This is not an ordinary 1000 Rupee note. It’s a happy memory for me.
For those who say I always share depressing stories, this one is for you, for a change.
We performed concurrent chemotherapy and radiation on a 70-year-old lady with nasopharyngeal carcinoma a few months back. She was elderly and frail, and she experienced a lot of mucositis and skin radiation during the treatment, which was very difficult for her.
Today, she came in for a follow-up, and I was happy to see that she was in great shape, recovered from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and was in a good mood.
As she left the clinic, she kissed my forehead and handed me this note in a secretive manner, telling me that Allah had recently blessed her with a grandson and that, since she considered me like a granddaughter, she was giving me the money for sweets.
Her gesture melted my heart, and I was struck by how beautiful she was, how beautiful her heart was to remember a junior doctor during her happy times.
I often complain to my supervisor about having to do the work of dieticians, provide palliative care, dress wounds, solve stoma problems, look for bed sores, and counsel every family member. But today, this gesture made me realize that the satisfaction and happiness of seeing our patient disease-free and grateful is a beautiful feeling that makes us forget the difficulties we encounter.
Damane Zehra is a radiation oncology resident in Pakistan.