BENGALURU: “Cancer is not going to kill me. In fact, I will kill cancer,” said Girish, a 31-year-old professional kickboxer and a winner of many medals, who is all set to participate national championship in January 2018 in Delhi.
His confidence is what makes his story more unique. Diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, an acute form of blood cancer which is also quite aggressive and can lead to sudden death, he did not give up and decided to fight back.
“I had lost all hope when I came to the cancer hospital because of the prior experience at other hospitals, where I was admitted for a few days, but no treatment was done,” Girish said. Cancer was initially detected through CBC (Complete Blood Count) and peripheral smear lab tests. Dr Hari Menon, a senior consultant, haemato-oncology at CyteCare checked the blood reports and put Girish on immediate treatment.
“Girish was diagnosed of a specific form of blood cancer or acute Leukaemia. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key. It causes sudden bleeding externally or internally," says Dr Hari.
According to the doctor, this form of Cancer is measured in terms of its aggressiveness and not the stage. "It is all on how bad is the condition and Girsh came in with intermediate risk and he also had some treatment-related problems, which were overcome eventually," Dr Menon said.
In his earlier stint at Tata Memorial Hospital, he used to come across 25-30 patients in a year. “Generally some 2%-3% of all acute leukemia cases are acute promyelocytic leukemia cases,” he explained.
Girish was treated on an outpatient basis. Dr Menon and his team put him on a one-month long treatment which included 103 sessions including arsenic chemos and antibiotics.
In a span of three months from March to June, he has overcome the challenge and the trauma and soon gained the confidence to start his day-to-day activities afresh.
Currently, Girish has started practising and intends to revive his sports career.
Unlike other forms of cancer, Girish's treatment included less chemotherapy and more usage of differentiation therapy, which involves the use of agents with the ability to overcome the activity of bad proteins which are responsible for this type of Cancer.
“After 71 days I was back to work and I had nothing to worry about I started my work with a cannula in my hand. It is all about will power and right treatment. Anyone can fight cancer,” he summed up. Girish was earlier crowned kickboxing national championship eight times.