Raghunath Khasnis has a faraway look in his eyes. A year ago, his mother had passed away. And earlier this year, he was diagnosed with cancer.
With no real place to call home, Khasnis now stays and undergoes treatment at Cipla’s palliative care centre (CPC) at Warje, Pune. People there know him as the man who keeps walking, something he does to not become immobile and dependent, says a social worker at the centre.
Sitting on a chair, his walking stick beside him, this 58-year-old, who once worked at a wholesale medicine outfit, talks of chess, reading books and writing poetry. The only other activity that brings a smile to his tired face is the prospect of meeting his close friend who visits him.
There is the “mechanical” aspect to palliative care involving medicines and pain management, and then there’s the compassion and emotional support required for those living with critical illnesses, says 33-year-old Pratima Mehta.
Pratima has lived the pain, having lost Ira, her threeyear-old-child, to brain tumour. “But the pain the patient is going through is more traumatic
than that of the caregiver,” says Pratima, who now runs marathons and blogs at mindofmine.com to share with parents how to be vigilant about the health of their children. She shares vignettes from her life with Ira, explains palliative care and lends a shoulder to anyone who may need it.
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November 23, 2019