A very old breast cancer patient came to my OPD one day and started crying. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer at a hospital close to her village but because she could not afford treatment in a private hospital, she came to Delhi for free treatment. After examining her, I explained to her the treatment plan and got her investigated for surgery.
Within a couple of weeks we operated her and she went on to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy afterwards. Following the completion of her treatment, I did not see her for a few months.
Then one day I reached the OPD slightly late as I was taking care of a sick patient in the ward and as I was approaching my room, I was greeted by the same lady with her short curly hair (this is what chemotherapy does to the hair…will write a post about this sometime later) and a wide smile on her face.
Once I settled down in my chamber, she came rushing in and put this huge packet on the table and said that it was for me. When I told her that I could not accept it, she became very sad and said that she had carried it 150 kms specially to gift it to me and insisted that I open it in front of her. I eventually gave in to her request and what I saw when I unwrapped the packet was really overwhelming. Inside it was a 2 kg fresh jaggery cake, which this lady had carried specially for me and I was very touched by her gesture. It truly was the SWEETEST GIFT I have ever received from a patient and that too from someone who was having difficulties funding her own treatment.
Sometimes the smallest gestures turn out to be the sweetest ones.