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PATIENT/CAREGIVER CORNER
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 503-504

Journey to life


Date of Submission09-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance15-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication08-Oct-2021

Correspondence Address:
Richa Chaudhary


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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_158_21

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How to cite this article:
Chaudhary R. Journey to life. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:503-4

How to cite this URL:
Chaudhary R. Journey to life. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 9];4:503-4. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2021/4/3/503/327764



It all started in October 2018 with a small mole-like structure on the inside of his lower lip. My husband tried to ignore it and took some medications recommended by the local pharmacist. However, it did not improve. Besides the mole-like structure, he developed mild ulcers in the inner lining of his right cheek. Fear gripped us both, as he had been a tobacco user in the form of smoking and chewing. However, we both tried to hide our fears and gave ourselves as many reasons as we could to explain away his symptoms. The word “cancer” was not far from our subconscious minds, but we made every effort to not speak it or accept its existence. We were certainly scared though.

Hence, out of fear and non-acceptance for the truth coming our way, my husband consulted an Ayurvedic doctor of national fame. The doctor prescribed some medications and assured my husband that it was not cancer and that he would cure him.

Walking like fools on an unknown dark path continued till February 2019. The situation worsened and the lip sore became an ulcerated sore. We then approached a renowned private hospital in Delhi and got several tests done to confirm the diagnosis, and yes, it was cancer.

The world came down on us. For the first time, I realized how it feels to be numb in the face of death approaching. The disease to us meant “THE END.”

The doctors said that surgery was the only option for the removal of the cyst. We made the mistake of not getting a second opinion and got the surgery done with full hopes of recovery. It was a major surgery that left him with facial scars that soon transformed into mental scars. Happiness was just a thing of the past, and day and night, we struggled with coming to terms with the disease and its treatment. Surgery was followed by 6 weeks of radiation therapy, and then came the real trouble. Just after 2 weeks of radiation, my husband's mouth was swollen with ulcers. He could not eat properly, and we had to give him a liquid diet. He was in extreme pain, and because of the low food intake, he started to lose weight.

Nevertheless, his strong willpower and motivation kept him going. We successfully sailed through this phase, and finally, in July 2019, he was declared disease-free.

Happiness and bliss did not last very long, and in July 2020, he started experiencing unbearable pain in his left hip, and a small cyst appeared under his chin. It had started all over again. The cyst got bigger, and the pain was severe. He was constantly on pain killers. The nightmare had just begun, for what we assumed to be the pain of sciatica and a cyst were in fact the recurrence of his cancer; it was only more aggressive now, as told by his treating oncologist. The verdict was stage-IV cancer.

In that moment, I felt that everything was over, but my rock-strong husband continued to be full of humor and life. I was crying incessantly, and he was smiling and trying to give me hope.

Hope was the last “fake” word I knew at that time. The line of treatment suggested by his oncologist was a combined package of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. My husband's pain was so severe that I have no words to describe it. Steroids, pain relief patches, and a bucket load of medicines could give him relief only for an hour or so. I secretly cried day and night, not because I feared losing him, but because I could not bear to see him in so much pain. It was the coldest and most painful trauma I had ever gone through. I wanted it to stop. Hence, I decided to get a second opinion. One of my family friends suggested the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. As we were in Delhi-NCR, we chose to visit the Tata Memorial Hospital in Varanasi.

When we met the doctors, we were really surprised; they gave us hope. The doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital, Varanasi, planned a line of treatment which included oral chemotherapy along with a few other medicines. The counseling and guidance provided by the doctors were incredible. It gave my husband and the whole family the strength to deal with this crisis. Soon after starting the treatment at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Varanasi, my husband's cyst began to gradually disappear and his hip pain vanished. He is now free of pain killers, and his recent positron emission tomography-computed tomography imaging scan showed a drastic improvement. Because of the constant care and guidance provided by extremely competent, qualified, and experienced doctors, my husband is now leading a normal life and is almost free of disease.

I completely trust the doctors at the Tata Memorial Hospital, and their line of treatment and would highly recommend it to those in need. My husband and I are grateful to our doctors for giving us our lives back.

About the author: My name is Richa Chaudhary. I am a professor in an Engineering College and reside in Ghaziabad.

About the patient: My husband, Mr. Anurodh Kumar, is a journalist by profession and resides in Ghaziabad.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.






 

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