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.