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Anirudh (Periampullary Cancer): Be Strong And Spread Love

Anirudh (Periampullary Cancer): Be Strong And Spread Love

Hello Everyone; I am not a writer, but still, I would like to bring this story to all the people who are facing the same problem, Pain, agony, anguish, misery and whatnot and my family went through.

Before starting, I would like to thank Kishan Shah and Dimple Parmar from the bottom of my heart and congratulate them for their contributions and efforts and the sacrifices they have made. Hats off to you guys; you inspire me. You are making the world a better place, and I know it takes a lot of guts to do what you are doing through the family of ZenOnco.io and Love Heals Cancer. Thank you for allowing me to write about what we went through when this problem hit us and how we managed to get out of it. I hope it reaches out to the people and helps them fight this menace.

So, let me start by saying something about myself. I am a Delhite, born and raised in Delhi in a fantastic family. I have three sisters, all of them married and who all love me like a mother. I being the youngest one, have always been the most pampered one, I guess, and also got the most beating. I am a privileged child. My parents have given me everything. I didn't have to ask for anything; I didn't feel the reason to ask for anything as I had more than what I deserved. I have always been a positive person and have always enjoyed my life, the moments in it, the ups and downs. But I didn't know that something of such an enormous magnitude was coming to strike me and would shatter me and break me. I could not have imagined what was coming in my life and would be hitting the person I love most. Probably, this made me realize my love for my mother and how important she is to me and that I need to change how I treat her and that I love her more and take care of her more. I think it was God's way of making me realize that you are not doing the needful. Yes, I am talking about CANCER, and unfortunately, it happened to my mother.

The Unfolding of Events:

So, it was June last year, and almost a year has passed. I being a traveller, had been to Uttrakhand for travelling. After returning, I was full of energy, and my life was going well. At the month's end, my mother complained of itching in her whole body. My mother is a doctor averse and would never want to go to a doctor. She doesn't like to take the medicines. Also, she is a pious and spiritual woman who always believed in natural things and not taking any artificial medicines. She would prefer desi Gharelu medications. Also, she would not go to the doctor unless the extreme point comes and the Pain or problem is unbearable. She would fight with us not to go to a doctor. So, finally, forcefully (after shouting at her a bit), I took her to the doctor. I think it was the 23rd or 24th of June. The doctor told them that she had Jaundice. I thought it was OK; we didn't need to be worried and just take care of her. Things were good, controllable.

The itching was unbearable; trust me, otherwise, she wouldn't have complained. The doctor, Mr Pahwa is good; thanks to his excellent wisdom and expertise, he asked us to go for an Ultrasound of the lower abdomen, a Blood Test and, after that, even an MRI. The reports came on 28th June 2019. We being not medically sound in terms of reading the reports, could not make out much, but we knew some parameters were not up to the mark. So, now my dad was consulting the doctor, and I think the doctor had given him a hint beforehand about being ready to deal with a problem as there were negative indicators. So, on 28th June 2019, I came home early as my dad asked me to come home early. I came back around 5 PM from work. My eldest sister was home to take care of Mom. I went to the doctor to show the Ultrasound reports. He told us the reports are not good; there is a blockage at the beginning of the intestine, because of which the waste of the body cannot get out of the body. As per him, the blockage could be a stone or tumour. I was shocked for a while. But yes, I knew it would be a stone, I said to myself. Again, the doctor didn't waste time and gave us the number of a doctor in Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, who was a specialist in removing such objects. So, Dr Pahwa told us to get the Endoscopy done. I returned home and told my dad everything; he said the doctor had already given him a hint. But again,

I told him that it would be a stone; I said don't worry. Well, I am poor at expressing myself and also a very reserved person; I don't show my emotions; I can not be sad for more than 5 minutes, I guess. I am poor at showing love, giving hugs, etc. But this day, 28th June 2019, I was a bit worried,
I admit.

On the morning of 29th June 2019, the doctor told my mom not to eat anything. My Mom had not eaten anything, and though we got an appointment for 10 AM, yes, it was a lot of time for her to have not eaten anything as she used to wake up at 4. AM every day to pray. She is a fantastic lady, I tell you.

The Doctor at Max Hospital, Dr Arvind Khurana, was a busy, humble man. He finally proceeded with the procedure at noon, as before the procedure, he had to give some medication. After 15 minutes, he returned from the room; I had my fingers crossed. I was hoping for the best. He told me he couldn't remove the blockage as blood came out when he tried to hit it with the string. He said he would try once more. Fear started sinking into my body. I was still optimistic and didn't tell anyone. My dad, my Aunt (Maami), and my youngest sister were waiting outside. After 15 minutes, he returned negative by his body language and told me, beta, papa you koi aur bada aya h??. At that time, my cousin's sister had arrived.

I called my dad, but he didn't come in as he knew already. He was a strong man always but was feeble at that moment. I knew he was hurting, but he didn't display it.

So, my youngest sister, my aunt and my elder cousin's sister, who had also reached by that time, was there in the room with the doctor to accompany me, and he broke out the news to us. He told us there is a tumour in your mother's body near the intestine, hence the Jaundice and the itching. The tumour is significant and will need to be operated on. I was stunned/shocked/shattered. I didn't know what to say—I just asked God, why my mother? Who used to pray around 12 hours a day, always do good deeds, constantly feeding people experiencing poverty, our maid, sometimes langar for Rickshaw waala, feeding the guards, feed animals, always helping and loving others, and whatnot? Then why her? I still controlled myself and said to myself that we would beat this. Don't worry, Ani. The Biopsy report will be in our favour and will be a non-cancerous tumour.

My mother was taken out of the operation theatre, and I went to see her; my eyes were now moist. She was asleep. She was so weak and was resting peacefully; still no complaints from her side. I went outside to pay the bill and could not control myself and started crying. I promised God I would not do anything terrible, but please save her. I have always believed in the barter system with God. I believe that you have to lose something to gain something. So, I told God, I would leave something I love for my mother if you save her as I love her the most. So, I traded something I loved at the second level; I left BEER.

We knew the problem and knew it was big, but we still didn't know that it would be of such magnitude and wouldn't know it would be that tough. The doctor told us about the procedure now.

  • Step 1: There would be surgery, Whipple surgery, and part of the intestine, gall bladder, and pancreas would be removed. It is one of the major surgeries in the world and one of the most complicated ones. Takes around 6-8 hours.
  • Step 2: You might have to go for Chemotherapy
  • Step 3: After Chemo, the chances of survival are 50-50.
  • Meanwhile, he had sent a small piece of tumour for Biopsy to confirm if it was cancerous.

This was the end for me. I thought the worst had hit us. But no, God had more planned for us.

We all went numb, didn't know what to do. We went home and started talking. We made sure Mom didn't have even a glimpse of what had hit her. We just told her that a minor Surgery will be done to remove the blockage. Remember, this was one of the most critical factors in her fast recovery.

Now, we started seeing a lot of the best doctors in Delhi. It was night, and my dad and I finally had a conversation. We were short of words; I knew he was hurting, and he said I don't worry, we will get her the best treatment; I will put in all the money needed. We made a strategy then.

Dr Arvind Khurana told us to get the PET CT Scan done to check whether the Cancer was localized or if it was there in any other body part as well.

After the PET CT scan, we had planned to get 2-3 copies of the same and started meeting doctors without delay; everyone in the family started contributing now. I bring a banana, have a big family. So, I went to see Dr Subhash Gupta (Max Saket, the best doctor for the procedure) with my Cousin Jeeju; it was tough to get his appointment. He told us the t procedure the same doctor Arvind Khurana had told us. But he gave us some positivity; don't worry,y it is a regular thing for us. After the Operation, the Biopsy of the portion removed will be done, which will decide whether to go for chemo or not. Plus, he said the chances of survival after the operation are 80%, but only after seeing the patient's condition and stage of cancer could it be confirmed.

On the other hand, my dad had seen Dr Saumitra Rawat at Ganga Ram Hospital. I think God had come on earth to help us this time. He was the doctor we finally decided to go with. My dad and my youngest Jeeju had gone to see him. He had also confirmed the same procedure and had comforted my dad to a great level. He had a good experience. We divided our strategy now. We had to focus on the operation first. Finally, there was hope.

My mother's condition was deteriorating; my 2nd elder sister and Jeeju had now visited us. They had flown from Kolkata. We went to Gangaram Hospital on 03rd July 2019. We got the basic procedures done as recommended by a doctor to get the ECG done. The ECG was OK. Meanwhile, the Biopsy report also confirmed what we already knew then.

The doctor got the KFT (Kidney Function Test) and LFT (Liver Function Test) done; meanwhile, the reports were alarming; there is a pigment called Bilirubin in the blood the average level of the same is 0-1. For my mom, it was 18. Highly shocking. The doctor told us he could not do the operation unless it were below 10 or 7. We were worried now. He discharged my mom and advised us to get stents in the body so that the waste could pass and the Bilirubin could come down. He said it was a standard procedure. We followed his advice and got it done on 04th July 2019. He called us next after five days. On 11th July 2019, the following report of LFT came. The Bilirubin was still 16.89. Only marginal improvement. We were too scared now.

On 12th July, we again got her LFT done at Gangaram Hospital only to check whether the stents were working. The LFT report was positive, and there was some respite. The LFT had gone now to 10.54. We got her admitted, but the doctor discharged her again on 15th July, saying let us wait for the Bilirubin to come down more so that the risk is less at the time of the operation.

My mother has been mainly on a liquid diet for almost a month. We had made the environment around her very positive and had not allowed many people to visit her, as it would have made her afraid and curious about what was going on. No doubt, still many people came, and we made sure no one talked about cancer. Even though we had not told everyone that it was cancer, especially in the neighbourhood, we had told them it was just a blockage to be removed through a minor Surgery. This was also an important step that went right for us.

Time to Operate and remove the cancer!:

It was 25th July 2019; we went again to Gangaram Hospital. My mother was a bit afraid this time as she knew the operation should happen now, but we comforted her. She is a strong woman. We got all the tests done. Bilirubin was 4.88 now on 25th July 2019. The doctor said he would operate her on 26th July 2019.

Chronology of Events till now (Trust me, God has a presence on earth through divine souls, and these doctors were, I guess, a result of all the good deeds my mother did and continues to do)

Dr Rajiv Pahwa: Blood Test (LFT, KFT inclusive), Ultrasound, MRI and diagnosis of obstructive Jaundice (Jaundice due to blockage)

Dr Arvind Khurana: Endoscopy, Biopsy and PET CT Scan.

Dr Saumitra Rawat: LFT, KFT, Stenting, Biopsy, ECG, Operation

Operation Day: Whipple Surgery (26th July 2019):

My mother weighed 39 Kg that day, too weak; she was being taken to the operation theatre that day, and I wanted to go with her. Whipple Surgery is one of the most complicated Surgeries in the world, as told by many doctors, Wikipedia and my doctor friend (He was also accommodating in guiding us though he didn't have much practical experience). She was taken around 10 AM. We were a bit afraid, given the complicated Surgery but we were positive. The operation started around noon, I guess. The doctors were very kind and told us to be positive. At around 5 PM, the doctor called someone, so my eldest sister and the other sister, just younger than her, went; the doctor showed them the removed portion, part of the process, I guess. Trust me, it was significant as the intestine is a big organ and a part of it was removed along with other organs as well (Partially). Finally, the operation was over around 7 PM. The doctors came out, and my dad met Dr. Saumitra Rawat. He told him everything was fine and he had done a good operation.

We were allowed to meet my mother a day after that, on, {28th July 2019. My sister and I went; I was too afraid; we had to be careful and not let any dust/infection come near her. I went to see her; it was an ICU/CCU; I saw a lot of polybags hanging from her body, drips and pipes. One from her nose, one from her back for a Pain killer, two three from her stomach for the juices coming out. One for feeding her directly from the stomach. It was hard to see, but, she was conscious, and the CANCEROUS TUMOR had been removed from the body. No more negativity and only positivity now, I said to myself.

For the rest of the 15-20 days, I was in the hospital as the attendant at night. For a week till 01st August, I didn't go to the office but eventually resumed it. Everyone was very cooperative and ensured I was not burdened. My mom was shifted to the General ward on 01st August 2019. God was again testing my patience. So, after the operation, some artificial parts that joined the stomach organs of the pancreas were removed, and I don't know what else was removed; I guess only the doctors know that. So, my mother remained constipated for 4-5 days after the operation. It was alarming because, now, the organs should work correctly. Finally, she was better after some medication, and the organs were working correctly now. The Biopsy report came meanwhile, and it said the tumour was removed and the margins were good. On 09th August 2019, she was discharged, with the polybags still hanging, so every day after that, for a month at home, an assistant doctor visited her to dress and check whether the wounds were finally dry and healed.

Whether to go for Chemotherapy?:

Now we had to decide whether to go for Chemo; this was a tough one as it had to be done within 15-20 days of the operation. We had a lot of discussions, and trust me; the opinions confused us. We asked the surgeon's doctor, who said the operation was satisfactory, the cancer had been removed, and now it's up to you. Some people don't go for Chemo. My dad saw it as an indication of not going for it. We thought we went for consultation from a doctor in Gangaram itself on the recommendation of the Just junior doctor to Dr Saumitra. This gentleman again scared us to hell. He told me there would be around 20 sittings, which would be painful, and the chances of survival are 50-50.

Now, this was again a great decision, I guess. We decided not to go for Chemo.

The Analysis and reasons for not going for it.

  • It would be painful, and my mother would come to know that she had cancer.
  • The chances of survival were 50-50.
  • My mother was already in her 60s, and we didn't want to give her more Pain.
  • A lot of people were against our family. I was too.
  • The doctor (Saumitra Rawat) had somehow indicated my dad's feelings.

The aftermath of the operation and Present scenario:

So, we went for monthly checkups with the consulting doctor, Dr Saumitra Rawat (Our God). My mother's health started improving. She started gaining weight now 48 Kg. All the parameters were acceptable. The diet has improved tremendously. There are no medications, just one Pantocid, a regular medicine for Gas. She is happy, we are happy, and it has been a year now since the tragic event in our lives. Things are good; I thank God daily for keeping her healthy.

We try to keep her positive; I never shout at her. My sisters and I have also told Dad not to shout at her; my dad is short-tempered. He expresses his love through anger and because she never listens to him. He has also changed now, though. My mother is much better now, better than ever, in good health, happy, cheerful and back to her routine of getting up at 4 AM to pray. She prays more than 12 Hours a day. She feeds the animals, dogs and cows, to be precise. Feed people experiencing poverty, our maid and anyone in need. She is spiritual and satisfied, has no complains, and feels grateful to God for everything. She feels she is privileged. She inspires me. She is more active than me, trusts me and has all the energy in the world. After meeting her, no one can tell that she had gone through so much pain and such a significant Surgery and is more than 60 years old. She doesn't have any demands. She only talks about daan (Donations). She is right. Life is about giving and helping others. Givers are more satisfied and happy than the takers.

What did we do Right? What worked for us?

  • We didn't lose hope.
  • We didn't tell my mother that she had cancer. Trust me; it helped her heal at a more excellent pace.
  • We consulted the best doctors and didn't waste time.
  • We didn't go for Chemo.
  • I changed my attitude towards my mom earlier; sometimes, I used to shout at her, but I never did so; I tried to keep her positive by cracking jokes, helping, and teasing her. This is my way of telling her that I love her.
  • Keeping people away for one-two months post Surgery was necessary as people might have spread infection or might have told her about cancer. Keeping full-time cooks, maids, etc., so that she recovers by resting. Eventually, the cooks left now. She has taken up cooking for the past six months now. She is highly active, wakes up at 4 AM to pray, and is healthier and healthy.
  • My mother's routine and eating habits also helped in her quick recovery. She follows a healthy routine of getting up early, sleeping early and eating only good food—nothing from outside. Also, we ensured that she improved her diet.
  • Always keep the environment positive. If you see anyone doing wrong, stand against it directly or indirectly. Don't let the negativity flow in your home. Keep your office Stressed outside your home, and keep the environment full of love and positive energy.
  • The tradeoff worked for me when I chose to quit Beer.
  • Having good relatives helps a lot, so many were helpful—especially all my real Jeeju, one of my Cousin Jeeju and my Maami.
  • Good friends help a lot. So my mother had a few good companions in the Gurudwara who visited her and told her to be positive and that she will be fine soon. I, too, have a lot of good friends, thankfully. They helped me a lot and were there for support; the doctor's friend was also good support.

What did we do wrong?:

So I believe cancer is nothing but negative energy in the body. It happens when the cells which should have been destroyed stop doing so and start accumulating.

There were a few signs and things which we ignored.:

  • My mother was becoming hostile. She used to see God in people, which was good, but she used to cry by seeing such people.
  • She was losing weight. She was becoming weak. People told me, but I ignored it, thinking it was natural as she doesn't eat any junk and is getting old, probably because she had stopped eating many things.
  • My dad used to shout a lot at my mom, and sometimes I, too, made the same mistake; she had no one to talk to after my youngest sister got married. However, she had a good circle in the Gurudwara near home which is good. She feels good there. (We are not Punjabi though neither my mom is)
  • I used to blame myself and my dad for her condition. I eventually realized that it was wrong to blame anyone. It was God's complex way of letting us know that we must change and care for her. So don't blame anyone for what has happened.
  • Blood tests, including KFT and LFT, I think getting routine checkups and Blood Tests done is essential for everyone. It would have given us signals.
  • I think women are more potent than men. They hide a lot of Pain within them. Care for them whether you are a husband, father, or child. Lend them a helping hand in all the work they do. Household work is not easy, trust me.

Takeaways

  • Be Patient
  • Be Positive and be hopeful
  • Nothing is permanent. This, too, shall pass.
  • Spread love and take care of your loved ones.
  • Eat Healthy and follow a good/healthy routine.

So this was our story; I hope it helps people fight this menace and strengthens them in tough times. Remember, nothing is impossible. You have to be strong. If you are patient and cheerful, you are not alone in going through this; your family loves and cares for you, and you must fight for them. Your health will improve. You have to take care of your mental health, don't let negativity around you. You can beat this.

If you are a caregiver, remember you are the one who can help fight this situation. You have to go through the pain but smile always. You will have to see your loved one going through Pain and crying. You will have to be the consoler. Even though you might have no one to console you, you must be positive; you must create an aura and environment of extreme positivity. You must express your love towards the patient and keep your cool always. It would be best to take precautions to let no one with negative thoughts/energy come near the patient. Also, you have to take care of your mental health. So try to take some time, go for a walk, think good thoughts, and think your loved one is out of this problem. Think they are recovering and think how you want them to be, i.e. happy, healthier and joyful. Try to find reasons you can give the person fighting cancer to live. Find some ways to engage them so that they forget their Pain. And finally, believe in the almighty and let love heal all your wounds.

Feel free to reach out to me in case you need any help. I would be glad if I could be of any help.

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