The most difficult part of being on AIR is when you are asked to speak in Hindi majority of the times :). Radio city 91.1 FM a talk about my cancer survivor journey with RJ Yuvi. It was a wonderful experience meeting the guys whom we always hear and who are an integral part of our drives every day. It was good to put faces to the voices we hear every day and believe me the energy level in the studio was commendable. Thanks to Radio City 91.1 FM and Supersikhrun for giving me this opportunity and providing me with a platform to share my story with the people of Delhi NCR. The program was full of fun and full of learnings…Just cannot wait to meet you guys again!!!!
First International Oncology conference was held by RACE: Stand tall to eradicate cancer, thanks for the invitation. Lot of new things to learn and a good opportunity to meet some brave hearts who won the fight against cancer. I realized that along with the usual line of treatment whether it is Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Targeted therapy, gene therapy and/ or immunotherapy, physotherapy should also be integrated. When one fights through cancer there are a lot of ups and downs and one goes through an emotional turmoil, getting to speak to psychiatrist or psychologist could help them in a great way. We all know any treatment would fail if the patient either loses confidence or the will to fight..#fightagainstcancer #nevergiveup #bepositive #behappy #behealthy #cancersurvivor
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). It is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.
Each week of #NIAM16 focuses on a different stage of the lifespan:
People of all ages can protect their health with timely vaccination.
Adults (Aug. 1-7)
Pregnant women (Aug. 8-14)
Babies and young children (Aug. 15-21)
Preteens and teens (Aug. 22-28)
A detailed chart is given below with the list of vaccines for Indian Babies.
Let us spread the word to the lower and weaker section of the society to get their children vaccinated for a better and a healthier India be it your maid, your guard, people on the red light; don’t forget to spread the awareness
First Sunday of June is celebrated as National Cancer Survivor’s Day. Let us do something special for all the Brave-heart’s who survived to live this day each year and remember those who unfortunately lost the battle.
April is considered as National Donate Life Month. It is sad that we in India are still too lower on the list of countries in the organ donation. I don’t have to say anything, the pictures below say it all. Let us pledge to donate our organs when we die and save a life. It is time that we act on it. Visit the link below and claim your donor card http://www.organindia.org/claim-your-donor-card/ More information to follow in the coming posts….
Guys it is time for week 4 tip but do not forget the week 1, week 2 and week 3 tips 🙂 Drink plenty of water, be physically active and maintain a healthy weight, take a diet low in sodium and fat. Also this tip I am sure would be of relief to all my friends since it does not ask you to say NO to drinking but just to limit it 🙂
Drinking alcohol in large amounts can cause your blood pressure to rise. Limiting how much alcohol you drink can help you keep a healthy blood pressure. Have no more than two drinks per day if you’re a man and no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman.
Using tobacco (smoking or chewing) puts you more at risk for high blood pressure, kidney disease and many other health problems. If you already have kidney disease, using tobacco can make it get worse faster.
If you use tobacco, quitting can help lower your chances of getting kidney disease or help slow the disease down if you already have it.
Guys it is time for week 3 tip but do not forget the week 1 and week 2 tips 🙂 Drink plenty of water and be physically active and maintain a healthy weight
Eating healthy can help prevent or control diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. A healthy diet has a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean meats and beans. Even small changes like limiting salt (sodium) and fat, can make a big difference in your health.
•Do not add additional salt to your food when cooking or eating.
•Choose fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.
•Shop for items that say “reduced-sodium” or “low-sodium.”
•Avoid processed foods like frozen dinners and lunch meats.
•Limit fast food and salty snacks, like chips, pretzels and salted nuts.
•Remove the skin and trim the fat off your meats before you cook them.
•Bake, grill or broil your foods instead of frying them.
•Shop for fat-free and low-fat dairy products, salad dressing and mayonnaise.
•Try olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
•Choose egg whites or egg substitute rather than whole eggs.
Choosing healthy foods is a great start, but eating too much of healthy foods can also be a problem. The other part of a healthy diet is portion control (watching how much you eat). To help control your portions, you might:
•Eat slowly and stop eating when you are not hungry anymore. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full.
•Do not eat directly from the bag or box. Take out one serving and put the box or bag away.
•Avoid eating when watching TV or driving.
•Be mindful of your portions even when you do not have a measuring cup, spoon or scale.
Sidharth Ghosh has been running all his life: on the cricket ground and football field in school, and as a marathon runner for over a decade. But when life threw him a seemingly insurmountable challenge, he hit the pause button to turn around and fight.
In January 2014, Sidharth, then 34, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, commonly known as kidney cancer. “It did come as a shock. I had just run the marathon, and even played a corporate cricket match the day before. I went in for some tests and noticed blood in my urine. That was when the doctors discovered a growth on my right kidney that was bigger than a golf ball. In fact, the growth practically covered the whole kidney!”
Judging by the size of it, the doctors concluded that the tumour must have been growing for over five years. “I realised that I had actually run five marathons with the cancer growing inside my body without showing any symptoms.”
No time to deliberate
Although he did initially feel sorry for himself, agonising over what he had done to deserve this, there was no time to dwell on self-pity. Doctors advised immediate surgery and removed his right kidney.
Recounting his post-operative recovery, Sidharth says, “When you are diagnosed with cancer, there are different aspects you must deal with. There is the emotional aspect, the physical aspect, and then there is the financial aspect. Obviously, I could see physical changes in my body. The doctors had to remove one kidney, a ureter, three arteries, four veins, one lymph node and some peripheral tissue. I could barely stand for 10 minutes or climb four steps even 10 days after surgery.”
He had lost a lot of blood during surgery. “I needed a transfusion. Two friends who donated blood joked to him later, ‘Bengalis are all similar. Subhash Chandra Bose asked for blood in exchange for freedom. We had to give blood so that you could come out of hospital.’”
The resolve to get better
His cousin Vrinda, a doctor herself, was given the responsibility of getting him to move from bed. “Moving around was so exhausting that at times, I would find it very difficult to even walk a few steps. She was with me for hours on end, ensuring that I did get up. All through that time, I was thinking about when I could get back to my sports.”
Unlike other cancer treatments, chemotherapy and radiation were not an option. “It would not have worked in my case. There is a third line of therapy called immunotherapy, designed to boost the body’s natural defences to fight the cancer. It uses substances either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function. But it is still in the experimental stage; so I was always under strict observation,” he says.
Sidharth cites two role models, who inspired his drive to recover. “Yuvraj Singh and Lance Armstrong really played a big role in my recovery. Unfortunately, in India, people are still unwilling to share their stories because they still feel there is a huge stigma attached to cancer. I kept telling myself that if two of the fittest men in their respective countries can get cancer, fight it, and get back to their peak fitness levels, then I could too. I promised myself that I would be back on the running track as soon as possible.”
The road to recovery did take time and it was three or four months before Sidharth could walk properly. He single-mindedly built that up to a brisk walk and eight months after his surgery, he ran a half marathon. And exactly one year later, in January 2015, he ran the full marathon.
“Speed was not a concern. I wanted to finish without any pain, without any injury, and without harming myself. I still had scars so I had to be careful. My doctors were very supportive. They said running was a part of my life and they did not want me to compromise. They encouraged me to return to doing the things I loved, but told me to do it gradually.”
Sidharth even played a corporate cricket match 333 days after surgery. He received a warm welcome from his old mates and the team even went on to win the match.
Sidharth credits his passion for fitness for his remarkable recovery, saying with pride how one of his surgeons said the inside of his body was like that of a 20-year-old! They also told him that while the incisions and scars normally took up to two years to heal completely, they expected his body to repair itself sooner because of his fitness level.
“I really believe that running and being a sportsman has helped. A positive environment also really makes a difference. My family and friends were always around me, cracking jokes and encouraging me. My parents were always there for me. They are doctors and know how bad it can be. In fact, I wanted to recover more for them than me!”
The way ahead
Today, Sidharth is actively involved in doing his bit for society. He is associated with HCG and multiple NGOs that work with cancer. “I wanted to start my own support group, Renal Way, as very few people talk about kidney cancer.”
He has an insight to convey to people. “My advice is never show [misplaced] sympathy to someone who is undergoing all this. I did throw out a few people from my life who were always negative. My thought process has also changed and I value relationships, friendships, and life more. There are times when we stop talking to people due to ego issues. Life is much bigger than all this.”
He believes that we are not fighting cancer, but the fear of cancer. The word itself has become so scary that people think if you have cancer, then life is over. But that is not the case. “What’s important is to be positive, and fight it head on. Let the doctors do their job: your attitude decides whether you are winner or a victim. Cancer may have started this fight, but it’s I who finished it.”
Guys it is time for the week 2 tip for a healthy kidney.
Be physically active
Exercise can help you stay healthy. To get the most benefit, exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days of the week. If that seems like too much, start out slow and work your way up. Look for fun activities that you enjoy. Try walking with a friend, dancing, swimming or playing a sport. Adding just a little more activity to your routine can help. Exercise can also help relieve stress, another common cause of high blood pressure.
Keep a healthy weight
Keeping a healthy weight can help you manage your blood sugar, control your blood pressure, and lower your risk for kidney disease. Being overweight puts you more at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about how much you should weigh. If you are overweight, losing just a few pounds can make a big difference.
So let us promise to follow Week 2 tip but do not forget week 1 tip; Have plenty of water