Kavya Kumar from London, UK
Age 21 at diagnosis
Follow this link to read her Blog: My Stomach Cancer Jo
How were you diagnosed?
What is your treatment?
Clinical trial at UCLH
What is your hope? Or what do you want to share with others?
After many months of dismissing symptoms and living life as I normally do – a final year uni student in central London, shopping, eating out at every restaurant and killing workouts at the gym. Everything seemed normal. I seemed normal. I was definitely struggling with severe acid reflux and difficulty swallowing food and at this time I was also vigorously studying for my CFA LEVEL 1: an exam requiring over 300 hours of study which was on March 1st. I don’t know how I completed the exam but I did and I can proudly also say I passed.
March 3rd was my first endoscopy after being referred back in November which was when my symptoms of swallowing difficulty and reflux started.
March 17th I was referred to have a CT scan. At this point I still believed everything was normal. I was convinced it’s just acid reflux and I would overcome it in 2 weeks by fixing my diet and taking my lansoprazole.
MARCH 19th was the day my life stopped before my eyes as my consultant sat me and my partner Dhruv down and told me they had high suspicion that I had a cancerous tumour. It was this day that I broke down having no clue what to do or what to say to anyone. I thought my life was over…
March 23rd – my second endoscopy: they wanted to take more samples to confirm.
March 29th – it was confirmed that I had Stage 4 Stomach Cancer. I was told there is no cure and it’s inoperable due to it spreading to other places such as ovaries. However I was told there was a clinical trial happening for which I should be eligible for under a very highly regarded professor at UCLH. That’s where my roadmap started.
At this point I had accepted it. My family went through a hard time for many days, but never once did a single person lose hope or faith. We set out a plan, a roadmap, treated it like a project to complete. We could all see a light in the dark tunnel. I had my family and Dhruv holding me upright and giving me strength and positivity every second. Not once did I think my life was over.
From this point to the 30th April I experienced a lot of pain and my symptoms were bad. I lost 10kg and was extremely weak and fatigued. I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of food and I struggled to swallow anything. Ascites fluid built up rapidly making my stomach huge and uncomfortable giving me excruciating back pains which led to sleepless nights. I’m not going to say I was positive and strong and lie to you. It was not pleasant and I can confidently say I had more lows than highs. I stayed away from social media and didn’t speak to anyone. I didn’t have the energy and I didn’t want anyone seeing me this way. I barely spoke more than a few sentences in a day.
On the 30th April I had my first infusion treatment, I am part of a clinical trial at UCLH Macmillan Cancer Centre.
Today, I can swallow food and eat several meals. I have a beautiful puppy (Gucci) and I spend my days occupied with him. I can walk comfortably and go out and even drive places. I get a beautiful nights sleep without needing my morphine medication. I’m living life pretty much as normal as I used to. I am happy in a different way. I have a long way to go there’s no denying that, but I’m ready for that journey now. Sure some days I struggle a bit more than others but each day is a new one and a little bit better than the previous one. The most important thing that has given me strength is my family and Dhruv. They’re my 4 pillars and my love for them is unconditional. I am truly blessed.
What I hope to do is to really raise awareness around the condition I have and give people like me who have late stage cancer hope that it’s NOT OVER. I’ll be updating my blog regularly whenever I can to share my journey and please feel free to get in contact if you have questions regarding anything. I am happy to help in any way I can. Please do subscribe to my blog to get updates!
Hey, check out my website, “My Stomach Cancer Jo” with this link: https://kvykumar223.wixsite.com/mystomachcancerjourn