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Dhananjay Kumar Karkhur (Breast Cancer): My Mother Was A Fighter

Dhananjay Kumar Karkhur (Breast Cancer): My Mother Was A Fighter

Breast Cancer Patient- Diagnosis

We hail from a small village named Morena near Gwalior. Both of my parents were working at that time in 2006 when my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the first time. I had actually overheard it from my father and sisters that she had Breast Cancer symptoms.

Breast Cancer Treatment: Surgery followed with Chemotherapy

She visited a doctor in Gwalior who suggested consulting an oncologist at the earliest. Since our aunt, who stayed in Delhi was a doctor, we decided to visit the cancer hospital there hoping to find better treatment facilities. The oncologists immediately recommended Breast Cancer Surgery and 6 sessions of Chemotherapy after it.

Full Recovery

At that time, she had no visible Breast Cancer symptoms. Her Surgery was successful, and she completed her Chemotherapy sessions also. What amazed even the doctors was that she showed no side effects from the treatment. We believe her emotional strength played a key role in her quick recovery. After five years, in 2012, my mother was declared a "cancer survivor".

An Arduous Multi-tasker

After completing chemotherapy, she continued with medications and regular hospital visits for follow-ups over the next five years. Despite full support from family, friends, and colleagues, she preferred doing her work by herself. She was indeed a very strong woman.

Cancer- The Dangerous Relapse

Unfortunately, the story did not end there. Within six months, she began experiencing pain in her left hand and leg. The physician in Gwalior advised us to consult the oncologist again. Upon revisiting the same doctor in Delhi, he recommended a PET scan.

The results came back with shocking news that her cancer had returned and spread to three other organs. We were furious with the doctor, as she had been declared cancer-free just six months earlier. However, prioritizing her Cancer Treatment, we transferred her care to another hospital in Delhi.

Pain and resignation

The second wave of cancer was much more painful than the first. She had to resign from her job due to intense pain. In 2012, she underwent six cycles of Chemotherapy again. Unlike the first time, her aging body suffered side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite, but gradually her condition improved. She could go back to her normal life by being under constant medication, but she had lost control over her left hand.

Personally, it was very hard for me to see her struggle, but her strong willpower allowed her to continue working until she resigned in 2016. She continued medications for two and a half years, but by the end of 2018, her health deteriorated further. She frequently had fevers, and we were alarmed by her worsening condition. The doctor reassured us that although the cyst had grown, there was nothing much to worry about.

Metastasis

But when we went again after 3 months, the doctor reported that the cancer had metastasized to her whole body. Her health declined day by day. The doctors told that Surgery was not an option and chemo would be harsh on her body at her age. And even if we went forward with the chemo, there was only a 10% chance of recovery.

Still, on January 23, 2019, we decided to proceed with chemotherapy, fully aware of the risks. However, when we returned for the Chemotherapy session a few days later, the doctor, upon reviewing her health condition and reports, advised us to wait another eight days. Somehow, my mother had realized the severity of her condition and asked us to take her home. We brought her home, and she passed away within eight days at the age of 63.

More than a Decade of Pain

My mother battled cancer for almost 15 years. But not even for a single moment did she let us feel that she was in Pain. She was such a strong person, full of hope, positivity and joy.

Remembering her Brave Fight

After her first diagnosis, she took up Yoga and consumed papaya leaf and wheatgrass extracts to boost her immunity. She always lived a healthy life, continuing her job to keep her mind occupied and handling household chores herself. My sisters assisted her in the kitchen before they got married.

During this whole time, my father stood by her like a pillar. He took her to office and walks daily. After retiring in 2011, he was able to be there for her even more, both emotionally and physically. In her last few years, I also became very close to her. She devoted herself to prayers and sometimes I had to scold her for fasting for prolonged periods in the morning, though we later figured out that she had lost her appetite due to the side effects of Chemotherapy. All through her treatment days, she was hopeful of recovering completely and coming back to her normal life.

From the day my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my aunt and uncle in Delhi, both doctors by profession, guided and helped us immensely. My mother often said that my aunt becoming a doctor was a divine blessing to help her. They both supported us. They helped us to such an extent that surely without their support, my mother wouldn't have survived this long.

She always had a smile on her face. We are still recovering from our loss. But I am so proud of the way she fought her battle against cancer, always with a positive attitude. She will always be my inspiration.

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