The last two years have been pretty tumultuous for my family and me. We have faced several problems. Though happiness has been around for some time, it has been overshadowed by the gloominess caused by cancer. 2019 was an eventful year in my life. I got married and was ready to start a new life. But the marriage had a gloomy backdrop as my Uncle was fighting through the dreaded disease. Watching someone as lively as my uncle fight through cancer was tough. He got medical help and is still under medication. My Uncle was one of the happiest people you will ever meet, and seeing him fight against such a humongous condition is very painful. My Uncle is someone who once stood for the need for optimism and happiness in my life. But after the onset of cancer, things took a drastic turn. Here is his story.
My Uncle, Pankaj Kumar Jain, is a resident of Kolkata. He is a fifty year old married man with three wards. Whenever we speak about him, a figure symbolizing euphoria and optimism comes in front of us. A chartered accountant by profession, my Uncle ran a company of his own too. At an age where most people used to think about retirement, my Uncle used to hit the badminton and tennis courts regularly. Being a lively and proactive guy helped him earn a lot of his peers. But the tables turned in April last year when we found out that he was diagnosed with cancer. It was the beginning of the year when he had been admitted to the hospital due to pain in his lungs.
Unnecessary clotting of fluids was found in his lungs, and he underwent tapping. Filling his lungs with liquid was an acute symptom of Pulmonary Tuberculosis, and we hoped for a fast cure. But little did we know four months down the line, we would be praying for his life. After medication started, he complained of pain in his lungs again in April. It turned out to be the same liquid, and we suspected that something was wrong. When he underwent a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, it was found that he had been affected by cancer. The cancer was in the fourth stage and had affected his kidney, bones, and lungs. It was moving fast towards his brain as well. We contacted the Tata Medical Centre, but it was up to avail. Ultimately, we had to fly all across the nation to Mumbai to get him proper treatment. It was sad seeing him in such a sorry state. A person who was known for the life he provided to people around him and now become extremely reserved and private.
Currently, he is continuing his immunotherapy sessions, which started back in September 2019. The primary tumor in the kidney has reduced, and we hope that he can brave through this. He has also undergone two radiotherapy sessions and ten radiations. His health is improving, but the doctors have not yet confirmed anything. As cancer had never appeared in my family tree, my Uncle was quickly losing his hopes of getting out of the struggle alive. Post cancer he has become bed-ridden and has lost his appetite completely. There is a difference between hell and heaven between Prakash from before cancer and Prakash post-cancer. But you can never put down the positivity of a person. You won’t believe it, but my Uncle danced at my wedding and greeted the guests too. Fascinatingly, this was during the time when he was under medication. What I learned from my Uncle’s struggle with cancer was that everything depends upon your will power. Getting healed from a disease like cancer is more of a lifestyle thing. You should never lose hope and continue fighting against the disease till it gets kicked out of your system!