This is the continuation of the Medulloblastoma Survivor story of Nidhi Choudhary. Learn from her story that how not to ignore the symptoms which might lead to the serious problem like Medulloblastoma. This story can be the best example of how ignorance of symptoms can lead to Medulloblastoma. So it is better to know your body and symptoms it is showing. Read Part 1 of Nidhi’s Story Here ….
The Treatment of Medulloblastoma
J&J was an immense help because of my Husband Siddhartha. He could identify one of the best neurosurgeons at Bombay Hospital. We also got an appointment real quick. We were to fly back to Bombay (it wasn’t Mumbai then). My father too joined us. The meeting with the surgeon went smooth, he assured that everything will go well. The risk to life from the surgery was below 5% and after so much research. surgery was the best option then. It shouldn’t take more than 3 hours he had confidently said as he looked at the MRI scans. Surgery was to be performed three days later. Admission to the hospital was a day before for pre-surgery tests.
We used to live in Kandivali, our flat was on the 22nd floor. From the bedroom window you could see a good part of the western express highway and if the air was clear, the giant dome of the Vipassana centre, at Essel world was visible. We stood there for long this evening feeling the air like we had never felt it before. Never realised that the view was spectacular and that life was so precious! We had to leave for the hospital the next day. Siddhartha packed a few clothes for himself. I didn’t need anything as I was to wear the ‘prison’ uniform. Said goodbye to my then domestic help, Vidya who kept our house clean. She was crying and I remember telling her that it was just a surgery. I hugged her and she left crying. I didn’t know that I would never see her again.
When in our car, the ‘Masakali’ song from the movie Delhi 6 was playing on the radio. That was my favourite one then. We all laughed as I sang along. While Siddhartha laughed too, I could see that he was disturbed. I knew everyone around me was very worried. But I wanted to face it. I wanted to feel like my old self again. I knew the surgery was a step in that direction. [Well, it has been 9 long years since then and I still am far from how I was before this all happened. For better or for worse, I was a new person but more on that later…]
A night before surgery
I had to get in the hospital clothes. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought nobody looks good in this. They wouldn’t let me walk around – they carried me in a wheelchair. They made sure that by evening I totally felt like a patient.
I ate dinner with Siddhartha. My father had made an arrangement at a Jain Dharamshala near hospital. Siddhartha was staying with me as my attendant. They had started the steroids to reduce the inflammation in my brain. I was to not drink nor eat after 9 pm that night. They need the stomach empty before the surgery.
I think I slept peacefully that night, waiting for the next morning, for the surgery and go back to home. But I believe Siddhartha did not sleep that night. I might have shifted while sleeping and the vertigo would have woken me up. I was getting back into the comfortable side when I saw him sitting on the chair looking at me. Half asleep I enquired when he would sleep, he said that he was about to. I had forgotten about this the next morning. In fact I remembered this now, as I write this article.
My operation was to began at 11 in the morning, the nurses came to take me to the OT. I had to go on the stretcher. Siddhartha walked with me as he pepped me up. Frankly, it was him that needed the pep-up! So I told him that don’t worry, everything was going to be fine and that I will see him in 3 hours.
We reached the big OT doors and we had to part ways there. He was asked to move the door on the opposite side which led to the waiting area. My father, father-in-law and uncle were waiting there too. As they took me in I looked at them and smiled, as I took my hands high in a thumbs up sign. Siddhartha was standing where he was facing me, frozen. I was given anaesthesia as soon as I was placed on the operation table. They kept asking my name and how I was feeling. I guess to know when the effect of the anaesthesia kicks in.
When I gained consciousness after the surgery, I was on a bed in ICCU, with lots of pipes attached on me. So I wouldn’t be eating for a while as they were feeding me through the tubes. I had woken up after a long deep sleep. I was dazed for the next 2 days I think. Initially nothing made sense, I was very confused, there were few nurses around me all that time. Siddhartha visited me throughout the day. He told me that the surgery went well and that I am good.
I wanted to speak but could not because of the tubes. He would come there even when I was sleeping. I would wake up and see him standing there. I was able to eat after removing tubes. He went out to get tea and idli for me. I think I vomited the first time. There were no windows in the long room nor were there any clocks. One time I woke up at night and buzzed for the nurse telling her to go out and call my husband in. She kept telling me that it was 3 am and that you are not in hospital and I would not believe her. A few of them showed me their mobile phone to convince me that it indeed was night. After spending 4-5 days there I was shifted back to a private room.
Post Treatment Journey in Part 3 will be posted soon.