We Have an Answer…at-least partially

For all those who read my post Dad and I…One of the better days, we finally have an answer.

The answer isn’t good, and yet there is a peace and calm at home; the kind of peace one gets at reaching the end of a long, arduous journey. Its not the satisfaction of the destination as much as seeing the sign-board that says, “You have reached your destination.”

4 months of numerous visits to the urologist, neurologist, nephrologist and finally the right doctor : the gastroenterologist.  Following multiple MRI scans, colonoscopies, some more MRI scans and some more colonoscopies and finally… the cat is out of the bag. It’s the dreaded “C” – an answer to the inexplicable weight loss, the continued constipation and dad’s change in behavior and frustration with all those who wrote off all the symptoms as a “natural side-effect of old age.”

There’s a lull at home, a peace as I said earlier, after weeks and months of frustration that kept brewing inside each one of us. I’m not sure if this is the lull after the storm or one that awaits a storm but the truth is all of us…including dad feel we’re finally on a path or on the first step to a flight of stairs that leads to the answer. It’s like finally finding the door and now we must take a step at a time and pray to the Lord for strength and to alleviate the pain and suffering.

While we got to know 2 weeks ago about the malignancy, we haven’t started treating it yet. Because the doctors are divided on the nature of treatment. While the doctor we went to for the second opinion suggested immediate surgery, the first doctor wanted us to do some more tests before coming to a conclusion. Most probably, the first doctor will eventually come to the same conclusion as the second. Now you may ask, why we still choose to wait.

In the world of medicine I am a layman and I do not understand a word of the medical jargon in the reports. The first doctor explained the situation and was empathetic. The second explained it as well but  seemed distant. The first seemed more understanding to the fact that dad’s age and condition made surgery the last option. What she said was what we all wanted to hear so we simply decided to go with her. Actually not all of us. Dad does not have faith in the first doctor because she’s ‘nice’. He belongs to the group of people who think ‘niceness’ is a sign of weakness. He doesn’t like the second doctor either because he asked us to meet the ‘Financial Counselor’ of the hospital when dad asked him the cost of the treatment. Honestly, I hadn’t known until then that hospitals housed a financial counselor. Not all hospitals. The private ones. The financial counselor’s room was a plush cabin with his title printed in white italic on the glass door. His job apparently is to spell out the approximate cost of the treatment and advise you on how best you can source the finance to meet the cost. Something like a wealth manager in a bank.

And so, over the last 2 weeks, I have been visiting various multi-specialty hospitals suggested by the first doctor, for dad do some more tests.  Last week, I had to return after being in the hospital for 4 hours, as the doctor was unable to do an endoscopy because dad’s intestine was not clear.  We were informed that the endoscopy would have to be repeated and so would the colon cleaning procedure. But that’s the problem to start with. Dad’s suffering from constipation and none of the laxatives seem to be working; so how do we clean it? Thankfully, the doctor number 3, understood and changed the dosage of the laxative and has asked us to return to Wednesday, that’s day-after-tomorrow. Dad seems to have taken a liking to the hospital in which doctor number 3 will be doing the test because the dosage worked and dad did go to the washroom. This was a good thing- worth a celebration. Now, we only hope and pray that the tests reveal no major problem and the doctors do find a solution. It’s been long. It’s been tiring. For him, for me and for all of us as a family like I’m sure it is for anybody who has a member of the family going through a long illness. If you are one of them, I pray the Force is with you and your family.

The reason behind writing all that was happening at my end was to explain why I haven’t written a post in so long. I haven’t had the strength. Whenever I have a little reserve energy, I go on my walks to charge myself some more or get some ‘me’ time sitting in the porch gazing up at the sky or catch up with friends over a coffee. ‘Nothing like a coffee with friends,’ whoever said it, said it right! One of my friends’ even asked me if I was sure I wanted to have them over for dinner with all that was going on in my life and my answer to that was and is, “Yes, yes…life must continue.” So that’s what we’ve been doing.  There have been celebrations amidst all this chaos- of birthdays, festivals, family get-together. We keep the shadow lurking in the dark from showing its ugly head and we move on, a day at a time.

However, in all of this, writing seems to have taken a back-seat. And when I haven’t written for a long time, I find it vexing. It rankles somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain and makes me feel guilty. So, to all those who are reading this, please consider this piece as writing practice, a diary entry of my life, a way to end my guilt or just some way to shed off some of the load that I’m carrying.

And if you’ve reached the end of this post and read it all through, then thank you for hanging in there. May God be with you and May you find the answers!


Copyright© lifeateacher.wordpress.com. All Rights Reserved.


10 responses to “We Have an Answer…at-least partially”

  1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha. I am so sorry to hear your news. I know how you feel because I felt the same way when my mom was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. She had breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy as well as a drug called herceptin. My mom was 74 years old when she was diagnosed. She has been treated successfully and the cancer is in remission. That has been the case for 3 1/2 years now as she had 18 months of treatment. It is a hard road and I pray that God gives you strength in your walking of it alongside your Dad.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you for your prayers Robbie It means a lot, especially since you’ve been through it too. It is a hard road. And I pray for strength and the serenity.


  2. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    You’ve expressed beautifully all the frustrations and ups and downs you’ve been going through Smitha. I’m very sorry to hear about the diagnosis but glad that you have an answer and can now take action. Wishing you and your Dad all the best.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much Andrea for your good wishes. They help. Yes, we felt that way too…that finally there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. V.J. Knutson Avatar

    Thoughts are with you…such a difficult time.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much. It is…takes a toll on my memory at times.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shalini Avatar

    I am not a surgeon but I am an anesthesiologist with 20 years experience. Do let me know how I can help. Anytime you want to send me reports or anything, just to ask an opinion. What I don’t know, I will ask my surgeon friend. He will be in Bombay for deepavali. Let me know how I can help you


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Wow! Such a pretty doc. Will speak to you. Thank you so much Shalini for offering to help. It means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shalini Avatar

    Smitha, talk to me. Let me know how I can help


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks Shalini. I will on Fb

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply. I love comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: