The Unwelcomed Lump.

 

The lump is on the left side of the picture. This pic was taken just before the operation.

this pic was taken 6 days after the operation. Notice how disfigured the neck still looks. Ofcourse the mass is out, now what remains is swelling.

This ugly scar is where the operation was done. It covers my entire profile. Pic was taken one day after the operation.

Somewhere in February, I realized I had started binging alot.  It did’nt seem right that I was cracking down on Modern Bakery’s laddoos or was completly spellbound by the Boston Kreme DD.  I believe that until I dont hit rock bottom, I wont make changes. Little do we know what is enstore … one minute we think we have everything planned up and the next minute , one telephone call can change the entire course of your life.

I have been so restless this entire year .. just waiting for something to happen, well if nothing happened, then I tried to make it happen. Towards March, We had seen a couple of villa’s  already and We decided that if we could try, we would get the kids admitted to a school in town and rent a place somewhere in mirdiff and probably rent out our own villa at the Ranches.  Generally these kind of things fall in my lap and I love working and organizing such things. Once Sam gave me his consent. I started packing the excess stuff in the studio, preparing cartons of toys for the garage sale, clearing up pieces of art that I felt could save some space in the house etc..

Things had still not run in full swing, becoz I had not jumped into the school admission scenario. I have no idea why I wasnt hoping around as I would have wanted to, except for some larger force was at work. I convinced myself the kids needed time to prepare for the assesments.

Meanwhile on a busy friday night somewhere early march, I discovered a lump in the right side of my neck. Initially I dismissed it thinking it had to be one of my tooth infections … then I assumed it had to do with something related to the hearing loss I had experienced in my right ear just 8 months back. Then I felt it could be something related to the allergy and subsequent severe rash I had by the DermiCool Powder that I had used while in India, to relieve me of some sweat.

What was peculier was that it was large enough to prutrude thru my neck and yet not pain at all. There was absolutely zero pain in it. I suppose we all love to live in denial or then indulge in self obsession !!  Becoz it did not pain, i didnt have to turn to any medication and becoz it caused alittle discomfort, it kept playing on my mind. I decided to give it a week or 10 days … perhaps it may be some sinus caused inflamation of my lymph nodes !! who knows !!!!!

Well 10 days later and the little lump on my neck had travelled right till behind my right ear.  And still no sign of pain. It almost felt like a large protruding swelling or a flab of double chin.  Finally Sam put his foot down when I told him about some muscular pain in my right arm. We emerged at the Emergency at American Hospital.  Dr Akbar  prescribed some antibacterial for the rash and suggested it could be a reaction to the rash that some lymph node had inflammed.

He suggested consulting Dr Tarabishi which I did in a week. Dr Tarabishi had seen me earlier for my ear injury. He did several examinations including passing a camera thru my nose !! and aspirating two places on the gland too.

He prescribed 2000 mg of Augmentine each day for 10 days !! His guess was that if it was some infection, it would clear itself. There was a very small chance of a tumor … which at that stage seemed out of the question.

15 days later, and Mr lumpy had made himself very comfortable in my neck. Thank God for my hijaab or else I would have really been embarrassed with the humungous size. At this stage I could sense the Doctor getting alittle annoyed with not being able to figure this thing out. 

He asked me to get admitted of a byopsy and CT scan on 7th. The idea of having general anesthesia after 8 years was not well received by me. I had hoped and by this stage, started praying that this unwelcomed lump would just disappear but it was here to stay.

Just around this time ….. The cancer in Sam’s Kidney was diagnosed.

Two people in one household having a tumor at the same time !! Unheard of !!! It almost seemed like a dream, I was really hoping someone would wake me up and I’d finally say, “thank God, it was an awful nightmare.”

It was not to happen.

That friday before 7th April, I called Bhaiyya and broke down to him.  In my weekest hour, I found solace talking to Bhaiyya. From then on, I kept him informed about all the devolopments…  His humility and selflessness are amazing. If I have found anyone resemble my Sam in my family or otherwise, it has to be my brother.  I trust his judgement completly and really hold on to his advise.

Alot happened between then and now.

On 7th, I was supposed to be at the hospital by 12 for the CT Scan but at 11 for the admission. For whatever reason just about everything that could have gone wrong with the hospital had managed to go wrong. Everything was failing … everything was a complete chaos.

I was completly irritated, anxious and frustrated. I dropped the kids at the hospital and Sam picked them and dropped them at Kidzania. Finally he joined me after the CT Scan was completed.

My CT was done just 2 hours before my operation … The doctor had decided in the OT that they would remove all the mass and tissue. I believe they had carried out the frozen test and thereafter it was taken out.

The operation started at 15:00 hrs and took 3 hours to complete. I came around at 20:00 hrs and felt as though nothing had changed except some strangely uncomfortable feeling in my neck.  

I remember sham and Arif kept saying why my cut had been so large for a simple biopsy. Strangely enough I was hungry. I was so desperate for something to eat !! and EAT, I did !!!!! Infact I ordered for an extra sandwich meal at 23:00 hrs !~!~!!!!!!  I never slept all night ….. happiness and anxiety kept me awake.

Following day, Dr Osama had informed me that the tumor was benign and apart of the tissue sample was sent to the pathology for investigation. To think of it !!! what were the chances of a tumor ?? 2 % !!!! Well, that was one story with a good ending.

I was already waiting for Sam to take me to Abu Dhabi so that we could discuss his case with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City that afternoon.  That never happened coz Sam arrived late. We had a meal and reached home. Finally I got my beauty sleep only to wake up the following morning with what felt like a large tyre around my neck. The swelling was so large that it almost scard me to see my reflection in the mirror. Poor Sam, what he has to put up with !! 5 days later, the swelling is subsiding … I am enjoying pulling off the dead skin around the area of the incesion. Infact I get a real kick pulling the dead skin off the entire stitched area.

Inspite of all my strength, I find myself dragging me around. Its hard to gather up strength and get chores done. I tire easily. For someone as active as myself, it is a very sinking feeling not being able to achieve 100 % all the time. But one thing this entire episode has taught me is to enjoy every minute and put more time with my boys.

Sometimes we take our lives for granted and then we need wake up calls like these that can set us straight.

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THE OBSTACLE IN OUR PATH

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.

 Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand.
             Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one’s condition.

 

Surviving Cancer.

Last November, we visited India to attend my nephew’s marriage. After my marriage ie 12 years, We were going to see “ALL”  my relatives.  In between all the fun and frolic, I could sense how fortunate we were to be so happily in love.  Sam and I were the talk of town. Plump and made for each other !!

Came back and posted some of the marriage pics in FB where a huge number of my friends, family and relatives hang out. Perhaps it was a mistake that I posted that pic but I know now that If it was a mistake, It is one, I have to live with for the rest of my life.

Sam has had high blood pressure for the last 7 months. He has been taking medication to keep it on an average scale. On one visit to American Hospital Dubai early February for a repeat medication,  the doctor suggested an MRI of the renal artery. If you know sam,  you know that sam, immediately decides that doctors love to mint money with a huge bunch of tests .. so inspite of all his whinning. He had the MRI done. What followed was to change our lives forever.

The renal artery seemed fine but his right kidney has a tumor about 10 cm large !! After several sonographies, xrays, and CT scan’s the doctors explained how serious his state is but ( hate that word *BUT*) The only solution to the tumor is removal of the entire kidney.  This is a very critical operation with a very high risk rate, therefore American Hospital Dubai has refused this operation. However they have advised that we take Sam’s case to any Kidney specialist Center where there would be a team of doctors to carry out the operation. Sam has never been operated upon. Naturally he is curious and anxious. His left kidney has a mild stenoces.  Although the cancer has not spread out of the kidney, they can see some signs of it in his lungs !!

Ofcourse our initial reaction was that of disbelief. He is healthy, if anything, overweight. Never complains about sickness.  It took sometime for this harsh reality to seep in. For the first week or so, I kept hoping that there was an error in the report or then just kept searching for the silver lining.  Sam has been spending alot of time with the boys. It is difficult to think of my world without Sam. He is that orbit around which I revolve. He is one of the nicest people I know of.  I am so dependent on him. One of the first thoughts that ran thru my mind was ” what will happen to me ?” Silly why I lost hope so early in our battle. … then gradually I composed myself. I am a hardcore optimist, so it dawns late but it does dawn for sure. There is always a silver lining. Our love story is not going to end here. We have to have many more years of bliss and joys. We are going to grow old together. We will see our sons getting married. I will sit and watch all the videos and photos that we have shot of the boys’ childhood in our retirement with Sam and we will have a blast recalling all the incidences. Sam is not going to leave me and I am not going to let Sam leave me. Not now, Not like this.  I will fight for him. I will keep fighting for him. I will beg Allah swt for my samie. I will beg him to spare his life.

In the heart of the matter we all know, that we are visitors in this world and have a larger home to return to in the here after and no matter how much we feel we are preparing for it, we are really not at all prepared.

It seems difficult to be practical at such times, but its like we shift the gears of our motors to act accordingly. 

We have been struggling with decisions …. if we should have this operation done here in Dubai or should we take him to India  … ( just as everybody has been advising us ) how would the logistics of all this work ???  We Indians are very emotional and get into “Panic” mode very easily. Although we managed to keep it in wraps for a month … when we did disclose it to our near and dear family members, all hell broke looose.  Too many opinions, too many judgements, too much chaos,  just too much panic to handle.

Sam has been one of the best gifts Allah swt has blessed me with.  The mere thought of loosing him makes me feel week in the knees. He is too precious, too nice,  too dear,  too loving,  ……..  too mine. I would do anything to keep him alive.

And yet I find myself at Allah’s mercy, begging him for help as I would for any ailment for my family. The Almighty has been so generous to us … so forgiving and so merciful, I have complete faith that a solution will follow.

One line I have always believed for as long as I can remember is : ”  If Allah can get you to it, He can get you through it.”

For all those of you reading this, please pray for my samie.  He is truly a special individual. There is no one who passes by him that is not touched by his compassion and generosity.  Please keep my samie in your prayers.

A Wise Gardener.

A little boy went into a store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits. The store owner observed and listened to the conversation.

The boy asked, “Maam, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?” The woman replied, “I already have someone to cut my lawn.”

“I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.” replied the boy. The woman responded that she was very satisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn.

The little boy was even more perseverant and said, “I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm beach, Florida.” Again the woman answered in the negative.

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver.

The store owner, who was listening to this conversation, walked over to the boy and said, “Son… I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.”

The little boy replied, “No thanks, I was just checking my performance on the job I already have. I am the one who is working for the lady I was talking to!”

When Love Fades .. .. ..

Last night I was sitting on the sofa watching TV when I heard my wife’s’ voice from the kitchen.

“What would you like for dinner my Love?  Chicken,  beef or lamb?”

I said, “Thank you, I’ll have chicken.”

She replied “You’re having soup, asshole. I was talking to the cat!”

 

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

 

A man was in his death bed and called his wife. With a weak voice he said:

– Honey, come closer, I need to…, confess something!

-No, no!!, answered the woman, relax and keep quiet. You should make no efforts…

– But I need to die in peace! I must confess!

– Alright. 

– The thing is, I went out… with your sister… your mother…, and even your best friend!

– I know, I know. Now be quiet and let the poison work.

 

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

When her friends hired a stripper for her birthday,commediant Mary Pfeiffer realised how much she had changed. The guy started taking his clothes off and asked:

– What are you thinking, love?

– That I’ve been married for too long, because the first thing that came to my mind was “You’re going to get these clothes off the floor won’t you?”