Sunday, February 27, 2005

Courage..And beauty..

hope and love
yesterday was hectic..I was on emergency call duty.. For 24hrs..8am to 8am..we have one such duty every week..Have to b in the hospital... But it was not the calls that made yesterday special.. It was a lady staff of mine..
she is leela.. a lady sweeper.. She is 45 yrs.. a widow with three children.. one son and two girls.. the boy used to b ok but now has been diagnosed to have schizophrenia.. a major psychosis.. stopped his studies.. doesnt go for work.. just sits and broods at home..
the elder girl . was married off to a mechanic working in gulf. she is working in some private firm... has not been able to go to her husbands place yet...the younger girl was studying..
leela had been sent by our surgeon two days back to me.. with a lump in her breast.. i was to do FNAC.. that means to take some tissues out with a needle ..stain them.. and look for cancer cells..
reporting FNACS of breast lumps is a bit difficult.. if u miss the diagnosis the cancer will spread and finaly it will be too late to treat.. but if u make a wrong diagnosis..the breasts will be removed unnecessarily.. I can very well imagine what it is to be a woman and lose one breast..!!!
well ...leelalas slides were easy.. no doubts.. it is a case of CARCINOMA BREAST.. GRADE..3 TO 4.. Highly malignant ....
I called the surgeon and informed her.. We decided to call shyamala and tell the news to her gently.. there is nobody else to call from her family..
shyamala came..innocently smiling.. my friend the surgeon told her everything.. gently..the prognosis.. that her breast has to be removed.. either fully or a part could be conserved..that then there would be chemotherapy.. the treatments costs.. the diffrent options ... treatment shedules she could follow..
i waited for the woman to break down...for the lamentations to start....she listened calmly.. then she said softly.. ok.. if thats what god wants.. i will bear it.. please decide the best options for me.. and tell me ..i dont know how to choose the treatment options.. then her eyes filled up and she said.. i have some loans to pay off after marrying my dauter off.. hope il heal well enough to pay the money back.. then she brightened up and told.. ok.. il pull along i know.. i have to..
both of us were so impressed by the poor womans faith.. also we were selfishly relieved that we had been saved from tears and wails..
i went on with my duty as usual.. i was about to fall sleep whe i noticed that my hands anf feet looked dry.. i always keep them soft and pretty.. i called the ward sister and told her to send some glycerine..
somebody knocked at my door.. i opened it to see leela standing there smiling ...with a bottle of glycerine for me..!! i felt so upset.. shyamala....?? i asked.... why are u here..? dint you go home..? no mam she told.. i decided to work tonight also.. my surgery is day after tomorrow., if i work tonight and tomorrow day i can save two days salary..
the woman had not even gone home after learning that she had cancer breasts..!! and she had brought me glycerine to pamper my feet.. i felt that i had become sooo small...
i couldnt sleep.. i was thinking how pampered i am..
that poor woman.. she had shown the sort of courage i could never imagine.. a poor widow.. her only son a schizophrenic..... and she had faced the news so calmly so courageously..
leela.. u dont soften your hands and feet with glycerine..or nourish your hair with luxuorious conditioners.. u dont waste time searching for the correct shade of lipstic for your dont go for ayurvedic massages to rejenuate your body..
you will lose one breast.. your hair will fall and you will be bald following chemotherapy.. you will become skinny and haggard..
but you will remain the most beautiful woman i know..
because i admire the sparkle of hope in your eyes.. your soft calm voice.. the grace and innocence in your words.. the beauty of your srtength....