Help Rasma Fight Cancer
Team Member: Sailesh Shrestha
In June 2015, my friend, Rasma Dangol, aged 30, was diagnosed with second bout of cancer. Earlier, she had survived Stomach Cancer (Ca Stomach, stage III C) in 2013. She is a brave fighter and possesses a never-give-up attitude. Even at this difficult time she hasn't forgotten to smile and is ever hopeful that she will overcome this deadly disease with your support.
In March 2011, she showed the first symptom where she vomited blood, a condition known as “hematemesis”. At that time, the doctors in Nepal diagnosed her disease as “bleeding ulcer”. She was under continuous follow-up treatments with the same doctors for about two years. She used to have recurring problems of blood vomiting every 6 months
In June 2013, when she again suffered from the same problem, Dr. Jitendra Shrestha (Rasma's doctor in Nepal) gave up on her treatment and asked to consult other doctors. But by that time, it was too late. The other doctors diagnosed Rasma's disease as cancer, which the previous doctors had failed to do.
As soon as she was diagnosed with cancer, our well wisher suggested us to visit Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center (RGCIRC), in Delhi, a specialized hospital in Cancer treatment. In RGCIRC, doctors performed various tests such as CT scan review, PET-Scan, Blood tests and other tests.
On 25th June 2013, she had a surgery under Dr. Shivendra Singh where the doctors did near total gastronomy and about 80% of her stomach was removed. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were planned. She went through six cycles of chemotherapy, but the doctors avoided radiotherapy as she had an intestine obstruction after first chemo.
Rasma completed the whole treatment in RGCIRC which lasted about seven months. Initially, the doctors had said it will be completed within 4-5 months. But she had lot of complications in between chemotherapy cycles so it took much longer than expected. After completion of chemotherapy treatment, doctors scheduled follow-ups every three months.
Everything was going well until few months back, when she started having difficulty in swallowing food. During fifth follow-up, this matter was discussed with doctors and various tests were performed but the reports were all normal.
Her sixth follow-up was scheduled for 17th June 2015. By this time, she was having difficulty in swallowing water. She again went through tests like endoscopy, CT Scan, CT Chest and endoscopy Biopsy. The biopsy report showed that she has a cancer relapse and required immediate treatment.
Now, the doctors have planned her further treatment in two phases. In the first phase, she will be given chemotherapy treatment while in the second phase, the doctors will decide if surgery will be needed based on the results of CT scan and other tests after reassessing her condition. Surgery would mean that the remaining 20% of her stomach will have to be removed. They are looking into this possibility.
Initially, the doctors had decided that she will be given three cycles of chemotherapy. But since this is a case of cancer relapse, they have decided to perform a total cycle of six chemotherapy, followed by a radiation treatment.
She had her first chemotherapy in 25th June 2015 and has undergone a week of oral chemotherapy. So far, she is facing side-effects such as vomiting and nausea and has lost around 10 pounds in the past two weeks. Despite that, her recent reports show that her body is responding well to the treatment. Her second chemotherapy is scheduled for 17th July 2015 and she has to continue oral chemotherapy in between chemo cycles.
Since her family has already spent around $50,000, a large sum of money for her treatment between 2012 and 2015, it would be difficult for them to bear the medical expenses this time. This campaign strives to support her family during this difficult phase and help with raising fund for her treatment.
Initially, this campaign was targeted for $25,000 and we have received overwhelming response. As the doctors are planning to do additional three cycles of chemotherapy, followed by radiation treatment and with a strong possibility of surgery, this campaign is now targeted to raise $50,000. This would help her family to cover her treatment expenses in the long run, as cancer recovery would be an on-going process.
To learn more about her treatment progress and transfer of donated funds, please visit the facebook page "Help Rasma Fight Cancer" (https://www.facebook.com/HelpRasmaFightCancer).