Dhananjay karkhur (Breast Cancer): “My mother was a fighter”

Dhananjay Karkhur breast cancer caregiver

We are from Morena near Gwalior. Both parents were working at that time. It was 2006 when my mother was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. I was very young, and my sisters were also not married at that time. She had some symptoms of cancer as I heard from my father and sisters.

Chemotherapy:

So, she visited a doctor in Gwalior and the doctor suggested my mother visit an oncologist. As my aunt was a doctor in Delhi, we decided to visit the cancer hospital in Delhi. Doctors immediately recommended surgery and 6 sessions of chemotherapy after the surgery.

Full Recovery:

She had no visible symptoms of cancer at that time. Her surgery was successful, and she completed her chemotherapy sessions also. But doctors were shocked to see my mother didn’t have any side effects. She was so emotionally strong and full of hope, that helped her to recover quickly. After five years, in 2012 my mother was declared a cancer survivor.

An Arduous Multi-Tasker:

After the completion of chemotherapy, she had to take medication and visit the hospital to follow up for the next five years. She handled her treatment, job, and family all at the same time. Though there was full support from her family, friends, and colleagues, she loved to do her won work by herself. She was a strong woman, indeed.

The Dangerous Re-lapse:

Unfortunately there the story does not end. Within 6 months, she started to have pain in her left hand and leg. General Physician in Gwalior suggested visiting the oncologist again. When we visited Delhi to the same doctor, he asked to go through the PET scan.

 

And the result came out as my mother had cancerous cells in another three organs of her body. We were furious at the doctors, within 6 months of declaring cancer-free, how my mother was diagnosed with cancer again. But at that time, treatment was more important, and we transferred her to another hospital in Delhi.

Resignation:

My mother had to leave her job due to intense pain. In 2012 again my mother went through 6 chemotherapy cycles. But due to her age, this time she had to suffer due to the side effects of chemotherapy. She had nausea, vomiting and lost her appetite. But her health went better gradually. She was taking her medications and went back to her normal life. But she lost her control over her left hand.

 

It was so hard to look at her struggles. But due to strong willpower, she continued till 2016. In 2016 she retired. The medications went up to 2 to 2 and a half years. But at the end of 2018 her health deteriorated, She started to have fever frequently. So we panicked and went to the doctor. The doctor said that her cyst grew again, but there is nothing to be worried about.

Metastasis:

But after 3 months when we went again, the doctor reported that cancer has spread in her whole body. And her health was worsening day by day. We asked the doctor what they could do. Surgery was not an option and chemotherapy would be too harsh for her body at her age. As per the doctor, there is only a 10% chance of recovery after chemotherapy.

 

On 23rd January 2019, we decided to go for it knowing the risk. After 2-3 days when we went for the chemotherapy session, there the doctor denied letting her go through it looking at her health and reports. The doctor asked us to come after 8 days. But my mother somehow figured out the severity and asked us to take her home. We took her home and she passed away within 8 days in front of us at the age of 63.

More than a Decade of Pain:

My mother struggled for almost 15 years. Not even for a moment did she let us feel that she was in pain. She was such a strong person. She never looked pale. She was full of hope, positivity and joy. Nobody believed that she was suffering.

Dhananjay Karkhur breast cancer caregiver story

Remembering her Brave Fight:

She started yoga after her first diagnosis. She used to have papaya leaves extract and wheatgrass extract for better immunity. She always lived a healthy life. She continued her job to occupy her mind. She used to do household works by herself. My sisters helped her in the kitchen before their marriage.

 

Later my father helped her a lot. He stood by her like a pillar. She took her to the office and took her for a walk. My father was retired by 2011 and hence he was able to help her emotionally and physically. In her last few years, I was very close to her. She devoted herself to prayers.

 

Sometimes I scolded her for fasting too long in the morning, but she never listened. Later we figured out that she lost her appetite due to the side effects of her chemotherapy. In her cancer treatment days, she was always hopeful about her recovery.

 

From the day my mother got diagnosed with cancer, my aunt and uncle in Delhi, who are doctor by profession, always guided and helped us a lot. My mother used to say that my aunt has become a doctor only for her.
They both helped us a lot in every manner, and I think, without their support my mother wouldn’t have survived this much.

 

She always had a smile on her face. And all of these were due to immense support from her family, friends and colleagues. I must thank everyone who stood by us in our struggling days. We are still recovering from our loss. But I always look up to her attitude towards her struggle and towards life all the time. She will always be my inspiration.