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Divyanshu Garg (Brain Cancer Caregiver)

Divyanshu Garg (Brain Cancer Caregiver)

How did it all begin?

It all started in December 2019 when we first started noticing continuous headaches. We consulted a neurologist in our city. They gave her some medications and said she will be alright. My mother was 59 years old at that time. The headache went alright for one year with the medications.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Earlier she used to have some sleep issues but we never thought that it would be due to such a big problem. At that time I was in Bangalore and was doing my job there. One day we were talking on the phone and out of nowhere she bought a topic which was not a part of the conversation. When I asked her about the same she changed the topic. One another night while talking instead of wishing me good  night she wished me good morning. I thought it might be because she was missing me. She did not call me for the new year or for my birthday which has never happened before. We went to see another doctor.

The new doctor suddenly understood there was something wrong by just looking at my mother. She asked her to go for an MRI test. Her symptoms changed very quickly. At one point she was very quiet and the other time she was continuously speaking. She stopped chewing. The MRI report showed that my mother has only two to three months to live. A surgery can be done to increase her life span for 1 to 1.5 years. We then went to different doctors for opinion and finally decided that we will go for surgery. We did not talk about this to my mother. She asked once in the hospital whether I was listening  to the doctor's conversation and I said no. This was the last conversation I had with my mother.

The location of the tumor was in the left frontal region. After surgery, she was better than before. She was not normal but she was recovering. Slowly she was able to walk on her own. One day she suddenly stopped walking. We talked about this to the doctor but the doctor did not take it seriously. After this chemotherapy and radiation therapy began. Once the biopsy report came we were shocked to realise that it was Glioblastoma (GBM) Grade 4 Cancer. 

How did we handle the news of Cancer?  

As it was a very high-risk surgery, the doctors warned us anything can happen. I called my sisters and informed them of the seriousness. They both rushed to Punjab because of the warning the doctors gave us. With a lot of courage, we sent our mother for surgery.

How did your mother and other family members manage the side effects?

My aunt used to stay near the hospital and she was very helpful. The treatment was a continuous process and with my mothers condition it was difficult for us to travel on a  regular basis. I moved from Bangalore to stay with my parents.We had to stop her radiation and chemo in the last 10 days because her platelets were dropping. As her platelets were not going up, doctors said that they cannot move forward with chemo but can go for radiation. But there was no recovery and she was completely bedridden. She did not know much about what was happening, but she used to get tears in her eyes.

How did you manage your life or who was your support?

I used to handle my emotions on my own because I was the one to support my whole family. Even my father was emotionally down. He has a fragile heart. I never cried in front of anyone and always stayed strong. I am satisfied with what I did for my mother. My life completely changed after my mothers diagnosis. People asked me to see an astrologer, do meditation and to go to temples. I did everything. Earlier I used to spend most of the time on social media but after my mothers diagnosis my whole search history was how to help her.

What alternative treatment did you do?

 We tried homeopathy treatment. I connected with people who were going through the same phase. It used to give a lot of motivation emotionally, mentally and even physically. 

Parting message

Stay brave, you can do your best, everything is not in our hands. Stay close to your family, love your family and stay motivated.

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