A book from the OT

Dec 09, 2018, 08:00 IST | Prutha Bhosle

Scribe-turned-advertising professional releases her first book, Second Go, that imbues hope through her real account as a liver transplant recipient

A book from the OT
Radhika Sachdev is a double cancer survivor. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Just when she visited her gastroenterologist at Bombay Hospital to inform that she had completed the two-year therapy of a drug for Hepatitis C, Radhika Sachdev, a media professional at the peak of her career found she had a cancerous liver tumour. A few weeks later, tough and optimistic, Sachdev decided to sail through an impending liver transplant procedure only to be told that pre-cancerous cells had been detected in her breasts.

A single mother, her world came crashing down around her when she was issued a three months' deadline in June 2016 to have a transplant done. Recalling her challenging journey, the double cancer survivor says, "In some cases, Hepatitis C leads to liver cirrhosis. In my case, the cirrhotic liver started producing tumours that were growing very fast.

The only option left was an organ transplant. So, I registered myself at four centres — Jupiter and Kokilaben hospitals in Mumbai, Sahyadri in Pune and Apollo in Chennai. When pre-cancerous cells were later found in my breasts, we had to surgically remove them first. After that, I waited for about two-and-a-half months; my time was almost up when luckily I got a call from Pune for a liver transplant procedure in September."

Isolated in a super-sanitised room, Sachdev started documenting every little detail of her fight against cancer. What started as a blog has now taken form of a book titled, Second Go, released last week and will available on December 10. She says, "I channel all my emotions through writing. It is therapeutic for me. Since I was going through different phases of denial, shock, pain and stress, I thought recording all the details would help me. So from my secluded room, where nobody was allowed to enter without a mask, I used my sanitised smartphone to write. I remember juggling phone calls of clients and my colleagues minutes before entering the operation theatre (OT)."

Ironically, Sachdev had registered herself as a potential donor before her mother passed away. Little did she know, four years down the line she would be standing in another queue to receive an organ instead. Speaking about the need to create awareness on organ donation in India, she informs, "Despite having maximum number of road accidents in India, organ donation continues to remain scarce. Nature has given us the capacity to recycle our precious organs, but not many come forward. Irresponsibly, in the name of religion, people either bury bodies or cremate them. In the hope to improve this situation, I have started a campaign — Life Bank. Through this, we urge people to pledge their organs."

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