On May 19th 2004, I had surgery to remove gastroesophageal cancer. After a long — about 6 hour — surgery in which part of my stomach and esophagus were removed I became cancer free. Of course the effect of that surgery and the radiation and chemo still remain. I have all kind of marks to show and my eating habits and energy level have become different. A big benefit of cancer has been loss of weight that has definitely helped me.
Events like cancer do change your perspective on life — at least in my case it did. I definitely consider life more valuable now — earlier it was taken for granted. Sometimes I feel that I am now living on ‘granted time’ so I must make a good use of this — both in terms of enjoying it and making the best use of it for those who have done so much for me. I am particularly lucky to have been in USA and have a very good doctor — Dr. Major Reid — who detected it in such an early stage and then the team of Drs Brunson/Miller who took care of me. Dr. Jani, a personal friend, helped me so much during this period. But the person who really showed real strength of character was Sudha. Who was a solid support and did not show any signs of weakness during that period.
In case of cancer, two years is considered an important mark. After two years the next major landmark is 5 years. Let me hope that I will pass thru these landmarks with flying colors. If I could do well in my profession after the bout with cancer even a very small fraction of what Lance Armstrong did in his profession, I will be very satisfied and proud.