Help my mother fight cancer | Milaap
Help my mother fight cancer
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    Pushpa Agarwal

    from Bangalore, Karnataka

In whatever age we may be, the thought of losing your mother is always a horrible one. As my parents grew older, I used to tell them not to ignore even the slightest indication of any health problems. But parents tend to never take you seriously. My Ma ignored a constant abdominal pain - and now is she is fighting cancer - fragile, clinging to life.

My mother, Pushpa, has been the pillar of the family all these years. My father, Om Prakash, never had to worry about anything beyond the small grocery shop he ran. My sisters, Rachna, Nitu, and I have grown up believing that Ma is a superwoman. She hardly seemed to need any rest. It is unbelievable to see her lie on the bed - unable to sit up.

My mother and father spent everything on us - they have nothing left for themselves 

We never had too much money for luxury in our life. Dad ensured that his kids always had better lives than he ever did. My dad was never able to save. Everything that he earned was spent on our education and our necessities. He even took loans so we could have our education and be successful.

My parents stay in Nagrakata, West Bengal while I work in Bangalore. Ma was fine last year. She had just begun complaining of abdominal pain. Neither Dad nor Ma paid enough attention to the pain. Ma kept taking painkillers which only made things worse.

Last July, Ma was in so much pain that she was taken to the doctor. Tests were carried out immediately and the reports shook our entire family. Ma had stage 3 cervical cancer stage 3. The cancer had already spread beyond the pelvic region. 

The deadliest disease is pushing Ma towards death

We knew cancer was a killer but couldn’t understand why bad things happen to the best people. Ma is probably the only woman in our extended family - everyone loves her. Dad took her to another doctor. We were secretly hoping that this time the doctors would say she didn't have cancer. But that remained just a hope. Without wasting any time we brought her to Bangalore and started chemotherapy and radiation. Ma responded to treatment very well.

I have started my career only recently. I had dreams that I would bring my parents here and give them happiness and comfort. I would give them back all the sleep that they had lost when they were bringing us up. I wanted to show them that they could rest now - there was no need to worry.

But around December, ma fell sick again. We knew deep down things are worse now. Reports confirmed our fears. Ma had a tumor in the cervix and that was leading to kidney problems. Surgery needed to be carried out urgently to let her kidneys work properly.

Even after the successful surgery, she continued having abdominal pain and backache. By this time my parents had gone back to Nagrakata. The government hospital there gave her injections and painkillers which only brought her a step closer to death.

All her organs are giving up on her, but we won’t

I was scared and brought her to Bangalore immediately. To our horror, her cancer had come back, much worse. It has spread to the lungs and parts of her stomach. She has breathing problems too. Her pain is unbearable. Even speaking is painful. I am desperate to save her.

Last month she was admitted to the hospital. On March 27, she had a heart attack - we felt like all hope was lost. But till there is life, there is hope. Ma is fighting because she knows how much we need her and we will never give up on her.

Since last year, life has completely changed. We had a happy family and it is crushed now. Ma left no stone unturned to give us all the comfort. Now it is my turn to do what I can to save her. I will fail as a son if I can't save her. 

I make sure that I get something for her every Diwali. Last year, for the first time, I couldn’t get anything for her because my concern was to save every paisa for treatment. If I don’t have money, her treatment will stop. 

We are trying to sell our home and dad’s shop back in Nagrakata. It’s sad to see how people’s mind work. The people in our hometown know that we’re going through a bad time and are desperate. They are willing to buy off our property but at really reduced rates. We need the money so much we have no choice. 

My dream of good days for my family is a faraway, painful thought. My father never had any money for his own future. Whatever income and savings I had made for the past 2 years is gone now. I am neck-deep in debt and have no means to arrange any more funds.

How can you help?

My Ma is dying and only chemotherapy cycles can help her live. The amount required to save her is Rs 5 lakhs and I have no means to save her.

Your support can save Pushpa.

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