Inspirations and questions …

How does one cope with cancer?

One of the most important things that I realised, for me, was, the positivity around me – in my family and fortunately, in a cheerful doctor and friendly nursing staff. I shudder to think what it would have been like if I had to see gloomy faces around me most of the time. It surely wouldn’t have sent good signals. It’s true I haven’t been a smiling patient all the time, but the family has made sure I didn’t get much opportunity to wallow in self-pity.

The situation has many a times made me irritable and prone to lose temper. However, of course, it is not really anybody’s fault and one has to realise then that this too shall pass.

I have also been reminded of my blessings in that the disease was diagnosed in time, that there was good medical care available and that I was fortunate enough to be able to afford it.

The visits to the hospital also brought me closer to the reality that this disease is not such a rare disease any more. Men, women – young, old – children, rich, poor – anyone could be a victim.

One such inspiration was a child with whom I happened to share the room during my very first chemo session. The child’s case was more complex than mine and he was more in the hospital for about 6 months or so than out of it. However, his generally calm demeanour made me wonder if I had any right to complain at all.

Seeing the children I wondered what is it that they have done wrong already at such a tender age to deserve this. Genetic causes could perhaps be one of the reasons but one cannot but be baffled by the sights.

The cause in my case is unknown too. As far as diet is concerned, for at least the past 7 years or so, we have been more careful with our food habits. This has meant minimum processed foods, primarily home cooked food including the breads, and mostly organic whole grains and pulses. Flaxseed (believed to be anticarcinogenic) had been an important part of our diet too.

True, a form of the disease (a different type of cancer) was there in the family (my father was diagnosed with it, almost 28 years ago, in the abdomen in a very advanced stage, though the cause of death subsequently was heart concussion). However, that is also a grey area as we do not have information about the type of cancer he had and we cannot ascertain if my cancer is inherited.


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