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Life never ceases to surprise me July 29, 2011

Posted by Akash in Life as it goes.
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Last June and July were difficult months. I used to work for a company specializing on Telecom softwares. I left the job and joined in Investment Banking last May. On May 28th, my baby was 2 months old and my wife was still on her maternity leave. We were hoping to spend some good time together before she joins back office again. We had a bit of financial problem at that time but it was manageable.

In the early months of June, my wife called me in office to inform that she got a call from her doctor’s office asking her to report as soon as possible and it was about her pap-smear result. We both were taken aback with this call. Although she tried to take it lightly and postpone the meeting with the doctor, I convinced her to book an early appointment following week. Now, we all know that the Pap test is done for early detection of cervical cancer and it is a routine test that everybody does. But we didn’t expect that there can be something wrong in the results of our Pap test. So naturally our reaction was that of disbelieve and shock and denial. But we had to find it out in detail anyway from the doctor.

Even before visiting doctor, I started checking on it in the Internet and guess what, I was freaked out! There were all sorts of freaking story out there on cervical cancer which frightened me enough for the upcoming doctor’s appointment.

Anyway following week we met the doctor and doctor told us that her Pap test report is not normal and was detected with something called AGUS – Atypical grandular cell of undermined significance – which is quite abnormal (a more normal one is called ASUS) and spreads faster than ASUS. And we need to go for some further tests for which my wife needs to go through some surgical procedures wherein doctors would collect several sample of tissues from the inner and outer parts of the cervical canal (curettage) and send them for biopsy. Treatment will start after they get the biopsy report. In short, doctor was saying something that I do not understand and do not know what does that mean. The only question that I was able to ask to the doctor is – “doctor, is such cases common?” – and doctor said – “it’s not very common”.

So I again went back to Internet and tried to figure out what the doctor is talking about. Is he saying that she has cervical cancer? I read it in the Internet that life expectancy of cervical cancer is around 5~7 years.  Although I made myself quite familiar with the meaning of the words that doctor uttered that day, the more I read about it, the scarier it appeared to me.

And the first time in Life, I realized that I might lose her one day and I can’t explain how it felt.  We took a time of 1 month from the doctor before we do the surgery and doctor gave her an appointment on 6th July for the hospital admission.

Now we had 1 month in our hand. We did not know what lies ahead at the end of the 1 month. But I knew that our life could change completely after that month. And most importantly we might end up in a situation where I can not do anything but to wait to lose her.  I was terrified but it brought back a lot of old memories of her. I remembered the great times of our college days together, when we used to meet over the bridge of river Karala and the arch-bridge of river Tarthari, when we were like two birds freely roaming around the beautiful tea gardens / rivers / fountains around the foothills of Himalayan mountains.  The sun kissed valley was our play ground, remote river bank was our resting area, and following the unknown alleys of the paddy fields was our amusement.

I suddenly realized, to be happy you need to remember your past. Future is uncertain, there is hope in the future but there is no assurance. And the present is what you are going through and go through anyway without realizing much of what you are doing.   

Cervical cancer. Since I live inSingaporeI had to brought-in others of my family here to support us during the time of her hospital admission. I called-in my parents. But we never informed anything to her parents lest they get over tensed. On 6th July she went in for the surgery. I was asked to pay a hospitalization and surgery bill which thrashed me to ground. The bill was at least 4 times more than what I anticipated and it flushed-off my bank account and best portion of my credit card. Sitting outside the operation theatre, I thought to myself – what should I do now – like others I could not even pray to God as I don’t believe in the existence of God. So what should I do now?

The surgery went on fine and doctor gave a date of 19th July for the biopsy report to come out. We waited a breathless week and reached to doctor on 19th. When I was entering the doctor’s chamber I knew that in next 5 minutes my life can change for good.

Doctor gave us a copy of the biopsy report and told us that her Pap results were false positive. She is absolutely ok and normal.

Life is a merry-go-round which never ceases to surprise me!