Exactly one year ago today, one of the biggest transformation came in my life. Dr. Matt Brunson and his team performed a 7 hour surgery on me to remove cancerous cells and with those part of my stomach and esophagus. Now I have only 2/3 of my stomach and 1/2 of my esophagus. Luckily all signs are that I am in remission. The latest CT and PET suggest that I don’t need to worry about it but they do want to monitor it again 6 months.
Recently when I was with my cardiologist, Dr Stan Skaggs, he kep on repeating that I am the luckiest person alive. Most people with gastro-esophageal cancer are diagnose usually in later stages resulting in spread of cancer and increasing chances of fatality. All credit goes to Dr. Major Reid of Atlanta who suspected it and pushed me to go through the endoscopy of esophagus. He is really a great humanist doctor. When I went to thank him, he just kept on changing toic saying that he did his job but now I have to be careful about …
A very bizarre and sad coincidence — just yesterday I came to know about a cousinn of Sudha, my wife, and my friend in Nagpur (INdia) having cancer in the same general area of body. Unfortunately he was diagnosed when he is already in the third stage. He is being treated in Nagpur. Independent of much progress in India in some areas, I find healthcare in terrible shape compared to International standards. I am worried about him. He does not have good facility to deal with his situation. But I can not do anything to help him. And there are many people like him who need correct mediacal care and have nothing close to it. I was a lucky person to be in a situation where the best medical facility were available to me.
I am definitely not back to my normal energy level. But due to loss of weight, I do feel very good. My immune system is definitely weak resulting in a lingering cold that became early pneumonia and needed antibiotics. So I need to be careful in my travel and really need to reduce my travel.
I am so thankful to my family and friends who helped me a lot to pull through this very difficult phase in my life. ANd people at Georgia Tech were so understanding about my situation. Now I am here at UC Irvine. UCI gave me an opportunity to get back to SOuthern California close to my family — and GT people were very understanding about it. It is amzing how much my life has changed in one year.
Some of these events are truly life-changing. My outlook towards life changed significantly due to cancer. I hope I can maintain it and try to live my life one day at a time and make the best use of what I have for people around me and for myself.