It all started with a little pain in the legs. Sometimes a little more, quite bearable on all other times. But the pain was there. Constant reminder, that something was not right with it. We ignored. And then we ignored some more. Painkillers was taken to reduce the pain. But, the pain refused to go. When these constant complains of my room mate (batch mate and one of my best friends), went beyond 'comfortable limits', I suggested to go to a doctor. He ignored. Until one day, when I got a call from his mom. My friend had gone to meet his family in Ambala and was on the way back to Delhi. His mom told me, that he was having a lot of pain in his leg and that pain has reached his upper body(hips and waist). His mom wanted me to convince and persuade her son to go see a doctor immediately. I assured aunty that I will make him see a doctor as soon as possible.
My friend came home around 11:00 PM. Walking a slight limp and having a bit of pain in the waist. But, he was more occupied with the 12K Nokia mobile which he had just lost at home. (He had bought the phone only a week back. And he dropped the phone by accident while doing cycling at home). This monetary shock was more important to his foolish mind than the pain in his body. He went for a check up after about a couple of days, where in nothing conclusive came. Except for that fact that pain in his leg and waist has its origin in the Spinal cord. Some more medicines came. It continued for about a week, until this nightmare happened...
I had come home from a short one week vacation. As soon as I entered home, he complained that he is still having a pain and he has been unable to sleep because, because he has been feeling sensation to piss every couple of hours, but he has not been able to release the pressure. He has been having this for about 2 days running now. The pain increased severely as the day wore on, and around 7-8 PM, it became unbearable for him and painful for us to watch. We called a doctor friend of ours and explained the problem. He immediately suggested that the bladder is full and unable to empty it properly is causing all the pain. Urine would have to be drained using a catheter. There was no other way out. He came around 11 PM and did the process. Its not an easy watch ( :( ). But it reduced the pain almost immediately. The catheter was left till morning, during which more than 2 Lts of urine was drained out. Thankfully, my friend slept peacefully, while I was awake almost the whole time.
We suspected a problem with urine, bladder or kidney. He went for a urine test the next day, but nothing came out. A thorough CT Scan/MRI Scan was suggested. And then came the big news. And a shock as well. I received it in the form of an SMS in the afternoon while at work.
'I have a tumor in Spinal Cord'.
I did not know how to react to it. I called him and the first question I asked was ' Is it cancerous?' When he said 'No', then only I could breathe properly. So, I said, 'Whats next?'. He just said - 'Come home and we will talk'.
And we talked. What are the options. (There was nothing much actually except for surgery), when to tell parents, how much to tell parents, how would they handle it. The problems continued in the meantime and we learnt that as the pressure due to spinal card increases, it will cause more problems, sensation in the legs will decrease, possible paralysis, infertility etc. The tumor is not the problem. The position of the tumor in the spinal cord is.
And it has all come down to tomorrow. My friend is in the hospital and he will be operated tomorrow early morning. I have taken leave from office and will be with him. Along with his parents who have been here for last few days. Along with another one of my best college friend.
I have never told him that I will be always with him. I have not wished him luck for the surgery. I have not talked much to him at all today. I just gave a pat on his back before going out. But, he knows, that I am there for him. I tell his mom not to worry and that everything will be fine. But her mom says nothing. Eats nothing. We both know that it wont be easy. What if something goes wrong in the surgery? What if God is having an off day tomorrow. Her mom is asking these questions. By not saying anything. She just sits on the bed with the shawl around her and sobs silently, inside.
I am not the best person on earth and YOU do not have to listen to me. My friend is not the best person either on this earth and YOU can ignore him as well. But I want YOU to listen to his mom. He is the best that she has. Just be on her side and guide those hands that will open my friend's body tomorrow.