Sunday, April 12, 2015



O for optimism!

The autopsy reports confirmed the worst fears for our family – my dad and mom were devastated, I was kind of perplexed being in my teens and not entirely knowing the consequences, my brother was in his own cocooned world of comforts, too young to understand.
My mom in her early forties was detected with cancer of the breast , I was just into college and the whole world came to a grinding halt. My dad did not know whom to turn to and was inconsolable but it was my mom who came out of the trauma and said “I believe in karma and good deeds and the lord will not let me down. Let us take the opinion of our Ramesh and I am sure he would guide us through.” She was talking about dad’s nephew who was an angel in disguise; a messiah sent from heaven – Dr. Ramesh, my dad’s sister’s son was a famous surgeon.  The family till that point in time had crumbled, lost all hope of a happy family being together again now slowly started rebuilding the pieces of life. My dad immediately called him up for consultation and went wholly as per his advice. As my mom went through the battery of tests and pre surgical requirements, I had to slip into her cooking shoes and enter a domain that was unseen by me till that point in time. The unfamiliar kitchen domain and the job of managing the cooking singlehandedly were thrust upon me and  I did not know where to begin. Well let me begin at the beginning I thought and started a series of coaching classes from mom as she lay in the hospital bed. I quickly learnt the little nuances of cooking such as making rice, roti and dhal and succeeded in feeding the hungry mouths. So I part of the difficulty was overcome and I sang “we shall overcome” in full glee and all the members too joined in this struggle of life!
Fortunately, there is a silver lining in every cloud and the tests proved that the cancer was restricted to one side and my dear cousin quickly sprung into action and he conducted the surgery of the affected part himself and sent it for biopsy and by God’s grace it had not spread to other side and other organs were spared.  Now there was a glimmer of light shining a the end of the dark tunnel but still there was a long way to go. She underwent radiation and chemotherapy which was terrible on her physically. She could not eat food and vomited, her hair loss was terrible and almost became bald, and all her muscles began to weaken and had become emancipated. It was unbearable to see her in this pathetic condition but the brave lady that she was, she fought all the odds stacked against her and overcame them step by step. As the detection came in the first stages and surgery was conducted without any delay, despair turned into hope and outright optimism of my mom saw us through the difficult times.

Methodically, she carried the post operative recovery and year after year went for regular checkups and for the last 30 years has remained free from cancer. Praise be to her for tremendous will power and optimism and to my cousin for his timely diagnosis and treatment. Now I can look back and feel proud of the optimism which is a vital element in the wheel of life!

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