Outside the weather was cloudy and it was drizzling slightly. All the GIST patients and their caregivers had gathered along with the staff of The Max Foundation at the Rustomji Choksi Auditorium at Tata hospital.
It started as usual with Vidya distributing the name tags and the cakes and drink to welcome all the guests.
After everyone was settled, Dr. Nikhil, a GIST patient himself very beautifully explained to us the latest information about GIST that he had learned from attending a Global meeting on GIST at Miami, USA. He explained to us about the medicines besides Glivec i.e. Sunitinib, regorafenib,etc.
Then Dr. Shrikhande, my personal favorite from TATA hospital, was kind enough to give us some time from his busy schedule. We had a good question answer session with him.
After that Priyanka pitched for the “GIST Awareness Day” to be held on 13th July. She told us that GIST patients are only about 15 per 1,00,000 people. And hence we all are very “Rare”.
Vijaya then emphasized on the importance of the Caregivers of the patients. It is very important for the Caregivers to be mentally, emotionally and physically fit to give their utmost attention to the patients. Vidya a Max Station from The Max Foundation shared her own experience as a caregiver for her now late husband.
I related to Dr. Nikhil when he said that kids become positively mature when there is a patient in their house. My daughter herself has become very mature.
George talked about his wife as a caregiver and talked about keeping unwavering faith in God. Others also spoke about their caregivers. But at a point you yourself have to take care of yourself. Regular medicines, proper exercise, a positive attitude and ofcourse attending all the meets organized by The Max Foundation. Positive thinking is the key for defeating cancer.
After that Priyanka had brought us some pictures relating to something rare in nature and we all clicked many pictures with them, showing that we all are RARE.
Amidst all this we all missed Viji Amma a lot. I personally missed Late Dr, Bakul, a co-patient. Along with the staff of Max Foundation we all enjoyed the function as a family, we made promises to meet again and left happily, feeling proud being RARE.
Rashmi Sachade-FOM Mumbai