One of the most dreaded disease in today’s world – cancer. It is becoming so common that every one of us know at least one person who is fighting this weird body malfunction. We have seen people suffering from it, heard of the pain, but fortunately, a lot of us haven’t experienced it. Luckily, I never had any close relatives suffering from cancer and a couple of relatives who were diagnosed with it were fortunate enough to depart before the pain ate up their souls. So cancer was not something on which I had a good idea – until sometime back.

Few years back I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, which shall cause no harm provided I take my medicines regularly and remain stress free. The 13 year old me couldn’t happily accept the fact that I’ll have to be dependent on medicines for the rest of her life, and was pretty sad then. I mostly took my medicines hiding it from others, and if at all somebody found out my stock of medicines, I would tell some excuse to hide that I take medicines regularly. I did not know what other’s would think if I revealed it. My parents wouldn’t send me to any of my friends’ houses easily, convincing to go to faraway places even if for my education became a tough task and some similar restrictions my parents put on me because of their love for me. I really did wish at times if I could be free like everybody else, and I was put into this scene.

2015 was a year full of stress for me – I had some personal problems which caused me a mild depression and I was supposed to prepare for AIPMT – the stress took a toll on me. I neglected my health so much and I had to pay for it during the initial months of 2016.

I had to be taken to Ernakulam Lakeshore hospital – which happens to be one of the most famous hospital for Cancer treatment and the place where the famous oncologist Dr. VP Gangadharan consults his patients. The hospital is famous for him and most of the patients who get admitted there were cancer patients – and I had to be admitted there. There was only one vacant room and that was in Gangadharan doctor’s ward. So I was admitted there in a room amidst the cancer patients and the nurses who were routinely seeing immense pain and death very often. I was exhausted physically, but had some mental strength as I was pretty sure that this phase will get over and everything will be back to normal, and I kept smiling. I don’t know if it was my positive attitude and the only face that kept smiling or something else nurses who would come to check on my health would stay for a long time and share a lot of their experiences – the experiences which would always stay in my heart – and made me realize that I must be content with everything that I am.

I learned that it is not necessary to hide anything I do. Now I freely talk about my disease – most people take it very easily as I talk about it with ease – simply because I know that sane people can see me doing everything else like any other healthy person, I have very few restrictions which usually do not affect my everyday activities, and I had no reason to lie. But despite all these, I was sad at times.

I met a few cancer patients and their relatives – people who were finding it difficult to walk, relatives who almost forgot to smile and the experience of nurses who were almost immune to the sorrow of death of a patient anytime. There were a lot of people who were saved, but the struggle they go through, whether the get out of it dead or alive, is something that deserves a salute. I’m not explaining everything that I heard afraid if my writing skills would belittle or de-emphasize the lives of people in cancer wards – the patients, their relatives and the nurses. I might not be able to convey the real essence, I’m afraid. But one suggestion – if at some moment in your life you feel that you’re losing something, that your life is not worth living or if you feel arrogant – visit a cancer ward. It will teach you everything that’s necessary.

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