Hey Friends! My name is Sidharth, and I am an IT Professional, Sportsman, Biker, Marathon Runner and a Cancer Coach.
To my surprise and my family and friends shock, I was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in the right kidney one month after I ran a full marathon in Mumbai in Jan 2014. In fact, I played the first cricket tournament of my organization a week after being diagnosed with cancer.
On Feb 27, I passed blood in urine which was an alarming situation for me (in medical terms it is called gross hematuria). The initial blood, urine and ultrasound tests conducted by doctors showed everything normal hence no one was sure as to why I was passing blood in the urine; in fact, it was only blood and no urine which I was passing. Surprisingly I had no pain anywhere, and this was something that worried doctors.
Once the CT Scan was completed the Radiologist confirmed a massive growth inside the kidney which is usually cancerous in nature and is called Renal Cell Carcinoma in medical terms. The growth was equivalent to the size of a golf ball residing inside my right kidney covering more than half of it.
It was very tough time for my family since all the doctors were suggesting a major surgery with a possibility of me losing the right kidney; however, the final call of removing the organ would be taken only on the OT table once the doctors opened me up. The biggest worry for me was the fear that I saw in my parents and my friends’ eyes of losing me. In the end, it became a motivating factor for me since I had to stand in front of them and assure them that it was not a dead end and I will be fit and fine soon. After lots of preliminary tests conducted by various doctors; I was finally declared fit for the surgery.
Finally, the day came when the surgery was performed, and as expected the surgeons could not save my right kidney, in fact, they also had to remove Ureter, Lymph Node, 3 Arteries, 4 Veins and some Peripheral Tissues. I had excessive bleeding during the surgery and had to be given with more than 2 bottles of blood. Naturally, this increased the heartbeat of my parents and all my well-wishers waiting outside desperately to hear the news that all is well. Eventually, I came out with a successful surgery.
I still have a long road ahead since there are tests to be conducted and I need to be monitored for the next five years closely to ensure that the cancer has not spread to other parts of my body (in medical terms called metastasis). This requires CT Scans of Chest, Bone and Liver which needs to be done every 3 months for the next 5 years. A negative result may change the course of the treatment further, but I am hopeful that everything will be fine.
I was so weak even one month after the surgery that I would not walk down just two stair steps and had to push myself hard to stand on my feet for ten minutes. This reality was taking away my mental and physical strength, and it was the time when I promised myself that I would get back all I lost. I will start walking again and will regain the confidence.
Life is fickle, two months ago I was running the full marathon and today its difficult to even stand for ten minutes. I finally held myself together, and now after another three weeks, I can stand and walk although getting the same stamina will take its own time.
In Nov 2014, I went back to running and completed the half marathon, this was eight months after the surgery and later went to Mumbai to complete another full marathon in Jan 2015. The next landmark was when I hit the cricket pitch at the end of January (333 days after the surgery) to play my first corporate tournament post the surgery. I cannot forget the welcome my team gave me when I joined them and needless to say I did not disappoint my team and scored runs when my team needed the most. The feeling was so good that it is complicated to put them in words.
Yes, Cancer is Scary and Deadly! Cancer happened to me and it can happen to anyone. Like any other negative experience in your life, you have to learn to get through it, learn from it and move on.
I am sharing my story with you because I want you to know that YOU CAN FIGHT CANCER and you too can be a HAPPY CANCER SURVIVOR. During my several visits to the hospital, I found dozens of cancer patients, unfortunately, most lose the battle even before it starts. With this strong thought in my mind, I am now dedicated to helping and inspiring others to fight this disease.
Let’s Fight Together!