Amma came with me for last night’s dose of radiotherapy, it was nice to show her the room and how I get caged in for the radiation. She was invited to the opening of the new conformal radiation therapy room last year as a professor of the institution; and was shown the new fancy machine – but little did she know that her baby boy would be there for 4 weeks of his life, and that too so soon.
She had so many questions, does it hurt, does it burn, and are your ulcers hurting when you eat? Anne’s parents too are so worried, and I suppose my being so casual and optimistically cool about it may give them the impression that I am having difficulties but refusing to show it.
On rounds last week, boss stopped an old lady who was the attendant of a patient from chewing tobacco and told her it was harmful for her. “It makes a difference if one in a hundred modify lifestyles from what we tell them”, he told us. “I would not wish carcinoma cheek even on my worst enemy; it’s the worst disease to have, and the treatment even more terrible than the disease.” He then said “in life it is good to live it well and then to die in peace and dignity. We must also if possible die after our parents” he added “for it is, by far the most difficult thing for parents to watch their children suffer”. He looked at me and said “I’m sure you will know”.
I never really looked at it that way. I know it has been tough on the family, both mine and Anne’s. But I’ve always thought if I show strength and a face that everything is all right (which it has been!), that they would feel easier about the entire situation. I wonder how I would feel if Koby had to face something similar, even if he said that all was well. I guess that at this point a God of peace makes perfect sense. He has to exist, because I have felt him at work in me and the entire family, despite this crazy situation.