The determination to get back to a normal life helped Satish Khandade in his battle against Acute Myeloid Leukemia
I still remember January 14,2010,as if it were yesterday, says Satish Khandade. Khandade,who works with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO),was diagonised with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) last year. For him and his family,it was like a bolt from blue. I was in the doctor’s room as he was giving me the prognosis and at the same time my mind kept asking: ”How can this be possible?’. It was a difficult time for me and my family, he says.
However,after being diagnosed,the difficult part,as he puts it,was the treatment. It just stalls your daily routine. Words like chemotherapy,bone marrow transplant,become a part of your daily vocabulary, he says. Khandade had earlier represented the DRDO in a lot of sporting activities both within the orgarnisation and outside. This even won him the Best Sportsperson Award in 2009. I play table tennis. When I was undergoing chemotherapy,I could only think of how desperately I wanted to get back to playing and lead a normal life. My wife Pooja supported me a lot during those days, he reveals.
Khandade was operated for Autologus Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) in June last year at the Ruby Hall Clinic. Dr Vijay Ramanan,Haemo-Oncologist,who treated him,says,The worst part about leukemia is that there is no stage in it. A patient usually comes in at a very critical moment. Khandade came in with a relative who was a doctor. He had noticed abnormal cell growth in his blood,along with fever and a loss of appetite.” Once the diagnosis came back,the doctors first put him on Induction chemotherapy and then on Consolidation chemotherapy. “He needed a donor for his BMT but since there was no one,we decided to do an autologus or self BMT. That helped significantly. If we find him leading a normal life by the end of next year,we can pronounce him completely cured.
I just knew I had to fight this illness and win against it. Even after the BMT was done and I was in an isolated room for 17 days,the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I had to get back to playing. In fact,in January this year,I won the team and individual championship at the games at DRDO and represented them at the Veterans National in Delhi too.
In order to help others afflicted with the illness,Khandade even wrote an article for the internal journal ‘Shastra Shakti’ of the DRDO,which was published in June this year. I just wanted to tell everyone that having the right mindset can help you overcome this illness,no matter how severe. Just make the illness look small and do not give it any sort of importance that will disrupt your normal life, he says optimistically.