Lessons from Life

Death versus ‘hope’ of life:

My dear ones, one thing that I want to say at the beginning of this article is that, you are all born champions and trust me when I say that. It is the just a matter of time, for you to truly realize that potential and get going towards it. There would be hurdles in the way for sure, but who said that life was a bed of roses?
They say that the path to heaven is through hell. There is always a light of hope at the end of the miserable tunnel. When we suffer and languish in pain, somewhere deep inside us keeps accumulating that small desire to overcome this terrible situation. It is this flicker of hope which needs to be capitalized on our lives. That ray of light in the pitch dark tunnel may have the power of turning the wheels altogether.

Let me tell you all a real life incident here.

Elizabeth (name changed) is today leading a life like any other woman. She has even married and the husband and wife together run a cafe in the US. But 10 years ago, her life was not even remotely close to what it is now. Let us lift the curtain and show you what it was.

Elizabeth in her own words says, ‘my age was around 16 or 17 at that time. I was literally flying. College, friends, all night parties, drinks, drugs, boyfriends and exotic dates with them. I had it all. Life is moving in a super fast pace, of which even I couldn’t keep a track of at times. I had a packed schedule and didn’t realize how time went by. But sometimes, I felt exhausted, there were early symptoms of anemia but I ignored them, until my mother fo9rcibly took me to a pathologist. After few days it was time to collect the report. I was reluctant to go with my mother as I friends were supposed to be waiting for me in the car.

I was getting restless there in the hospital. Are they going to wait for me this long or leave for the venue? What am I going to wear for the occasion? My mind was whizzing with all these details.
The doctor came with the report and placed it on my mother’s hands. Her face turned ashen. She looked at me gravely and passed the report. ‘Leukemia’, it read. The doctor said that the germs have spread a lot and treatment needs to start immediately. I and my mother were stricken by a thunderbolt. We sat there in his cabin, unsure of what life had in store for us.
Parties, dates, fluorescent lights of discotheques, all vanished into thin air in the flash of a moment. The doctor explained to me about the disease in detail. It was worst than hearing a death penalty in a court of law. I was admitted the following day. Life seemed meaningless.

It was as if death was always lingering behind me, like a shadow and I had to fight with every single nerve of my body that was giving up slowly. But what’s amazing is that, amidst the din of catastrophe, I could sense the subtle music of hope in the deep recesses of my mind. In those dark hours when my body was almost giving up, death was almost there staring at my face, waiting to snatch away my life; I realized the value of this life. I had misused it, taken it for granted. I had abused myself and was paying heavily for it now. There is so much more to life. I realized, I wanted to live, much more than ever again. Yes, the willingness to live was stronger than anything else at that moment.

After few weeks, the doctors said that the treatment would get even more painful as they would begin ‘bone marrow’ treatment. In the coming days, I was subjected to 6 hours of radiation which is close to the radiation of 62000 x-rays. Today, even thinking about that pain that I went through gives me shivers. It was totally unbearable. I agree, despite my fighting spirit and the immense support of my family, there were moments when I felt like dying. I couldn’t take the pain. But deep inside someone, don’t know who, kept telling me, ‘I was not born to die like this. I will live’. I was fighting death from each and every pore of my body. On one such day, when my parents came for a routine visit, my mother broke down looking at my bald head and almost skeleton frame. I had looked at her in the eye and said, ‘the day I am out, I will click a picture and trust me I am going to look fab!’ Tears rolled down heavily from her cheeks.

Every time before a new treatment, the doctors came and read out a routine declaration that said, if treatment doesn’t work, and I eventually die, the hospital is not responsible. Everytime they read it, I would close my ears with my fingers tightly and then sign on that paper without reading a single word.
After almost a year, one day the doctors said that my treatment was over and that I could go home. Though there were few restrictions, I was far better now. What’s more, I had defeated death by then. But what made me defeat it? Medicines? Naaah, I just wanted to live and was determined to fight death, no matter what. Today, after a decade, I still follow lot of restrictions post my treatment but life is beautiful 😊😊

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