It took me years to bring out this story. It started one evening when I stumbled upon a set of photographs which I had taken while my wife was battling cancer. I still don't know why I took these pictures at that time. Whatever it is, I am glad I did that. Recently I asked her if she is comfortable re-visiting those days through a photo-essay, her initial reaction was No. But then she realised maybe after reading this he/she will get that hope and courage which will keep that person alive with the possibility to see a better and beautiful day.
(Each picture is described in her own words)
The start of the thirteen visits to the hospital in six months, days of tests, endless internet research, doctor appointments, needles the smell of formaldehyde. Moments of “ why me, god why me “ till a determined substitution of despair with the firm belief that life must go on , work must go on.
Start of the chemotherapy sessions back from a week at the hospital where toxic chemicals went in to the body drip by drip but the pollution in the city is what bothered me strangely!!! My pillar of strength had his smile firmly in place though for the mandatory selfie
Happily used the time of the long hospital stays to “overdose” on movies. Watched back to back shows of my favourite movies enjoying them with my caring and conscientious family members doubling up as attendants. Do recollect one time the nurses had to come in and tell us to laugh quietly, we were making way too much noise in our cabin mini theatres!! - I call this picture "all wired up"
Do notice the similarity in hairstyles a well-coordinated family indeed. And I was having a bad hair day. Got the hang of the look after the first 3 chemo sessions.
There a much better one, beginning to look a bit like one of my favourite movie stars-Yul Brynner wouldn’t you agree.
A pensive moment with the Tagore painting in the background of a mother had a lot of those that time. Many moments of introspection, deep understanding and heightened sensitivity. A chance to be reborn in one lifetime how many people get that opportunity
Bottles and pills elixir of life
Trying out some looks to coordinate the headscarves and outfits a little fashion never harmed anyone
On the path to total recovery thanking the almighty for the second birth and the wonderful support of family and friends on my 33rd birthday
Stealing a we are so cute photo opportunity, never one to let that go
Really ought to have better looking hospital outfits, this one looks like a shroud but am staring at death in the face with defiance and courage
Visit from dear friends and of course it helped to have a really good looking doctor attending to me and he was the additional draw
Some pep up pills from pals
She turns two, the scars will disappear with time but leave indelible impression on all of us
Waiting with fellow patients, concerned families so many without hope without support and without resources trying to fight the dreaded disease. This was a day which would be etched in my mind forever though as this was the day my doctor perhaps more excited and happier than me called to give me the good news that I was well and truly on the path to recovery.
My first date with the husband after one year of hospitals, chemo and doctors a chance after so long to wear a pretty dress put on jewellery and makeup and eat a meal at a fancy restaurant, an evening I would not forget in a hurry.
During a visit to the hairdresser after the hair came back and in response to his question who was your hairdresser earlier madam, I responded cheekily- God !
A picture to show the world and especially for my fellow survivors and those who are fighting the battle today every day. It is possible. It is not an easy fight and it is a long arduous struggle, there will be so many moments of setback, despair, pain and disappointments but it is possible to win and the victory is the biggest thrill anyone can experience.
The moments of unadulterated joy and innocence spent with the family …back again. The shadow of fear does loom even today each year during each unusual symptom, during every mandatory annual health check up and during every blood test and every scan but the relief of all clear each and every time erases the memory till the next year. Each day spent with precious family members with holidays taken and memories created with friends is cherished so much more and life is valued and appreciated many times over. Thank you Cancer…you helped me to Live.