Cancer - The Slow and Painful Parasite

chakky's picture

She rolled her head in exhaustion. She gasped for air and in between her
breath, kept calling out, "amma, appa". I watched her dazed eyes, her skinny
looks and the constant pain she was suffering and I wished it away...

My granny looked on in silence. She tried to put a brave smile on her face and as I massaged the left leg of Daisy aunty; granny massaged the right leg. There was a feeling of sadness in the air. It is three different generations sitting together in one room and for a moment I felt the tears come.

Now I understand the zen proverb, "Of happiness being when the father dies before the son, the son dies before the grandson and so on."

I was watching the most painful moment, a 85 year old mother watching her 58 year old daughter going through her last few years/months/days. Daisy aunty was a energetic, healthy and one of my sweetest aunts. It was in 1994, she was detected with blood cancer. Living in the heavily polluted area of Eloor-Udyogamandal Industrial belt in Kerala, ( a possible carcinogen) she had given birth to 4 children and lead the typical house wife life, taking care of daily chores and her loving husband.

When this disease struck, it was one of the most shocking revelations and we took her to Vellore one of the best places in India to handle cancer patients. The doctor there informed there was nothing to be done other than a few chemotherapy sessions, some medicines and prayers for a miraculous cure. The doctor gave her utmost 5 years to live.

Now its 2009, 14 years later, I watched this incredible lady still fighting to live. Ever since she was detected with it, she made it a point not to let this disease affect her life and she has worked hard to suffer her bearable pains silently and went about her work with a renewed zest and with no signs of being a dying patient. She has many a time collapsed in churches, had to be brought to hospital for blood transfusions as she was low in blood and spent many days in hospital recovering from a bout of diseases as a result of her weakened immunity. But one thing she never gave up was how she lived. She kept doing the same things, going to Seemati, Jayalakshmi (textile showrooms) to buy her sarees and kidswear etc. The house she stays is surrounded by lovely flowery gardens which she nurtured. The barren land now full of flowers, stand testimonial to the fact that she lived with much more zest in her life than any normal women could.

As I watched her suffer now, I could still not believe the transition from a healthy woman to this pitiful condition she now has become. When the pain is so much unbearable for me, my thoughts went to my grandmother, who at 85 still stands boldly trying to comfort her daughter, the one she nurtured and brought up. My heart welled and I made a silent prayer that if God cannot cure her, I wished he took her life away faster, so that she can get away from this tortured body.

Alas she lives on every day now not knowing when is the next and when I see her suffer, I really wish no one ever got cancer, a disease that has no cure yet has a way of rearing its head, hurting the person and then hiding like some parasite, ever slowly sucking the life painfully out of the person...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Thank you for your kind

Thank you for your kind comments and sharing your experience. Luckily none of the close relatives of Daisy Aunty will read this.

Personally, I feel that you

Personally, I feel that you should have reserved this entry for your private journal. The memory and feelings will haunt all her loved ones who visit here.

I know how hard that feeling can be. I stayed in a cancer ward of a small clinic in my mom's town, when I was in 7th. It was the only ward in the hospital, and the two patients in it were cancer patients.

I had to be there for two months, since my mom, aunts and grand mother took turns to stand by my grand aunt, who was one of the patients. I was the helper for small purchases and bringing food, and staying back for any orders for the rest of the time.

This disease eats the patient from inside, and the hearts of the loved ones from outside. Difficult to stand.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options