All I remember from my days as a teenager is crying out of painAt first, the stomach ache was bearable. It came and went a few times a month. After a while, when the pain came, I could not sit or stand. I cried for my mother. I would not be able to eat, sometimes even vomit. My father drove me to a doctor in Mangalore. I had an X-Ray. Even I could see something was wrong. They did not tell me at first, but I realized, I had cancer.
It was a tumor that could spread. I needed surgery. My parents and sisters were always by my side. After the surgery, I thought the worst had passed. Chemotherapy took a toll. I didn’t feel alive in school. I wanted to study, so I never gave up regardless of how I felt. Finally, I felt like myself when I joined college.
Cancer again took college away from meIn just a week of college, I had terrible chest pain. I would keep coughing, and it was so bad that I would keep vomiting. We went back to the doctor. I was prepared to hear it. There was a tumor in my chest near my heart. Again, I had a surgery, but they could not remove all of the cancerous tissue. Even with medicines and chemotherapy, the tumor has grown. It is taking over my whole body.
I want to be an electrical engineer. My parents even took a bank loan to pay for college. I got to attend college just for one week before this nightmare began. I want to beat it and live my dream.
I want to study; I want to achieve, but I cannot even get off my bedWhy have I not been to class? My body does not let me. My stomach, chest, and head explode in pain. I cannot eat anything. I feel so weak that I cannot get off my bed. I feel bad for making my parents suffer. My father sells coconuts. With that money, he sent my sister to college and gave me the best education he could. I tell them not to worry. I am strong for them but inside I am scared.
My parents have bled themselves dry to save meDoctors say I need another surgery to reduce the size of the tumor. My parents, having spent everything we have over the last 7 years, could only borrow from everyone we know. We have Rs. 5 lakhs but we need Rs. 5 Lakhs more for this surgery.
My younger sister is still in school and we cannot pay her fees. My older sister was supposed to finish her Master’s, but she dropped out to help earn for my treatment. My whole family is suffering because of this cancer. They, like me, are scared it will take my life.
All I want is for the pain to end, go to college and give my family a decent life. Will I ever get to fulfill this dream? I don’t know. I hope so. With some help, I can beat this. Someday, I will pay it forward.Thejeshwar and his family are desperate to fight this, and your contribution can save his life.