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Time stopped for Dr. Oliver Bogler. For three months he'd felt and ignored a lump in his chest. The thought of breast cancer had crossed his mind, but was quickly dismissed. After all, he was a 46-year-old man. He attributed it to gynaecomastia (a non-cancerous lump in the breast). However as the lump persisted, he saw a physician who recommended further testing. A mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy later his worst fears were confirmed when his doctor uttered the life altering words: "This does not look good."
Despite the great technical and cultural strides of the last 44 years, mainstream Hindi cinema has sadly not yet eschewed the 'fatality outlook' around cancer. More recent films like Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005), Dasvidaniyan (2008) and Aashayein (2010) all showed lead or important characters ultimately surrendering to cancer without even putting a decent fight. While the ailment certainly still kills people, it is disheartening to see that not a single mainstream movie has shown the other side of the story: that people also kill cancer.
Recently a friend tending to his cancer-stricken father requested me to create a cheat-sheet for him -- a one-page list of what to expect and how to understand a diagnosis of cancer. I replied that the journey of every patient is different. Providing knowledge is the better solution rather than giving an answer that may or may not be suitable. Nevertheless, the conversation did spark in me the need to address caregivers around the world. This is my list of the top 10 things that every caregiver needs to know.