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ATTITUDE IS TRULY EVERYTHING The picture one would conjure up on seeing this beautiful old lady is that of a loving ‘dadi’ or ‘nani’ full of stories, weaving magic with her deft fingers as spools of thread became exquisite pieces of crochet art.She is all of 86 years old and continues to do all her chores without any help. She does not believe in stopping. And believe me she is quite extraordinary! I have known her for the last 8 years and every meeting with her is inspiring. At the age of 78 years, when many would will themselves to die at the simple pretext of a minor illness, this lady was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She had deep jaundice and she needed a Whipple’s procedure to get rid of the cancer. This surgery is one of the most challenging to even an experienced surgeon. She and her family were explained the pros and cons in view of her age and frail self. She was determined to see this through. The surgery went to plan but the postoperative period was stormy. She had a bloated abdomen, for which she was re-explored and found to have a twisted bit of intestine. It took her a month to recover and finally, she walked out of hospital, recovered fully.She refused any further treatment and said she felt fine. She would meet me every 3 months for a year and then she stopped coming. I had almost forgotten all about her, when she resurfaced again after almost 1 year. This time she came with an ulcerated mass in the right breast. She was 80 now. She did not want any other treatment except surgery. She had a surgery to remove the breast and the lymph nodes in the armpit. Fortunately, the disease was hormone sensitive. She said no to Radiation and accepted hormonal treatment. What does one say to this except that I was fortunate to witness this most wondrous display of an old lady’s grit and determination, willing herself to live on, in the face of not one but two cancers! She came to meet me five days ago. She is disease free. Her smile lit up her wrinkled face and her eyes sparkled as she said she had come to bless me. I, honestly had nothing to offer her. Did she even realise how inspiring she is? She wanted me to share her story with everyone and so here I am! Important lesson learnt..Attitude is truly everything!!!!
Today, the first Delhi Breast Oncology Group (DBOG) CME was held in Max Patparganj, Delhi. There is a palpable enthusiasm in the creation of this group which will be one of the subspecialty arms of the Oncology Forum. The meeting started with myself introducing the proposed functional unit of DBOG. The proposal was to have coordinators for various tasks assisted by committees.There will be stock taking at each CME to be held on the first saturday, every two months. The Secretary will coordinate the pre-CME meetings at each of the CMEs. The CME itself was an academic feast with 3 case discussions and review of literature relevant to each topic. Dr Vineeta Goel, Radiation Oncologist at Max Cancer Centre, Patparganj, presented the relevance of radiation in 1-3 positive axillary nodes. Dr Randeep Singh, Medical Oncologist at Max Cancer Centre, Patparganj, presented a case of metastatic triple positive breast cancer and the current treatment options and Dr Rohan Khandelwal, Breast Surgeon at Max Cancer Centre, Saket presented a case of Triple negative breast cancer and brought in Dr Amit Verma, Genetic consultant, to unravel the rogue pathways involved in Triple negative breast cancer. The meeting ended with Dr Vaishali Zamre, Senior Consultant, Surgical Oncology, Action Balaji Hospital, Delhi, accepting the responsibility of holding the next meeting at Action Balaji Hospital. The presence of 80 attendees at this CME was a reaffirmation of the fact that like minded people need to work together to achieve larger goals.A beginning has been made.....and there is a lot to do to make big strides in the right direction. I thank all the participants for being part of this endeavor and hope to see you all on 7th March, 2015 at Action Balaji. For further details, please contact Dr Geeta Kadayaprath, Head, Breast Surgical Oncology, Max Cancer Centre, Patparganj Delhi
Bliss Foundation launches its unique ‘Touch Feel and Do’ Workshop to create breast and cervical cancer awareness! All things, big and small, begin with an idea. Touch Feel and Do workshop was conceived as we sat across a table. It started with the questions Are we doing enough? Are we doing right? Do the ladies we talk to understand what we are trying to tell them? Do they know what to look for? What should alert them? And then the realisation dawned, that when we talked to them, they absorbed a few things here and there. They surely could not piece it together. We had do something different to create a lasting impression....while the thoughts flew back and forth, the idea of a dummy with all possible presentations of breast cancer came up. The dummy was acquired by the tireless efforts of Reva and what started as a thought began to take shape.We wanted the ladies to touch the dummy breasts, to feel what cancer may be like and to do it on their own selves. A pre lecture questionnaire followed by the lecture, a post lecture questionnaire and then a Touch Feel demo completed the workshop The results quite amazing... from ignorance to empowerment in a matter of an hour and a half- the duration of the workshop. We are on a roll after the stupendous success of yesterday’s program where the Touch Feel and Do Workshop was formally launched with the blessings of BK Sister Shivani. We have done 10 and with more doctors and volunteers joining us, we hope to complete 30 this year. With the kind of love and support we are receiving, there is no stopping us now! A big hug to the Crusaders who made this happen- Nidhi Agarwal, Reva Kumar, Meenu Madan, Dr Swasti, Dr Neerja Gupta, Dr Mallika Agarwal, Dr Smriti Neha, Ms Payal, Vijayaji, Ruby, Saloni, Anju, Kalpana, Shivani, Smita, and the young Turks Navya, Ansh and all the volunteers .....you have every reason to be proud of yourself!💖 Jaadoo ki jhappi for the unsung heroes who work selflessly for the cause- Karuna, Esther, Deepta, Rituparna, Archanaji and Mrs Solanki. You help us dream bigger!💖 A big thank you to all those who attended the program and believed in us!
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