I am grateful to everyone who helped me during the most challenging time of my life.
Cancer has made me a powerful person. It was a very tough journey, but once I overcame it, I thought that If I could survive cancer, I could survive anything. Today I am a member of the Ostomy Association of India. This association helps cancer survivors in many ways. They teach different yoga and lifestyle changes to make life easy and comfortable. I also try to help other cancer patients as much as possible. I am active on Linkedin and try to connect with cancer survivors through this medium and support them in every possible way.