Himanshu Jain is a cancer caregiver to his mother, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1996. Himanshu was only 21 years old, and he had no idea what was going on. As part of her treatment, she underwent surgery and radiation therapy. During that time, she also had a stroke, which rendered her completely bedridden. It was a very sad time for the entire family. Surprisingly, she recovered from her paralysis after only two years, but she had lost her entire memory. She could communicate her basic needs, but she couldn’t remember anything else. She is currently living happily with her family, and Himanshu attributes all of her success to his late father. He says, “My mother’s journey was not extraordinary, but her discipline and dedication kept her moving.”
Brain tumor surgery and recovery
At the time, we were in Rajasthan. As a result, we flew my mother to Ahmedabad for treatment. She had surgery and radiation therapy for about a year and a half. She was completely cured for the next two years after that. However, s he became completely bedridden and unconscious at one point. In fact, she was incapable of doing anything on her own. That was a big hit for everyone. We had no idea how to handle this situation. She was a very busy lady who took care of everything at home. And then she was in a situation that we couldn’t figure out how to handle.
Paralysis, recovery and losing memory
My mother was paralysed. She came out of it around two months later. During this time, we did our best for her. We maintained a proper diet for her. We were very particular about her diet and hygiene. In 1998, she came out of that phase. But she lost her memory. She could not recognise anything. It was a challenging situation. She was able to express her need but not emotions. She used to say that she was hungry; or had a headache, but she was unable to show her feelings. She did not recognise even my father. We had to look at her and observe her behaviour to understand her feelings. There were some parameters to understand the possible reason for her particular behaviour.
Discipline and dedication
Today after 25 years, she is with us. I will give this credit to my father. He managed everything single-handed. He devoted his entire life to taking care of my mother. It was his dedication and discipline that my mother is alright today. We follow a strict routine for her. In the last 15 years, there has not been any change in her diet and routine. These are two things that prolonged her life. Today she is not on any medication apart from thyroid and diabetes. She is not taking any medicine for cancer. We have not taken her for screening for the last ten years. She is leading a very normal life. We simply have to observe her activity nothing else.
Love and care
We need to look after a cancer patient with love and care. We have to manage and handle them the same way we do for babies. My kids and my wife are always around her, observing her activity. If we take care of them properly, they will live a painless quality of life. Before the corona period, my mother used to go outside for a walk twice a day along with a caretaker. She used to sit in sunlight for at least ten minutes to get Vitamin D from the natural source. We need to take care of these small thing to make the life of patient better.