A 38-year-old religious head of monastery Mr Tsering (name changed) came to Max Hospital, Dehradun, complaining of loose stools, cough, fever and extreme weakness. On examining him, he was found to be in a state of shock with very low blood pressure and saturation. He was immediately shifted to the ICU and put on resuscitation and supportive care by the Critical Care team. After few days he started responding to the treatment. When he came out of the septic shock, he was found to have a low WBC and Platelet count.
There was no way to know that why the patient went into septic shock and why were his blood counts not recovering, so the Medical Oncology team led by Dr Vimal Pandita, took over the case. After several Bone marrow investigations and specialised tests, it was found that he was suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (Blood cancer). This type of blood cancer weakens the immune system and the normal cells (that help us to fight infections) are replaced by cancer cells. This was the reason he landed in a septic shock initially. If it would not have been detected or treated, cancer can kill the person within 3 to 4 months’ time.
Post counselling and consent of his relatives and family members, he was started with a chemotherapy treatment. The treatment of blood cancers is intense and prolonged in which the chemotherapy is given in high doses. The treatment requires supportive care as it can lead to death. After the first dose of chemotherapy and a repeat bone marrow examination, it was discovered that his cancer has cleared. So he went to receive chemotherapy for another 3 months. Presently, he has got rid of the Big C and is quite happy about it. On asking him, he said, “Initially I was afraid and feared for my life, but after I got better and the diagnosis was explained to me, I was counselled by my closed ones to opt for a treatment outside Delhi”. I sincerely thank the Medical Oncology Department and his team who not only cured me of my cancer but also made my stay comfortable.
The story of Tsering not only tells about the advantages of being treated by a multidisciplinary team in a proper setup, but also the availability of such world class facility at your doorstep. We wish all the best to Mr Tsering for a very bright future.