It all started back in 2009, when my father went to Ranchi for business purpose. One day, he discovered blood in his urine. He thought that it was summertime and so, it could be because of dehydration. However, he realized there was a problem when the blood reappeared at night. He returned to Calcutta, and consulted a general physician. His diagnosis reported that there was a tumor. Needless to say, it needed operation.
We returned home, and then traveled to Chennai for surgery. The operation was completed in half an hour, and then he got discharged. The reports arrived, and there it was – a malignant tumor. We went to the hospital for follow-ups for three months to check if there was a recurrence. None was found, and we were told to return after six months.
As it was a case of malignancy, I thought of consulting with the doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. After much consultation internally and externally, we shifted my father back to Calcutta. So, I returned to Calcutta with some reports. Here, we consulted a doctor who prescribed some blood tests. After checking, he told us to see him again after one year.
The positive part was that cancer cells grew slowest in a urinary bladder. So, years went on like this. Just regular follow-ups sufficed. Doctors said that my father will be cancer-free by February 2019, and he will not have to return to the hospital after that.
However, in September 2018, he experienced some issues in his stomach first, and then later, in the head. We thought maybe it is because of some gastric problem. So, we worked on his diet. Later, we consulted a doctor, and many tests were done. Doctors found no issue.
They advised us to consult a psychologist, since my father had been sick for a very long time. But, he denied visiting a psychologist. One day, he fell from his bed. He also said that he felt nauseous. Slowly, his left side started to bend.
The doctors said maybe it was Stroke. All this while, we were in Tripura. When his condition began deteriorating this way, we went to Calcutta. There, we consulted a neurologist. They saw the reports and prescribed some tests.
When reports arrived, none of us were happy. The doctors said that my father has entered the “fighter stage”, and his days were numbered. It was declared that my father was in Stage 4 Glioblastoma. Means, he got cancer in his brain.
Since then, my father started having memory loss, hiccups, and even his voice tone had started to break down. So, we asked the doctors what we can do. They said that there were only two options –
If we don’t do the operation, then Palliative Care was the option. If we went for the operation, then chemotherapy and radiation were required. Considering his condition, we opted for operation.
After the operation, he underwent radiation, but his condition kept worsening. He was not responding and slipped into coma. Doctors suggested us to bring him home. So, on 16 May, we brought him back home. And on 23 May, he expired.
Helping cancer patients now
We were always there for him. By God’s grace, no financial crises were there.
My father inspired me. After he passed away, I started helping cancer patients. Now I am also thinking of establishing a foundation for cancer patients, in memory of him.
I request everyone to be mentally prepared; anything can happen at any time. So, talk to your loved ones, and be there for them.
Believe in yourself and stay mentally strong, simply because there is no option other than being strong.