Dashrat Singh (Oral cancer): “My father will always be my hero!”

Oral cancer survivor from rajasthan

My life took a fatal turn when my father was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in the year of 2015. Before we were aware of the diagnosis, he always seemed very social and healthy, and took good care of his diet. However, when he began to feel unwell we took him to a specialist who took his sample and determined that he had stage 3 cancer.

My family and I are from a town called Pilani, in Rajasthan. My father had to travel 250 km to Jaipur to get the cancer testing done, after which he was given his diagnosis. I could see that the stress of getting treatment and therapy was worrying my father. We decided to admit him to a hospital in Jaipur, where he began his chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These therapy sessions proved to be quite heavy for my father, since he was quite old, at the age of 61.

After that, he started to develop symptoms and wasn’t able to eat food properly, which began to irritate him. The hospital recommended that we complete 30 radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions, but my father was only able to complete 14 out of the 30 sessions. After that, he began to get fevers and started to get scared when he went for the treatments. Therefore, he stopped the treatments and decided that if the cancer were to get better, it would happen by itself. After that, he was alright for about a year and was free of the cancerous symptoms. He began to take ayurvedic and homeopathic treatments for a bit. However, in 2017, the symptoms began to come back. Due to this, we went to get him treated again.

My father used to work for the government, and therefore he was eligible to receive all of his treatment in the facilities of a government hospital. However, the doctor that was treating my father was a nightmare! He would make us go to his house prior to our hospital visits and pay him for giving us medicine, but we also had to go to the government hospital for the therapy. Because of this we were forced to travel continuously and battle large amounts of traffic and many difficulties in order to get one treatment. The doctor made our lives very frustrating during this time. I couldn’t argue at that time, because I needed the treatment for my father and I could not afford anything better. However, I now understand that the doctor was wrong and troubled us. The doctor was from a hospital in Rajhasthan. I would not suggest getting treated under him for any other patients.The other doctors didn’t even allow me and my family to consult another doctor! This fiasco continued for about one and a half years, and my father got no relief, and he was in a lot of pain. When this happened, we went back to the hospital, but we were luckily able to show my father’s case to another doctor, who began treating him immediately. His behaviour was much better and he promised to treat my father well. I was very happy with the 35 sessions that he gave my father, and he was very caring and gave moral support. Through this, my father was well for about 6 months.

After 6 months, the tumor came back and was visible, and we showed the doctor. The tumor continued to grow until 2018, when it became very large. The doctor said that there is no cure for the tumor, regardless of the amount of chemotherapy and radiotherapy we finished. There was nothing more he could do for us. Because of this, we decided to leave the government hospital and got my father admitted to a private hospital and got consultation there for 6 months. Both hospitals told us that there was no cure or treatment for the tumor, and that we had to accept what was going to happen. I could not imagine that this was going to end, and I didn’t want my father to suffer through this pain. In January of 2019, we decided to take him to another doctor that we knew to get the tumor checked again. However, in a few days, the tumor began to cause my father great pain and internal bleeding began. The doctor told us he had a few days left to live, and we should take him back home to meet all of his family members for the last time. My father passed away soon after.

Though I lost my father, I know that my family and I were able to spend a large amount of time with him. I will always remember him as the man in my life who always provided my family and I with unconditional support and care.