Saturday, July 31, 2021

Happy Birthday Dear Sister

Happy Birthday dear sister. You are no more with us physically but your presence surrounds us all the time. You would have been 58 years old today and I know how you would have hated that. You will always remain young in our hearts …..
How can a person so full of life and so bubbly be dead? I still haven’t come to terms with that fact. For me it will never be a fact at all. I still recall most of the naughty and silly things we did as kids. I remember the day we hid on the attic behind the coconut shells because we did not want to go back to Bangalore leaving our pet fishes behind in our native village -   Byndoor. How you always wanted everything around us to be fair. The way you divided our double bed into two parts with a rope or sometimes a string running between us.. (I could never keep to my side of it because I always twisted and turned in sleep). 
How fiercely you fought to win the game of gatta. What made you not fight cancer that way? Thank God Mommy intervened the day we tried to crush hands of a girl on grinding stone for cheating in a game. I can remember all those incidents just as though it had happened yesterday. The way you used to laugh out loud when you found something funny about a person and especially the look they would have on their faces. They were always confused about how they should react. 
Whatever you were … you were not a hypocrite. You were one of those people who could wail and cry in the same way you could laugh. Remember the day your favorite cassette was accidentally erased by Sajid? LOL. I really could not believe what I heard that day. At first I thought you were joking, but then realized it was a real whine and a cry. 
Even when going through BC you celebrated every time you found out something positive .. like the wound healing a bit, or you not feeling much pain etc. How many parties did you throw while you suffered with BC? You made everyone believe that nothing will happen to you. I think you were right. BC has not done anything much to you. You are still there beautiful, young, happy, naughty woman laughing away .. having your way as usual in hearts of all the people who have known you. 

Love you always.

Whenever I see Rayyan, I think of you. You were so fussingly loving towards him. You made him a special prince of our home. I try to keep him that way always. You had little time with Farheena, and that too was between fighting cancer. Yet, you showered her with love. You were very proud of both of them. 

Time has no effect on your memories. They are bright with me as though they were created just yesterday. You will stay with me as long as my mind can remember something. 

Wishing you happy birthday dear sister.......................

Saturday, July 10, 2021

#25SilverLinings 8 - Doctor Checkup Dilemma

I knew the next morning, something about the relationship which was already shaking had changed and it was never going to be the same again. We both behaved normally as if there was no elephant in the room, and soon I got ready to go to Bangalore Institute Of Oncology for another opinion just to satisfy my husband. The doctor who was about to see me was a jovial person and kept laughing throughout our talks with him. I cannot say that was encouraging, though I know he put efforts to lift the patient's spirit. He wanted to check the biopsy report and also the spot where the lump was located. 

By now, I was used to check-ups of breasts by doctors. Those precious secret mounds were no more so secretive and had been fumbled with too often in the past month. But for the guy accompanying me, this was new. For someone who believed that women should be in a burkha, a man feeling her breasts was not easy to digest. 

He panicked and asked, “How do you think he's going to do the check-up? Will he feel and touch you?”. I actually had to answer that question because he continued looking at me.. seeking an answer from me. After a while I answered, “Yes, that is how check-ups are done”. I could see the change of expression which turned into a mix of frustration, anger and jealousy. “You should have told me this earlier” he said, sounding as though I hid something from him on purpose. I just kept quiet because I knew I couldn’t handle this now. I was already scared, tired and worried about the surgery happening in 3 days, and this was not something I wanted to deal with. “Are there no female oncologists? You should have taken an appointment with a lady doctor”, he continued. “I don’t think the gender of the doctor matters. They are professionals”. I had to say something since it was getting uncomfortable to keep quiet as well. “It does. You ask for a lady doctor or nurse to check you up. I don’t want him doing it. He looks like a flirt”. I saved myself from saying anything more by being called in for the check-up. I went in without solving his issue with the male doctor because I did not want to. It was not important for me now. 

Honestly, it is not easy for anyone to get adjusted to the hospital experience, especially when you go through something as serious as cancer. Even childbirth can be tough, but at least you are already familiar with the doctor for the past few months. The whole procedure of checkups can take its tiny toll on our minds. Not many understand this. 

I changed into a hospital gown. The check up was done which was unnecessary because the surgery was already scheduled and I was going ahead with it. Now, I had to go back and face the guy outside once again. Life seemed unfair and tough at that time when I was wearing my clothes with the nurse waiting to help me in case I needed her. She saw my expression and came over to assure me that everything was going to be alright. I told her, “it would be the day they discover cure for hate, stupidity and insensitivity, and a way to fix stupid husbands” and we both laughed at that and walked out. Seeing me smiling along with the nurse, my husband was irritated, but before he could open his mouth, we were ushered into the Doctor’s cabin for further discussion. He wanted to know about my schedule of operation and whether I would prefer to get it done in a specialized onco hospital. He tried to explain how dangerous it was to get operated in a hospital which was not specialized for cancer treatment. In short, he was trying to promote him as my surgeon, but he scared my husband a bit, because he started to believe that I had made a foolish choice by deciding to operate in a pediatric hospital. I told the doctor, “I will think over what you have explained and get back to you tomorrow”. I knew I would call and tell him that I am going ahead with my previous plans. He insisted on speaking to the head of BCH&RC and I shared the number with him. 

On the way back my husband was grumpy, angry and mumbling something which I couldn’t hear. Later he said, “I feel very bad about that guy checking your breast. That is too intimate, He was joking something with the nurse as well and then you both were laughing. I think it is wrong for a male doctor to check you up”. I answered, “Yes, I think so too. Let us cut that breast and throw it off after a few days. It has been spoiled by his touch anyway”. That somehow shut him off. 

The next day, I had to talk to my surgeon, Dr. Murad Lala regarding the scheduled surgery. He also wanted to talk to my husband and explain the surgical procedure, future care and many other things post cancer treatment to him. He was a friendly person and had a good sense of humor, the kind that did not make you uncomfortable but could put a smile on your face. He was a young and energetic person and now that scared me. Since he did not have a special cabin, we usually consulted him in his wife’s cabin since she worked in the hospital as a pediatrician. After my experience with the checkup the previous day, I was worried what I would have to handle the next day again. I realized that already my worries were not about cancer or surgery that is staring at me, but about something or someone else. Disease, illness, wounds and other ailments are not as bad as toxic people or relationships, since no one ever tries to cure it or understands the pain it causes. No one would tell me to tolerate cancer, right? They would ask me to seek a cure and get well soon. What if I was suffering in a wrong relationship? They would tell me to continue to suffer. Something to think over……………..

The 11 month old daughter definitely gave me enough energy and strength to put up with all the nonsense.
I somehow feel I look quite stupid in those days, before Rayyan's wisdom rubbed off on me.
I usually wonder why they deck the bride so? There must be some hidden meaning to all of this drama.


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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