The day was October14, Time 4:22 pm. I messaged my brother that I could feel a lump on my right side, just above the girdle and it was painless. At that time I had no idea that this would topsy turvy my world. That lump was investigated through ultrasound & CT scan. Though my family hid the report, little did they know that I had heard the doctor saying EXOPHYTIC, LOBULATED OUTGROWTH FROM RIGHT KIDNEY . Being a biology teacher I knew that these words are premonitions of something sinister.
The CT report showed a tumor of 11/10/8cm tightly hugging my kidney. My doctor told me that my kidney would be sacrificed in order to take the entire tumor out. I was dumbfounded, couldn’t control my tears and spilled it out when I was all alone. I underwent radical nephrectomy by Dr.Gagan Gautam at Saket Max Hospital. My operation was quite successful and I started recuperating well.
I was happy and relaxed that finally my tumor had gone though it had robbed me off one kidney. My biopsy report was awaited and we were on the verge of hearing another bad news. The report shattered us once more as in the diagnosis came out a rare and aggressive tumor with high recurrence rate. I typed leiomyosarcoma , searched it & I cursed Google, as with each search my hopes were dwindling down. Darkness and despair enveloped me. In front of others I tried to put up a brave front but inside me I was slowly drifting towards the inevitable death. Being rare in the Sarcomas, we started the hunt for a Sarcoma specialist. My reports were sent to various places to know about the line of treatment and there were mixed opinions….some advised RT only, some RT & chemo …while TMRC even suggested an active surveillance as an option. In the meantime we got the biopsy repeated at AIIMS and the results were the same. Then we met Dr.Sameer Rastogi who discussed my case in detail ,explained me the problems due to paucity of data in LMS and its aggressive nature doesn’t make it a better candidate for RT or Chemotherapy. He suggested active surveillance as another good option though it needs lots of courage. Two things helped me in clearing the dilemma….one LMS is quite resistant to chemo and RT and second I had wide clear margins after surgery. And my instinct forced me to go for active surveillance. Though it grew silently acquiring a monstrous size but I still feel blessed that it didn’t rupture .It sends shudders through my spines when I recalled the fact that one month prior to diagnosis I was roaming on the torturous terrains of Nanitaal with the students. Its chances of recurrence is high but what to do ,if it recurs then it will be treated on its merits. May be it is small, isolated & surgically resectable .Who knows. But most important is that as of now I am alive, hale and hearty, living my life to the fullest. It seems highly ungrateful worrying about the recurrence. A strong faith in Allah is the cornerstone to happiness in life. Throughout this turbulence my family and friends stood by me, showering love and care which ignited me to fight it more aggressively .I am highly grateful to my colleagues who taught for me in my absence .Another thing that is making me stronger day by day is the satisfaction that I get when I am able to bring smiles on the face of newly diagnosed sarcoma patients who are struggling with the news. My words heal their wound, give them a ray of hope, and make them believe that cancer is not synonymous with death. Now soon the tables will be turned WE CAN KILL CANCER. And at last but not the least I would like to thank Sachin Sarcoma Society for giving me an opportunity to make my life more fruitful and worthy.