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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.

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!