So some bad news here.
My mother-in-law got diagnosed with cancer recently. It’s stage 4 and non-operable. And the road ahead is looking very tough. She has no symptoms on the face of it and that’s why it wasn’t diagnosed sooner. The ironic fact is that while all markers are pointing to a gall bladder cancer (which is extremely rare and has a poor prognosis), the particular organ was removed last year due to stones. Apparently a few cells dropped into the abdomen when the surgery was done and they’ve proliferated into a malignant growth all over her abdomen.
Its a freak case.
And one that has been especially devastating for the whole family.
Since her diagnosis a couple of weeks back, we’ve come a long way from the shock of discovery, to actually ‘accepting’ the disease. It is hard to acknowledge that this fact is real and is happening to someone you love dearly. I can only imagine the jolt she is experiencing.
My husband decided it was best to get them to Mumbai to stay with us and start treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital, a highly specialised centre for cancer treatment. We figured that the family support and presence of a little baby in the house would do wonders to lift her spirits and give a much needed boost to her will power.
Cancer is a disease of the mind, as much as it is of the body. Just mention the term and it would get most people panicking. And there is nothing reassuring about the treatment either, because everyone has only heard horror stories about chemotherapy and how its tougher and more brutal than the disease. Even before the body begins to fail, the mind gets hurt and dejected and that is why it takes a lot of strength to put your fears behind and face this new reality.
So, we are making all major efforts to try and look at the upside. Look at the half-full part of the glass and appreciate the moments we have. And not try and wallow in the hopelessness that naturally comes about.
We’ve decided as a family that while there is very little positivity coming from the world outside, we will do our best to fight this debilitating disease with the best that science has to offer in today’s day. She’s 61, otherwise perfectly healthy and has so much to see in the world, and that makes it essential that we give her a fighting chance to get healthy again.
Each day begins with great hope and cheer, thoughts of despair are lost in everyday chores and baby antics. But as the day ends, the reality sinks in and everything seems unfair and hopeless. The fear, anger and sadness are palpable in the air and strands of hope are hard to come by.
Her chemo starts tomorrow and we’re really counting on it to work.
Will keep you posted.