Can ‘love’ defeat Cancer?

 

This is a true story.

A true story of a young boy and a girl.

Karan, a young man, around 25, was very happy that he got selected after passing through a highly competitive examination and  joined his MBA Course at IIM Kolkata.

Suddenly he noticed blood in stools. His happy world turned upside down !

He was shocked when he was diagnosed as Cancer of Rectum. Very unusual to happen at this young age, particularly when there was no family history. After evaluation we suggested that he undergo Chemotherapy and Radiation first, followed by surgery.

He was very brave. Accordingly he followed all instructions. He had chemotherapy and radiation and came back for evaluation 3 months later. The tumour had regressed significantly but, in his case, as it was very close to the anal verge I had suggested surgery with a ‘permanent colostomy’.     Permanent colostomy at such a young age is certainly not easily acceptable.

He used to come with his fiancée. Obviously there was also a factor of a long term relationship.

At one point of time they talked to me together saying “what about us getting married?’’. I said, “ See, at this point of time I would advise you against marriage because  you are still on treatment” and the matter was pushed to the background.

So he said he would rather take more chemotherapy and avoid surgery if possible. He went back to Kolkata but after a month came back saying that doctors in Kolkata have convinced him that chemotherapy is not a good option and he should undergo surgery. He was then prepared for having a permanent stoma. His fiancee was fine with him having a stoma. Anything to save his life!

The surgery was uneventful, he had a stoma, everything was going fine.

He was  later taking chemotherapy at Kolkata, coming and seeing me for followup.

His fiancee would always accompany him and had an anxious look at each followup. With the help of her and friends and he completed his MBA and came to me smiling saying that he has an MBA and also a job offer.

He asked me, “Can I do a job ?”.

I said, “Of course, you can do a job”. “I can certify and even put in a word for you”

I knew he wanted to plan a start up.  “What happens to your start up?”.

He said that at this point a job is better for him for stability.

However, unfortunately, this young man had a recurrence and he was put on further chemotherapy which was pretty toxic to him. I gave him a certificate that he could do a job but as bad luck would have it, his condition did not improve and he went on from 1st line of chemotherapy to 2nd line of chemotherapy with more toxicity.

All the while he and his fiancée were always together supporting each other and it was really touching to see a young lady, knowing fully well how the boy’s condition is shaping up, is willing to give him all the support and all the love that he needed.

They had researched all over and found that there was some kind of therapy  in the USA and were wanting to go there. So all the necessary formalities were done. They were all set to go  but they came and met me just a couple of days ago.

Yes, there was uncertainty and apprehension in his voice. But she as usual was very supportive.

She showed me proudly and said “ Two weeks ago we decided to get married and this is my mangalsutra”. I was completely astounded at this girl’s courage and love for someone who is probably has limited options, leave alone live normally.

Then she asked me, “Doctor, can love defeat cancer?”

I was dumbstruck as I really did not have any clear answer but I did not want to take away the last flicker of hope from them.

“Who knows? May be  love can control cancer and let’s hope for the best”.

God bless those who have such unconditional love and those willing to fight with all courage inspite of adversity.

Defeat Cancer

 

For the last 30 years, as a Cancer Surgeon, I have had hundreds of patients; rich and poor, young and old, powerful captains of Industry and people from all walks of life sitting in front of me.   The reaction to the word ‘Cancer’ is universally the same – FEAR.  There are so many myths and misconceptions about the disease. I thought the best way to help people is to eradicate the myths and share some scientific information.

I have seen ordinary men and women with extraordinary courage who took on to fight the big C and win hands down.  They give us the courage to defeat fear and conquer the ‘Big C’.  This is not ‘Chicken soup for the Cancer soul, this is medicine with motivation.   All the stories and people are real and their courage is truly unreal.  Many want to share their triumph and even use their name so that others can be motivated and helped.

When you defeat fear, you defeat Cancer

 

 Can ‘love’ cure cancer?

Bhupen, a young software engineer aged 30, was recently engaged to a pretty girl. He just had some discomfort in his abdomen and on performing an ultrasound it was found that he had a problem in the liver.  It was a big shock for the family and his elderly parents were devastated. But what impressed me was that both he and his fiancée were determined that they would fight.  I was stunned when Meena, his fiancée, pleaded with me that they should get married immediately so that her love can cure Bhupen.

Dr. J: Do you know what Bhupen is suffering from?

M: I know everything and I am sure doctor.

Dr J: Then wait for a year and I will tell you when you can get married.

As his luck, her love and prayers turned out, Bhupen had a rare curable tumor  called neuro-endocrine tumor, the same tumor which Steve Jobs had when he was diagnosed to have pancreatic cancer.  It was slow growing and Bhupen was really lucky because many new drugs came in.  Steve Jobs, though one of the richest men in the world, was poor in this aspect because he didn’t have access to the recent developments in this field. But Steve still survived for nearly 4 years. I will tell you the medical story behind Steve Jobs another day

Bhupen was fortunate to have access to the new drugs and he started recovering.  One day he came to see me. He had a broad smile on his face.. the tumor had subsided substantially and he was very happy. But I knew that the broad smile was not because of that. After a year of waiting, he and Meena wanted to get married and I couldn’t say No.  It was one wedding I had promised myself that I would not miss.  It was truly a beautiful wedding.  Though all the guests knew about Bhupen’s illness, everything was absolutely normal. People enjoyed, the couple was very happy and their happiness continues to endure.

Love CAN help in cancer cure. Patients need plenty of love and care

People like Meena and Bhupen bring so much value to their life.  Sometimes I  wonder how can we even complain when we are so fortunate to have good health.

‘Cancer’ is just a word and every cancer is not the same.  Like ‘fever’ is just a symptom – it can be malaria, typhoid or anything else.  There are hundreds of cancers, in different parts of the body, afflicting different age groups and each with different outcome. A majority of them can now be detected early and also cured.  So there is nothing to despair about; nothing to fear.  We just need to be aware.

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

– a profound quote from unknown source

Next week, I will talk to you about another myth – that cancer is hereditary…. Angelina’s Anxiety

Do send me your suggestions, your comments and the topics you want me to discuss.  I will be more than happy to write  for you.