It is the 1980s, J has not conceived even after repeated tests she does not know the reason why. Morose she leads her life.
Her vision gets faulty suddenly and she goes to the Ophthalmologist, he suspects something awry and sends her for a brain X-Ray. His suspicions come true. She has pituitary adenoma. A malignant tumor on the pituitary gland. She goes to Calcutta where a neurosurgeon cuts open her skull, the brain is lifted up and the tumor is removed.
The trauma is huge, the moment J comes out of the ‘why me’ stage, she is assaulted by her shaved head, the incision marks and the other effects. Recovery is slow. It takes long to heal.
Though her eyesight becomes almost normal, she is never able to conceive. She discovers that she has trouble in remembering some things, sometimes she has difficulty to focus and her right hand is a bit… different than before. She has difficulty now to hold things with that hand.
Eventually she adopts a girl. Thankfully there is no recurrence of the tumor and she lives a satisfactory life with her daughter and husband.
Its 2004. R has not conceived and is undergoing some treatment to conceive when suddenly she has loss in vision in one eye. She is sent for an eye check up where in the Ophthalmologist suspects some thing and sends her for an MRI. The MRI reveals clearly that it is pituitary adenoma. She is advised to go to a neurosurgeon who specializes in endoscopic endonasal surgery. The traumas of opening up the skull and locating the tumor can be done with, with a small surgery even though the tumor is big.
And so she opts for it. She is admitted into the hospital the previous day for the pre-op check ups. The day of the operation she walks into the Operation Theater. She is given anesthesia. But as soon as the camera is inserted inside the surgeon discovers that there is a hemorrhage and there is heavy bleeding. He tries to arrest the bleeding and the operation is abandoned for that day. A CT scan is done which reveals that the tumor has grown further (from the day of the last scan) and has gone to another direction but the bleeding has stopped. And so the next day R is operated again and the tumor is removed bit by bit until there is not a trace left of the tumor.
R walks out of the hospital the third day.
She conceives later.
There is a recurrence five years on but because of repeated check ups the tumor is detected much earlier and it is thought better to opt for a surgery than radiation. This time the operation takes just 10 minutes-yes just a cut, a nip and a tuck.
As most of you must have guessed R is me and J was a neighbor in Bhilai I fail to even think of what would have happened if there were no MRI /CT scans and I shudder to think what if there were no endonasal surgeries. Thanks to modern science what could have been a catastrophe was averted by breakthrough technology.