27-Yr-Old With Cancer Isn't Letting Diagnosis Stop Her From Pursuing Dream Of Becoming A Doctor
Apr 07, 2021 by apost team
Cancer is a diagnosis no one wants but unfortunately, too many people receive it. Cancer also does not discriminate; from toddlers to senior citizens, every age group is affected by this terrible disease. Today, the sad reality is that everyone knows someone who has had cancer. Thanks to the developments in medicine and technology, more people are making full recoveries than ever before.
One of the ways that people with cancer are reviving hope and providing support is by documenting their diagnosis and recovery process. In the age of social media, sharing live updates about your life has become easy and has the power to reach out to millions of people with just one click. Giving a glimpse into the life of a person with cancer and their journey towards healing has helped thousands of people prepare for what is to come, and more importantly, teaches how to keep positive through what would be one of the most difficult times in a person's life.
Krista Bose is a Canadian who is studying to become a doctor in the UK. The 27-year-old medical student was diagnosed with cancer a second time in 2020, and she has taken to speaking out about her experiences on social media. Even with the challenges she continues to go through, she has not given up on her dream of becoming a doctor. With the support of her family and friends, Bose is essentially risking her life to become a doctor and do what she loves. She continues to update her followers about her life on her Instagram page.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
Krista Bose is a lively and energetic young woman who arrived in London when she was 22 years old. In her own words, she wrote her story of coming to London on the Bone Cancer Research Trust website, "As all great stories start, I had impulsively bought a one-way ticket to London, with no place to live, no job or school prospects, a stuffed suitcase and a ripped backpack, and a small stash of savings."
She adds that love was what really brought her to England, and the man she fell in love with is currently her partner of 5 years and counting! He has continued to support her through the difficulties of her diagnosis, which first came to light in June 2018. At the time, Bose was in Prague, Czech Republic as part of her surgery elective. It was difficult enough having to be in a country where very few people spoke English, and Bose had also begun to experience pain in her left leg.
"I had expressed to my English-speaking advisor that my left leg had been getting quite sore while standing in the operating theatre for long periods of time. I also had a huge swelling emerging out of the top of my thigh, and it had been diagnosed in the UK as a hematoma," Bose continued.
For a while, Bose had not paid attention to the swelling as she believed it to be a sports injury, which she commonly had due to her active lifestyle. "Sore legs, bumps, and bruises… it was usually not worth fussing about. Ice, ice, baby, and suck it up buttercup were two of my most-used mantras," she added.
However, a general surgeon in the hospital where she was doing her surgical training encouraged her to get an MRI to be on the safe side. She was able to speed up her wait time for the MRI by promising the consultant that she would get him Wimbledon tickets, which she described as "bizarre and hilarious." The day before she was supposed to receive the MRI, she spent most of the night at a party and almost skipped having the MRI done, but thankfully changed her mind and showed up.
"You’d have thought that as a medical student, I would have seen it coming. A huge lump sticking out of my leg. I hadn’t been feeling well for ages, and I’d lost a lot of weight, which I’d attributed to all the exercise," Bose writes.
Though the signs were there, until the result was presented to her, Bose did not suspect that the pain in her leg could be attributed to cancer. She immediately returned to London and began to approach multiple hospitals and doctors for an accurate diagnosis. Once she got the bone biopsy result, her worst fears were confirmed. "You guys know those commercials about a person hearing they have cancer and then all of the rest of the words become static? It really is true," says Bose.
She was diagnosed with stage three of osteoblastic osteosarcoma. She was told to not put any weight on her left leg as if at any chance it would break, it would lead to an amputation. She lost her mobility and a large chunk of her personal independence all on the same day, which is difficult for anyone to have to bear.
Once she began her treatment, Bose went through the most difficult time of her life. For over a year, Bose faced the worst side effects of the chemotherapy.
"Constant, never-ending nausea, gagging from water that’s too warm, vomiting, horrendous constipation that could last for a week, pain in my leg, pain in my stomach, pain in my subconscious, extreme muscle weakness so that sitting up in bed was too much, and remember- don’t even think about walking, mucosal ulcers anywhere along the GI tract from top to bottom, sweats, fatigue, nosebleeds, hair loss everywhere that hair once grew including arms, legs, and nose hairs, neuropathy in my fingers and toes… the list goes on," she wrote.
Moreover, when the tumor got significantly bigger despite the treatments, most of the muscle, as well as bone, had to be removed from her leg. The recovery from this painful surgery was also extremely difficult and painful. Along with the usual side effects, Bose also suffered from hallucinations and failed medical treatments for the surgery wound as well as recurring infections.
However, with the help of her partner Oliver and his mother Barbara, she was supported through her recovery. Bose also recognizes that her doctors, researchers, nurses, and consultants in their role in helping her and keeping her hope alive.
"So, it’s the job of the health-carers, the physios, the doctors, the researchers, and everyone involved to, when you can and if it’s appropriate, offer hope. Offer a challenge instead of an impossibility. At the end of the day, optimism tastes a lot better than the meds I’ve taken, that’s for sure," Bose added.
One year after her diagnosis, Bose regained enough strength to begin her classes at medical school again, and by July 2019, she was considered cancer-free. She also used strength training to rebuild muscles in her leg and regain the ability to walk. She wrote her stirring and courageous story for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and detailed every arduous and painful path in her journey.
In 2020, when the world was besieged by the Covid-19 pandemic, she could no longer work at the hospital as she was clinically very vulnerable to infections. When she began experiencing chest pain in October 2020, she thought it could have been due to Covid-19 and approached a doctor right away as per CNN. Unfortunately, she was told that her cancer had returned in a worse form this time, having spread to the lining of her lungs in the form of hundreds of tiny tumors, with most so small they are impossible to see on scans or to even remove.
"If you can't remove it by surgery, you run out of options fairly quickly, which is quite a scary thing," she told the news outlet. Her current diagnosis is painful to hear: it is incurable cancer and doctors do not know how long she has left.
"It's probably not going to be 50 years, let's be honest. But one can hope," she said. "If I do have the good fortune to live more than a year, I want to spend it working and living and doing what I love."
She has not let this stop her from pursuing her dream, and despite having a grim prognosis, Bose has continued to work hard and qualify to become a doctor. If she can finish her training by August 2021, she also has a job waiting for her at the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. However, she believed this timeline may have been a long shot as the continued chemotherapy has left her exhausted and bedridden for weeks with every round.
In February 2021, she received the good news that she qualified for a new drug that showed promising results on patients with her form of cancer in clinical trials. This news left her elated and hopeful that she could finally realize her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. Though it is not a cure, the drug allows Bose to stop the chemotherapy while also keeping her cancer at bay for six months, which gives her enough time to finish school.
"When she told me, I started screaming -- I was screaming and crying and laughing and smiling," she said. "It's just buying me six months, but I can pack a lot into six months." Though she has a new path to continue to her goal, Bose is still potentially putting herself at grave risk by working during a pandemic. However, she recognizes that her life will never be risk-free, and that she would rather do what she loves than lock herself away.
"[If I've] got a limited amount of time left, but I spend that time doing what I love with the people I love and working towards my goals and working for the sake of other people and to help patients, then that's a life worth living," Bose added.
What a courageous and beautiful story. We wish Krista Bose the very best for her future. Tell us what you think about Krista's perseverance and strength, and be sure to let your friends and family know about this inspiring story as well.