I lost my childhood friend

Not all stories of cancer have a happy ending.  It is a reality that we still lose patients. But if they are young, proactive and have a new family, you certainly feel sad.  My friend from childhood was playful and always helpful. He had his ups and downs but was always cheerful and faced life with equanimity.  He was diagnosed as CLL ( chronic Lymphatic Leukemia), a type of malignancy of blood and lymph nodes. He fought on gamely for  more than 5 years knowing the seriousness of disease.  He was doing well, active physician in his profession, willing to help others and look after sick patients. But as fate would have it, suddenly the disease took over and he started succumbing to infections that led to further complications.

One often wonders again, as I said in the last blog, “Why good people should have bad outcomes”?  It applies not only to cancer but many other incidents, like accidents, cardiac illness.   How do you define fate? How to justify this as ‘Karma’? One of my patients recently asked- he never had a drink, never smoked and enjoyed teaching students and always helped others -why should he get a gastric malignancy?Did he do bad Karma is last birth? No evidence at all.

Frankly speaking, these are random, unfortunate events, rather unfortunate accidents that alter the course of life. Just as you have ‘stroke of luck’, you occasionally get ‘a bolt of bad Luck’.  Yes, I do believe in doing good, but that is not to expect that I will have great time rejoicing in heaven.  Mostly, the goodwill of those who receive your help sustains you and also gives you the positive energy.

Coming back to my friend, many advanced therapies were proposed.  Some of the drugs unfortunately are now not available in India. With a lot of difficulty a drug was flown in but as any new drug , it had its own side effects. This is the problem of modern medicine.

I feel the pain on loss of a dear friend, but what choice do we have but to get on with life.

I can only say that fight on gamely even if you know that the outcome may not be good.  That’s the best we can do.


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