What events lead up to your diagnosis, or, how did you discover what you were suffering from was cancer?
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 2014, I passed blood in urine which was an alarming situation for me (in medical terms it is called gross haematuria). 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.
Obviously, cancer puts your whole life on hold. Do you remember a specific moment when you were hit by this realization?
The feeling that you get is very difficult to put in words since this is something that you have heard of but could never imagine yourself or any of your near and dear one going through it. Once detected my first question was “Why Me” and soon I realized that I can lose this battle if I have options; so I left myself with no option but to fight and answered my question of Why Me to Try Me. More than yourself it is the fear and stress that you see in your parents and friend’s eyes who do not say anything but their eyes say it all. I decided it to fight it not only for myself but for them as well
Sidharth how long were you in treatment? What helped keep your spirits up and gave you support during this period?
I was in treatment for around 4 months with a lot of strong medicines and the time that took to heal the surgery site and the time it takes for the body to adapt itself since I had to lose a kidney, Ureter, Lymph Node, 3 Arteries, 4 Veins and some Peripheral Tissues. It takes time for the body to realize the forced changes before it accepts it and heals itself. Our human body has amazing capabilities and healing powers; we just need to be positive and respect our body. Needless to say follow the instructions of the doctors and take all necessary precautions and accept the required changes in lifestyle.
As now you are out of cancer, what you plan to do to help others fight this deadly disease?
I am closely working with Indian Cancer Society, CACI, Roko Cancer and CanSupport. I am an ordinary man, marathon runner and cancer survivor who is approachable through social media and blog. I have been running a monthly online communication program where I take each type of cancer-based on the cancer awareness calendar and share insights on how can it be prevented, what are the precautions and warning signals. I conduct one-on-one sessions for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers to help them develop a positive outlook, I try my best to enlighten ray of hope and energize them to fight back. I strongly believe that cancer is not a dead end and my mantra is simple that “Let’s Fight Together”.
Sidharth Lastly, what advice would you like to share with cancer patients and their family?
I would like to say don’t lose hope. Cancer patients don’t need sympathy; they need motivation. I have seen patients in the oncology department who have lost all hope and are low in morale. You have to be with them and motivate them to fight it. You need to be positive about it and more importantly, the patient itself should be positive and live life king size. After all, God only gives such things to special people who have the courage to fight such an ailment. In the end as I always say only those people fail who have options; for you there is no option but to fight….
Learn more about Sidharth Ghosh at: www.flyingsidharth.com
YouTube, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @FlyingSidharth