We were stunned. Like what?? Cancer!! Impossible to believe but controlling his nerves my father asked the doctor for complete details like how long it’s been there and what treatment needs to be followed. And now began the plethora of chaos and instability in our daily lives. We were asked to admit my uncle immediately to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai which is the topmost cancer specialist hospital in the country. Treatment to be followed was ‘chemotherapy’. We had heard this name earlier also but in TV shows, but never ever expected this to become surreal. The doctor explained everything from medicine names to the treatment cost. So in a month, there would be 3 chemotherapy sessions and each session would cost 35k. And before every session, there has to be a blood test that costs 5k. So, overall Rs 1.2 lakhs of cost per month. And this has to be followed for 3 months. And after that, it’s not over still! Only the size of the dose will be diminished as per the process. Money was never a thought in our minds and we tried to provide the best possible environment for my uncle.
But as we all are well aware chemotherapy has some major severe after effects, though they get vanished over time. Now my uncle started feeling very irritated over very little things which he NEVER did earlier. We knew this was happening as an after effect. The face became very thin. Sometimes he had constipation and sometimes he got loose motions. But we knew the therapy is doing more good inside. It’s KILLING cancer. But the finances of our family started to shiver. We are a joint family as I already mentioned. There are 11 members in the family including my grandma and grandpa. 3 members are the sole earners out of which one is being got treated. Approx 1.5 lakh was going into treatment and approx 40k was being the usual monthly food and electric bill combined. This was the minimum. Now I had a HUGE responsibility to save and send my earnings to my home. I was previously living in shared accommodation. Had recently used to live in a solo room with food at 16k per month. Left the room, again rented a shared accommodation of 4 people, and tried to save as much as I can. Cut off each and everything maybe it’s outside food or gadget. Not a single thing from outside. Not at all! Asked one of my friends to help me get one more job.