A little close to a month before, Mr. Usilidian our Pancjayat Vice President complained of acute jaundice and we helped him get admitted the General Hospital, Trichy. Through our network Doctors, got him investigated quickly to find his was an obstructive one due to tumor..further tests showed his tumor has spread. He was referred to Stanley GH (Chennai) for advanced investigation and treatment. There it was revealed the tumor has gone really deep. Weighing the cost of treatment and probability of successful outcome, the Doctors there advised him to be discharged with just a stent.
After he came back, we referred him to a surgical oncologist (a friend of us) who decided his condition is terminal and referred to the only hospice for such terminally ill cancer patients in Trichy (Shantalaya Hospice). Both the founder and the chief are again good friends of us. When I spoke to the Chief (a palliative care specialist) yesterday, after asking him Mr. Usilidian’s condition and type of care our Health workers can provide after he returns and a possible training of them on palliative care, I moved on with the question “Doctor, is there any expected lifetime based on the diagnosis and how do we work with the patient’s family on that”. He came back “Senthil, lets not look at this that way..nobody can predict with certainty the effect of tumor”
This dawned on me, how much I influenced myself as being part of this “health/hospital” setup. I, as a community worker do not have the right to question the life time of person..its something no-one has the capacity (except otherwise for God for believers). What I should be concerned of is..”how best I need to lessen the person’s suffering”..so that the person leads his/her life full … that gives a much clearer answer to what I should be doing …. hmmm, such a long way to go before I know my weaknesses!