Cancer Positivity: A New Perspective For The New Year

Note by Dr Suraj Manjunath: This is a guest post by Dr Sapna Mallikarjun. Dr Sapna recently completed her medical training and had a short posting in our Department of Surgical Oncology. Apart from being an enthusiastic and committed doctor, Dr Sapna is also a budding author.

As a resident, it’s really difficult to get a chance to follow up with our patients from the moment they receive their diagnosis to the time they complete treatment and leave the hospital. I am glad I got a chance to follow up with a few cancer patients all the way from their diagnosis to the post-operative period.

Here is a tiny story I want to share about one of my patients – a 78-year-old, diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I remember listening to his complaints on the day he walked into the outpatient clinic with his daughter. He was pleasant and took his own time to decide when he wanted his surgery scheduled.

On the day of the surgery, I usually wish my patients good luck to help them calm down before the surgery. But in this case, there was a slight twist. He wished me back! He is the first patient to have done this. He looked absolutely calm and happy and his positive energy was radiating all over the room!

This man had so much positivity throughout his stay in the hospital, despite having medical conditions apart from cancer to deal with. His attitude made it easier for me to help him deal with post-operative recovery.

The next day he was bright and happy, and all ready to walk home. This was a very different experience for me as this man gave the best of his wishes and warmth throughout his stay.

I realized that we doctors get a lot to learn from our patients as well. Just like how a bud blooms into a flower one day, our budding lives have no meaning without blooming. Every other year and every new year, we get a chance to bloom bigger and shine brighter.

On account of this New Year, I would like to remember him and thank him for staying positive and spreading positivity. To be able to accept his disease with so much calmness, and live with it, without actually feeling burdened about the whole term called cancer.

I thank him for every message he has spread throughout his stay. Wishing this wonderful man a very happy new year. And to everyone dealing with suffering and pain, I hope all of you have a stronger and better new year.

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