Chennai Meet – 8th July 2012

I take immense pleasure in sharing the FOM Chennai Regional meet happenings. Here you go!

After weeks and weeks of FOM core members meetings, Ideas, updates and planning etc. We core group of FOM Chennai met on Saturday evening at Veda’s house for a final run down of the meeting. That evening had its fire like energy thanks to Viji and Beena. We meet confirmed everything is in place
and thanks to Veda we had a joyful dinner. Our D-day was just a few hours away when bid adieu.
It was a Sunday (8th July), not like any other lazy Sunday morning, the Core group members assembled exactly by 7.30 AM at Adayar Cancer Institute (WIA). Every one set out to do their individual tasks in order to achieve the main goal of turning the WIA auditorium into an MAX spectacle. The enthusiastic CML & GIST patients and care givers started arriving to the venue as early as 7.45 AM. Friends from all over Tamil Nadu were greeted warmly and served hot breakfast along with Coffee and Tea after
the registration. As the minutes ticked by, Our CML & GIST friends and Care givers thronged the registration area.
It was 10 AM, time to start the Friends of Max Regional Tamil Nadu meet. By this time the occasion was graced by our lovable Doctors Rejiv Rajendranath, Dr Venkat , Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Subhadra  Mr. Pankaj Manchanda of our Novartis and of course our very own Viji and Beena. The Event started with National Anthem then welcome notes by Viji, Rejiv Rajendranath, Sriram and Celine.  Then NAG took over the comparing in his own elegant way. 
It was time for Viji to take the central stage to present few slides about Max Foundation and Novartis. She grabbed the entire crowds’ attention with her charming Tamil and examples; she also took the Compliance session. Compliance presentation had many insights about the day to day issues faced by the CML & GIST patients while taking the tablets and importance of taking the tablets regularly. A study revealed that 91% percent of the patients are taking their tablets regularly while the remaining 9% are not taking Glivec on a daily basis. The numbers were positive; it would’ve been satisfying if that 91 % was 100%. It is in our hands to see that percent through to 100% soon. This session also discussed the reasons for Non-Compliance, Side effects and methods to be adhered for daily consumption of Glivec.  Before we realized it was 12.45 PM time to feed the stomach after the heavily informative and interactive compliance session. By this time the crowed wrote their questions, to be discussed in the following Q&A session. 
After the delicious lunch, the most anticipated portion of the event, yes, it’s the Q&A session with our doctors. Session started by thanking the doctors with a memorandum.  Our elite panel comprised of stalwarts’ like Dr. Rejiv R, Dr. G.Ramanan, Dr. Revathi Raj, Dr. Dominic Joseph and Dr Vidhubala. The session began with a note that “All familiar questions and familiar answers”. Well, the pervious comment was broken into pieces, because the questions covered from diagnosis of CML from child hood to elderly. Doctors spoke in depth about the pros and cons of taking Glivec and how to overcome the side effects and day to day issues. Q&A also covered the marital and parenthood concerns. It also touched the issues faced by the GIST patients. Session touched base on all the aspects of both Men and Women life with CML and GIST. Questions also covered the advanced medicines now available. Doctors were amazingly patient in answering each and every question decisively. I would say, “The most informative Q&A session in my experience”

Then our very own Beena delivered the Vote of Thanks, thanking the WIA for giving us the Auditorium to host the event, Novartis, Doctors, Friends of Max and most importantly the CML & GIST patients and
care givers without whom this event wouldn’t have been this huge and successful.

Finally few of our friends shared their experiences which were a source of inspiration and positivity which everyone could thrive on. Like the old saying goes “all the good things have an end” our emorable day came to an end with a warm Coffee and tea. Just like the tea the day left a sweet taste in everybody. The day will remain as one of the most memorable day in my life.

Vishvanathan. N