Monday, May 4, 2009

Cancer Wisdom

I might have already addressed these sometime before in one of my pieces about cancer, but this is probably the first time I'm collecting my thoughts about some good things to do while going through chemotherapy, or some other cancer-related treatment, or in fact any long, tedious, dull treatment that tends to depress one.

The first thing I would say is: Distract yourself. I’m not saying don’t think about the fact that you have Cancer. That is impossible. You have to think about it. However, make sure you don’t think about it too much. Try to divert your attention. Watch the TV. Read. Write. Play. Even do some work if possible. That is one of the most important things to remember during treatment, because the mind-numbing drip-drip-drip of the chemotherapy will definitely bring you down if all you do is think about it. I’m trying to say, relegate the fact that you’re undergoing chemotherapy to the back of your mind. You may have reactions like vomiting or diarrhoea - it happens, sometimes unavoidable, but get it over with and move on as if nothing as happened. Treat the cancer with disdain, almost as if your saying, ‘I’m too good for you, and I’m going to be rid of you soon.’

Second, and this is very important, try to have, along with the short term desires of needing home food or wanting to get out of the hospital, a long term goal that you can constantly work towards. If you do, then you start thinking about cancer and the treatment in terms of ‘When I will get through it...’ and not ‘If I will get through it...’

Third, involve yourself with the treatment. Make sure you know everything that is being given to you. Be proactive with the doctor. Ask questions. It will impress them, develop a better relationship between the both of you, and serve to quell any doubts you may have.

Fourth, develop a good relationship with the nursing staff and cleaners, mausis, mamas and everyone else you come into contact with several times a day. It takes nothing, just a smile and a thank you when they do something for you, and it really elevates their estimation of you, and after that they will, unconsciously or unconsciously, do little things for you that make it easier. Plus, its always better to be someone that is liked.

That's all for this episode, ciao till next time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Yes! The blood test that I gave on the 9th before I went to meet the Director of SIMC, you remember that? Well I called the hospital up today and the Pathology Lab told me the result was ready, but that there was no way they would tell me over the phone. So I begged my aunt to go and get it today (instead of tomorrow when we're anyway meeting the doctor and could thus have picked up the report as well) as the tension was getting to me. So anyway, she took a rick and called me up within some time with great news! I wont bore you with the absolute facts but the markers are well within the range of normal and it looks there I'll be jetting off to Dubai soon.

I know, I know, this wasn't exactly a philosophical or an idea-based post, but hey, its damn important to me. Anyway, once I'm back in Dubai I promise I'll blog more. (I have the feeling that I'm talking to myself again, as I very much doubt I have an audience. Still, I'm too happy to care :D)

Till next time,


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beating Boredom and Other Tales

I've found in the recent days that one of the foremost challenges that faces me now is not beating cancer, as one would be lead to believe, but combating boredom, which is actually a big part of fighting the cancer battle itself. If you just let your mind wander it often stumbles on uncomfortable thoughts, things you don't really want to think about but have to just because there's nothing else - that sort of thing.

So anyway, now beating boredom now, while I'm biding my time until the blood test and its results get okayed so that I can get back to Dubai, is becoming a slight problem. My day has become a composite of several activities that have now become routine - wake up, coffee, read the paper, start the laptop, clear email, clear facebook every five days, play a game, read sports news etc etc - until lunch. Then, either sleep or read a book, or work on an ongoing project, till 4, teatime. Have tea, go back to the computer for an hour or two, practice guitar, edit novel. Interspersed through the day randomly is talking to family here or over the phone, and keeping in touch with friends. It also helps to be reading a great book.

As a result of this excess of time, I have become a much slower, paced, person. I don't mind spending 10 minutes over my coffee, because I know theres time to do everything else. To put it in a nutshell, boredom is teaching me to savour each moment of the things I do. Its odd, but completely true, atleast for me.


This is totally unrelated to this post, but I might as well put it up: I've changed my email address. I had two: and The freak... one was getting embarassing and the shreyass... one was now incorrect as I've decided to stick with my passport name now, which has always been Shreyas, not Shreyass (as I was registered in school). As such, and to streamline checking two accounts to just checking one, I've changed my email address to:

Also, the url to this blog has been changed to - obvious to those who have managed to reach it and are now reading this, and thus a totally unnecessary piece of information on this page.

Changing my email address meant changing the details of it on Facebook, Geni and Twitter, registering it for a WindowsLive ID as well as importing my Room 1614 blog from the previous account to this one. As a result, I've spent the entire morning synchronizing all my stuff for my new email account, and I have yet to add all the contacts to Adium - *sigh*. If you guys help me out by adding my new address on whatever IM software you use, that would be great.

(Sometimes I wonder whether I'm talking to the cyberspace equivalent of a wall - I don't think many, if any, read what I say - but hey, who cares, I love writing and I'm going to keep at it.)

Note 2:

Doing the above helped beat boredom for the entire morning (nearly). Note to self - randomly change things in life to combat the bore bug.

Till the next post,


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm Back

I'm blogging after a considerable amount of time, and I apologise to the few who follow my rants and might have expected to post atleast a word or two in the last two months. Anyway, I'm back, hopefully for good. First of all, a very Happy New year to everyone. I look forward to 2009 being a great year.

Seeing as I haven't mentioned my relapse anywhere in this blog, I'll limit the information about it to:

1. Found out in August
2. Took 4 chemotherapies so far in Deenanath Mangheskar Hospital under Dr. Chetan Deshmukh
3. Had a major abdominal surgery on Dec 2nd that went off well.
4. Will have possibly one more chemotherapy
5. The plan is to take a gap year and start afresh at SIMC in Pune in July.
6. The interim will be spent in Dubai building my strength, improving in guitar, learning a new language, and just lazing around!

Anyway, one of the reasons I'm writing this post is to ask for advice and counsel from anyone who reads this on foods and a diet that good for cancer patients in order to build my strength. I've already got a few myself, (turmeric with milk, avoid chocolates as much as possible, green vegetables, all manner of antioxidants, etc). So everyone, please feel free to contribute so that I can build up a diet list to which I will (mostly :P) be sticking.

Lot of thoughts are fighting for breath in my head, I'll let a few of them develop before posting my next pearl of wisdom.