All the information contained within this blog is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit to the doctor. The views expressed in this blog are personal views of the author and are not related or directed towards anyone in particular. Although every effort is made to ensure that the content within this blog is accurate, but it is not official in anyway. Please consult a doctor or health care provider.

Friday, 26 September 2014

My Grief, My Partner

Today, its been 11months since papa left us!

Dealing with loss can be difficult,  It becomes more difficult when you are with your loved one all through. I have always been very close to my father. But the bond we felt, while papa was undergoing treatment was different. There was a different kind of unity. We became each other’s support system. We just knew what to say to make  each other feel good. 

For months, my routine was same-  6:15a.m Wake up, call papa,and ask if he had any new problem(s) and pain(s). And then the fight to deal with that pain would start. Call doctors, visit doctor, arrange medicine. managing papa’s dosage…for hours, i used to be on phone. The day would end and then  would start again….

For me loosing my father was like, a plant uprooted from the ground. It is no rocket science to understand what happens when you loose your ground, how it feels. The day came, papa travelled to a place where he would be free of pain and sufferings…I should have been happy but I am not.

26, October 2013, the day is etched in my memory as the black day of my life. This date,  changed my views for life forever. I have stopped taking life for granted. I value life and people around me more. But I am yet to overcome my grief, my loss. My days still are a combination of pain, shock, anger, bargain, fear, depression...

Pain: Moments after papa left, I was numb. I could not feel. I was just expecting, papa to get up and talk to me. But he didn't ....he was gone!

Shock : Initial 3 days after papa went, I couldn’t cry. My heart  refused to accept that it has happened to me. I was shocked…from the day when papa was detected with cancer…to hours before he left, I maintained this feeling that a miracle will happen and papa will be fine. 

Anger: I am still angry at myself. Why din’t I pay attention to papa’s  declining weight. Why didn’t I push him hard to visit a good hospital. I was his most loved child. I betrayed my father. And he had to pay the price by his life.

Bargain: For months, I would pray to god, that I will do anything If he returns my father. My days are still spent in believing that one day he will return to me…

Fear: I suffer panic attacks. I constantly live under fear, as regarding my own life,  health  of people I love and my responsibilities . 

Depression: 30, November, 2012, 10:30am, when doctor came out of the Operation Theatre, and declared that, papa cannot be operated because the cancer has spread to other body parts….It hit me hard…I cried …and I cried till papa left us. Papa left us, after three days I cried again, and I am still crying…..nothing excites me anymore, day are passing, but they are not so bright as they used to be…I am a part of them, but I am not living.

I am yet to find “something" that will help me to deal with papa’s going away. Though, I will never overcome my father’s fade out but some day I will learn to believe that, he is not physically with me but always around me….

Love you, Papa

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Happy birthday to me!

It's my birthday today. My first birthday without papa. 

Last year, when after many years, I celebrated my birthday with you.  Papa, you were clapping and singing- Happy birthday to you....I can still hear you. Where are you papa! why don't you come and wish me!....I miss you!

"Wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY",  every year, I woke up with the  same phrase" , years after years. And today, Its my birthday again and you are not here. I woke up. I felt uneasy and hollow. Something was missing. A part of me wanted to sleep. May be you would come to wish me(in my dream). But the breathlessness forced me to wake up. I got up and made myself a cup of tea.

As, I sip my cup of tea, I am thrown back in time. The time, when I used to celebrate my birthday. Me and my younger brother share birthday, just 12 hours apart. So it was  twice the celebration in my house. As the month started, we would start counting days, we would make a list of friends to be invited. My mother would buy us new clothes. As the day approached, our excitement knew no limits. Our eyes were fixed on the calendar and mind would wonder about the celebrations.

On the day, in school- we would celebrate by distributing sweets. In the evening there would be a party at home. Friends and neighbors would join.  Cake, chocolates, chips, cold drinks, cookies...wow, It used to be so much fun.. After, everyone left, we would start opening the gifts. When all the gifts were unwrapped, last of all papa would slowly slide his gift next to me. Over the years, I  received just two gifts  alternately- a hair brush or a color box.

Papa, loved my hairs and would always wanted me to have long hairs. Gifting a hair brush was his way of telling me to have long hairs. Which, of course I never did.The color box, because he loved art and wanted at least one of his children to appreciate his love for art and painting. Both my brothers hated painting, since I showed some interest. Therefore, papa tried his best to inculcate his love for painting in to me. He was successful. I love painting. I stil paint.........sometimes!

I know, papa you are always around me- wishing and blessing me. But, I am waiting for my color box. I want to paint. I want to tell you, though I don't keep my hairs long now, but I still want my hair brush....

Love you papa!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

In my faith, Keep trying

Today I am restless…very restless, but then i have been restless for months now. What is that bothering me…why am i sad? Why sadness has become a part of my routine? whenever, I am alone, tears just make their way, irrespective of what i am doing… walking, driving, waiting …or watching a show... I haven’t laughed for months now…and it has been months since i have slept peacefully. 

The  question remains same, why did PAPA leave us…he was only 71yrs ( and 70 when detected with CANCER). He could have lived for more few years.he was a healthy and fit person…And I know..he would have easily made it for at least 10 more years. Had it not been CANCER…

I keep on looking for answers..but after 21months… i am still searching answers... searching for peace...I am not sure, If i will ever find answers, but I am trying to....at least be at peace

Yesterday, my husband said..and not only him ..but many others have come up to me and said...…I should not have gone ahead with “chemotherapy”?…I only increased his( papa's) pain…and suffering! Have I?

Have I, I have asked myself? ..a thousand times...May be …May be, I have! But then…What if, chemotherapy would have worked….recently i came across a documentary, which says.. only in 3% of the cases, chemotherapy works. What if,  Papa- was one of those 3% fortunate people. He would have been a survivor!. 

A survivor, how good it feels even to think about it. In retrospect, if not trying, what should I have done, see him suffering or waited for "yama" to come and take papa... even without trying! and live with the guilt of not even doing "that" something, he deserved, that gave me a hope, gave him a hope ....you can call me selfish, but I could have no way let papa go... just like that. He was the person, who told me the story of the spider, who fell 7 times, but still kept trying until she succeeded in climbing.

On the other hand, haven't we heard, God helps only those who help themselves.We should have faith in god.... but how will god help, if I just sit and wait...this is not the age of miracles ...no magic is happening, lord shiva is not coming on earth and take away the sufferings....I have to help myself...help papa to overcome the demon( cancer). My faith is my karma..

Now, for all those who feel, against my decision of taking papa to the hospital for treatment, my question is? Do we stop our children from learning to walk, because they may get hurt? or don't we hurt each other by saying terrible things and are still together. Or, for fear of loss, should we stop trying? Do we not teach our children, keep trying!. Is the word “try(ing)" only meant for our convenience, use it whenever we want and discard, because it may cause pain. Are we not responsible for teaching our children, the most valuable lesson of life…..”keep trying until you succeed”….when Pythagorus, La-places’s theorem will not help…trying will help, having faith in your karma will help!

To summarize, I am quoting Buddha

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace

And for me that word is at least I “TRY(ied). Keeping alive in my faith, Trying is the first step of winning, I will keep TRYING, after that……..may be "I am at peace"

Love you PAPA!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Memories of my Future!

By the time October arrived, Papa would sleep ( or lay unconscious) for  as long as 22 hrs, barely opening his eyes now and then for few seconds. 

There was no sign of life, except for his belly moving up and down. No movement absolutely. And, for the few moments, he opened his yellow(ed) eyes.  I could see JAUNDICE had set in. The last stage of the process of his fading….soon papa will live in my memory. How bad it felt..no one can feel. And those who say, I understand- just lie.

All through, my father's fight with CANCER, the only respite I had, for the few seconds when papa opened his eyes, he always recognized everyone around him. Lots of my cousins, uncles, aunts and neighbors came to visit him almost everyday. He recognized all of the them. Even till his last breath. Cancer did not affect his memory. 

Talking about his memory, once my mother and brother had gone to bank for some work. At the counter, my mother handed over a cheque. The counter clerk, said- Aunty there is no balance in your account. My mother and brother were surprised, how is it possible that papa, did not realize that the account had no balance and he issued a cheque. They started walking back. It is impossible, if papa is saying than account will have balance" My brother had just concluded the sentence. When the clerk came calling from behind, i am SORRY madam, it was my mistake your account does have money.

At times, my mother would forget where she had kept her things, but papa always remembered. Even the smallest thing, he would tell you exactly where it has been kept.

My husband often says, that I derive pleasure from looking at my old and worn out things . He adds, that I spend a lot of my energy and time in storing them and then taking them out to just look at them. My version is, all the things I keep have memories behind them. And I DON’T like forgetting or parting with my things or anything that matters to me. They make me SMILE, and keep me attached to where i belong. They are the souvenirs of my past and help me to create a beautiful history for tomorrow.

During those 11 months, the memories me and my father made - his courage, his fighting spirit,  the things he said and did, - are my best treasures. These "memories" are much more precious than any valuables. Whatever I am today, it is because of him. He gave me the best gift of life…the ATTITUDE to CHANGE for good and only good. And nothing beats that!

Holding on to his memories, I am walking forward... still living in the time left behind.

Love you PAPA!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Chapter 6- Radiation therapy begins...

As time passed, pain only increased and papa spent most of his time lying on the bed. Even for turning to his sides, he now needed support. He stopped having food. The last time he had anything to eat was on 12th August 2012 and then finally having his last meal ( half a cup of his favorite apple juice),  on the morning of 26th October 2012  - the day he left us! 

I remember,  once i got his favorite sweet. He got very annoyed and threw it. Cancer has reached his mouth and he had stopped feeling taste. In my last frantic attempt, I decided to go ahead with RADIATION THERAPY. Papa’s oncologist has suggested it as the last resort to help my fading father.  

I had reached at a stage in my life, where if anyone  would have told me about something that can help my father in easing his pain. I would have done with my eyes closed. I don’t care. I just wanted papa to be  free of pain. 

An ambulance was arranged. Papa had to be carried on a stretcher. Our house being on  2nd floor, with the help of my brother, my husband and 2 more people,  papa was brought down and  taken to the hospital.

I have often have come across a saying,

"The only permanent thing in life is change"

And, now when I think of it, having seen it  with my own eyes. I can say,  how true it is.

When i was a baby, my father  held my hand and I followed him because i believed him. Papa will only decide the best for me. And now years later. I am holding his hand and he is following me. He believed in me, in my decisions. He knew, I knew-  nothing was happening. But our  belief in each other kept us strong all through  the treatment.  

Papa lay on his bed, when the nurse came and said, it’s time for the therapy. He looked at me and I looked at him. I got up. Papa was helped on the stretcher by the attendants . I carried his reports/files in my hand. On our way to the radiation therapy “room",  I started telling him about the man, i met in the lobby and how radiation therapy has helped him walk again. He was listening very carefully. Like every other time, this time also -I was sure, papa will feel good after the therapy. 

I waited outside the room. After 15 minutes, papa was brought out. His eyes were closed. He looked exhausted. His dark circle looked more prominent now. And his hands- the hands that taught me too walk, write and paint were frozen. I held his hand, and put his shoes under the stretcher and started walking with the stretcher, towards the room. 

In all 9 cycles were planned by the oncologist. Papa did feel better for the initial few days. But as the days progressed, so did CANCER. Side effects of radiation therapy emerged. Skin problems like itching, dryness, lumps formed behind his ears, changes in bowel movement, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting and difficulty in swallowing or coughing. 

The emerging symptoms only added to his miseries. Despite of taking preventive measures,  symptoms could not be controlled and papa’s condition deteriorated further.

After 6 cycles, papa gave up. He din’t want to. In respect to his wish, I decided to stop taking further radiation therapy sessions. For many weeks- Papa, lay on the bed motionless for hours, absolutely unaware of what was happening to him or around him.  To avoid bed sores, we would turn him on the sides. But from his side- he would  open his eyes only for few seconds, as if trying to gain energy and then fall back to sleep. His back bone completely ruptured. He would continuously writhe in pain. Bed sores appeared. They were painful. The lump(node) behind papa’s ear burst and pus started flowing. The ulcer in papa’s mouth turned black and he could not even swallow a spoon of water. Days passed since papa had any bowel movements.

He lay motionless for weeks, under the effects of MORPHINE and other pain killers. I would sit all day, by his side (for fear,  i would not move for a  minute, what if...... ).  I prayed, prayed and  prayed. I wanted ....the AGONY to end!

The END came, Papa went far far away...

Dear papa,  no matter where you are ….I LOVE YOU , always!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Candle in the wind

To START, mine's was a nuclear family, so the only relationships i knew during my growing years,  were my parents and my two brothers. I never fell short of any emotion or feelings, and everything made sense. Life was complete in its own right. My father was a govt. employee and mother is a homemaker. Not much money, minimal luxury and lot of love and affection. I was happy!

We laughed, we talked, we ate together, we argued …papa was the binding force. He asked, and he told. He was a guide and a friend. He knew where his children were…even when we were miles apart.  He was always there for us. No matter where we left, he knew where to begin…life was in all going at its beautiful best.And then...life changed!

Papa, left us too soon, days before when things have began to settle. And every thing seemed like a fairy tale…all his  children were well settled. He was a grandfather now. He talked and she giggled. He sang and she would sleep. He would play and she would get more excited. He clapped and she clapped. His grand daughter, who became the centre of his life. The only person who made him smile, though faint ( he was too weak to laugh)…though his sore lips would hurt, but he  would smile….just for and she would understand.

Life took a U-turn, and now I am starting again….without PAPA!( Though I can never, my  world will never be perfect...but...if et all life was free of IF(s) n BUT(s)

This moment when i am writing, I just remember a song by ELTON JOHN..which i want to dedicate to papa… To, my superhero dad...the extraordinary person, he was...and to the difference he made to my life..our lives....

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did"

love you papa!

Saturday, 6 September 2014


Some day, I will have a life
With health and no pain -to begin with
Dreams and happiness will sail
With no sadness and no rain

I hold on to the moments went by
In the hope, for a life so bright
Peaceful life and prosperity to start
A silver lining, I can see all through,

As you cradled me, as my being 
You taught me to walk and talk,
In values engraved, to last a lifetime
You will be in my heart, forever....

As a child, I remember reading a story about a girl called Pandora, who opened a forbidden box and let out the  evils. Death, despair, pain, hatred and hope. At first I  didn't understand, I mean why hope? until i  came across an article on greek mythology, according to which  HOPE is an evil too.

Sometime i just can't bring up to myself to think HOPE as an evil. If we look from our experiences we can say its a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope implies a certain amount of perseverance.Its not causing harm then how is it evil?

Though while I write this article i am debating with myself was I born with hope or I acquired it with time I spent in managing to survive? Is HOPE the new synonym to survival?But then what happens to Darwin's theory of " Survival of the fittest".  If you are fit to survive in the land you are born ,Why do we have to hope and what do we have to hope for?

As Monroe Forester said,

"When we feel defeated, we need only take a deep breath and say, "Yes," and hope will reappear.Hope is always available to us".

A would be mother hoping her child will be born healthy or a new bride hoping she will have a marriage like no woman has ever had.A person going for the job interview hoping that he will get the job. Or a player for that matter always hopes to win. Or a patient on his deathbed hopes to get fit and live more ( I love you Papa).

In all these reason when we have nothing to loose. After trying everything all we can do is Hope. Does HOPE really makes life easier?

May be it does! Is it not a reason enough, that If a wounded soldier in a war ,can smile hoping that his sacrifice will not go waste.Then why shouldn't we all hope? How can be something be evil if it protects us from the life which otherwise filled with so much....as pandora let out the evils.But we should not forget that she also let out the greatest gift to mankind- something very important for our survival. Hope a reason... for all of us to smile.

In the  HOPE, I will see my father again....SOMEDAY!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Chapter 6- The time has arrived....

It was  6th August,2012. I had an appointment with the doctor. Since the past few days, papa was unable to sit by himself and had been complaining of acute pain in the shoulders. Therefore, i decided to visit the doctor and discuss the problem. In 1945, 6th August, 8:16am, Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima( JAPAN) killing thousands of people. And today another bomb was dropped....that changed my life for worse....  

At 9:00 am, i reached my parent's house, dropped my daughter, collected all the necessary reports and left for the hospital. Papa couldn’t come because of the pain and his inability to sit. 

I reached the hospital around 9:45am, i still had 30min, before i meet the doctor. I decided to have a cup of coffee. While I sipped my coffee,  my gaze fell on a middle aged man, who was crying. I felt bad, but we had something in common - one of our loved was suffering.  We both were in pain, and when pain is the common factor, it becomes so much easier to talk even to the strangers.

What I heard was unbelievable, he told, he was 47 years old, his mother passed away, soon after giving birth to him. His father never married again. He din’t have any sister. He doesn’t have a daughter. The only woman in his life is his wife, whom he loves very much, and will do anything to save her. He further added that, she is the one who has stood by him all these years, gave him a family, gave him a sense of being loved, she gave him 2 sons,  and looked after his father. She has loved him selflessly and today the doctor says, she has no time left….she is going!( Sorry,Uncle for sharing your story)

I was saddened the way my day has started, but then it was same…as it had been for past 7 months. My name was called, i gulped my coffee and  went inside…the doctor looked and re-looked at papa’s reports and with a sigh, he said, the cancer has spread in the bones( and the whole body) and ….and….and... now ..NOTHING CAN BE DONE!

The time has come, was my first thought. I asked the doctor, how time papa has got, he said…may be a week or a month. Somebody just stabbed me in the heart…papa don’t go!. 

I composed my self, and asked, Can we do something to make papa’s remaining journey less painful. I pleaded, can we continue with chemotherapy, that ways papa will have hope?

The doctor said, No, that is not possible but you can take radiation therapy session, but that too won’t help papa because of his old age. I pleaded again, I will do anything - just anything  to maintain papa’s hope, even if means nothing or is not helping him anyways. 

Since, i was not  ready do give up, he said, you can take opinion from other doctors ( that was his way of making me understand, through other doctors telling me- be prepared, time is near). I was so desperate, that I could have done anything to save my father, whom i was about to loose. I visited all the major hospitals of Delhi, while my brother visited a re-known hospital in Mumbai. But nothing changed -the answer remained  same.

The rains set in, and the candle burned out!

Love you papa!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

List of Palliative Care Center(s) in Delhi/ NCR

Palliative care plays an important role,  while you take care of your your loved ones. As mentioned in my previous post, it is aimed at making life easier and comfortable for them.

We din't send papa to any care center, as we wanted him to be at home with us. So did papa! ( he made that quite clear in the very beginning of the treatment)

I, along with my daughter travelled everyday to  be with papa( the only thing that brought smile to papa was his naughty grand daughter and i din't wanted to take that away from him). The moment i used to reach, he would start complaining about everyone...( i miss you papa)

He was happiest, when all his children were around him and especially his only grand child. One of my muslim friend, once told me that there is saying, that people who breath their last surrounded by their children go to heaven. I am sure of that. I can see him everyday shining in the sky - the brightest STAR( my papa) 

We consider ourselves fortunate, as we all were with papa when the moment arrived...!

God was gracious, we were able to take care of my father( at least thats what i think). But for people, who are unable to take care of their  dear ones for some reason, can contact the following centers for palliative care.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences 
N. Delhi-110022 
Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar
Email : shumob@yahoo.com  

Kanak Durga Basti Vikas Kendra
Sector-12, R K Puram 
N. Delhi-110022 
Ms. Harmala Gupta, President 
011-26102851, 26102869 
Fax: 011-26102859 
Email : harmalagupta@cansupport.org 

83 Akriti Apartments, 62
I.P.Extension, Delhi – 110092
Mr. Amza Secretary
Email : dnipcare@rediffmail.com 

115, C-13, Sector -111 
Rohini, Delhi 
Dr. A. K. Dewan Chairman of Trust
011- 27013311 Fax : 022-28459885 
Email : dewan.ajay@gmail.com

Lifeline Hospital
A-13, Priyadarshini Vihar, Laxmi Nagar
Opposite Sai Baba Temple
Delhi- 110092

Property 6, 2nd floor Sector C-5
Vasant Kunj, Next to DPS School.
New Delhi - 110070
Mitu Puri
Tel: 98110 73213

C-659, Sushant Lok, Phase –I
Gurgaon -122009 (Haryana)
Phone: (0124)2564473-75  
Fax: (0124) 2564476  
Email : gccidelhi@gmail.com

Love you Papa!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Chapter 5 - Palliative Care

In words of Buddha…

No matter how hard the past is, we can always start afresh

It has been more then 10months, I am still trying to come terms with my loss. Had it been that easy, then everyone around me would have been happy. Such a perfect place to live, this world would have been. But none of us is happy ( Don't go by what i say, but introspect, you will find the answers). I come across a lot of people everyday but i haven’t found one such person…who is happy enough to not complain.

I understand that starting afresh is my only option. But the time i will  take to start, only time will tell. Moving from past to present, today i want to talk about the most difficult phase of life...when with every passing moment papa was suffering more. I knew time was running out but .... I became a spectator, He could not be saved.

In my last post i talked about the doctor telling me in my first visit of making my father nearing end…”easier” as NOTHING can be done now. What he meant was they will try to lessen his pain by medicines, care and counseling. This process of “trying” to make life comfortable is known as palliative care or support care or comfort care.

Papa, received palliative care from day 1 of his treatment,  and it continued till the day when he took his last breath. We were trying, but  nothing was coming out. I was loosing hope, I was scared as a result, i  spent most of my day in thinking or reading about other forms of treatment and pain relievers. Papa was trying hard. He just wouldn’t let go. Every time the palliative care team visited papa, at least papa spoke. Papa would plan his queries and ask me to write on paper, this gave me immense peace- though momentarily. As a result i started looking forward to visit from the team, That meant so much to me. 

CARE or NO CARE, i knew the result from the very first day. Nothing helped him. Neither medicines nor our prayers. And now, all i know is my father has left me. In his life, after cancer  the only thing that gave him some relief were the pain killers. Starting form 2 tablets a day to  a day arrived, when papa was just  having  the pain killers - absolutely no food, no juice, no water. We would moisten his lips with cotton dipped in water or may be put few drop of water by a spoon. How helpless CANCER made my father.  This continued for 4 months..But he held on. And then...

Even after taking precaution(s) and trying in vain. All the symptoms came along. one by one and i could do nothing.

He went away right in front of eyes….

Love you papa!

A little more about PALLIATIVE CARE

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is usually given to patients with  life threatening or serious illness such as cancer. The aim of this kind of care, is basically to handle or treat  the symptoms or side effects of the disease  as soon as they appear. The aim is to cure as prevention is not possible. Palliative care is also known as support care, symptom management or comfort care

When to start palliative care?

Palliative care, especially in diseases like cancer starts right from the diagnosis and continues throughout the treatment.

Who gives palliative care?

Usually the treating oncologist, but other people like the pain specialist, dietician, counsellor play an important role. The aim of palliative care is to  make life comfortable. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Chapter 5 - Metastasis and stages of cancer

The day, we came to know about papa’s cancer it was already stage iV B - the last stage. He din’t have time! 

Om my very first visit to the hospital, the oncologist said - "Your father has got 9 months or may be less to live. No treatment will work on him . All we can try is to lessen his pain". That is it! and nothing.  Tears rolled down my cheeks. A senior doctor of a high profile CANCER hospital in Delhi was saying this. I felt suffocated. I wanted to say, tell me something that i don’t know but chose to remain quite.  I wiped my tears, got up from the chair and rushed towards the door to get some fresh air, that i desperately needed. 

In my entire life, i never felt so weak and miserable as i felt in those 15minutes  I so hated myself, for not noticing papa's degression. The body was giving hints continuously, but I was never able to pick. Why wasn’t I aware of something like CANCER? Why is there so less awareness about GALL BLADDER CANCER. Why did i have to loose my father to know about cancer?  

I lost my father, but i don’t want any one else to suffer like papa…like me..like my family. In the hope and with the conviction that my efforts will save somebody, if not papa. May be i will attain some peace. I will start  by the ways which cancer spread in the body.

Since papa,  was a GALL BLADDER (Metastatsis) case, therefore all my findings and  research are related to the metastatic stage of cancer

How does CANCER spreads in the body?

Generally, there are 3 ways in which cancer spreads in the body

Tissues : By growing into the  nearby areas
Lymph System : Travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body. 
Blood : Travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.

And when cancer spreads from its point of origin to other parts of the body, it is known as metastasis.The cancer cells break away from the original (primary) site and travel to the other parts of the body through lymphs and blood.

The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the original  tumor. In papa’s case the primary site ( or the  point of origin) was gallbladder which spread to the liver , pancreas, lungs and finally to the bones. The cancer cells in the liver were  actually the gallbladder cancer cells travelled to liver and to other sites . Therefore it is metastatic gallbladder cancer, and not liver cancer, lung or bone cancer.

It is said that , if detected early. Cancer is curable. I don’t know how true it is. But if it is, one should the know the stages to be aware.

Different Stages of Gall Bladder Metastasis Cancer

Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ) : In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the inner (mucosal) layer of the gallbladder. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ. 

Stage I : In stage I, cancer has formed and has spread beyond the inner (mucosal) layer to a layer of tissue withblood vessels or to the muscle layer. 

Stage II : In stage II, cancer has spread beyond the muscle layer to the connective tissue around the muscle. 

Stage IIIA : In stage IIIA, cancer has spread through the thin layers of tissue that cover the gallbladder and/or to theliver and/or to one nearby organ (such as the stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, or bile ductsoutside the liver). 

Stage IIIB : In stage IIIB, cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and:beyond the inner layer of the gallbladder to a layer of tissue with blood vessels or to the muscle layer; or beyond the muscle layer to the connective tissue around the muscle; or through the thin layers of tissue that cover the gallbladder and/or to the liver and/or to one nearbyorgan (such as the stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, or bile ducts outside the liver). 

Stage IVA:  In stage IVA, cancer has spread to a main blood vessel of the liver or to 2 or more nearby organs or areas other than the liver. Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. 

Stage IVB : In stage IVB, cancer has spread to either: lymph nodes along large arteries in the abdomen and/or near the lower part of the backbone; or to organs or areas far away from the gallbladder

Papa, in particular showed NO signs of cancer except for that he had lost considerable weight in the past few months. But we thought it was old-age and papa was very particular about of NOT putting on weight. Papa was a very health conscious person and never compromised on his health . Ironically, for years i saw him starting his day with an apple ( What is that famous saying...An apple a day keep the the doctor away). 

A couple of years ago, papa had an operation for enlarged prostate gland. So  papa was regularly visiting this doctor  besides,  papa also had history of urine infection. But look at doctor’s in India- this man  never diagnosed properly…all he gave medicines  for urine infection….that too because papa said so….my question to this doctor is…papa was visiting him for more then a year…when pain was not subsiding...why din’t he suggest to get an ultrasound…X-ray.?
Why din’t he refer papa to some bigger hospital?

I wonder is he actually a doctor?. …Look at the plight of india’s medical system…later..when papa on his own got an X-ray…the X-ray said nothing..everything perfect!

But owing to the continuous pain, and our insistence papa got an colored X-ray…done…it said papa had stones in the gall bladder. Such is our medical case…. LANCE ARMSTRONG, the famous american racing cyclist…in 1996 was given 2 % chances of surviving….cancer had spread to  abdomen, brain and lungs. But he not only survived the cancer, but also went on to to win the Tour de France over and over again….thanks to treatment and the treating doctors.

If only papa would have met the right doctor, got the right treatment timely…he would have been here with me and my  world would have been perfect.

Love you papa!