Expect the Unexpected

Written by Gayathri R.

Edited by Mrinali Jadhav

We never know when life would throw a surprise at us! And remember, it can be totally unpredictable… Like every one of us, we were eagerly waiting to welcome the year 2022.

Infact, it was the most anticipated year for our family! Several family functions were lined up continuously for the entire year. We welcomed the year full of happiness and excitement.

In February, we planned for our House Warming Ceremony. The preparations were going on full-fledged.  The day arrived and the house was lit with lights and filled with havan smoke, smiling faces, giggles, and happiness. That event was a grand one!!! Later, in April we had our cousin’s wedding. South Indian weddings are usually grand and includes lengthy rituals.

It was another place filled with happy faces, laughter, giggles, and of course some gossip. Life was then going smoothly and happily. When we started the year, we never knew that life had different plans for us… The surprise visitor came in the form of a disease. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It was a great shock for the entire family. One may think that Breast Cancer has become so common and there is nothing to be shocked about.The thing is that my mother-in-law is one of the strongest and healthiest women of the previous generation. Even though in her late 50’s, she is so active, energetic, enthusiastic, and the most happiest. She is a kind of person who welcomes everyone with a big, broad, happy smile and wherever she goes, she ensures that the place is filled with happy and positive vibes!

Such a kind of person she is! But then, this came in as a shocking surprise for all of us. It seems that the stress that she has carried with her for years with a happy smile on her face was one of the major root causes for the disease. It was really hard to digest but running short of time, we were put in a situation that mandated immediate response. 

It felt like our life turned upside down overnight!!! It was really hard for us to handle. But then, it was the situation where myself and my husband had to remain strong – not for a day or two but for a long period of time.

 Though Cancer is said to be curable most of the time, the surgery and the entire treatment process is really painful. One side, your loved one is undergoing painful surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and what not…

And on the other hand, taking personal care of her and all her needs, handling everyone at home, frequent hospital visits, and of course my regular office work – it was really demanding… More than anything else, it was all a matter of patience and mental strength. 

My stress levels hit high spot and it was only getting tougher day-by-day. We fought, we cried, and we learnt to find happiness in little moments! But above all, we stood together, grew closer and closer, and somehow we sailed across…Post 8 months, my mother-in-law is almost done with her therapy sessions. The entire treatment journey tested her health and mental stability.

Her strong will power and never give up attitude helped her overcome all these traumatizing struggles! The storm hit us really hard. Our mental health took a toll and it would definitely take a long time for us to recover from this nightmare.

Remember, growth is uncomfortable; it’s slow and rarely steady, but I promise you that nothing in full bloom will ever tell you that the struggle wasn’t worth it! The take away from this entire journey is huge. In fact, it showed us what real strength means.Personally, it’s really hard to handle my family members’ emotions and maintain their mental health.

At times, life brought me to my knees and the pain – it was more than bearable but then, as a person I have grown to a different level. Being strong was the only option and I have to choose it again and again… Taking a moment, I realise that I’ve come a long way and the only thing I gotta do is to trust God for the days to come. 

With all happiness and positivity, I am here all set for another new year and new beginning full of opportunities. Thank you 2022 for making me stronger than ever! And a big thanks and respect to the team of doctors who help us get through this journey.


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