Some days back, we completed 2 years of the detection of my malign tumour. I remember the day when I first experienced pain in my stomach and we had brushed it as my bad eating habits. Though after repeated bouts of pain, we visited so many doctors to ascertain the cause. I remember how shocked we were when we first came to know of my tumour.
Till then, I had read about them only in my science books and you knew about it because you lost your sister-in-law i.e my maternal aunt to ovarian cancer. Both of us were so scared and lost. This couldn’t happen to us. This couldn’t happen to me! After all, I was just 22 then!
We decided against telling dad initially for we knew he is our weak-hearted baby. We also decided to keep A out of it, after all he is my baby bro and used to stay in hostel across the country. You were my support and I was yours. For 2 months, we tried alternate medicines but by then the tumour had become too big for us to handle. And then, I had my first paralytic pain attack that shook me up and rendered me out of action for a week.
Doctors after doctors, scans, tests, sonographies, city scans, heavy medicines, failure of liver, ovarian cancer scare, uncontrollable bouts of pain, innumerable sleepless nights, Anaemia, Jaundice, low BP, super High BP, and mental torture. You were there always besides me, scared, apprehensive yet a strong support system.
Diwali, my birthday, dad’s birthday, Christmas, New year’s, A’s birthday, almost every day of week was spent at scan centers, clinics and hospitals. I was weak and fragile as a baby but you ferried me to authorities without a word of complaint. Revival of organs, driving away the cancer scare, fighting the weakness and pain would have been not possible had you not been there with me, Maa.
Those 5 days in hospital saw me taking a rebirth. I revisited my first glimpse of world, first word relearnt, first sip of water, learning how to sit again, take baby steps again, push myself to run again only with your help. You stayed alongside and soothed her fears every waking minute. You saw through all the jokes your daughter cracked and sensed her insecurities. You supported her when she had nearly stopped believing in herself. All she wanted was a peaceful painless death after reaching her high point of tolerance as none of the painkillers would help her. But Maa, you pushed her towards life again. You made me, me again.
A woman who has never ever fallen sick other than having common cold had just lost one of her ovaries to tumour. The doctors could not save my ovary and that reduced my chances of having a baby. You knew they did that, you knew the humongous number of stitches that now adorned on your daughter’s prided flat flawless abs, but you never said a word till the last day of discharge. For you knew, it would badly hit my self-esteem. Agreed, that was one of the lesser problems, but it was still a problem.
Honestly Maa, I was proud when you told me of my loss of ovary and gain of these scars. They will remind me about your strength forever. They will remind of this period of my life when I saw death an inch away from me and was rescued by an angel i.e you. I am proud of you, Maa. It was a difficult thing to allow the doctors remove that ovary. It was a difficult thing to watch me in pain everyday, every hour. It was not easy for you to support me all the time by pumping in so much of medicines to keep me fighting and alive.
However, you did it.
Thank you and indebt are small words in return for what you have done for me. My God and everything is lesser description of you for me. I would just say, I owe every breath of mine to you, Maa.
Shatru Ladli is her mum’s enemy i.e Shatru as well as her beloved i.e Ladli (Psst this is my pet name kept by her among the 10,000 other awesome yet embarrassing pet names).