Venue – Alaknanda Resort, SRMS IMS Campus. Occasion – World Cancer Day. Main characters – Doctors. Mood – Joyous.
Music filled the air and laughter rang across the venue. The audience comprised of past cancer patients, their attendants and loved ones joined in the revelry. Their doctors had swapped the scrubs for actors’ gear. They performed plays, sang till their hearts’ fill and spread cheer in what would be one of the most unusual yet touching celebrations on World Cancer Day. The event was a celebration for those who had beaten cancer for over five years with the embrace of joys that their family at SRMS presented them.
Inspired by real life
The Radiation Oncology department of SRMS IMS sees patients from rural areas, accompanied to the hospital by elders or village chiefs. It’s up to the doctors of the department to not only make them aware of their condition and treatment options but make them feel comfortable, home, in a safe environment as well. Right from the stage where they are informed about what to expect during the course of treatment, the doctors and staff welcome them with an open heart and warm smiles. ‘Pyaar se’ remains the mantra at SRMS IMS.
Motivation to face the uphill task
As experts assert, fighting cancer is a battle of the mind and heart in unison. It’s not uncommon to find patients wanting to give up because of issues like radiotherapy causing ulcers in their mouth. It is an uphill task for the patients but they derive strength and motivation from the doctors at SRMS. Dr. Piyush Kumar Agarwal, Radiation Oncologist, Professor and HOD says, “We give them the example of visiting Vaishno Devi. It’s doesn’t seem easy at first. We tell our patients, when you were on the pilgrimage you didn’t lose hope, you can’t lose it now.”
Fighting the fear of cancer
The C word fills the best of us with dread and fear. But there are two Cs that can help patients with their battle – Care and Compassion. At SRMS IMS quality care is complemented by kindness and thoughtfulness. Recently a patient was in low spirits because he had to be in the hospital on his birthday. When the doctors found out, they decorated his bed and cut a cake at midnight surprising him with their touching gesture. It’s this feeling of warmth and bonding that gives patients the courage and strength they need to cope with the arduous treatment.
The Munnabhai effect
Today the patient routinely goes through his treatment and is in follow up. If the change of heart seems like Munnabhai effect, then it is! Dr. Agarwal calls it a landmark film for all doctors because it reminds them that to treat patients you need to find a way to their hearts. As the patients soldier on through their treatments, they start believing that cancer is curable. And when they have beaten the disease, they become ambassadors for the success of SRMS IMS. They are true examples of how personal connection with doctors can help patients.
And then comes the celebration
At SRMS IMS, 4th February – World Cancer Day brings together patients, who have been cured for more than five years, their families and friends. Shattering taboos and cementing their bonds of friendship doctors present plays and break bread with the patients, who come from far off lands. Knowing they are well and healthy, in turn sparks further enthusiasm in the doctors, who are encouraged to keep doing their best. Raising the bar for medical treatments with love and care, they are beating cancer, one thoughtful step at a time.