Topsy Turvy - Cancer Story
Cancer, I suppose the name is enough to scarify anyone. And this chine- chilling disquisition comes unanticipated and unasked for everyone. This complaint has a more severe impact on your and your loved one’s life if one is from weaker fiscal strata of society.
The statistics given below are sure to intimidate you. More women than men in India are being diagnosed with cancer, a disease that is likely to strike 1.57 million in 2025 from 1.46 million in 2022, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),
According to the most recent available statistics from the NCRP, the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) India, which are from the time 2020, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in India, counting for around 27% of all cancers affecting women. It’s also the second most common cancer overall, after oral cancer. These are just estimates based on the available data, the actual number of cases may be more.
And the Cancer Trauma begins
You may have read or heard many real stories of cancer either of friends, family acquaintances, or celebrities. Here I wish to share my own. Life changes completely once you are diagnosed with it. It was just a usual day for me after the Holi festival (festival of Hindus) in 2018.
Change is inevitable. And it is said that the sooner we accept, the better for us. But what if the change is brought by some precarious disease? The exact same happened to me. Cancer made its dark sudden appearance in our life in 2018 and then nothing has been the same since then. Life had turned upside down when my mother-in-law was first diagnosed with it. Every day was like a phase that was not ready to pass. The financial burden was just one part of the entire process, although a very important one. A major chunk of the entire retirement gratuity and the provident fund were spent on the treatment costs. The pain associated with the treatment, the relentless care of the patient along with the daily house chore and upbringing of my toddler was a ticking time bomb.
Last but not the least my better half was co-managing hospitals with office work. There was no respite for us! It was times when the bomb would explode and then I turned to God and seek strength, patience, and perseverance. There were many highs and lows but we steered through.
How it got diagnosed ?
My mother-in-law law said that she had a hard lump on her for a year and there was no pain or any such bothering problem. I immediately got suspicious and booked an appointment with the oncologist. Till that time my family members knew quite little about the relevance of oncologists. That day the most shocking news was revealed to us by the oncologist that she has first-grade first-stage breast as well as thyroid cancer after a series of clinical tests, PET CT scans, biopsy, and FNCA. The world seemed devastated and we were just clueless as to the course of action one should take. We returned home and mustered up our courage to get through this.
We began searching, surfing, and consulting for finding the best oncologist and cancer hospital. Finally, we zeroed down on the hospital and doctor. The painful course of treatment began. You can say that it was just the tip of the iceberg. My mother could never imagine that she had to deal with something so traumatic just when her second phase of life had begun. She had just crossed 60 a year back and they had made so many exciting plans for enjoying their second inning. The first inning of their life just passed in the upbringing and settling of the kids with so many sacrifices and hard work like it happens in any middle-class family in India. We do everything for our kids’ happiness and compromise on our own dreams and luxury. We wait for that day when they will be settled and we will be having ample time and finance to fulfill our dreams. The cancer was a mental, physical, and financial agony for all of us.
The painful trip of cancer treatment started
It wasn’t just her battle but for all of us and we had to win it under any circumstances. After the original test was over throat and bone surgery were listed. In her entire life, she has noway gone for any surgery and suddenly you come to know that you have to suffer a surgical cutter. The pivotal surgery on the throat and bone was listed and performed successfully. We’re so thankful to the surgeon as the surgery was immaculate. It took nearly one month for her to recover but that one month wasn’t easy as she demanded utmost care. It would be more grueling if my family- in- law hadn’t turned up to be with us during that delicate time. Mood swings emotional breakdowns and physical strain had come the part and parcel of our life. We strived hard to keep her inspired and motivated that everything will be fine.
Radiation - A pivotal morning
The radiation remedy was listed and it was one of the most creepy corridor of the treatment for us. She had to suffer a aggregate of 16 radiations which is a good number. originally, everything went normal but just after a many radiations she developed a veritably painful throat pain and the concerned croakers weren’t suitable to figure out the remedy. It was so painful that she was unfit to eat anything or indeed drink and nearly felt like dying due to hunger and weakness.
She’d supplicate us to take her to any croaker who could make her throat pain go down. We consulted numerous but in vain. Her throat checkup was done but there was no infection. We felt so delicate and unable. latterly after a lot of struggle, an educated croaker gave her drug which relieved her. The ferocious throat pain was due to the acidity caused by the heat generated from the radiation. The radiation remedy had to be stopped for a many days due to this.
When we just passed this emphatic assessment and assumed that everything is under our control, God had kept commodity further for us. After the resumption of remaining radiations, after a many days again, her entire skin near the bone area had got burnt due to the radiation and it was excruciatingly painful. Her skin was veritably sensitive and thin so the radiation had such a side effect. Side goods of radiation and chemotherapy vary from person to person depending on the size nature and type of cancer. It nearly took 45 days to heal. Cream had to be applied to the affected areas and she was suggested to lie down under the addict to heal soon. The process of mending was too slow.
I still flash back one of the incidents during that time veritably vividly. Her becks weren’t healing and we had gone to the croaker for that. He specified multivitamin injections. Injections in themselves are mildly painful but just imagine that the injections were given in those burnt injuries. She cried and screamed in pain. Gashes rolled down my eyes and still, it gives me goosebumps while penning this down.
The other major part of the treatment started i.e. chemotherapy. The total number of chemo listed was 12 – eight of small intensity and four of significant intensity. The small- intensity Chemotherapy was completed in three months without any hurdles. During that time, she was better than ahead.
Alternate Phase of Chemotherapy – latterly the alternate phase started. Just one chemotherapy had been done when she developed an violent cough. originally, the croaker allowed it was just an antipathetic bone and would be ok after nebulization. But the cough came much more violent and numerous nights were insomniac and days were tiring for all of us, especially for her. She was in sanitarium as effects were getting worse. A casket checkup was done and it was suspected by the pulmonologist that the radiation shaft had passed through her lung area though the oncologist noway admitted it.
The pulmonologist came as a God and his specifics proved salutary. The cough was much better though not fully gone. Now the alternate chemo was done. Her WBC count dropped drastically and she was rehabilitated for nearly a week and it wasn’t adding . Her condition was so critical that we allowed we lost her but the croaker saved her. We’re so thankful for that. The remaining two chemo had to be dropped as her body was veritably weak and was unfit to manage with those drugs. It was stylish to see the present than the future.
Capstone or A morning
The complete treatment took nearly 10 months and life has changed entirely after this. Every 6 months the checkup is to be done and the fear of developing another cancer lingers there. It has tutored us that no problem is bigger than being unhealthy. Any kind of complaint or disease takes a risk not only on the physical internal fiscal emotional health of the case but the complete family.
Cancer is dreaded the most as its treatment is painful as well as veritably precious. The survival rates also vary depending on a number of factors like the size of the cancer its position, its stage, expansion to other organs, age of the person, health care, and other natural factors. Cancer has given us numerous life assignments. It has tutored us to be strong and valorous to face any difficulty whatsoever that comes in life. We’ve learned to value and celebrate each and every moment.