A life lived with dignity

/A life lived with dignity

A life lived with dignity

Sushama, my wife, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when she was 57,” says V. Jayaprakasan. This was 2008 and Jayaprakasan was dean of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookot, Kerala. “My wife’s sister had suffered from the same disease in 2005 and had died within a year post diagnosis,” he says. “I knew how aggressive this cancer was. We spent the first six months at a cancer hospital trying surgery, chemotherapy and radiation but when the doctors said that nothing more could be done for Sushama, and she had less than a year to live, we moved her to the Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), a palliative care centre. I had also retired by then.”

It was not like going to a hospital at all. The staff welcomed Sushama and spoke to her with affection and care. It was like being taken care of by family. “Her pain was well managed with round-the-clock clinical care,” recalls Dr Jayaprakasan. As her primary caregiver, he too was given clear instructions on how to change medicines and dosage according to the changes in her symptoms. “But I haven’t told you the most important part,” Dr Jayaprakasan says. “The director of the centre actually asked me how I was feeling. It was much needed and I felt like there was a support system available not only for my wife but also for me.” Read More

Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, writes on public health issues and is a research scientist trained at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, US.

By |March 9th, 2016|General|0 Comments

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