Journey of Seema - Touching numerous lives, Narrated by - Satya who never talks Mithya.
The Power of Touch.
Imagine, you’re at a hospital, you’re in a hurry and suddenly you bump into a stranger and all your bags fall to the floor. Now, in such a scenario, wouldn’t you lose your temper? I know, most people would; but not Megha. A month back, I was in the hospital, waiting to interview a doctor and that is when the same above-mentioned scenario occurred. A girl was hurriedly walking down the hallway, with a huge bag full of toys, when a ward boy bumped into her, causing her bag to fall to the ground. The ward boy started apologizing like his job depended on it (which kind of did), but instead of getting angry, she smiled at him and said, “It’s okay bhaiya. No issues!”. She picked up her bag and went to the cancer ward for children. I went to a nurse who was standing nearby and asked, “Sister, is she a doctor?”. The nurse told me that the girl was actually the founder of a non-profit organization that worked for the welfare of cancer patients. I thought to myself who would be a better person to interview for this series than her? A person who radiates such positivity would surely have tons of inspirational stories. So, for the last story of this series, I i.e., Satya, am going to the backseat, letting Megha handle the steering wheel of this story.
As a kid, I never thought much about cancer, or even about death for that matter. I never had anyone close to me die or be diagnosed with cancer. But that changed when I was in 5th grade and one of my classmates passed away due to cancer. Her death had instilled a new meaning of cancer in my head; cancer kills. I think this is the reason why I couldn’t take my mother’s diagnosis very well. I was 15 at that time and my brother Ashok was 12, my father broke the news to us, “Amma has Stage II ovarian cancer”. Instead of being supportive or asking questions about the diagnosis, I said “Amma’s going to die, isn’t she?”. Before my parents could even utter a word, I stormed into my room and locked myself in there for hours. Soon, there was a soft knock on my door, “I don’t wanna talk. Go away!” I shouted. “Megha, it’s me… Open the door kanna (Tamil word for ‘dear’)” my mother said from the other side of the door. I opened the door and sat back on the bed. Sitting next to me she said with a heavy but soothing voice, “I know it’s a lot to take in and accept. It’s been hard for us as well. But I promise to you, I am not going to die. Do you know what Stage II ovarian cancer is?” I shook my head to say no. “It means that the cancer is present in both of my ovaries and a little bit has spread to the uterus. But during the surgery, they’ll remove my ovaries and uterus, due to which cancer would also be removed from my body” she explained. “So you won’t die?” I asked with welled-up eyes. “No, she won’t” my father said sitting on my other side on the bed. He continued, “But she cannot go into battle with cancer on her own, right? That’s why we must be strong and be her army in this battle. So, what do you say, warrior, are you ready to beat cancer together?” I nodded and hugged both of them. Their inspiring words and warm embrace were enough to instill the power in me to help my mother beat cancer.
We all hugged each other and cried, because we anticipated that the journey ahead would have a lot of ups and downs.
After mom’s surgery, the onco-surgeon referred us to a Medical Oncologist in our vicinity. We found him the same as narrated by mom’s surgeon. Calm face, healing eyes and very soft spoken; there he was. He explained us everything well about the recurrence, relapse, and life after ovarian cancer. The gentleman touched our souls.
One day, when dad was in emotional turmoil, he kept his hands on his shoulder, looked straight in his teary eyes, and pressed his shoulders and softly
said – I’m with you in this journey. Have faith and trust yourself. Your wife is doing well and there are chances she’ll survive well.
Something turned that day. Believe me, for the next four years, none of us cried. Amma was doing well. She also bought a cycle for herself, and she used to enjoy cycling every morning. “She used to say – When the wind passes through my face blowing my hair, I feel like something is satisfying my soul”
We were in regular touch with Dr. Ashay and after a little more than 4 years of mom’s surgery, he noticed that her disease has come back. The news came to us as a shock. We felt like God is a teacher who has asked us to pass the test more than once to be promoted to the next class. We felt it to be unfair.
Well life is not always the way we want. We lost Amma in the next 6 months. Whenever I talked about her, my heart fills with pain of losing her and the pride of being her daughter at the same time. She was like that. Whoever came in her company could never forget her.
After so many years of losing her, we have accepted that everything happens for a reason. Today, Amma is the reason for the welfare of so many people struggling through Cancer – said, Megha while wiping her eyes with heavy voice.
I (Satya) didn’t have words to express the gratitude to Megha and her team who are working tirelessly to make the lives of cancer patients and caregivers easier, in the mission to fight and win over cancer.
I’ve to take leave now but I promise, I’ll meet you sometime, somewhere, soon!!