Hello! I am Abhinav Mittal. I live in Jaipur and work as a Manager in LIC of India. I am 42 years old. I was diagnosed with cancer back in September 2009 and successfully defeated it in March 2010. I like muscle building, lateral thinking, analyzing things, expressing complex phenomena, poetry, music and learning new languages. I am also pursuing the course of Actuarial Science.
I am a regular practitioner of aerobics and muscle building but I had to discontinue all that due to my weak physical condition. In September 2009, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma-Nodular Sclerosis type after a biopsy. I was told that the disease was in II-B stage and it was considered to be a curable cancer. I went to TATA Hospital in Mumbai and I was prescribed 8 sessions of chemotherapy and 11 sessions of radiations after that.
The biggest challenge ahead of me at the time was to hide my condition from my parents. Being their only child, they were both very protective of me and would easily be frightened. By God’s grace, I fearlessly went on to fight the battle against cancer. While I didnt know what destiny had in store for me, I knew I wouldn’t let cancer take over my life and control my psyche. The fact that the doctors had told me that my cancer was still in a curable stage gave me the confidence to carry on. When I told my coach at the gym, Sh. Shantanu Banerjee (who is also my guru) about it, he paused for a while and said “I am sure I will see you in the gym after 8 months maximum” His words had a great effect on me.
My chemotherapy began on 24th October 2009 and so did my pretexts for not coming to Jaipur,in talks with my parents. I did weight training after the 1st chemotherapy session but could not continue later. My hair fell, I became weak, I could not breathe properly both due to the disease and the side effects of the medicines. My tongue, lips and eyes turned blue and complexion darkened further. I had a loss of appetite and a continuous bad taste in my mouth. I told the cancer in my body “Today you are not letting me breathe, soon the day will come when I won’t let you breathe”. I even lost my moustache and beard. I felt I was in my adolescence and used to sing the song of “3 idiots”-“Give me some sunshine give me some rain..give me another chance I want to grow up once again.”
After 6 chemo sessions,on 10th January 2010, my PET CT Scan report revealed that my body had become cancer free completely. I was happy and was strictly advised by the doctor to complete the treatment and not get complacent. I religiously completed all the chemos and radiations and the treatment ended on 24th Feb 2010.
On 6th March 2010, I went to Jaipur and told my parents that I had cancer which was cured. My mother was inconsolable and my father cried too. My mother too was honest enough to accept that she would have collapsed had she come to know about it before my getting cured. She said that she was infinitely proud of me but the mother inside her would never be free of the pain of not being with me during those days. She even said that she had absolved me of “Matru rina”(the debt a man owes to his mother). I thanked God for keeping me on my feet and enabling me to live a normal life,during the whole period of illness.
Now people are surprised when they come to know that I was a cancer patient and a heart patient too. In my organization (LIC of India), even people unknown to me, who themselves or their relatives suffer from cancer, call me after getting my number and I feel immensely satisfied when I hear a more energetic tone from them after interacting with me. I am very happy when I see a brighter ray of hope in the eyes of a cancer patient after a meeting with him.
I thank God for giving me this life and for choosing me as a medium to lessen the fear of cancer (and also of heart disease) from the minds of a few people.
Various programmes have been conducted with oncologists and other medical experts by bringing them on this forum and thus circulating the appropriate technical relevant medical guidance, cautions and comprehensive healthcare advice to the affected people, that benefits them immeasurably. The sessions on immunity enhancement through eating habits and adopting healthy lifestyle practices go a long way in providing easy and effective ways for holistic well being.
The highly effective psychological fitness sessions taking place under the guidance of professional psychologists enhance the positivity, optimism, confidence, resilience and the overall personalities of cancer-stricken individuals and their families. A common myth of cancer being uncurable has been dealt a severe blow by the knowledge sharing and eye-opening programmes of Sanjeevani. It has shown that with growing medical advancements, more and more cancer patients are getting fully cured and hence the myth of cancer being “the end of the road” has got debilitated.
Providing financial help and ease of effective treatment to patients in need, through liaison with doctors, is an extremely benevolent and significant achievement of Sanjeevani. The various cultural programmes and get-togethers organized by Sanjeevani on festivals and other occasions give the vital affectionate tinge to this uniquely bonded family. It strengthens their firm belief that they are going through it for the purpose of God and deserve admiration more than sympathy.
Gathering involvement and patronage of various other government and non-government bodies has enabled Sanjeevani in performing its functions in a comprehensively better manner. Work, efforts and results on all the aforementioned aspects strengthen and thus mutually reinforce one another to set up a holistic cycle in the life of a cancer fighter to grow out of this disease and greet an even more blissful, meaningful and fulfilling side of life. Long live Sanjeevani so that 'short live cancer'. I am proud to be a part of it!