Diagnosis, treatments underwent, and side effects
My dad has been suffering from lung cancer for a year. Things are going good and I’m expecting them to get better. We got the reports in 2021 when he was diagnosed with this disease. Whenever a patient is diagnosed with such a dreadful disease in your family, it is like heartbreak for the complete family. Everybody gets so scared.
On 27 April, he got his first chemotherapy. Then he underwent six chemotherapy cycles. Initially, his condition was quite good. But when he got some radiation, his condition deteriorated so much. He was bedridden for almost three months. Everybody was so worried about seeing a family member bedridden. I talked to some of his doctors. So they told me about Immunotherapy although it is expensive. So we started with his Immunotherapy in November. So after getting his six cycles of immunotherapy, we saw some improvement. And he’s again undergoing his six cycles.
Reactions after hearing about cancer
Everyone in the family had a different reaction at that moment because everybody dealt in their own ways. My mom sat in front of me and cried. There was a burst out of emotions like fear, anger, and worry. My dad was a chronic smoker. He quit smoking only two years ago. Even after going through this situation, my dad still laughs all the time, cracks jokes, and tries to maintain that positivity in the household.
I have learned that life is very uncertain. So, just do it. Whatever you want to do, do it right now. Don’t hold anything for me. It’s not just about cancer. Every day we listen to people saying heart attacks, brain haemorrhages, accidents, and people die at a very young age. In fact, I want to share one thing. So this is the one lesson I have learned from this journey. Also, don’t hold any grudges from anybody and do whatever you want to do.
We have been so busy with everything that we haven’t made any changes yet. When he is in recovery mode then we will be able to do some lifestyle changes. But I can suggest some of the things which a cancer patient should do, which I am trying to convey to my father as well. If your energy levels are good, you should try some yoga or some exercises. It will help you maintain your positivity level. Your mental health will remain fine.
Experience with the doctors and the other medical staff
Initially, when I started his treatment, doctors had put his chemo on hold for some time. It got delayed to 20 days. So when I went to the doctors then they said that they already knew the result and it was not viable to carry on the treatment. I was shocked after hearing this because doctors are here to treat and not guess the outcomes.
I was in a complete disaster at that moment because the doctor said this is the last option we have. We can get his immunotherapy started. One immunotherapy will cost around two to three laps. I didn’t know how to cope financially. Initially, they said six therapy sessions were complete. I should have at least 15 to 20 lakhs with me to carry on this treatment. I called Jayant Kandri, who helped me to cope emotionally and boosted my morality. I am grateful to him for this.
I think we need some awareness sessions. Even the government doesn’t provide any financial aid or initiatives for cancer. This is a disease, not a stigma. We need to spread that awareness regarding cancer. We are eating food full of pesticides these days which can be a reason for cancer. So it is very important to start Agro initiatives. In fact, instead of hype, we need to adapt some of the preventive measures. I think a better approach towards this disease rather than hyping it by following some instructions, some guidelines, and changing our lifestyles.
Message to caregivers
Try to keep yourself calm. Try to keep your mind at peace because it is an important part of our life. We have to keep that check on our mental health as well. Try to incorporate meditation and yoga to boost your health. Taking too much tension might make you another patient. Just do your best and leave the rest to God.