Saturday, 24 May 2014

He smiles through the flowers!

 On the 25th Feb,he left me behind ,three beautiful children and a gorgeous house. I had planted seeds of various flowers ,,so that when my husband would sit in the garden, he could enjoy the beauty of the nature.I believe his soul has manifested it self in the colors of the beautiful flowers. He is smiling through the flowers.

He loved the greenery and serenity of Dehradun. We spent 35 years of togetherness in Dun.

At last.

My son in law and daughter in law arrived.They all loved my husband like a friend, a father. My husband's brother ,his daughter from Australia and his sister and brother from America also reached India.It was a tough moment for them to see him in this state.

My daughter,Rohini had taken complete charge of her papa's care. She looked after him like a newborn child.She nursed him through out.She encouraged him to cough out his sputum to clear his chest, gave him physiotherapy,massaged him and did not leave him for a second.

The doctors suggested home care treatment.We were advised that a jejunostomy might enable food to be given via tube through the stomach.This way,the iv feeding could stop and he could be ambulatory.The operation took  a few hours. It was successful.

During family counselling, the doctors revealed that when they opened up his stomach,multiple tumors were found in the intestine and they drained a substantial amount of ascitic fluid as well.They only wished that the iv fluid could discontinue gradually and he could gain strength through the jejunostomy tube. We were keeping our fingers crossed and hoped that we could give him the herbal medications now via the tube.

When Mr. Nayyar came to the ward, friends and relatives met him.We all talked normally .He did not speak but was happy to see everyone.His silence and resilience was profound.He allowed anything to be done on his body, it was difficult to find a vein for blood sample but he never complained,he broke into a warm smile, when he saw the doctors,he was bearing everything with  dignity.Sometimes,he asked for a pen and paper to write.

He wrote a beautiful wedding anniversary wish for our son and daughter-in-law. His handwriting was clear and legible.He did not watch the television. We.We wheeled him around the corridors with the oxygen cylinder but his blood pressure began to drop..He could see the sunset and the greenery.He was mentally alert and could recognize everyone.When we had visitors, he beckoned to us to serve them tea and biscuits.When his brother had to leave for the US,he asked us to call home and inquire.He wanted to send a gift for his nephew.

The next morning, his eyes rolled up and he almost collapsed. The ICU team rushed in and managed to get him back. The doctors gathered us in their cabin.My daughters and I refrained from the discussion.They explained the condition and the fatal end. Reha and Rohini held their father's hands.By 8 pm he asked everybody to leave.
At 11:35 pm on the   25th of  Feburary , he breathed his last.All of us were around him.His physical suffering had finally ended.He was one with God.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Still a wish.

The doctors explained my husband the  situation. He underwent CT scan, Ultrasound and every other test. It was difficult to complete the tests.He could not lie on his back and had constant vomits. The endoscopy was not successful either. The biopsy and FNAC reports confirmed metastasis.

He was depressed to learn about it.He understood the implications of metastasis of the cancer.His vitals were normal with the iv fluids.The doctors concluded that nothing could be done to combat the cancer , since he had severe weight loss . Only supportive treatment could secure him for some time. They clearly told us, he has 'short' life, do not attempt any thing else now on him like surgery, chemo or radiation.After 15 days of struggle, we decided to go back to Dun , with a hope that he may start oral intake and iv will discontinue.

We boarded the night train. My husband co operated through out.He controlled his cough all through the night so that fellow passengers don't get disturbed.My cute and courageous younger daughter, Reha, had her birthday ,the next day.I always like to celebrate my kids birthday.I called up a panditjee, while we were still in the train. It was a surprise to my husband and daughter. A havan  to invoke gods blessings on all of us.

 We reached home and made Mr. Nayyar comfortable on his bed.Panditji, performed a beautiful havan.He blessed Reha and all of us. We all sat by Mr. Nayyar and Reha cut her b'day cake.The daughters are always papa's angels. At night, Rahul treated his sisters with a lovely dinner.They did not want to go, their heart was at home with papa. I pushed them, a change was must for all three of them.
The next day, I arranged for Panchkarma ayurvedic massage therapy for my husband. At home, we had a doctor and nurse who put him on iv  fluids.But, he was not comfortable.For the first time, he started to get breathless.He did not have the strength to even sit down.He asked us to hospitalize him at the nearest hospital.

Recently, the Max  Hospital was  established in Dehradun. I used to visit there for the flushing of my port, Their cancer centre is new and budding. The onco surgeon and medical oncologist are two brilliant people. Mr. Nayyar used to accompany me during port flushing. He had developed a wonderful rapport with the doctors..So, we hospitalised him at Max.They immediately commenced the supportive treatment.

My husband's feet had swollen and his urine was dark colored and frothy. The doctors ran few blood tests. His creatinine, urea had shot up. The liver functions test indicated Jaundice. The doctors very wisely decided against any CT scans,MRIs etc as the exposure may adversely effect the kidneys.The hemoglobin dropped below the normal level. The urologist denied dialysis as the urine output was considerable. Nothing much could be done at this stage.An oxygen mask  maintained his saturation level.

The next night, he grew uncomfortable and started to breathe heavily.He tried to take control . He was conscious. The doctors did an ECG and the heart did not look good.He was wheeled to the ICU.

The next afternoon, the doctors called us to explain the situation. He said the malignancy has spread everywhere. The body was giving up.He suggested we take him back to the ward and just stay around him.We understood what he meant. We informed our relatives.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Strength in togetherness.

A week passed away but the pain did not subside. Rohini and Rahul  were worried. Miles apart they still made sure that we are doing fine.I feel truly blessed to have children like Rahul , Rohini and Reha. Rahul and Rohini left their jobs for months and came to India to look after us. I also appreciate their work place ,  bosses and fellow colleagues for being considerate towards them. It was equally difficult for my children. Life had turned upside down.Meanwhile Rohini got her tickets booked

In a few days, Mr. Nayyar and Reha went to  see the oncologist again for biopsy of the nodules. . He was in pain . The doctor canceled the biopsy and prescribed few painkillers. With Mr. Nayyar waiting outside,  he told Reha that he is certain that the cancer has returned . While she debated with him for another round of chemotherapy or radiation,  the doctor was of the opinion that it would be futile. She was heartbroken when the doctor said just take him home and inform your relatives.

Mr. Nayyar as too weak to travel.We had to do something about it. He said to me , 'ask Rahul to come now.' I could sense things getting worse. He grew quieter. He continued to vomit. His monthly review at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital was in about two weeks. I had heard of a 107 years old man in Alwar who cured cancer with herbal treatment. It was one last chance we had. One morning , I told him, we are going to Delhi. We booked the tickets and with great care took Mr. Nayyar to Delhi. By that time, my elder daughter arrived in Delhi.

Mr. Nayyar's agony was silent. The doctors admitted him in the emergency room straightaway.He was dehydrated. His oral intake was nil. He was put on strong painkiller, a Fentanyl patch was given to relieve the pain.My review was due as well.Thankfully, they all came normal...

The 15 days we stayed in the hospital, we all were together. My son joined as well. Mr. Nayyar  began to vomit out undigested good. He thrived on saline , iv nutrients and painkillers. Nights were uncomfortable.He questioned his daughters , 'what position can I sleep in.?' Rohini would stay with him at nights in the hospital.She did not sleep for a second.She continuously monitored her dad and comforted him. The doctors ran various tests on him.A biopsy and FNAC of the nodules were reported.While the results were awaited, the doctors shared their doubts with us. They said, time is less.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Mr.Nayyar grew quieter day by day. He would get exhausted speaking for a little while only. He was silently bearing his pain. When a phone call would come,he would ask us to just tell them he is doing fine.He did not want to send any panic attacks. Many wanted to come and visit him. But he did not want anyone to witness him in such a state.

He ate scarcely. He sat outside for sometime. Then he would lie down on the mat with bolsters. He was never in a comfortable position. We arranged a back rest for him.It did not provide him much relief.He was quiet.. His bore grim expressions. He would sit outside in the garden with his eyes closed.We would give him hot oil massages. He was quietly bearing all the sufferings.

The nodules did not grow in number or size . They were not painful. He could not stand in the bathroom for long. He sat on a chair and shaved.  He took precautions not to cut  on the nodules but inevitably he would get a cut. We would dab some beta-dine on it. He bathed and dressed up himself. Somewhere he was relieved that the FNAC reports were negative. We had not disclosed to him the truth yet. We encouraged him to be happy. Rahul and Rohini would regularly skype with him. Rohini would encourage him to walk, eat and suggest him some physio. He liked talking to them.

One day he decided to go to office. He took a bath, shaved and shampooed. His body was mostly bones. To cover up he dressed himself in layers. His long mustache gave some volume to his face. He wore a warm cap and put on his black jacket.He was feeling happy. We were hopeful.It was Lohri that day.
We hope and prayed for a miracle. May god be kind and may the
flames of  Lohri engulf all our sorrows and miseries.  

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Cancer Returns.

My daughter . Reha cared for her papa just like a newborn baby.All the time she would say, Papa I love you. Papa, you will be just fine, we all love you a lot. She requested him,Papa please eat something.All by herself she would take her dad to the doctors. But nothing was helping.

When we pushed him to eat or drink, he would take to appease us but after 1 -2 hours he would vomit everything.The nights continued to be tough.From 11 pm to about 5 am , we would be up with him, giving him home remedies, steam inhalation etc. After a tiresome night he could sleep for few hours in the morning. Then the abdominal pain and back ache bothered him.

He started to get annoyed with me and Reha. We were always working on what to cook for him. At times he would taste it, but mostly, it was kept untouched. My elder son  and daughter would skype or call us everyday. They were yearning to come to Doon. We kept on refusing them. They were physically abroad but their hearts were to be with us. Rohini had got her tickets booked for January.
My daughter Reha and I hoped and prayed for  a better morning. Reha, served her father with great love and emotion. She was always by his side.

Things continued the same way. Within a week  in January ,we noticed cutaneous hard eruptions on Mr. Nayyar's forehead , randomly spread over the face, throat and nape of the neck. We showed the doctors locally in Dun. The doctor's suspected secondaries. Mr. Nayyar's  health was failing miserably.No relief in pain. Few medications were prescribed. A FNAC  was performed on the nodules.Reports  turned out to be negative. The doctors doubted the reports. They wanted to repeat it.

Somehow Mr. Nayyar was not keen. May be he wanted to remain in denial that the cancer has returned.The doctors did not force.Once he was outside, the doctors asked Reha to step in and made it clear if the cancer has returned, we won't be able to do much about it.

My brave girl, drank her tears and accompanied her papa home with a smile. Her dad was weak and in pain. As the driver rode, he crouched inside the car,settled his legs on Reha's lap and closed his eyes listening to Sai Bhajan.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Dimming Rays.

Every morning we would wake up with the hope that papa ( I also called Mr. Nayyar, papa at times) would be better today. After a painful night of coughing he would get some sleep in the morning.Something peculiar about his coughing episode would be that it would pick at around 11 at night and continue till 5 am in the morning. Throughout the day, there wouldn't be any cough. There was no phlegm, only dry cough mostly. We were showing local doctors who suggested Chest Xrays. But nothing was clear about his chest.

Mr.Nayyar loved his children dearly. He was not only their father but a great friend. My daughters would pour their hearts to him . He loved his son and narrated stories when Rahul was born people came from far off to see the beautiful baby.He was completely involved in their childhood, growing years, sending them abroad  for their higher education.He was known by our children's friends as well. They looked upto him. He had a magnetic personality.

Now, he seemed to be emotionally detached  from all of us. He would listen to our conversation but did not participate much.We felt he is fed up of Reha and my constant egging to eat food. Our very sweet neighbor, offered to  give him company, cook something for a change for him. Even this did not work out for long.He took few sips of water when his throat got dried up. But he was always in discomfort.

Health deteriorated rapidly. His main intake was only juice in the morning. He  did not have enough strength to stand in the washroom. We gave him a chair, he would shave himself sitting on the chair.He showered and dressed up by himself.

Our day and night was with him. He did not sleep at night and we were aside him.


                                                   In his thoughts....