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Neha Goswami (Brain Cancer): My Mother Is A Fighter

Neha Goswami (Brain Cancer): My Mother Is A Fighter

I am Neha Goswami, and this is the story of my mother Maya Goswami. She has been standing strong in her fight against cancer for more than 2.5 years now, but the recent surgical procedure has taken its toll on her.

The Diagnosis

Till September of this year, my mother had been actively living her life, regardless of fighting her battle with the deadliest and most aggressive brain cancer- GBM grade 4 (Glioblastoma multiforme). But after September 2019, she needed assistance with everything. She was constantly sleeping, hardly ate, could not walk or move her legs, could not maintain her body balance, or even go to the washroom, unassisted.

Suddenly seeing her this way was making us all feel imbalanced. All these years, we were so used to seeing her smiling face, that now watching her struggle like this was really hard. We were all rooting for my mother as she is a fighter and never quits. But seeing her so helpless, just makes me feel all the more frustrated and lost.We(My brother, Bhabi, Dad, and my Husband) were researching and talking to experts from all over the world, as well as talking with other patients, and caregivers, across the globe via Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media connections to get tips, remedies, or any means possible to help cure my mother. Staying connected to so many people helps in giving me moral support to stay focused and strong. But it is not easy. Seeing my mother struggle to express herself, or even show her happiness, cuts deep like a sharp knife.

After the Second Surgery

These changes we saw in my mother after her second surgery, chemo and second radiation at Medanta in November 2019, have changed her as well as our lives. We did consult the neuro-oncologist regarding these changes and but it seems no one has the answer to this question. We all know that these changes could be irreversible, but we are all hoping for a miracle.

All our lives changed the day we learnt of her diagnosis. A lady who was our pillar of strength is now struggling to walk. Her smile could melt away all our anxieties. And her happy face gave us the strength to deal with any adversities. But today she rarely smiles. My happy mother is lost in her Pain and suffering and this is hard for us all to accept. We are crying inside, but we have to stay stoic and strong so that she does not lose hope and her will to fit in. We haven't given up. We are still hoping she beats this low phase and emerges out of this testing phase victorious.

We have noticed that most of our Indian doctors are not on the same page as far as advancement in the treatments or remedies or alternative cures are concerned. We lost a lot of valuable time because of this and were not able to avail of the proper treatment procedures for my mother. Most doctors still follow the procedures and techniques that have been followed since the last 50 years or so. Some doctors are following the latest research, but limited access to medical facilities and advancements in India does not help the patient and their families.

I feel our Indian doctors need to be more proactive in wanting to derive more methods to heal a cancer patient. Researching and keeping up with the latest trends can help them in staying on par with the International Oncologists. Only then can they offer a better quality of life to their patients.

Watching my mother who taught me everything, suffer like this, is unbearable. So don't be critical and pass judgment. Instead, try to accept the situation and motivate yourself so that the positivity created out of it generates a healing environment in your home.

We as her family members are striving each day to find ways to relieve her pain and find a cure. All we expect is for others to be supportive of us. Please understand that this situation is very stressful for us. Managing a balance between life, work, family and a sick relative is not an easy task. There are times I get forgetful, jumpy, angry, and frustrated. So don't judge me. Accept me as I am. I know I struggle with my emotions at times, but I am human. I request everyone to practice non-judgemental acceptance in their lives.

Parting Message

My family's battle as a caregiver has led us to our own quest for better health. If we can reclaim our health and more time in this life to share with those we love, what more do we need? Also, friends, pay attention to your diet.

Incorporate a well-balanced diet, exercise and stay fit, healthy and happy. Ensure you talk to a good friend or a counsellor if you are stressed out because mental health is the foundation of a good, and healthy life.

Learn to derive happiness out of small things. Stop thinking of what went wrong. Delve on the positive and create a nurturing environment, which facilitates overall healing and growth. And yes, cherish the good times in your life. They will act as an anchor to keep you from being swept away when hit by the storms of life. Create beautiful memories that inspire you daily to live a better, fulfilling life.

Each moment is special. So leave all the negatives behind, and move forward with positivity and hope and happiness within you. This will help you to focus on battling Cancer. This is my journey as a family member in this battle against Cancer. It has been tough, but my mother and we are tougher. And we will never give up, soon we will beat this disease and emerge victorious. I hope and pray.

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