I recently came acorss an article on “Ghessmat” in this magazine. The author, probably a scientist, argued that many events in life occur by chance and that external forces probably do not have much of a role in determining what happens to us in this life. Well, I disagree because of a miracle that happened to both me and my wife that made me change my thinking.
I met my wife eight years ago in at a univeristy. I was a finishing my training in medical school and she was a nursing student. We got married two years later. We lived a perfect life and were extremely happy. One day, my wife complained of pain in her belly. We initially thought it is just regular cramps and did not pay too much attention to it. Howerver, the cramps did not go away.
Finally, I called a colleague who ordered a CT-Scan. Few days later, I get a phone call from my wife “Ali, It is a tumour, what should we do?” I told her to just hang in there and I will be right there. I don't know how I made the drive home.
When I got home, I saw her in the kitchen sobbing. I still could not believe it. Immediately, the word “cancer” came to my mind. As a physician I am the one who tells people about the fact that they have cancer, now my patient was my wife, the person I love more than anything on this earth. I thought whatever it was, we would beat it. I called my friend, an oncologist, and got an appointment. Few days later we saw him. My wife had cancer of the ovary.
When your loved one is diagnosed with cancer, your world stops. The most difficult part is the tests that follow to see how advanced the disease is. The blood tests, CT-Scans and so forth. The oncologist told us the tumor was quite aggressive and she had to go through high-dose chemotherapy.
I could only imagine how my beautiful wife would look like, after going through chemotherapy, which is practically poison patients take to kill cancerous cells. During this whole ordeal I searched for studies that had looked at the type of cancer my wife had in hope that I may find something the oncologists didn't know about. Almost all studies pointed to one thing: two-year survival is only 20-40%.
I took time off work and took care of her during her treatment. I Helped her with the nausea, the hair loss; we basically went through hell and came back in six months.
One day, I stopped at the hospital's chapel. I had never been in a church or chapel before. I was never religious. But I went and asked god to save my wife. I felt helpless. If medical science could did not have much answers then may be seomthing else, a supreme force could help.
Unlike the author of “Ghessmat” I don't think events in life are a bunch of probabilities. I think it is a more complicated phenomenon. I usec to ask my grandmother why she prays so much and recites different kinds of prayers everyday. Well maybe those prayers were not in vain.