Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reflection: On cancer and me

Going back a few decades, my mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was a little boy. I saw that horror through the eyes of a young boy who saw his Mom going through immense pain. I still have vivid memories of the pain she went through. The doctors had given up hope on her. This was in late 1970's in India and the treatment options were not as advanced then. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. But it was her sheer will power that brought her out of that illness. She fought through radiation therapy, chemo therapy and God knows what else. I do remember that they use to stuff (literally stuff) with 1/2 kg butter cubes and litres of cold milk just before radiation and she use to puke everything out within 1/2 hour. Stuff that was boiling out. Such was the power of radiation. When I talk to my family about how she had such strong will power, they told me she wanted to see me settled down. After 18 years of cancer, she passed away peacefully after I got married and settled down. She led a very happy, satisfied and content life.

Now I am again reliving that nightmare as a parent. My little boy is going through immense pain and I can again just sit and watch helplessly. Actually, not helplessly. I can hold his hand and carry him him in my arms through this. I have more strength this time. I remember a very nice poetry that someone once sent to me. You can read it here.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson


Anonymous said...


You have been very strong through this. Your and urmila's strength will see you through.

Keep fighting. I log in every day to see your blog. I pray for more strenght for you, urmila and shivam. You will win this one easy. Just hang on and let God, doctors and time do their trick.

Anonymous said...

God is with you Nikhil, Urmila and Shivam and only time will prove this true.
You have got the fighter spirit from your Mom which you have passed down to your son.
Right now at this very moment your Mom is persuading God not just to give all enough strength but reduce the pain and harshness you are going through.
Your Mom and your family WILL WIN.
God is GREAT and you all will be home real soon.
HE is working on his plans right now.

I am looking forward to the day when Shivam will be your age and will add to this blog and reflect some of his memories of a strong fight he gave with his parents.

Anonymous said...

thank u for sharing your heart. You really need friends and family to leverage your emotional self. This will help in terms of regaining the strength your mother once showed. Your Mom is guarding Shivam and really watching over all three of u. remembering her at this time will surely encourage you and yes you are carrying your son through the fire in your way .. only a parent can do that .. Pls keep the good spirits, and do not begrudge any of your feelings.. this is an open forum for venting out .. the poem was just amazing...

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for the brave lil soldier to lick this thing. God give you both the strength to fight this and get over this ordeal.

Always in my prayers - keep the faith, Urmila and Nikhil.

Anonymous said...

Is Shivam's fever in control now?

Give our love to him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nikhil,
I have known you both from quite a long now and I am praying for your happiness daily.God will bring all your wishes true.

You really made me cry man,I am proud of my brave and strong friends.Shivam has got your fighting instinct and he will surely come out of this bad time.

God will surely help you.


Anonymous said...

Though I have never met u, u have helped me learn a very important lesson of my life - Stay Positive!
With so many things going on, it is quite tough to maintain that, but hats off to u and urmila....

God will surely listen to all our prayers.. the little soldier will be up and running soon!

God Bless You and Your Family


Anonymous said...

Nikhil and Mridula,
Shivam aur tumhare manobala ke aage nat-mastaka hein hum. With every incense stick lit and offered in prayer for Shivam's speedy recovery lies the energy of mossiji's blessings.

Anonymous said...

Shivam will be fine.....your mom is looking over all of you. God bless dear Shivam!

Archana said...

Dear Jiju n Jiji,

I feel so proud of you as parents and salute your will power n determination. Please keep up the spirit and faith in God. I am going to Haridwar and Swargashram next week and would like to perform a puja/abhisheikh for Shivam. Please do let me know, if I could do anything else besides this...

God Bless everyone


Deepak said...


Shivam will be fine and just like your mother he is going to kick this cancer out and live for many many more years. How is our little buddy doing now?

Anonymous said...

Shivam also will lead a happy life once this stage is over.just like your mother..
You are a very brave parent..
how is his fever now..did it reduce?
God bless you you lotss..get well soon kiddo

Unknown said...

Love and strength to all four of you - may the combination of modern science and divine blessings provide the healing Shivam needs at this time. We are with you. Kapil, Tara, Karan

Anonymous said...

I believe no news is good news.