In the medical world, death is not a rarity, it is indeed a possibility. Years of treating the diseased and the traumatized, seldom takes toll on us. We put up a brave face despite all odds, and function to our best so that we could save lives. This is about a story of a woman who put up a brave fight against cancer for fourteen long years. The emotional mark she left on me and my entire team is tremendous. Let me narrate this story.
The Heroine of our story – The Cancer Patient
She was an ever-smiling charming lady. She had a caring husband who was a banker. They were a loving duo. She was in her early forties when we diagnosed her with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer has an inherent problem. A majority of ovarian cancer do not normally get detected in the primary stage. By the time they are diagnosed the cancer cells grow uncontrolled and they stick to the tissues of the adjacent organs like rectum, urinary bladder and small intestine. So surgical removal of cancer cells becomes very cumbersome. As they stick to other organs they also begin to spread to other organs.
It was at this stage the woman’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed. We said an immediate surgery would be the only option to not let the cancer cells spread to other parts more severely. She had to undergo her regular chemotherapy also. Her hallmark was the glued smile she had on her face. The moment she recovered from the surgery she would tell about a temple she needed to visit. Such an amazing soul who never easily gave up or succumbed to the thought of death.
Never have I seen her wriggle in pain. She was such a wonderful woman. Always smiling, caring and absolutely positive. She would not forget to ask me if I had my food when I would go on my regular rounds. The positive emotions she exuded was amazing and all of us took extra pleasure in tending to her needs.
Background of the patient
The patient hailed from a humble background and she was not from any well to do family. She had her set of personal problems too. A deserted son but a committed husband and a daughter. They were tremendously supportive and offered extreme care to her.
The woman’s not so well off background never deterred us. Right from medicines to whatever she needed, the entire team, the nurses, the ward boys to the medical company that supplied her with medications, all went that extra step to provide her the help she needed.
Multiple surgeries and her perception of life
She underwent over eleven surgeries and she would come out of all the surgeries unperturbed. The cancer in her never deterred her from carrying on with life as usual. She was an embodiment of hope.
As years passed by, she became weak and the cancer was obviously taking a toll on her. Her hope was flying high as usual and not one time she complained. Every time I performed a surgery on her, I would not give any hope to her immediate family due to the condition of the cancer. But every time she would recover with her trademark smile. I did not recommend the last few surgeries. Despite that she had a strong history of going for it and making an amazing recovery. But the cancer was taking a toll and she finally succumbed after battling cancer for fourteen long years.
Her death left a lasting impression and made our entire team sober. Yet the positive takeaway from her story is, no matter how much of pain you endure, put up a brave smile. Life is one, let us live it.