Hi, I am Aditya Kumar Singh, son of a fearless Cancer warrior. Although I didn’t experience the pain first hand, I could feel it in my mother’s eyes, every time she didn’t feel like herself because of the heavy cancer medications and regular treatments. It was a challenging journey for both of us. Right from when she first started having issues, to all the wrong consultations and incorrect diagnosis, seeing her in pain was extremely difficult.
I learned from the whole ordeal that no matter how great a team of doctors you have or how much family support you have, being a cancer warrior needs all the courage and willpower that you can muster. Seeing my mother go through that pain and still never leaving hope has been both inspiring and terrifying. No matter what people or books say, taking care of Uterine Cancer patients is different for everybody.
The only thing on my mind back then was that she would be fine, and that kept me going. Your experience wouldn’t be the same as mine, but reading about it would help you keep positive.
How it all started
My mother started experiencing heavy bleeding initially. She also had fainting spells every once in a while. Assuming it must be something gastric, we contacted a general physician for a diagnosis. There was no conclusive diagnosis, so the whole treatment got postponed.
With time, things got worse, and finally, in November 2017, we contacted a team of doctors from Mumbai through one of our relatives. They got her biopsy done, and on November 19th, we found out that she has Stage 3 Uterine Cancer. All I could think of was that she would be fine.
The first phase of the uterine cancer treatment
Once we had the conclusive diagnosis, we got her admitted into a cancer speciality hospital in Mumbai to begin with her treatment for cancer and then began the long week of treatment. Her initial treatment plan consisted of chemotherapy and radiation once every week. That wouldn’t have been very effective because she was treated with both chemo and radiation therapy simultaneously for over a month in the second phase. Because of the heavy treatments for cancer, she became so weak that she couldn’t digest any solid food. She survived on the liquid diet of coconut water.
All through the treatment of uterine cancer, she got weaker by the day, but her will power was the only thing she held onto. She went through the whole course of treatment with her willpower alone, and finally, in February 2018, her treatment was over.
She went under the CT machine after a month, as part of a follow-up. Even after a second test after three months, everything was normal, so we came back home with some vitamins for her and a schedule checkup after every six months. The first test, after six months, came out to be expected. However, problems started after the second test when we found out some active cells in her lungs.
She started with targeted chemotherapy for treatment for cancer once every 15 days until January 2019. The treatments didn’t show much improvement, so the doctors sent us back with a strict diet plan. Her diet included healthy fibrous fruits and light food. She was also told to take precautions and keep her body safe from cuts and burns. At this stage, she was able to do her chores.
After another scan in June 2019, more cancer cell growth and the lungs’ deterioration occurred. There was some active cell growth in her uterus as well. So, the doctors started her on high dose oral chemotherapy for the Uterine Cancer. They recommended it every alternate week.
Although vomiting was a significant visible side effect, her overall condition wasn’t so good. The heavy medication and active cancer took a considerable toll on her health. We continued the drug for one and a half months and learned that vomiting was a common side effect. Trying to help her get better, we even started giving her Giloy, a natural immunity booster. Nothing helped much.
The toughest part
By October, she complained of having extreme pain in the front of her head. Assuming it was due to some gastric issue, we didn’t pay much heed to it. She got weaker with time and stayed in bed for most of her day. She continued complaining about the pain and that was when we decided to take her back to Mumbai for another scan and further treatments for cancer. The results were heartbreaking. The cancer had now spread to her lungs, several nodes of cancer cells, and a prominent tumour in her head.
The doctors recommended stopping all the treatments for cancer. That was an indirect hint that she was slipping away, and there wasn’t much that we could do. We came back home, and due to the lack of medication, her condition progressively deteriorated. We even had to stop with Giloy as it made her nauseous.
She became weaker in the next few months and eventually lost vision in her left eye. We went back to Mumbai for another checkup and returned with some vitamins and instructions to monitor her oxygen levels.
Around the end of November, she had lost her vision completely. The doctors explained that the tumour was blocking her optic nerve, which resulted in the loss of sight.
December was the lowest point of her health. After much discussion and debates about what should be the next step. We had the choice of letting her body recover first or start with the treatment for the tumour. Seeing her in so much pain, we all agreed on continuing the treatment for cancer. Even she insisted on moving with the treatment because of the unbearable pain that she was suffering.
Upon returning to Mumbai, the doctors started with radiation treatment to kill the cells around her optic nerve and restore her sight. Although she still clung on to hope, the radiation’s after-effects were too much for her frail body. She was so weak that by January 16th, she was kept on a ventilator. She recovered a bit and returned, but finally, on January 19th, 2020, my mother lost her battle against Uterine Cancer and left for the heavenly abode.
The story of a uterine cancer fighter
All through her treatments for cancer and the lows, she held on to her willpower. Even when she was bedridden, she told us that we shouldn’t worry so much and that she’d be fine. Her will to fight and her courage kept us going. She reminds me, “My responsibilities are not transferred, even if I am not there; you can handle this family. ” Through the years, even as she grew weaker by the day, she didn’t lose hope.
Cancer is deadly and takes a significant toll not only on physical health but also on the mental well being. My mother had her journey and battles to fight. Even after years of harsh treatments for Uterine Cancer and physical pain, she kept moving ahead and told us to do the same. Her exact words used to be, “I will be fine, don’t be bothered, just seek forward.”
Your journey may not be similar, but the pain in Uterine Cancer is the same for all. For patients, being confident and healthy will help you through. Had it not been for my mother’s strong willpower and the willingness to endure the treatment for cancer to get better, she wouldn’t have fought for so long.
For those like me, who take care of their loved ones, seeing them suffer every day will be harrowing, but no matter what, do not lose hope. Give them the best, both in terms of treatment and environment. They’ll heal much faster in a positive environment. Keep going and take things as they come.
The only message I have for you after being with my mother through the battle against cancer is that you must keep up the confidence. Death is not in your hands, but positivity and enthusiasm will help you fight better.