From The Cancer Institute to The CA Institute: How this CA survived cancer and became a qualified Chartered Accountant against all odds
- Hello! I am a qualified chartered accountant and a CA in Practice who went from The Cancer Institute to The CA Institute.
- Coming from a Tamil Brahmin family my time was usually spent reciting shlokas, but this monotonous life changed when I tested positive for cancer at the age of 7. During chemotherapy, all my hair had fallen but my courage was intact.
- My dream was to study at IIT but due to my health condition, I was not allowed to move to Chennai, India. But I still chose B.Sc, Mathematics since I loved maths.
- CA was introduced to me by one of my relatives. And I promptly enrolled myself in CPT coaching while still in college and even though I faced several challenges, in my 3rd attempt, I cleared CA Final with 60+ in 4 subjects.
- I fought all odds and today I am a CA who has his own CA Firm in Chennai. Proving that anyone can become what they wish to be if they have the courage.
How I dealt with Cancer:
I belonged to a traditional middle-class Tamil Brahmin family who was born and brought up in a village. My time was spent reciting shlokas, accompanying my father for poojas at the temples, and following strict food habits. When I was about 7 years my monotonous life changed when I started feeling a sharp pain in my stomach which made me roll from one end of the floor to the other. At the hospital, they operated and cut 8 inches of my intestine and sent it for biopsy and the report tested positive for Cancer. I got admitted to Cancer Institute WIA - Adyar, Chennai
On the insistence of my family, they did a bone marrow test twice (A Bone Marrow Biopsy can establish the spread of the disease. This involves the insertion of a needle into bone to obtain bone marrow) and confirmed beyond doubt that it was an early stage of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (In Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, blood cells called lymphocytes become abnormal). I was advised to take two cycles of Chemotherapy (Chemotherapy: This is a drug treatment either as an injection or oral form that kills cancer cells. This treatment can involve one medication or multiple medications and be given alone or in conjunction with other therapies).
During chemotherapy, all my hair had fallen but my Courage was intact. I knew I had to build my own confidence. My immunity hit a low and I could not strain myself physically. I could not do the things others my age were doing. It was then that I took solace in books. I started to concentrate on activities involving mental work rather than physical. Books and journals became my friends. I did my schooling in a Government School in Tamil Medium.
TB & My Studies:
Again, at the age of 12, I was affected by Tuberculosis and was operated on in my neck, and undergone tough medication for 6 months. In spite of all this, I excelled in my studies. My dream was to study at IIT but due to my health condition, I was not allowed to move to Chennai, India. I love maths so I chose B.Sc, Mathematics instead of engineering even though I scored 93 % in 12th Grade.
A Science Graduate Pursuing CA:
CA was introduced to me by one of my relatives. I promptly enrolled myself in CPT (1st level CA exam) coaching while still in college but failed 3 times due to improper coaching at my village. Post my graduation in Mathematics, I switched to direct entry when it was introduced in 2012 and arrived in Chennai in 2013 with the support of my brother to pursue CA. I joined a mid-sized firm with the only expectation to become a Good Chartered Accountant.
As a student from a Mathematics background, I had difficulty in understanding the 'Accounting Jargons' but I learned to substitute the debit credit with plus-minus! I cleared my Intermediate Exam (now known as IPCC) in 2014 in my very 1st attempt with 45 days of preparations. I attribute this success to the good exposure during my days at the audit firm and my curiosity during the articleship period that drove me to learn more and more.
Then came CA Final. I could not sit for more than 8 hours as it created a lot of physical strain on me. Due to this, I failed CA Final on my 1st attempt. When I started preparing for my 2nd attempt I fell sick. I got severe pain in my stomach yet again. I had to undergo various tests to confirm whether Cancer has struck me again. In the process of all the tests and hospital rounds, I could not study and failed in my 2nd attempt as well. However, in my 3rd attempt, I cleared CA Final with 60+ in 4 subjects. It was a great day for me.
Post CA Qualification:
I always wanted to start my own CA Firm and get into CA Practice so that's what I did after becoming a CA. I also started helping kids suffering from Cancer. I love to share my knowledge and I am doing that through my newsletter and articles. Also, the real tough task is not winning the war against cancer; it is The Post-Treatment Life with so many restrictions on food and activities that make it tough.
My biggest strength:
I never thought of my health as a constraint and I kept moving forward. All the things I faced, the people I met during my days at the hospital have made me into the person I am today. Everyone has their story to share. As life is the best teacher, it taught me so many lessons and it continues teaching me. Even ‘Cancer has a CAN in it, Then why can’t we? From a Cancer survivor, I turned into a Chartered Accountant (CA), a Happy Cancer Survivor from Tamil Nadu.
P:S: He could be reached on firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com