My Secretary said there is a little girl waiting to see me.
The ‘little girl ‘walked into my room. I said “Hello” . I have never seen this girl before. Then the parents walked in. I immediately recognized the parents. The mother was nursing the baby who had a liver tumour. It was about a month after the surgery, when we had a fund raising event and Sachin Tendulkar was so moved by the story that he came and gave a personally signed bat to the family.
The girl is now 5 years old and they had come to see Mumbai. I asked her what she liked about Mumbai. She said ‘shopping malls’. Yes of course, for a girl from a small town the shopping malls of Mumbai are the big attraction.I asked her if she had gone to the new aquarium and she said “yes, there are a lot of fish and I liked the gold fish”. She was bubbly, full of life. She does not remember me and perhaps she does not even remember that she has been treated with chemotherapy and later undergone surgery for 12 hours and then recovery for another 12 days.
It is a moment of immense satisfaction to see the little girl and the grateful family.
I was lucky that day. Shravan, a young software engineer who was diagnosed with Stage IV gastric cancer, was practically given 6 months and asked wind up his affairs. He was treated with chemotherapy and then, rather unconventionally, we went in for surgery followed by radiotherapy. I was pleasantly surprised and happy that it is now about 3 years and he is having a productive career . In spite of being a middle class professional he had been generous to donate a substantial sum towards ‘Crusade Against Cancer Foundation’ always saying that he is grateful for this gift of life.
All of them say they are grateful for their ‘second’ life. I am truly modest to reply that it is their courage and God’s will that brought about this happy outcome. I am just doing whatever I can do to the best of my capabilities.
In cancer you have two choices, either to give up or to fight. Giving up is very easy. Fighting for the patient needs time, effort and multidisciplinary planning by many individuals. First and foremost, the patient has to muster courage and literally lift the weapons. We can only render our shoulders to fire.
Meanwhile I can only say that if you, by God’s grace succeeded in your fight, do help others. The only thing they need is a message that there are many victors in this world who have also battled and won.
God be with you!