Tell us something about yourself?
I am a cancer survivor, marathon runner, dog lover, a biker and a traveller by passion. I was detected with cancer a month after I ran a full marathon in Mumbai in the year 2014, I went through a lifesaving surgery where a kidney along with the ureter, lymph node, 3 arteries, 4 veins and some peripheral tissue also had to be removed. I took baby steps after being in bed for 3 months and went back to running and completed the half marathon in Nov 2014; 8 months after the surgery and then went to Mumbai to complete another full marathon in Jan 2015 within one year of my surgery. Since then I have been working as a motivational speaker with different NGOs’ and have been helping them with the counselling of cancer patients and caregivers. Professionally I work in the capacity of Program manager in transformation and strategy execution for a Telecom giant in India.
What is the idea behind your blog Flying Sidharth?
One of the best compliments that I got from a running friend when I completed the full marathon post my lifesaving cancer surgery; was that Milkha Singh the India Gold Medallist at commonwealth games was called Flying Sikh and you from now on will be called Flying Sid and since my running friends always call me by this name. Some of my friends call me FlyingSid and some FlyingSidharth. FlyingSidharth is all about each one of us who fought a battle life and came out with flying colours. The purpose of the site and the blog is to tell people that Cancer is not a dead end and you can fight it, so never give up.
Tell us a bit about your upcoming book
The book untitled as of now is about my journey with cancer, it talks about the different phases one goes through during the cancer treatment. It is true that cancer does not affect you alone but your family, friends, near and dear ones as well. In addition, running which has been my passion even before when I was detected with cancer helped me fight it, made me stronger, helped me to push myself and develop a never give up attitude. Needless to say, I am thankful to God, my parents, doctors, friends, family, healers and this book is dedicated to each one of them who was with me and prayed for me. With this medium I would like to reach out to people and spread the message that cancer is not a dead end, I fought it and so can you; don’t give up.
What should one do when they interact with a cancer patient?
Cancer patients don’t need sympathy they need motivation. I have seen patients in the oncology department who have lost all hope and are low in morale. You have to be with them and motivate them to fight it. You need to be positive about it and more importantly, the patient itself should be positive and live life king size. After all, God only gives such things to special people who have the courage to fight such an ailment.
Does cancer shorten your lifespan?
It is a tough question to answer however what I feel cancer gives you a choice to either affect your lifespan or lifestyle; the choice is ultimately yours. I have come across people who lived more than six years while doctors gave them six months. If you bring a change in your lifestyle; eat healthily and stay fit and most importantly stay positive; you can definitely live a normal life, but again it depends on the type and stage of cancer.
Finally, what causes cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body. These abnormal cells are termed cancer cells, malignant cells, or tumour cells. It is a disease for which the causes are unknown unless triggered by unhealthy lifestyle and habits like smoking tobacco, drinking etc… Some doctors suggest that it can be because of excessive Smoking, Drinking, Unhealthy Eating Habits, High Blood Pressure etc. however, the real cause or the root cause is not known hence you cannot do much about it. The only thing that you should do it is FIGHT IT!!
Sidharth Ghosh’s Official Website: www.flyingsidharth.com