One that went by and the one that'll arrive

IN RETROSPECT

One that went by and the one that'll arrive

 It’s that time of the year when you’ll want to look back and relive the vicissitudes of your life. But do not dwell too much on the bad experiences. Instead, look at how it made you wiser, advises  Chandrika R Krishnan

January 18, 2014, was the day I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I was just 48 years old. My life was thrown upside down. Today, it is almost the end of the year. I’m alive, free of cancer and have moved into my beautiful, new home.

Should I be thankful that I was free of the problem until then or woe the fact that my good run did not continue for long? I am not sure even today.

On January 22, I underwent surgery, that put an end to my “rogue cells” as one doctor put it.  Throughout the journey, I was hand-held and my treatment was micro-managed by well-meaning experts. Shouldn’t I then call 2014 a blessed year?

A few years ago, I had read an anecdote, wherein a pious man believes that God would come and save him during the season of flood. Three different times, he comes close to being rescued by the rising water and all three times he says that God would save him. Once he reaches heaven after drowning, he asks God the reason for letting him down, despite such faith. God says, “I sent three different people to save you!”

I have been luckier. For God sent some wonderful doctors to save me. Shouldn’t I then call 2014 a blessed year?

It would be dishonest on my part to say that there has never been a moment of
regret or grief at the turn of events in 2014.  As my family and friends say, I had two choices - one, to live with “if onlys” and another, from “thank God.”

I went through denial, anger, acceptance, grief and loneliness through this period.  Every morning, I hope that I continue to be fine and every night I thank God that I am fine.

Mark Twain once said, “Let us endeavour so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” I did not have to die to realise that there were so many people praying for me that it was their strength that got me through these difficult times.
I was so blessed to have my parents and my sisters to come immediately to my aid, not to speak of my husband of 26 years. And 2014 brought forth such enlightenment in me to realise the support system I was surrounded by. Shouldn’t I then call 2014 a blessed year?

On the brighter side...

I was ever so glad to realise that my children were grown up enough to comprehend the treatment that I was going through and that I had not got this dreaded disease when I was younger. I also am glad that I have sufficient money and wherewithal to go through this in the best of medical facilities.

I also am glad that I can safely tell my daughter to call my friend at 11.30 in the night knowing very well that she will be in a position to organise two units of blood on the eve of my surgery.

I also have friends who make sure that I get the best treatment at the hospital by pulling strings with other doctors. I also am glad that I have such friends whose husband and daughter drive across Bengaluru at an unearthly hour to give me blood. And I came to realise all this during this year. Shouldn’t I then call 2014 a blessed year?

Even the set back (post-operative infection) that I had in August was not enough to completely wipe away my zest for life. I think, I have to some extent become a hypochondriac, but then, isn’t that a little natural?

The year of 2014 swept me and my family along in its tide and sometimes it appeared that I had no control over the matters that it brought forth, but I hope that I will be more in control in 2015 and hope to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. I have grown sufficiently to appreciate the little things in life and value my family a little bit more.

It is true that to realise the good things you have in life, there must be one bad thing that happens (sad, but true). Without darkness, you will not appreciate light; without poverty, you will not value wealth; without hunger, you will not know the importance of food.

In the same way, without illness, you will not realise the value of good health. So, do not bemoan the wrong things that you did or the good things that you did not do. For life is fulfilling in itself. And as it is said, the purpose of life is a life of purpose. And now, I know, 2014 was indeed a blessed year for me.

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