Tag Archives: cancer

Returning to an empty nest

The wedding is over, I say the goodbyes and I return home. Someone drops me home and I know there’s going to be no one at home. It is around 6pm, it is winter and it’s a little dark outside. As I walk in, there is no electricity because of load shedding. I go to the puja room and I sit there for a while. It’s the room where mom medicates everyday and it is calm and soothing in here. I tell myself, everything is going to be fine, I smile and I go upstairs. There is no electricity but there is light in one of the rooms. I sit there and read a book. As I read the book, my mind wanders. Before we left for Delhi, we all were so happy. I was finally back from my 2 years of graduate studies. Mom was happiest to have her kid back in the house. Everyday we cooked different kinds of food and invited guests over. Life looked so normal. Soon it was Dashain and Bua was excited about the elaborate goat meat menu we would be relishing. Mom had started complaining about her recurrent stomach pain that would not go away. We had taken her to a hospital in Kathamandu and we were waiting for some tests to be done which was postponed for a week because of Dashain. We all had no clue of the upcoming storm. I was happy thinking about the good things that were coming my way. My life had been just the way I wanted it to be. I had a good job offer in hand, I was relaxed, I was home and I felt like my life was finally taking off the way I wanted it to. I guess this feeling was what we call the silence before the storm. I knew this experience would take way the “nothing can go wrong” philosophy out of my mind. I will always know our world is not perfect and that anything can happen we just have to learn how to deal with the situation.

I am glad that I’m leaving for Delhi tomorrow to be with my parents. Someone drops me at the airport and I can’t wait to board the flight, take a taxi, go straight to the hospital and hug Mom. She must be eagerly waiting for me. Although she never mentioned over the phone I’m sure she must’ve missed me.

P.S This post is the continuation of At the wedding.

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At the wedding

The music is loud and we are dancing to the same song “Sheila ki jawani” for the third time in a row. The song ends with a roar of laughter and we rest for a while  to sip a drink.  As we take a sip, another  bollywood shaadi number rolls and we’re on the floor. We ask M for a solo and she dances sexy and awesome, she’s got the moves and we’re all awed by her.  As the laughter roars again, my mind travels miles away to Delhi, I think of mom I take a deep breath and head out of the room. I miss Mom and I’m scared for having so much fun and feeling what I am feeling. I panic, I think of the pain and I panic. I feel an urge to talk to Mom, I’m scared. As I punch her number, tears trickle down my cheeks and I’m scared for being so happy because I know life is a cycle of happiness and sadness and I’m scared to feel free and feel light thinking the next feeling might be something I felt when we found out Mom’s got cancer, a severe type and the diagnosis is not so good. I get scared and I panic and tears roll down my cheeks. Mom picks up the phone and says “hello”. I’m relieved. We talk about how her day was and I inquire if everything’s going on fine. She tells me about her daily activities,  asks me to convey my regards to the bride to be. After that she tells me not to worry about her and have a lot of fun at the party and warns me not to drink a lot of wine and beer.  I try not to talk to her for long, fearing she might sense my fear. I say goodbye and promise to call her the next day. I walk back in the room; the ambience is intoxicatingly fun and light. They are still dancing to another silly bollywood number, I join in but the energy is not as high and I’m relaxed to be tensed. My fear subsides but its there and I’m relaxed that the fear is there for as long as it is there, the next feeling is going to be a good one and not a worst one, and I’m a bit relieved to believe so.

I was in Delhi since last few months with Mom to get her the treatment she needed. I came to Kathmandu for few days to attend my best friend’s wedding. Mom and Dad wanted me to attend it and take a break from the humdrum that’s been going on for months.

P.S This is post is out of my diary 2 years back. At that time Mom had been diagnosed with Cancer and I was in Delhi with her for her treatment. It will be a short 5-day series with short posts straight from my personal diary. The posts will be devoid of pictures but hope you guys will read through it regardless.

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A Hard Lesson Learned In A Battle With Cancer(By Cameron Von St. James)

Last month I got the most generous request from my fellow reader Cameron. He requested to publish the story of his and his wife’s battle with cancer. It made me feel humble and thankful for this opportunity to share the story of a successful battle against cancer in my blog. I hope this story will inspire many people who are battling with cancer to never give up. Happy reading and a big thanks to Cameron for wanting to share his story in my blog :).

My wife Heather’s battle against cancer began only 3 months after our first child, Lily, was born. We found ourselves sitting in a doctor’s office, hearing a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma. It was then that I knew I was in a battle with her. I felt sad and bewildered. Our daughter had just been born and it should have been the happiest time of our lives. Instead we were faced with the news that we could get treatment for her cancer at a regional hospital, a local hospital, or doctor in Boston that specialized in Heather’s form of cancer. I felt that the Boston treatment option was our best bet for success. “Get us to Boston,” is what I said while my wife sat stunned and shocked. It was the first of many impossible decisions that we’d be forced to make together in the coming months.

The next few months were chaos for our little family. Heather had to quit her job, and that left me working part time, taking care of our infant daughter, and coping with huge bills coming each day. There were times in those first few months when I found myself crying alone. I couldn’t go to Heather with those troubles because she had the biggest fight of her life on her hands. I dealt with it by myself, trying to do everything at once while working to support us. I loved taking care of my wife but it left little time for everything else. I worried I would be left raising a child on my own, without my wife beside me.

Financial problems piled up and I was finally forced to accept help from our family. It was at that moment that I realized the first of many hard lessons we were to learn: You HAVE to accept help where you can get it when you’re fighting cancer. There is no room for pride in a cancer fight, and when I finally learned this a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Even the smallest offer of help can remind you that you are not alone in this fight after all.

Heather fought bravely through her mesothelioma treatments and against all odds, she beat mesothelioma. She is now cancer free, our daughter knows her mother and will know her while she’s growing up.

Among the most important lessons I learned was that people can get through anything if they believe in themselves and each other, and they can become better people for it. We must fight on no matter how grim the prognosis is. In the end, we can win, and that’s what my wife and I proved and learned. We hope that by sharing our story of hope here, we can help inspire others currently battling through their own cancer stories. Never give up hope, and never stop fighting for the ones you love.

I hope this story inspires us all. Lets appreciate life a little more and try to live every moment of it as no one knows what tomorrow might bring. Happy living :). Good luck to Heather, Cameron and Lily for their long life together. Kindly follow through the link to learn more about the disease.

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