Ravi Gangaram Sharma is a bone cancer survivor. In 2012 he started having pain in his legs. He tried some home remedies, but the pain did not reduce. After a few days, he consulted a doctor, and on further tests, it was diagnosed as bone cancer. He underwent knee replacement surgery and chemotherapy for the same. Ravi says, “Do not listen to all the things that others have to say about cancer. The journey is different for every individual”. He is now working as a patient navigator & social worker at Tata Memorial Hospital Parel & OncoHappy.
It started with knee pain
My cancer was diagnosed in 2012. Initially, I experienced pain in my knee. It was in the right leg. Assuming I might have gotten hurt during playing, I did not take it seriously. I applied hot turmeric and onion to it. I followed some other home remedies also. But it did not help. Then we went to a local doctor, who did an x-ray. The doctor said that I have a major fracture in my leg and I should not walk; otherwise, it will enhance the pain. He also recommended for MRI test. The report confirmed my diagnosis.
Treatment and Side effect
I was referred to Tata Memorial Hospital. Before going there, I was not aware of my illness. Doctors in the hospital informed me about cancer, its treatment, possible side effects and how to overcome it. I was given four cycles of chemotherapy, then surgery. It was a knee transplant surgery. After surgery also, I was given four rounds of chemotherapy. I underwent surgery three times as the first two were unsuccessful.
Chemotherapy had a huge side effect on my body. I lost all my hair. I had become fragile. Based on my own experience, I would like to advise everyone, “The treatment may be painful but do not lose patience. Do not get afraid of side effects. This is just for the time being.”
When my treatment started, I had no idea about the protocol. I thought I would be given some oral pills, and I will be alright. Contrary to this, when my chemotherapy started, I was perplexed. Staying in the hospital for a long time was also depressing. I started listening to a song to overcome these negative feelings. Listening to motivating songs helped me in this situation. I started concentrating on my other hobbies. I always liked writing, so I started writing. Support from family members also worked like a miracle.
Incredible medical staffs
I am very fortunate to get incredible medical staff at Tata Memorial Hospital. Every time I went to the hospital, I met with different doctors. But one thing was common among all the doctors. They all were very energetic. Doctors and nurses used to encourage us during the treatment. They answer all our queries with patience.
Other patients in the hospital were my biggest inspiration. They always reminded me that I am not alone in this journey. We had become excellent friends. We used to play ludo, chess and other games.
Message for others
Life is uncertain. It is full of ups and downs. So always live your life to the fullest. And be ready for any situation in life. Do not listen to other people. They will explain a problem from their capacity and point of view. Everyone is unique when it comes to facing an advert situation. So instead of listening to others’ ideas, experience them to know its depth. You will overcome it. Always listen to your doctor’s advice. If you want to go for some alternative treatment, you can, but do not stop your traditional medical treatment half the way.