Dealing with Lung Cancer at a Young Age:
I was just 15 when our family was made aware of such a critical situation; it was December of 2011. My grandfather had never faced any health issue, except for the one time in 2008 when he had undergone lung surgery due to his coughing problem. But at that time, he wasn’t diagnosed with any signs of lung cancer. I believe since he was in the armed forces back in his early days, he was quite strong physiologically to show effects of chain-smoking until it was very late.
An Array of Tests:
Despite his continuous smoking, he had largely recovered from his coughing problem until it started re-appearing in late 2011. During a regular checkup visit, just by spotting the color of his nails and skin, the Doctor suggested the possibility of lung cancer. And after several tests, it was confirmed to be in the last stage.
Though his chemotherapy had started, it turned out to be more damaging than it was helping. As the lung cancer was in the last stage and because of his age, his health didn’t permit him to continue chemotherapy. So, doctors gave him some antibiotics as medication, and that’s it. He was at home only with the whole family until the very end of February 2012. Even in that condition, he was able to do his every day activities by himself. It was his sheer will power and core strength, which made him and all of get through the phase.
The Last Breath:
On 7th March 2012, suddenly his health condition worsened, half his body paralyzed, and immediately he was admitted to hospital. The doctors kept him in ventilation and after 1 week of battling with his lung cancer, he took his last breath at home on 19th March 2012 at the age of 73.
As a young member of my family at that time, I had very little experience with the procedures going on with my grandfather. I was only updated about the incidents, and that’s all. He was admitted to the hospital only for one week and too in very critical condition, so no was allowed to be there with him in the hospital.
I have seen/heard of extreme cases of lung cancer but thankfully, this was not one such case in terms of physical suffering. His soul departed within three months of diagnosis, and he barely had any difficulties. Even though he would be in pain, suffering internally, he never let us feel about his struggle.
So, I would say our family didn’t face many difficulties when his treatment was going on. He never troubled the caregivers also. In that way, I must say that we were lucky. He was so positive all the time, and that helped us to take care of him. His energy and his fearlessness made our lives considerable at that time. And for that reason, I remember him and respect him a lot.
I would like to say that a lot of patients and their families suffer a lot because of cancer. Their life just falls apart because of this disease. Apart from the physical and financial stress, people suffer more from emotional stress.
Unlike in our case, I have observed that the patient undergoes more stress and emotional turbulence than the caregivers. Since not everyone is going to be as strong as my grandfather, it’s very important to be considerate of them and elevate their confidence. I must say that friends and family are the only ones who can help the patient to be a survivor, both physically and emotionally.