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It will not leave me…

I said I lost a cousin to cancer two weeks back. Now, my husband’s uncle is in the hospital. His sickness has gotten worse and he is on morphine. I’m told he is given this medicine because he has so much pain and is restless. But this medicine keeps him in that – kind of semi-conscious state – all sedated and not fully aware of anything. I don’t like the thought of him being sedated but I think there is no better thing anyone can do to help him. I visited him only twice in the one week he has been at the hospital. When I’m at the hospital, I just sit on the sofa and watch him, or watch his relatives trying to do anything available to make him feel better. It is exasperating to see how they are ill at ease, not really knowing what they must do. They massage his feet, put a wet cloth on his forehead; they make him sit for a while. They make him lean backwards on a pile of pillows. I feel that the patient might feel irritated by this constant disturbance though he doesn’t show it. But I guess, I must understand their feeling of helplessness and how urgently they want to help.

I’m touched by the many relatives who come to see him and his own children who are around him every day. All his children are grown up and have good government jobs. I think this must make him feel a little better. Imagine a young person, imagine my cousin who left behind his two young school-going sons. But I’m not saying that it is ok to die once our children are grown up and are able to fend for themselves. It isn’t. But then, never in our life do we feel ok to die. It is sad how we want to prolong our life even by a breath and how far we can go in doing it. I’m dumbfounded by the life’s uncertainty. I’m paralyzed by the fear of the unknown.

I went home yesterday to find that my mother brought home a 76 year old man from Paro who had come to Thimphu for treatment. He has nowhere to stay. On inquiring, he told me that he went through surgery twice, three years back. He said, ‘I was seen by Dr Sonam. He asked me to come to him when I had health problem.’ Luckily my husband works in the hospital. I tell him that he will take him to the hospital the next day.

This morning, he went through his bundle of prescriptions and I was told that he had stomach cancer. What now? Why cancer everywhere? It is as if, it is determined to etch a mark in me until I have done something about this disease or about my own life. I’m struck by this coincidence. It is there not to leave…and I can only hope that its message, I get it clear.


Anonymous said…
Karma Kuenga

Cancer disease ruins human life once it is infected in the body. One should be very careful with own body every now and then. Anybody who feel sick should go to see doctor immediately. Believing in superstition and going to wizards, healers, Buddhist tantric masters do not help to cure cancer disease. Most people who are uneducated and follow old traditions and customs believe in superstition and they abstain from going to see doctor nearby hospital. It may be that one is not afford to go to examine to hospital due to high cost of treatment and time consumption.

People in the society should talk more about this disease and encourage people to go to see doctor if any infection happened in the one's body. It is very difficult to cure the disease if it has taken a month or two as well. According to doctor, it has some stages, Ziro stage is good time to do treatment with full effort so that one can be healed completely. Beyond Zero stage is getting late to diagnose the disease.

Caring patient is good karma in Buddhism. Even Buddha had cleaned monk's cloth when the monk was suffered from diarrhoea in Magad Kingdom. Helping patient and providing services would accummulate a great merit which will support to more lifespan. By doing daily Good Karma or virtuous deeds and accummulating merits by providing service to patients, giving away food to needy persons, keeping sympathy to living beings would help to extend merit, Karma, and life-span of oneself. Therefore, all should extend to cooperation, support, helping hands, sympathy, offering prayers on behalf of needy people or living beings. It is like saving money in the bank for future use. So all thoughtful people should keep in mind to help patients and needy people during this precious lifetime.
All the best and may Buddha bless to all. Sarvamangalam!

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