This is the story of my father who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 54 years. He had an ulcer in the intestine which converted into cancer and spread to the liver which is called liver metastasis and ulcerative colitis. It was in the last stage when we found out and before that he had no symptoms.
He was leading a normal life and was running a small-time business. He was diagnosed on 22nd April 2018 with cancer like developments in his body but it was not confirmed as the tests were still to be conducted. We received the reports confirming cancer a week later and as we live in Goa we did not have enough facilities to handle the same.
I was working with Reliance in Mumbai and as my father is ex-Navy, we consulted some doctors in the Naval Hospital in Colaba and H.M. Hospital. We admitted him to the Naval hospital but the process was going very slow, so we shifted him to H.M. Hospital where he was given Chemotherapy.
His body was consumed with cancer and organs started failing. He could not cope up with the chemotherapy, and he was soon shifted to the ICU, where after four to five days he passed away. In a journey of less than one and a half months, everything was over, and we had no time to cope up with it. As I am the only son he wanted to see me married, so we just went to a temple and did all rituals and formalities for his happiness.
This is the journey that will remain in my heart forever; a battle that we fought but lost with cancer. We did all that had to be done to see him pass on with a smile on his face. Everyone in the family and some of my colleagues were fighting for it, but we could not win over cancer.
When you ask whether we tried any other method to chemotherapy, I would say no as the doctors had said that as it is the last stage of cancer nothing alternate would work. The time frame we had was very short. His body could not even take the chemo session that was given to him. His cancer had spread into his intestine, liver, and blood too.
We faced no problems from the doctors or the hospital as our family doctor, Dr.Tingua, had already given us a rough picture of what to expect. He also recommended doctors in Mumbai as did my colleagues. As the condition was grave we could not do anything. The doctors were very co-operative and good at guiding. It was a pre-death scenario as we had no time to do anything. We went ahead with whatever was possible, but we could not do much.
My father was in pain and I could not do much about it. He accepted that he had to go through with it and that we had to give it a try. He was a tough fighter, and we are proud of that.
I would just like to say that life is minimal. Give it your best fight no matter which stage you are in. Life is something that never ends. Cancer is not a full stop as a sentence always starts after a full stop. So find your sentence and live life.
I met a lot of cancer patients when I went to the hospital with my father. I met a two-year-old boy who had cancer and was undergoing his seventh or eighth Chemo session, and he was still smiling and playing with his toy. So, it is the attitude that you have that matters and the environment you create around- a positive one.
My father’s journey changed many things in my life. Many new things have been incorporated into my life; regular exercises, change in kind of meal being eaten, lifestyle changes, the way we make decisions in life, financial planning, and many more such changes. We can only be prepared as cancer is a lifestyle disease that cannot be predicted.