Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fighting cancer with a soldier for women

It was in the winter of 2011 that Shilpa was diagnosed to have cancer. It was an advanced cancer which doctors could not do anything much to cure, but prescribe some pain killers and ask her to prepare herself for death. Shilpa was just 35 at that time. When she heard the news from her consultant oncologist Mr. Vasudeva, she was stunned for a while. After about 30 seconds of silence, tears rolled down her face as the news started sinking into her.

Her treatment started at the Annapurna Hospital, Chennai. Dr. Vasudeva was the doctor-in-charge. Shilpa used to spend her evenings with the doctor, speaking about things of her choice - poetry, life and people. Dr. Vasudeva, though a very busy person, used to join her and listen to her talks with interest. Sometimes, she wouldn't just stop, but Dr. Vasudeva would genuinely listen to her and answer to her questions, give suggestions and comfort her. It was later that Shilpa realized that he does this to all of his patients, spending a lot of time with them, reading newspapers for them, and even sharing his lunch with them!

By the time Shilpa finished one month of hospital stay, Dr. Vasudeva knew the names of all her relatives. He was liked be all of Shilpa's relatives. His presence would comfort them all. He once visited Shipa's house when requested so by her parents. Soon, Dr. Vasudeva became like a member of Shilpa's family.

Shilpa passed away in March 2012. The death was pretty much anticipated, as metastatic deposits had reached her lungs and liver all the way through her blood. Among those weeping for her, there was Dr. Vasudeva too. A humble man who treats around 100 cancer patients every day, and witnessing at least one death a week was seen weeping for the death of one of his patients! Dr. Vasudeva really stood up and fought for Shilpa, calmed and comforted her and her family during times of crisis. He, for sure, is a soldier for women!

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