Rakesh Roshan Opens Up About His Cancer: "I Was Scared When I Was Told That My Tongue May Have To Undergo A Cut”- EXCLUSIVE

On National Cancer Awareness Day, 2019, we bring to you a candid interview of ace filmmaker, Rakesh Roshan, who fought it out bravely with the Deadly C. Here's all that he went through, mentally and physically to overcome the disease

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Rakesh Roshan Opens Up About His Cancer: "I Was Scared When I Was Told That My Tongue May Have To Undergo A Cut”- EXCLUSIVE
Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish franchise filmmaker Rakesh Roshan gets into how life changed for him when he was told that he was suffering from cancer. The blockbuster filmmaker has fought it out, is back to almost his usual self, has got back to work, and is brimming to put a new film on floors. 

A chat in his office at Andheri, and here's the UNCUT VERSION:

Sorry to take you down this lane, but can you tell us right from how it all began?
It all began with a blister which refused to go despite using several applications of prescriptions from my family doctor. It was a small one- no pain, no itching.

One day, I had gone to meet a friend of mine in Hinduja Hospital. While walking out, I just saw a board of an ENT surgeon outside his cabin. I met him impromptu and he advised me biopsy.

I don't know why but I had a gut right from the beginning that I have contracted cancer.

Rakesh Roshan

And then?
I was at Hrithik's place when I got a call that I had tested positive in biopsy. It was Dec 15 (2018), I clearly remember.

I spoke to my doctor and he advised MRI and CT scan.
I got a bit scared when I was told that my tongue may have to undergo a cut and do some grafting. I said 'I don't want to do all this'

I looked out for the best possible doctor for these kind of ailments and learned that it was Dr Jatin Shah, Chief of Head & Neck Service at Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in the US.


You called him up?
Hrithik called him up and luckily he picked up the phone, which normally he doesn't when it comes to unknown numbers.

He told Hrithik that I should get a PET scan done. We sent him the PET scan and he assured us there was nothing to worry. The best thing was that he was anyways coming to India on Jan 2.  

I even had a Dec 31 party with my friends. None of them was told about my cancer.

Rakesh Roshan

Were you able to concentrate in that Jan 31 party?
I was enjoying. I said to myself 'Jo hoga dekha jayega'.

What happened on Jan 2?
Nothing, he just advised surgery. I went through it on Jan 8. I was back in office on Jan 12.

3 weeks later my chemotherapy sessions began at Kokilaben Hospital, they used to take about 4-5 hours.

The surgery was conducted at H N Reliance Foundation Hospital (earlier, Harkisandas). They gave me Cisplatin. Normally Cisplatin is given 40 but I was given 100. Even my radiations were increased from 60 to 67. Doctors told me that I have lot of will power.

Well, I have had my share of hardships, In fact, we all in my family have undergone health issues. My wife was unwell in between. My father-in-law was indisposed. Sunaina had cancer, Hrithik underwent a brain surgery.

Still, how did you take it?
I used to feel dizzy at times but I never sat on it. I am never the one to complain. I am not a cynical or pessimistic person. I have been lucky also.

Rakesh Roshan

Kaho Na Pyaar Hai had just released. I casually underwent an ECG and learned in the nick of time that I had blockage in my arteries. God has been kind to me. Yes, I have had my share of hardships but I have come out of everything. I never give up.

How did Hrithik react when he first heard about your cancer?
As I said, these things are not new for us. So, we address these issues and go all out to rectify them. Never get into a depression. Live life. Cancer is just a big name. 


You must have had many issues of dos and don'ts in eating and drinking after your surgery?
Tongue is the worst place to have cancer. You may not be able to drink water coffee, tea. Even taste buds change and things may not taste to you as they should. I went through those hassles for 2-3 months.

I lost 10 kg but have regained 3 kg now, I had become weak because in cancer treatment, your good cells also tend to die.

Anyway now, I am much, much better. I have started gym 90 minutes every day. My personal trainer comes home, my stamina is back- but yes,  it will take me another 6 months to be fully fit.


Did you, at any stage, ask God: Why me?
Cant complain; everyone has problems.

Back to laying the stage for Krrish 4?
I had resumed work as soon as I told you, but I wasn't working at the script level. I am analysing it again, making a few changes here and there. Yes, Krrish 4 will be my next directorial.

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