Tales of a tumor IV – The final act


Part IV – The final act

Before surgery

It is the moment of truth. At this time tomorrow, I will be in an alien place, anticipating for the worst to happen. The closer it gets to the final stage, the more unreal it seems. I hope to wake up from this nightmare to a simpler reality. But I know I won’t.


I will be admitted today by eight in the evening. The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, morning I presume. I could be the first person to be operated upon and the doctor might be a bit rusty, not “broken in” for the day which is not a pleasant thought. Then again, the idea of a spinal anesthesia followed by a two hour extraction, hardly ever is.


I have been warned by many well meaning persons, not to rush into anything. Consider alternatives to the surgery, if possible and to take my time if I still felt like going ahead with it. I feel I am ready. I need to put all my apprehensions behind me and do this. I can not wait anymore, it is very frustrating. Especially, when time drifts away slowly and I am compelled to be a mere spectator.


I shifted my focus from Biotechnology and Horticulture, the stream in which I am academically trained in, to journalism. I did not want to be a journalist. I just hoped to write and may be with a stroke of luck get published. I perceived myself as a fairly centered bloke who was immensely interested in making wines. I wanted to work on a farm, learning about the trade, right here in India and grow with the grapes. Write about the seasons, the people and the wine. It was a simple plan.


Certain events would change the course of my life. The Bombay train bomb blast was the turning point which convinced me to get trained in professional journalism. Hone my skills and contribute in my own little way. The focus was still on telling stories, but in a different context.


This excruciating wait before I can delve into my chosen and cherished field is what frustrates me the most. This situation prevents me from wetting my teeth in true reporting for months. Patience is a virtue, only with an end in sight.


It is a 2 hour surgery I am told. It will take 8 days before the sutures come off and 3 weeks before I can walk around normally. The total recovery period is about 6 weeks. This is assuming there are no complications. I am a big fan of Murphy’s Laws, at this moment they seem like an anathema. Being skeptical does not help, especially if hope is all you’ve got.

I am taking Thomas Hardy’s Jude the obscure and Zaidi’s Black Friday along with me. Che Guevara’s biography by Andersen and Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai are also in contention. This heady mix of tales of rebellion, emotional complexity, derision of society and a human experience with dollops of reality should keep me good company.


I stare at the next two weeks. As my mind gets clouded by apprehension and anxiety I can only ignore the reality that I may have to deal with after this ordeal. It gives me the much needed time to reflect to introspect. To read and write more than what I do now. To think and to live. But it does not come without the guilt.


P.S. Pardon me for rambling on and getting nowhere with this post. That’s kind of the point anyways.

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