She was lying motionless in the ICU with several sophisticated machines connected to various parts of her slender body and flashing and beeping continuously. Several doctors and nurses surrounded her like vultures clustering around a dead carcass. They were discussing something very seriously using medical terms which were like Greek and Latin to me. I had almost lost my consciousness. My brain had become function-less. Several thoughts and counter thoughts about my daughter's well-being cluttered in my mind. One of the doctors came near me and dragged me to a corner of the ICU, "We are sorry Mr Sahoo, but the condition of your child is precarious. Her BP has gone down sharply. We are putting our best efforts to revive her but nothing can be said now." I was dumbfounded and words simply refused to come out of my mouth. A never ending uncontrolled stream of tears rolled down my cheeks only to get lost in my thick beards below. With great difficulty I just asked,"Doctor, Can I do anything to save my Child?" The empathetic doctor took my hands in his and told me with firmness, "Mr Sahoo, Just be patient. Whatever is humanly possible we are doing. Rest assured we will leave no stone unturned to save your child. You just pray. She needs God's blessings more than human effort."
Yes this was the tale of the time when my 14 year old little angel was diagnosed with Leukemia and was being treated with chemotherapy in Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore. We had to shift our residence to Vellore for about a year till her chemotherapy regime was over. It is during that period that I came to learn about the mental resoluteness of my child who simply refused to accept the cold embrace of death and fought back to life. "Cancer is a mental battle", one of the treating doctors confided in me one day,"We are really surprised to see the positivity in her. We can say with confidence that she is very likely win over the disease."
Her positive attitude was immensely demonstrated from the way she accepted the inevitable pain resulting from the chemotherapy protocol.Whenever the pain reduced a little she was all in smiles. Although she was too week to even stand up without support still she indulged in playing games and doing small activities like reading writing and preparing tea etc. She never gave us an inkling to imagine that she was tired or fed up with the treatment. (I can assure you, the treatment of her disease was much more painful than the disease itself). Her 'never say die' attitude was something special and that helped her in combating the dreaded cancer. Over the period of her treatment she taught me how to look positively towards life and how to be happy in the most apathetic situations. "Live one day at a time" was the mantra she gave all of us.. I feel even today that I spent the most quality time with my daughter in particular and my family in general during that stay in Vellore. And all credit goes to my brave princess who emphatically taught me the value of the present moment.
Four years later my son, a mass-com student by then, prepared a documentary film on her highlighting this positive attitude. Combating cancer is more a mind game than medical treatment. You win if you have the right attitude towards life. Readers of this blog post may have a taste of it here.
I have shared my life's most tragic but best moments with my beloved daughter in this blog post. You may also like to “Share your #MemoriesForLife like I’ve done at BlogAdda for HDFC Life.”