She Fought The Unknown

It’s been two months since I lost my grandmother to breast cancer. While it was devastating to see her lying in frontGranny of me – not moving an inch, not speaking a word and not waking up to the tears rolling down my face, I was happy that she left us without being in pain. I was glad she had her last meal happily…that she met most of the close relatives, her sons and daughters before leaving us by ourselves…before leaving us with all the beautiful memories.

I had spent most of my childhood with my grandparents. While she saw me grow up, I observed how she grew from the most active individual to someone who became bedridden for almost a year.

Whenever someone talks about Cancer, they assume that their loved ones will not be able to fight the disease for too long. It’s this one word which makes people feel that the end is near and the suffering has started. This was not the case with my grandmother. She fought the “unknown”, she fought breast cancer for 12 years!  

My grandmom was detected with cancer at the age of 75, when my dad who is a homoeopath doctor decided not to disclose this news to anyone including her. Perhaps the most wise, strong and logical decision one could have taken in my opinion. If your loved ones are suffering from a chronic disease, you do whatever possible to help cure them but at times being logical in taking a decision about their treatment can make all the difference.

Positivity makes one stronger and positive outlook towards life can help you cross the most difficult barriers in life. That’s exactly what her treatment was – to be positive.  

I truly believe that if she or the people around her would have known about the disease since inception, their negativity would have deteriorated her enthusiasm for life. Like I said, most of us tend to believe that there is no cure for cancer and hence when our negative energies are transmitted to the patient, they start feeling helpless about their lives.

It was best to keep all the negativity away and let her enjoy life the way she wanted.

Of course, I too was unaware of what she was suffering from, until a couple of years back on my birthday eve when she was admitted to the hospital did I get to know the real problem. She had broken a bone in her leg and was hospitalized. It was cancer that was breaking her from within. This was the first and the last time she went to a hospital, the only time she got a surgery done. Post her leg surgery, she had to use the wheelchair to move around but she kept positive that she will get back on her feet once again.

She never underwent chemotherapy treatment – perhaps a sensible step taken to not let her suffer at that age by starting such a treatment. Alongside homoeopathy medicines, she was given painkillers to subside any sort of pain. Since my grandmom knew she was in safe hands as her son was treating her and she believed in what he said, she never inquired too much into the problem or asked questions.

Looking at her willpower and positivity, it never felt that she was a cancer patient. Despite the fact she couldn’t walk, she was thrilled about the idea to go for a road trip with the family and grandchildren to see the Taj Mahal in Agra – the first time she saw the Taj! There was nothing that stopped her from enjoying life and spending time with her loved ones.

That said, the last one year got a bit rough for her as she lost a lot of weight, couldn’t sit on the wheelchair anymore and lost all her energy and enthusiasm. Though she hardly complained about her state, she was very happy and content about the fact that she didn’t have to go to hospitals or undergo numerous treatments. She was really happy to be in her own house surrounded by people who cared for her.

There was one time when I had gone to meet her and she told me that she didn’t want to live anymore, that she had enjoyed her life and prayed she didn’t have to be so dependent on her family and bother them to take care of her. That was perhaps the first time I saw her get negative about life.

Cancer slowly did kill her positivity but it was the positivity that helped her fight back cancer for so long too.

Barring the last couple of years, for 10 years she lived with cancer, it never felt she was battling any disease. She lived life to the fullest and today when I look back, I can proudly say that one person who taught me how to be positive and keep going was her. I hope that wherever she is, she keeps laughing and smiling just the way it’s beautifully captured in the picture.

If you know of someone suffering from cancer, don’t act like they have lost the battle of their life. Don’t spread any negative energy. Let them live life to the fullest, keep them happy and positive. That’s the best treatment you can help them with.

One should live life to be happy and grateful every day, for tomorrow could be too late!