An article by our Director Raksha Pai, explains how a family members suffer when loved one gets diagnozed with cancer...
When we were first told my aunt has cancer we could not believe it. Although cancer had struck our extended families before we always thought of it as something that will not come back again. This was the third aunt.
She had no symptoms, no pain until the cancer had advanced to stage 4. That is when we found out she was suffering from breast cancer. There wasn't much hope or time for that matter but still she chose to take the treatment for whatever was in her way. She had a new grandchild few days old. She wanted to live for everyone that she owned. Like many other's she too was in denial. She couldn't digest that she would soon be forced to leave the physical body when she wasn't prepared for it. The condition was kept in closed circle for the initial days of consultation so that she need not face the burden of talking to everyone about it but with the first round of chemotherapy when she started to develop bald patches on her head it seemed impossible to hide the harsh truth. When she adorned a scarf and smiled, we saw her cheeks had sunk in. She was growing weak but was still tolerant. Her voice still had authority on her soul though her body didn't.
Five months from the time of diagnosis, after more chemo therapies and radiotherapy treatments she was admitted at the hospital. When we visited her, she was still smiling. She told us she couldn't taste her food but she knew those recipes from the back of her tongue. She passed them on to us. She let us videotape her. She was in pain but she had reached in her own terms. She was ready to give up the worldly desires. So much so that she was ready to give her body up. Within a couple of days we witnessed her absense. Absence from us forever. She might have given up on her body but not on us. We felt she was continuing living her life from the heavens above. We feel her presence on special occasions and know that she might still be smiling.