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Jayant Dedhia (Caregiver): A Healthy Diet Saved My Family

Jayant Dedhia (Caregiver): A Healthy Diet Saved My Family

My wife belongs to Mumbai, and all her treatment was done there. She was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in 2009. Her left breast had been affected, and she underwent 21 cycles of chemotherapy. Precisely, she needed six cycles of chemotherapy for 21 days and 15 weekly cycles. Additionally, she required six radiation sittings.

History Repeats Itself:

My brother and father have already been cancer fighters. So, my wife was well aware of a cancer patient's pain. She was not novel to such a situation. As soon as her breast cancer was detected, the first thing I did was to explain only one thing. I told her I would ensure she gets treated at the best hospital by the best specialists, but what she eats during her treatment is entirely up to her.

Being a Pharmacist's Wife:

There may be things she loves to eat, and there may be things she hates, but she must forget her taste buds and focus on recovery. I am a pharmacist and have seen countless cancer patients during their battles. I understand how things in this domain work, and a healthy diet is the key to quick and effective recovery.

The Saga of Home Remedies:

My family has always been inclined to home remedies. For example, when anyone has a bad cough at home, we do not rush to the store to buy medicines. On the contrary, we use rice water for quick healing, and it has always been active. Our traditions profoundly influence our perspective, precisely what motivated my wife to eat healthily.

We did not seek external help or anything of that sort during the battle. People were amazed when they heard my wife was not bedridden even for a day. So, also, when she underwent stressful chemo sessions, she would wake up early at home, pack tiffin for my children, look after me, and function as she did earlier.

We never treated my wife as a patient or made her incapable of doing any activity. It is crucial to keep the sufferer active at home because the moment they sit idle, they start thinking about their problems and ill health. Though onlookers may not realize psychological functioning and mental state must also be cured. The patient is already undergoing so much, so the last thing they need is extra stress or tension from external sources.

Balanced Diet:

I have consistently recognized the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. What you eat impacts your healing. It is simple logic that nutritious food items can boost your healing while junk dishes can do the opposite. I am proud of my wife for following a proper diet daily that helped her maintain energy levels,  platelet count, and bodily functions. It also helped her to tackle the common side effects of chemotherapy. Unlike most other cancer fighters, my wife did not experience any nausea or puking.

Critical Care:

Support from family members is critical to help the cancer fighter recover. Though I have repeatedly said they must follow a diet, I feel it is the family members' task to participate in the process and feed the patient. They must try to make nutritious foods as tasty as possible. Otherwise, the patient will not be able to consume them daily.

I want to share some of the primary things we implemented. Items such as wheatgrass juice, aloe vera, and soaked dried fruits are essentials. Here, family members can participate by soaking the dried fruits the previous night, giving aloe vera in the morning, and making fresh wheatgrass juice.

One of the best soups that helped my wife recover faster was an all-natural soup we made at home. It has many ingredients, such as drumsticks, neem, turmeric, tulsi, etc. Additionally, we have another dish that includes green lentils (moong) that we first crush and then mix with fresh cow ghee. Add a few drops of lemon to it and make it yummy! From a patient's perspective, they have a significantly reduced appetite.

In such a situation, it becomes challenging for them to have raw food items. You can easily find these items at home, and they do not burn a hole in your pocket. Moreover, you get adequate protein at home. I choose green lentils over other pulses because kidney beans can be hard to digest.

When we discuss the things to avoid, oil is one of the worst things you can consume. It has low nutritional value and hampers the body's organs. Avoid sugar and fried food at any given time. None of us can challenge fate, but we must take precautions and fight cancer with all our power.

The Role of Distilled Gau Jharan (Bos Indicus):

A highly debated item in India is cow urine. While some have spoken of its health benefits, some wrinkle their noses even at the thought. But personally, it has been a boon. When distilled and purified, Bos Indicus or Desi Cow Urine has several anti-cancer properties for those who do not know. But that does not mean a patient can have it like a drink. Mixing one spoonful with five spoons of water is the best way to consume cow urine.

Cooperative Doctors:

I did not face any problems with the doctors. Being from this field myself, I was thankful to meet the right people who extended full and hearty support along the journey.

Rampant Extortion:

However, I want to grasp this opportunity and educate others about extortion in this field. Well-known and reputed hospitals promise to charge patients nothing more than MRP. However, that is very expensive, and I do not think the commoner can afford it.

The Unavailability of Generic Medicines:

The authorities take advantage of people's helplessness, and the masses have no other options. The Government must look into this and take strict action to curb such practices. There must be better regulations to stop this behavior from medical workers. Things that are supposed to be priced at 2000 are sold at 15000. Though I did not face this difficulty, I spoke on behalf of thousands of others.

Avoiding Trauma:

My wife did not have a particular role model during her fight, but every family member was there for her. It is common to have visitors over who want to meet the patient and share their thoughts. However, I have noted that these visitors often share negative instances more than positivity. This can lead to severe trauma for the fighters. It is vital to create an optimistic vibe.

Another thing to remember is that visitors may often be exposed to outside pollution, germs, and bacteria. Now, the patient's body is weak from the chemotherapy sessions and functions on reduced immunity. It is a sensitive period, and the patient must be protected from any possible infection. In a nutshell, restrict the visitors you have!

My Father's Episode:

My father was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at an initial stage in 1990. At that time, he needed 12 cycles of chemotherapy to recover completely. Here, it is first essential to understand the period I refer to. Despite countless medical and technological advancements, it was nowhere close to where we stand today. So, today we can easily find antidotes to fight nausea and vomiting. But at that time, there was no such antidote. I remember seeing my father go through a lot, and we would genuinely feel his pain and suffering.

Ahead of his time:

Today, social media is a dominant part of our lives. The worldwide web has enabled us to find any solution we want. There are many articles on home remedies for treating cancer, different treatment methods, pros and cons, side effects, and whatnot. But none of this existed at that time. My father was treated for six months, and today he is okay. So it's true that our lives have had several challenges, but we always tried our best to fight back and emerge victoriously.

I see a stark difference between the mindsets earlier and today because that was a time when the sufferer would hide his pain to give strength to everyone around him. My father would inspire us that everything will be perfect and that there is nothing to worry about. These words were more than reassuring and gave us a renewed sense of happiness and hope. Today he is 82 years old and as active as his age permits.

Guidance from Doctors:

I had already started working in this field, so that time, too, I was fortunate to meet the right doctors who showed us the right path. Even when my father was battling cancer, he was not bedridden or showed no lack of work motivation. Each day he would sit at the shop and fully participate in the chores. His willpower is commendable and sets an example for the older and newer generations.

The Blessings of a Close-Knit Community:

Last but not least, we faced no financial constraints because our close-knit community was always available to help one another. With such supportive people around us, we thank God daily for giving us courage and sensibility.

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