I came back home after finishing my second session of chemo today around 6:30 PM. It feels good to know that this phase of chemo is completely over. The side effects of chemo peak around 7-10 days after it is over so that will come later, but the fact that we are meeting milestones on the path and passing them without really any significant difficulty is very reassuring. Now I have four more days of radiation that will end on Thursday in this week. That will put me in the period when we are waiting to recover from the side effects and then testing to see when and how to proceed with the next steps.
Hospitals are hospitals, but stay in hospitals is really not as bad as it sounds. The system is usually very efficient. They assign a nurse and a nurse assistant to you (in many places) the responsibilities change daily because they work about 13 hours a day. But nurses are mostly very friendly and professional. Some people are extremely nice and they make you feel as if they really care for you. In this trip I reconnected with two people and met one new person who made my stay very pleasant. Of course there are several things like they come to check on you so many times in night that you are afraid to sleep. I wish that soon an average hospital in every country could have similar environment, both in terms of facilities and attitude of people. I did not see any hospital in my original-country in the last few years, but in 1989 when my father was in one of the most expensive private hospital in Nagpur, I was shocked both at the facilities and (more) at the attitude shown towards patients by the hospital staff and by doctors. I notice that many service sectors in India are changing quite fast, but if the article on rural healthcare in India that appeared on the front page of the New York Times (March 25, 2004), and was sent to me by Steven Rudolph, who born in New York and now lives in a village in India to help rural education and health and has been in India for about 10 years, I believe. My own experiences in the last 2-3 years in India on one hand are very encouraging to see changes that are coming, particularly in 4-5 cities, in India, but when you look at ¡®real India¡¯ and read articles like the above, it is sobering to see how far we need to go to change a country.
Today for some reason a thought came to my mind. Maybe I am taking a bit negative approach to food. I am not pushing myself enough to drink and eat. Yes it is difficult in this period and it is going to be a bit painful, but not getting enough nourishment may also cause problems that may lead to making my treatment worse. So I thought of pushing myself a bit to see whether with more positive approach can I do better. And the result has been surprisingly positive. I was able to consume more liquid and ice cream, even a few Cheetos when I tried. I feel more energetic – in fact better than I felt in the last few days. This could also be because my positive approach came on the second day of my not having radiation – due to weekend. But in that case also, I have only a few more days of radiation.
Well today¡¯s picture was taken in the hospital just before I left for home.