My Mom is an amazing person who has an invincible spirit! This is a brief account of her encounter with a dreaded disease. This is just an echo of the disturbing experience everyone goes through when faced with such ailments. The attempt is to assure that life teaches you to find ways out of difficulties if you stay on the given path with positive attitude!
It all started on a normal working day when Mom mentioned to P (my wife) that she was experiencing a severe pain in her left arm. As I was at office then, P took her urgently to the doctor. Shocking to us, the prognosis made by the doctor was about Cancer. (Mom later revealed that she was experiencing the pain consistently for few months but she ignored it as a regular spasm).
P took Mom to another clinic to get the primary tests done as advised by the doctor. On receipt of those reports, the doctor advised us to consult an oncologist immediately to decide upon further line of treatment. At that instance we were through a flood of emotions – sorrow, fear, anxiety…
We thought that it would be a good idea to consult a few acquaintances that might have had some relevant information. Subsequently, we also checked with insurance company about hospitals covered within our city that may provide the best possible treatment. After a brief research and proximity analysis, we zeroed in with ‘J hospital’ as the choice.
Oncologist advised us to get the biopsies completed and also to get the Mammography done subsequently. The process was quite elaborate but we did not face much trouble in getting the tests completed. So, after two – three days, we were again at hospital. The oncologist told us that the results confirmed malignancy in left side. At the same time, she also told us that it was a localized disease and spread wasn’t so fast. We thanked God for the second part of info given by her.
Then, the agonizing process of chemotherapy began. Apart from the nausea, inflammation and weakness that it would lead to, there was one more psychological concern. We were informed that Mom might lose her hair due to Chemo. Mom faced the pain she was going through with a lot of courage and always had a smiling face. Deep in our hearts, we knew that she is a strong woman.
At home, we tried to keep a cheerful environment so that Mom is able to face all the treatment and side effects. Even P needed a support psychologically. Hence I decided to accompany them during initial sittings of total 6 cycles of chemo. Post four sittings, the oncologist suggested an Onco-surgeon who would perform mastectomy. The surgery was successful. Then, Radiation therapy was planned before balance two chemo cycles. All through this, Mom was suffering with a lot of pain (physically as well as emotionally) but never ever complained to any of us.
There was a strong support with us – Grandpa. Grandpa always cared to keep the happiness intact at home. He would prepare different delicacies and serve to all of us whenever we returned from hospital. All our worries and concerns used to be alleviated for those few moments. When I used to chat with him on weekends, Grandpa would appreciate me and P for efforts being taken by us. It would help in reinvigorating us even though we were doing whatever we did just out of sheer love for Mom. Grandpa would insist us to take our daughter to garden or fun place while he stayed at home to accompany Mom. Such things maintained the balance of life.
In the run of events, even balance two chemo sittings were completed. We were so much used to the entire process now that days passed by before we got Mom’s treatment completed. An important support was provided by my uncle and aunt. We never had to worry about our 3 years young daughter as they would take care of her whenever we dropped her at their home before proceeding to hospital. There were also very good support by all doctors. Even one of the doctors allowed us to meet her on a holiday to avail a mandatory endorsement on the form required for availing daycare treatment planned on subsequent day.
Throughout the treatment, there were numerous people who supported us directly or indirectly by giving psychological support. Everyone encouraged us to continue the treatment with a strong faith that everything shall be all right once again.
Now, 3 years post-surgery, Lymph-edema is developed in Mom’s left arm. We are consulting expert doctors for getting the desired treatment. We are sure she shall recover from this too very soon…