I can confidently say that in times of adversity or crisis, the thread of strength and love that binds the circle of family and real friends gets tighter and steadies you for the longest time. I am a part of such a circle, and I have witnessed my family coming together to help their loved one with all the confidence they could muster in the face of Pain and despair. Love for parents, siblings, and relatives brings out the best in us when hard times test our emotional capabilities. Real friends, who aren't bound to us by blood, but by friendship, which is powerful enough to tide over any emotional wave. They come running to us, expecting nothing in return, during the most challenging times. After all, friends in need are friends, indeed.
I am Ankit Pandey. I'm here to tell you the story of a family who fought cancer tooth and nail, of a family's willingness not to let fear show on their faces so that their child found the strength to fight the battle with all of them beside him. It was a war where Leukemia was the opponent.
It is the story of how we won the battle.
How it all began
It all started in 2018 when my cousin had an intermittent fever, which confused and worried us since it never left him entirely. We consulted a doctor who requested some tests. After scrutinizing the reports, the doctor declared that my cousin was now a leukemia patient, shocking us into silence. Anger, concern, and agony waged war within us, and we were clueless and confused as to how to proceed with that revelation.
How it went from there
Once the emotional turmoil subsided, we decided to consult a few doctors and run a few more tests to ensure a correct diagnosis. Since my cousin lived in Uttar Pradesh, I asked him to meet me in Mumbai. There, we went from hospital to hospital, consulted several doctors, and repeatedly performed the same tests. But the results were always the same, and every doctor concluded that my cousin had leukemia or Blood Cancer.
How we strived to do our best
Treating him now topped our list of priorities. We got him admitted to a hospital in Dadar, where he underwent Chemotherapy sessions. He responded very well to the leukemia treatment. But a caregiver was to sit beside him at all times to make sure he ate his medicines on time and to manage things at the hospital during his treatment. We sought financial assistance from various organizations and eventually got help from some of them.
United we stood, lest divided we fell. We stood beside him and fought leukemia together.
How we saw the light at the end of the tunnel
The Chemotherapy for leukemia eased his Pain and symptoms. He recovered within a year. Following his hospital discharge, we took him home and planned a strict diet accompanied by timely medication to avoid any chances of a relapse. We took proactive, precautionary, and detailed measures to maintain his diet while seeking God's mercy for constant strength and good health. My cousin has recovered quite well, and it's been two years now. We are grateful to the Almighty, for there have been no chances of recurring or relapsing in the past two years.
How we explored other Leukemia Treatment options
There was a time when I found myself curious about bone marrow transplantation. I got in touch with several oncologists and inquired whether my cousin would need one. They explained that a bone marrow transplantation was not necessary at that point, and he would do well on his road to recovery. However, if it ever became a requirement, the doctors added that we would be informed immediately. This news calmed us and instantly made us feel better about my cousin's chances of fighting Leukemia. We cannot thank each doctor enough for helping us take delight at the sight of my cousin's happiness and good health.
Do your best, be at your best, and give your best.
While emotions cannot be controlled, and you might feel bleak during any hour of the day. It's important to hide what you think and show your loved one strength and confidence to give them hope. Caregivers should also analyze the patient's condition and the treatments s/he undergoes. They should also strive to learn more about the therapy and evaluate other options to offer the patient the best treatment. Make comparisons and discuss them with doctors, who will be able to provide quick and practical suggestions. Do not hesitate to learn more about cancer and its treatment because the sooner you do it, the better your loved one's chances of recovery.
How my friends came to my cousin's aid
Apart from the doctors and hospital staff who helped us immensely in our journey, my friends who lived far from the treatment center came running at odd hours to donate blood. Their kindness sped up my cousin's recovery. My gratitude to them is boundless.
Although the battle with leukemia put a strain on my personal and professional life, our family's constant support hastened the process of recovery. As a telecom engineer with a 24 hours job, I informed my company of my brother's condition. They consequently provided me with much-needed assistance, for which I am incredibly thankful.
Self-education is the first step to a successful recovery process. Learn about cancer, know the various treatment options, read case studies, find out what'd work the best for your relative or friend, and be proactive. Ensure a strict diet and punctual medication for effective treatment. Talk to leading experts and analyze your options. Reliable family members are the best gifts for cancer patients as one person alone cannot manage everything, starting from staying beside the patient at all times, and meeting doctors to buying medicines and running tests. It causes the caregiver Stress and deprives the patient of the necessary care and attention.
As a caregiver, remember to keep calm at all costs and stay relaxed at all times. Give your loved one hope and let them derive strength from your confidence. Be upbeat and positive, as every battle must end with one side victorious over the other. Do not allow the other side to win. You have love, family, and friends on your side. Make them count.