Friday, February 12, 2016

The shock & trauma of watching a loved one battle the dreaded disease, Cancer

I came across a private Facebook post on my wall today which was about the damage cancer and its treatment can do to a person's body and which was seen by the post author happening to a loved one. I thought I should share the two comments (slightly edited) I made on the private post as the comments by itself may be of interest to some readers.

I wrote:
Well, I went through that experience in the early 1990s in Mumbai when a close relative of mine went through that shock of diagnosis and then chemotherapy. I was there in the hospital on many occasions at the side of this dear close relative of mine, including the meeting with the oncologist-surgeon at Tata memorial hospital, Mumbai, after the first operation (and only operation, if I recall correctly) when he told us that it was stage 2 of the disease and not the initial stage as we had hoped. ... And, you know what, she changed her lifestyle, stopped worrying about so many things that one has to face in life, and beat the disease, and is now leading a fairly normal life. .... So, all the best wishes for your dear one who is going through that experience as well as to you and the other loved ones & care givers who are going through this rather traumatic experience. BTW this experience that I went through, watching this middle aged close relative of mine go through (who was a medical doctor herself) the diagnosis of this dreaded disease and then chemo treatment, was a significant event in my life which turned me very strongly towards the spiritual, including a quest for a Guru which led me to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Jai Sairam!
I wrote:
I think one of ways of defeating the scare of cancer disease, is for people to write about the challenges of confronting it with current medical treatment (chemotherapy), and even if a loved one is lost in the battle, write about the experience of loved ones coming together to help the person fight the tough battle. In my case, some of our loved ones who got together to help the close relative, bonded much closer. Further, there is something about such battles which drives home how human we all are, and perhaps what really matters is how the loved ones got together and gave back the love received, in the form of care giving to the ailing person.

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