A Second Chance at Life: Remarkable Stories of Stage 4 Cancer Survivors

The word “Cancer” always brings with it a sense of gloom and hopelessness. And with it being the second biggest cause of global deaths annually, the notion is comprehensible.

The severity of this disease is denoted in stages. While Stage 1 is the earliest form of cancer and almost always centered at a place, Stage 4 is its most aggressive form where it has spread to other, often vital, body parts.

It is often said that Stage 4 cancer is the point of no return. The tumor has metastasized in this case, meaning it has spread from its point of origin to other distant and vital body organs. As there is no sure-shot treatment for this disease, hearing of Stage 4 cancer often makes people think that all hope is lost.

But that is not entirely true. Among the cries of dread surrounding this disease, there are echoes of the stories of cancer survivors. Some people have been diagnosed with cancer, felt the same dread and bewilderment as everyone in the situation does, then decided to fight back. Yes, there are people who, against all odds, have fought against this disease and surprised everyone.

In this article, we bring to you a few stories of Stage 4 Cancer survivors who refused to give in to the dread surrounding this disease. Instead, they fought back and left their mark on time with their courage and spirit.

Also Read : Stages Of Oral Cancer And How To Treat Them

Rajneesh Singh And His Focus On “What’s Next”

Rajneesh Singh, an HR consultant, was 58 years old when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

It all started with an uneasy stomach and problems with bowel movements. He consulted with a general physician but the prescribed medications didn’t help much. About a month later, Ranjneesh noticed blood in his stools and his physician referred him to a specialist.

A few tests and a colonoscopy later, they found a tumor in his lower colon area. Doctors performed a biopsy test which confirmed the growth was cancerous. Further scans and tests revealed that the cancer had spread to his liver as well.

In July 2021, the final verdict of the doctors was Stage 4 colon cancer.

Ranjneesh, who had never suffered any serious illness in the 58 years of his life, was taken aback and so was his family. But despite the case, instead of being disheartened and scared, the question he asked the doctors was “What’s next?”

And that’s how his journey of becoming a survivor began.

Rajneesh Went Into Surgery With A Smile

After the necessary tests and protocols, his cancer care team suggested that surgery was the best option. And putting his faith in the doctors, Ranjneesh went into the operation theater with a smile.

Within 48 hours after the surgery, the surgeon found him walking around in his hospital room with little to no help from the medical staff. The people around him were surprised at his quick recovery, but he wasn’t.

For Ranjneesh, giving up or giving in was never an option. Ever since he got to know about his condition, he kept asking himself “What’s next” and kept fighting against all odds.

Also Read : Proton Therapy And Its Impact on The Quality of Life For Cancer Patients

What Rajneesh Shares From His Experience

Throughout his journey of battling Stage 4 cancer, Ranjneesh’s biggest friend was the support of his family. And while going through a situation like this poses countless physical, emotional, and financial challenges, he is thankful for the lessons he has learned.

As Ranjneesh says, choosing a good and experienced Oncologist and cancer care team is a crucial step toward recovery. And once you’ve found the right team, you must trust them to make the right calls.

Ranjneesh believes that how you handle the news of having Stage 4 cancer shapes the path of your recovery. And all along the way, taking care of yourself, spending time with your loved ones, and doing things that make you happy is what matters the most.

Kusum’s Story Of Resilience, Love, And Making An Impact

Kusum was only 29 years of age and mother to a 3-year-old boy when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the lungs.

It is widely believed that only people who smoke get lung cancer. So the news came as a surprise since neither she nor anyone in her family smoked.

Kusum’s story involves an unfortunate series of misdiagnoses, as is common in cases of asymptomatic cancer. The first signs of the condition appeared as facial twitching and frequent headaches. These issues were easily credited to her case of migraine.

However, when Vivek Tomar, her husband, got concerned and sought the attention of a specialist, a series of scans revealed 6 nodules in her brain. Due to the lack of any other symptoms, she was diagnosed with Brain Tuberculoma.

Kusum received constant treatment for the condition but to no avail. Later on, follow-up scans showed that the nodules in her brain had increased to 10.

It was then, in 2012, that on further scans and testing, Kusum was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. By this time, the cancer had spread to her brain.

When Kusum asked the doctors how much time she’d left, they said she had 6 months. One year was the maximum stage 4 cancer life expectancy with treatment. In India, no one with a case like hers had lived for over a year.

Vivek was crushed at the news and, with his wife, he cried his heart out at the possibility of losing her. But after the initial shock and grief, Kusum decided that she had 6 months, and instead of giving in, she’d spend this time fighting back with all her might.

Her Treatment Involved Constant Challenges

Even as Kusum underwent treatment, her condition continued to deteriorate until she went into a coma.

She had an ALk mutation cancer, which made her case a rare one. At that time, new oral targeted therapy had been introduced with only permission for conditional use from the United States authorities. Vivek managed to get his hands on the drug for Kusum.

At first, Kusum started getting better, but within one week, her body developed resistance to the drug and her condition worsened further. The Stage 4 cancer had spread to her abdomen, ovaries, and adnexa by now.

Only a revolutionary cancer treatment method could help Kusum in this situation, but clinical trials had stopped in India around this time. Kusum raised her voice against the matter and after much struggle, on 31st December, she became the first Indian to get enrolled for the trials.

The treatment helped her, but only marginally. Her condition continued to get worse until she had a paralysis attack in 2016.

Kusum’s cancer care team informed Vivek about a new foreign drug aimed at treating the ALk cancer mutation. But the company refused to manufacture or sell the drug in India. After a series of awareness campaigns and media involvement, Kusum was finally provided with the medicine free of cost.

Also Read : Stomach Cancer Causes & Symptoms

Kusum’s Story Continues To Make An Impact

This new medicine helped Kusum’s case and she got better. Within a short time, she went from being paralyzed to running a marathon.

She spent time with her husband and son and made plenty of memories. Alongside it, she participated in cancer awareness programs and joined support groups. Her story inspired many and her mantra, “If I can survive, so can you” filled people with hope.

Kusum, who was given a timeline of 6 months as stage 4 cancer life expectancy with treatment to live her life, fought against it for 7 years. In February 2019, she took her last breath.

Even today, Kusum’s husband, Vivek, and their son take part in cancer awareness programs. Vivek actively works against breaking the stigma surrounding Stage 4 cancer and opening up more treatment opportunities. To date, they remain cancer patient advocates and continue to inspire others with Kusum’s story of resilience and courage.

If There’s A Will, There Surely Is A Way

Cancer, and especially Stage 4 cancer, should never be taken lightly. But with that said, if you have the right mindset, a good cancer care team, and the support of your loved ones, cancer is a crossable mountain.

There are several other stories of survivors who refused to give up and challenged the fear and stigma surrounding cancer.

They proved that where there’s a will, there surely is a way!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top