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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can We Ever Say, “I Can Quit Now”?


Tired but feeling better ....

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Fifteen years ago, when I was waiting for the Biopsy reports of the lump I had found in my left breast, I was worried leaving behind my children and dying. Unfortunately, it turned out positive for breast cancer, III stage, and 10 positive nodes. With treatment which involved surgery and chemotherapy I survived.
 8 years later I went through another scare of recurrence with a scar tissue hardening up on my operated site. My children had grown up by then, but the fear of leaving them behind and dying still lingered in my mind. I did not discuss it with them and they did not know anything about this. The reports came back saying it is negative for cancer.
13 years later, a lump was found in my right breast and I worried again about leaving behind my children who were teens now. They did not know much about it because again I thought let me find out first and then let them know. It turned out benign.
Last month, a polyp was seen in my digestive system. Doctors said it looks sinister and should be removed to be sent for testing immediately. Could it be cancer, the fear came back again, to my surprise again I found myself being worried about my two kids, ooopppsss sorry, they are grown up young people now. So correction, I found myself worrying about my youngsters again. Rayyan is not even living with me anymore, as he is doing his animation in Bangalore and staying in a PG. Farheena is still the same kid and needs me and that doesn’t seem to change ever.
I did some introspection and checked out myself; whether I was just holding on to the kids as a reason for my own instinct to survive and live. We humans are known for our eternal quest for long life and eternal youth since ages. Somehow I feel it is the kids who are motivating me to fight better.
Both Rayyan and Farheena responded in two different ways to my hospital experience.
Farheena was very nervous and on the edge most of the time. Every time I coughed, sneezed or even turned to change sides while sleeping, she would ask, “What happened Maa?” It was sad to see her worry so much. She did not sleep the whole night prior to my surgery. Whenever she heard a tiny sound from my side, she would be alert and wanting to know whether I was all right. The hospital must have scared her a little more. With no option left this time around, I had to take both of them with me to the hospital.
Rayyan on the other hand, was the rock of support for both of us. He had a storm churning inside him, I could sense his concern and worry but he tried very hard not to show it to anyone. He took great care of Farheena and was there handy for me whenever I needed something. He never asked anything or talked about anything. But if I had to say something he was all ears and listening without throwing much advice.
Both their response wrung my heart. I think they suffered more than me all through this ordeal. The way things are going nothing seems to be changing soon. So maybe for years and years to come I will say the same thing, I am afraid to leave behind my kids and die. I don’t see when I will ever be ready to quit.
I say may be it will be good enough when Rayyan is married and settled down with his family, but then I may find some other excuse. Life is never going to be smooth and I would want to be there to clear bumps for my children even when they are sprouting grey hairs.  We can never say ‘I am ready to quit now’. That is human nature.
I finally sat down today morning and thanked God for the life he had granted me after my BC experience. It thanked him for allowing me in bringing up my kids up the way I wanted them to be brought up; keeping them away from violent behavior, bad habits, swearing words, addictions and narrow mentality. I wanted them to be kind, gentle and humane in their life and they are. The time I spent with them has been wonderful and they have made me very happy.
I thanked God for allowing me to get closer to myself and know, understand and discover the person I am meant to be in a better way. Today I see myself as a much better human than I was during my pre cancer days. I thanked God for allowing me a chance to correct and improve myself.
I may not say I am going to quit now but I can be strong enough to face life or death without complaints anymore. If I go on finding reasons to complain than I am going to have it always handy forever. No matter what happens, it will never be enough. Somewhere I have to stop and be grateful for what I have received in that past few years.  
I am glad I did not make a drama of being sick and waiting for reports like Ekta Kapoor made Priya do in Bade Acche Laggte Hain recently. Because I got a pat on the back (very rare thing) from Farheena, who said, “Maa you are much better than Priya who was so scared to go and collect her report. You were so cool about it”. LOL
 Wonder how come I talk about TV serials without having a TV at home? I was hooked to KBC and connected to it through internet. This serial plays right after it and Farheena got hooked to it. Farheena loves watching Priya and Ram Kapoor, therefore I do watch it with her in between. She loves to watch the antics of Sheldon in ‘The Big Bang Show’ too, that I love watching along with her. Anyway Farheena made me realize that cancer or survival of it is not as glamorous as media shows us. In real life there is silent suffering. Not the wish list and people waiting to fulfill it. Sigh!

PS: A note to all bloggers who tagged me in awards or some other activity. I am sorry that my brain was not good enough to respond to your honor. I was exhausted and tired. Still recovering but I think I can occasionally write a post and read few at the moment. Sorry Guys. 

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