Thursday, December 25, 2008

Post 1. My Encounter with Death - 1/ Dr. V P Gangadharan

This is my story, the story of my encounter with cancer. It’s a story with many characters, for I was not alone in this dreadful encounter. My small world gathered around me faithfully to join in the exchange of fire. But there was one who became part of this operation only because the enemy was a very dangerous one, and could be vanquished only if we had on our side a marksman of the highest calibre, who had tireless energy to track down the foe, any time of day or night, till either the dreaded foe got me, or we got him.

When I first met Dr. Gangadharan to ask him about the course of treatment for my brother who was in the terminal stage of cancer, the doctor struck me as a reserved but pleasant man of few words, a person with infinite patience - but also as one who was still uncomfortable in the presence of pain and suffering. I say “still” ‘cos he had been a practicing oncologist for more than two decades, and one would expect a doctor with that kind of experience to have developed a defenisve protection for himself against the impact of human suffering, both physical and mental.

Two weeks after I first met him, I called him from the hospital where my brother was admitted. I was agitated ‘cos I felt (like all relatives of patients feel) that my brother was not getting the attention he needed. The doctor listened to me without any comments and then said, “OK, I’ll take care of it”. No swaggering “you relax’, or a condescending ‘take it easy” or the stiff “Madam, we’re doing our best”. But in less than five minutes after I had spoken to him, the doctor on duty came to the room and gave instructions to ensure that greater nursing attention was given to the patient.

We siblings took turns to perform the role of the bystander. Whenever it was my turn, I used to see Dr. Gangadharan when he came for the daily rounds. He greeted us with a pleasant smile but again, never wasted words giving false promises and hope. Something about the quiet way he conducted himself gave us the confidence that our brother was in the best possible hands.

And then, one day, my brother developed severe breathing trouble. My son rushed to the nursing station. In a matter of minutes, I saw Dr. Gangadharan and his team, hurrying down the corridor and literally run into the patient’s room. Never for a moment did he behave as though he was dealing with a patient whose days were numbered. Never once did we see that written-off look in his eyes or in his language or body language. What a difference this attitude makes to the loved ones of the patients!

And what a difference it makes to the patient, I discovered when I became his patient two years later.

37 comments:

  1. Hello KPJ!

    Amazing courage you have to start this blog.

    Is cancer hereditary?

    Which is the hospital where you met Dr.
    Gangadharan?

    SEASON'S GREETINGS!
    joseph

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  2. Good that you started to tell your experiences.Dr Gangadharan is the best doc you can have.
    Some Cancers can run in families especially Breast,Ovary,Colon etc.

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  3. You really should go on with this. This could do a lot.. And I hope it becomes the pages of a book one day..
    Few minutes to new year KT, thanks for this post. I am glad I am sitting home and reading this now. Happy New Year once again...

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  4. thanks all of you. JP, The doc has answered your question.
    DR gangadharan is in Lakeshore hospital. he comes to Caritas, kottayam, once a week too.

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  5. I missed this while I was home for x-mas..
    Unbelievable teacher..

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  6. Dr. Gangadharan is a rare personality in todays highly commercialized medical profession. Very decent, highly ethical in his profession, very approachable.

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  7. During a function,when Dr.Gangadharan and his team was explaining about Cancer and about people who needs supports from the society,I never knew that my daughter is already under the attack of Cancer.After six months of that incident, we realized that my daughter is affected by Cancer and needs treatment.We were totally confused how to address this situation and we approached Dr.Gangadharan who could easily convince especially my daughter and my whole family that she can come bak to her normal life after the prescribed treatments.Now she is under the care of Dr.Gangadharan and his team at Cochin.I pray God to give Dr.Gangadharan ,his family and his team a very good health to take care of the sufferers.

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  8. Dr.VPG belongs to a rare breed of doctors who is near extinction.His patients are definitely in safe hands

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  9. Oh god!! He is greatest person i ve ever met in my life. When i was first diagonised for breast cancer,near and dear ones gave a very sympathetic look and made me feel that i am reaching my destination. Dr.VPG sir dint utter a single word but a pat on my shoulder gave me strength to fight cancer. You know I was surprised when my friend said "sita,I ve heard about Dr. and i wish i get cancer to become his patient".and when i told him he said NO No adu venda...Today I am perfect and attending my duties well.Thanks to the greatest man on earth.Every sun rise is a blessing he has given me.Thanks to his dedicated team.

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  10. Dr. Gangadharan has been treating my dad who is suffering from last stage of lungs cancer for last 2 years 8 months. According to me, he is a Misah for people who lost hope. We stay in Kolkata, but go to Cochi just to get my dad's treatment done every 2 to 3 months. What best I like in him, he never makes false promises, but his straight forward nature helps the patient and his relatives to deal with the situation more positively. Can't we have some more doctors of his caliber and humanitarian approach?

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  11. Please share posts related to any form of uterine cancer and treatment received as well.

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  12. Let me also join this forum. My father is diagnosed with cancer in liver and is now with Dr.VPG. We are just starting the long battle. Hope, my father is in safe hands. Your words give me lotsa courage

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  13. Hello everyone, i am glad i found this site. i would be extremely grateful if anyone out there can please help me and give me dr's direct email address? i am in desperate need of his advise

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  14. Hello everyone, i am glad i found this site. i would be extremely grateful if anyone out there can please help me and give me dr's direct email address? i am in desperate need of his advise

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  15. Ty this number_ 9847064668, this is the number he gives his patients. u can also try Lakeshore hospital )Kochin)Oncology dept

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  16. this number 8012095125 this is my number he gives his patients

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  17. RAJU VARIKKATH - PERINTHALMANNAOctober 6, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Really, Dr. Gangadhran is a very good doctor. Last month, I went with my wife to his home for consulting. My wife breast surgery done in RCC Trivandrum. But, that time we don't know about Dr. Gangadharan. Really, his approach to the patients very politely and nice.

    God bless him.

    Raju Varikkath & Sreeja (my wife).

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  18. I would like to share my experience with SUT Royal hospital , Tvm and Padmashree Dr. M . Krishnan Nair. B'cos in Kerala many people are confused to take a decision whether to approach Dr. MKN or Dr. Gangadharan. My mother was suffering from AML. The only senior dr in SUT royal is Dr. MKN. They messed up the treatment, later dr. MKN suggest he is a radiologist and my mother's treatment must be done by an expert medical oncologist. (The same thing he never told when we approached him). when we admitted her on oct 14, her count was high. But the management was not done. Usually hydroxy urea, leukoapheresis, and chemo are suggested. He tried chemo with a new medicine, that too very costly one around Rs.30,000/-. Count was still increasing, he just waited, he told it is slow acting and we have to wait. In many medical documents it is given, it is a medical emergency and must be managed immediately. He was misleading us. My mother didnt wait much. On 5th day of the treatment , she went into coma and was shifted to ICU. My father called Dr. M. Krishnan Nair, Head of oncology dept,on phone to tell about her condition. His answer was this, he is going for walking and call after half an hour. My mother didnt wait for anything, she succumbed to death. They messed up full treatment, they didnt manage her rising count, they bought very costly medicine, gave us hope and later in emergency when my father called, his answer he is going for walk. All can check is profile the amount of awards he got and he is a padmashree and the response he gave us make me cry.

    SUT royal hospital work in such a way to protect Dr. MKN in all possible ways. They never give any treatment details. They just give bills . Even for getting lab reports , we have to plead to those staff and sisters. Dont know why they dont understand even patient and her relatives have the right to know all the details about the treatment and the see the lab reports. Their practice is to just give the bills and collect money.

    I lost my mother because of wrong management and wrong prognosis of a famous doctor.

    Indu.S

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  19. My mother had surgery for cancer in the colon. We want to take her to Dr. Gangadharan for chemotherapy. We are from Kottayam. Can anyone suggest whether Carithas or Lakeshore is better?

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  20. if you are from kottayam, caritas is closer. he comes there on two days. the avantage of lakeshore is Dr G is more available there.
    both hospitals have good onco depts.
    best to meet dr G and ask him.

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  21. I know Dr Ganghadharan from 1992 onwards when he was at RCC, TVM where my brother was under treatment for ALL.. I agree with Sitakmoorthy. H is the greatest man I had ever met with. Let me share one experience with him.

    At RCC, bye standers are not allowed. My brother who was admitted there suddenly got ill at night and needed some urgent medicine.Hospital authorities contacted me on the contact numbers but since it was a holiday, they could not contact me on the phone at the lodge where I am staying. With out waisting any time, Dr Ganghadharan took his car, purchased the medicines from a medical shop at Trivandrum city which is about 8 kms from the hospital at midnight.He administered the medicines and my brother returned to life. He could contact me only in the morning. At this decade, who will do this? He is really great. This is only one of the many pleasant experiences I had from the doctor. May God give him returns for his good work.

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  22. Yes, I agree Dr.Gangadharan is a great person.Cool and collected. I met him at Caritas hospital where I took my mother in the fourth stage of colon cancer. He was very specific giving us no false hopes but still ready to take up the challenge of treating her and give her the best possible treatment. He gave her six to twelve months time. But she expired on Dec 27th 2010. Thank you doctor for relieving her of some pain atleast. This doctors dedication is so great that on wednesdays he would start his day early at Caritas and would go late in the evening,but his zeal never decreased. He was attending the patients with the same smile. May God give him good health so that he can go fighting this dreaded disease

    SreeDevi Nair

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  23. Dr V.P Gangadharan is a great personality. His words smile... always gives 'life' to many. His wife Dr Chitrathara is also a very gifted cancer surgeon currently in lakeshore hospital cochin.

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  24. he works in WELCARE hospital too....Vytilla
    And u could consult him at his home....Petta...near gandhi sqaure.....between 7 am nd 10 am daily......booking will be starts on 4 am ....only 30 tokens will be available......i went today for my aunty....

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  25. can anyone tell me how to reach him at his home any no too ..it would be great if u can do that

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  26. plz can anyone help me to go and meet Doc at his home to show my uncle's report for his advice.....plz help me

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  27. @ anon
    dr g sees patients innhis home from 7AM to 9AM on monday, tuesday, thursday and friday. toked are kept in his veranda and people start taking them v early in the morning. u can go home and come back after 7, depending on your token number.there is no need to call him and fix appointment. if u read the comments above, you'll et the directins to his house and ph numbers.
    sometimes he goes out of town for conferences. you can call lakeshore and confirm that he's in town.

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  28. hmm...i ve read all of ma above commentz...let me share ma personal experience....ma brother was diagnolised of rhabdomyosarcoma in 2009...frm d very begining..god lead us directly 2 him...may b its a miracle or gods will..we didn knw him b4...its all happnd......frm der ma bro went for 1.5 yrs treatment under him...wen v went der for d 1st tym,v had tensd and dnt knw wat 2 do....bt wen v met this legend ,dr v.p.g...all our tensions vanishd.v felt lyk,its godmessenger directly in front f us...no he is...nw wid d grace f god,d almighty...ma bro s fyn, plz pray 4 him...bt about v.p.g,the best man i ve ever seen..he is gifted wid magical hands f god...i dnt knw wat 2 say,really no words can describe..coz if i describe it vl b d least...the greatest fact about him s,at 1st,i always felt dat ma brothr s his best patient dat he lyks him a lot...bt if d othr patient meets him,dey thnk dat dey r his fav patient....bt latr on i understood dat all patients under him feels dat dey r his fav patients....no matter its old or newcomer..dat s dr v.p.g..may allah bless him always and bless him wid gud health and 2 maintain his calm nature 4 ever...ameen...if u want 2 knw more about him,read his book"jeevithamenna albhudham"...superb book

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  29. he s d best man i ve ever known,the legend...

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  30. Pranamam Dr Gangadharan . My sister was your patient at RCC , Trivandrum in 2001 . I personally experienced Dr's greatness and capabilities to pacify patients and family members . My sister unfortunately died as she was in the adnavanced stage of Leukamia . It was on 26th October , 2001 .

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  31. yes ,Dr.VPG is great . I met him for my mothers treatmnt . We didnt knew about him or any other oncologyst ,like some people we thought cancer happends to "others" not in my home .But now i know how it feels! and under Dr.VPG we feel safe . God bless him and his family .

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  32. i am passing through a tough stage in life.before 1.5 years from coimbatore jim hospital we found that she have carniac stomache.jim doctors taken so much time to diagnoise patient.mr.PAZANIVEL&ROHIT are some doctors there who have heart.dr.manoj is a bloody person-he used to tell my mother your body full of cancer cells.they decide maximum 5 or 6 months for my mothers life. they also told that my mother will go through severe pain &DIE VERY badly.then somebody guide to me to vpg.she is still live as a normal person after 2 years.because of caring of his team.thank to god to creating a doctor who have human love

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  33. I read the book "Jeevithamenna Albhudham" yesterday. I wanted to know more about the Doctor, and was searching the net and I found this blog.After reading all the comments posted here I feel so humble and happy and wish the Doctor and his family all the very best that life can offer.

    Hasina

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  34. absolutely right.my dr is the messenger of god..i love him,.i ws his patient till 2010..i m very proud for that.nw m under his care...and he s my everythng.....my companion,best frnd,parent...i love cancer..bcz it gav me my dear uncle.....he s a grt man..the world had ever seeen.
    karthu

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  35. Dr. gangadharan is a great person.

    May God give him the strength to continue his efforts.
    Here is some news which you should share with all cancer patients undergoing treatment. NO SIDE EFFECTS and it do prolong the life expectancy beyond doubt. We should start cultivating this in India on a large scale so that it is available in plenty for all AILING & NON - AILING

    Health – Sour Sop Fruit – 10,000 times stronger than Chemo


    Dear Friends,

    No harm eating it, it is tasty and refreshing too.

    THE SOUR SOP (Mullaatha in malayalam)

    The Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo …..


    Research shows that with extracts from this miraculous tree it now may be possible to…..

    - Attack cancer safely and effectively with an all-natural therapy that does not cause extreme nausea, weight loss and hair loss
    - Protect your immune system and avoid deadly infections
    - Feel stronger and healthier throughout the course of the treatment
    - Boost your energy and improve your outlook on life

    What those tests revealed was nothing short of mind numbing… Extracts from the tree were shown to:

    Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pa ncreatic cancer. The tree compounds proved to be up to 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug!

    What’s more, unlike chemotherapy, the compound extracted from the Graviola tree selectively hunts down and kills only cancer cells. It does not harm healthy cells! The amazing anti-cancer properties of the Graviola tree have been extensively researched

    Various parts of the Graviola tree–including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit and fruit-seeds — have been used for centuries by medicine men and native Indians in South America to treat heart disease, asthma, liver problems and arthritis.
    Graviola proved itself to be a cancer-killing dynamo.…

    ….A study published in the Journal of Natural Products, following a recent study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea stated that one chemical in Graviola was found to selectively kill colon cancer cells at “10,000 times the potency of (the commonly used chemotherapy drug) Adriamycin…”

    ….The most significant part of the Catholic University of South Korea report is that Graviola was shown to selectively target the cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched. Unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately targets all actively reproducing cells (such as stomach and hair cells), causing the often devastating side effects of nausea and hair loss in cancer patients.

    ….A study at Purdue University recently found that leaves from the Graviola tree killed cancer cells among six human cell lines and were especially effective against prostate, pancreatic and lung cancers….


    The full Graviola story–including where you can get it and how to use it–is included in Beyond Chemotherapy: New Cancer Killers, Safe as Mother’s Milk, a Health Sciences Institute - report on natural substances that will effectively revolutionize the fight against cancer

    George (gpshm@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete