Yes, I’ve Seen The Angels

Mamta Srivastava – Mumbai, 2011

Have you ever gone through the agony, the pain, the suffering, the loss of sense when an incident happens like when you are traveling in the plane and it is hijacked, a ship that is surrounded by tsunami, a train that has met with a major accident or a shopping where an accident like Delhi Bomb Blast occurs? No, is the happy answer and I wished that everyone’s life should be without these senses or feelings. I wish every person a very happy and fortune-full life. One should carry out the dreams of his or her life with all the happiness and fortunes the Almighty may shower upon him or her. But my wishes can’t make the life so easy and prosperous. The life boat has a lot of leakage and big holes sufficient enough to sink it. I have seen it and carrying it, probably, for my entire life. Not only my life is affected but my entire family’s life is jeopardized by just one day.

I may not have a good memory but some memories become the part of the brain, no matter whether they are good or bad. I still remember the 12th April, 2005 initially a very happy day and suddenly to be followed by the sea of sorrow that blew all the contents of my life.

It all started on 9th of April, 2005, the very first day of Navratra, I had a habit of keeping fast during Navratra, which I still do. My husband was away for his official assignments and my son Shivansh and I were alone at home. During taking my morning bath, I felt loss of breath and chest pain. Initially I avoided it and around 9 am my husband came with some of his officials just to take breakfast. Since he had to go for some other work, I rendered a very artificial smile and suppressed my pain. After taking Breakfast my husband went leaving me in immense amount of pain. At around 5 pm, my tolerance power refused to accompany me and I had no alternative but to call my husband’s colleague to take me to the Doctor. My husband was some 45 kms away so I phoned him that I am going to the Doctor since I have a serious pain and depression. I went to a Doctor, the so called Cardiologist.

By the time my ECG was completed and the Doctor declared me a heart patient, my husband came back. I was treated for Heart ailment. But my pain and sufferings had some other thing in store so they never got reduced and my husband has no option but to take me to Lucknow for some superior treatment.

At around 2am on 10th of April, 2005, we reached the Cardiac-Centre of the Medical College Lucknow where I once again went through the process of ECG. Since no bed was vacant in their ICCU, I was shifted to Emergency Ward of the Medical College. Somehow we spent the night in that Ward. In the morning, my husband decided to shift me to Regency Hospital, Kanpur where I was admitted in the ICCU. Everything became fine by the evening of 10th of April. I had no pain and a great sense of relief was being felt by all of us.

On 12th April, 2005 I was informed that I have no heart problem and my heart is perfectly all right and I don’t have any heart disease. I thanked God. I was discharged from the ICCU and was shifted to a room. All family members and friends gathered to share the happiness which was not going to last long. This had to be followed by a sea of suspense, horror and ever ending sorrow.

After sometime of my shifting to the room, a person came speaking a very literary Hindi and told me and my husband that I had no heart-attack but I had some blood related problem for which I have to be tested for the Bone-marrow, the blood producing organ in the body. He told me to be prepared for it and took my husband for the further discussion. I was under a great deal of suspense and horror because I couldn’t understand what is happening around me?

My husband came back with a sad face bearing a superficial smile on it. I could guess that he had wept. Eyes filled with tears were looking at me with a strange amount of love and affection. I guessed that everything is not right, there is something wrong. All of a sudden, the flow of people started increasing and everyone was behaving with me in a very loving manner and everyone had some amount of tears in his or her eyes.

I was sure that I had some major problem, maybe I had to go through some major surgery- an Open Heart Surgery? No, the dilemma was not so easy and curiosity was enhancing with every passing moment. My husband chose a very unique way to communicate the problem to me. He went out of room and told my daughter Akanksha to give the sleeping pill which was prescribed by the Doctor. After sometime he come back and asked Akanksha whether your Mamma is sleeping knowing well I wasn’t. Akanksha said,” Yes Papa, Mamma is sleeping.” My husband then discussed that I had blood – cancer and what further course of action is to be taken.

After hearing that I had blood cancer, my all anxiety, curiosity, sorrow and sense of insecurity started flowing through tears. My weeping- sound was increasing. My husband and Akanksha came to me and tried their best to convince me that one day I will become fine and as healthy as I was before. But tears have no convictions; they know how to shed and how to melt your hardship into salty water.

The night was already dark and my life seemed me darker. I had to think about my children – Akanksha, Kitty and Shivansh who were not so grown up to live their own. My husband who couldn’t even take a glass of water without being given it. Darkness was looming not with my life but the life of my entire family. Sleep was far away, a distance which I could never cover.

Every morning comes with a new hope and new horizon. I was wishing that something is in the store of this morning. But when the adversity comes, it comes with its family and finally I was diagnosed for PH+ CML. No option but to search for the best Doctor. The search ended with Dr. S.H.Advani at Jaslok Hospital. Dr. Advani, a person with ever ending smile and zeal, has the capacity to make the life cheerful of every person who comes to him. But when you are surrounded by sad incidences, you become pessimistic and my pessimism was that in general conviction cancer has no treatment. He very affectionately saw me and declared that I’ve PH+ CML. I can be treated by Glivec but the cost of the medicine is Rs. 4000/- per day. Initially he told me that the Medicine is to be taken for two years only. But we were not in the capacity of opting for this medicine. This paved the way to interact with Max Foundation and Viji Ma’am. He told me that they can help you. He wrote a letter to Viji and my treatment started thanks to Novartis.

It is more than six years now, I don’t know whether I’m treated or my disease is being controlled by this medicine called Glivec. But I am sure that at least I am given a new lease of life. I am happily living with my family doing all the work comfortably, of course sometimes I feel tired and depressed and hear the shouting of my husband ,” why don’t you drink a glass of milk.” His shout makes me healthier than a glass of milk, at least, it shows the amount of love and care, he has for me. And believe me, he is supported by all of our children.

Well, the story ends-no, no begins here- but where are the Angels, I’ve seen. Yes, I have seen the Angels in my hah. Believe me, when you are in adversity some Angel is standing beside you, either to carry you or to care for you.

Since the Angels are the messengers of the God they may not reply, “Why the God is doing such things.” But the day will come when I will meet the God and ask him why I was chosen for this disease which destroys all the basic structure of the life.