A 25-year-old male walked into my consultation room with a reference from a Dental surgeon. Dental surgeon wanted my opinion about the patient's excessive gum bleeding.
He was well built, handsome and looked cheerful. He told me that he got married only recently. He said that the oozing from gums started only 2 days ago. I examined him, but could not find anything grossly wrong. There was no active bleeding. To confirm that there is nothing wrong, I asked for blood counts and peripheral smear test.
I did not think about him until the pathologist called me on phone 3 hours later asking whether there was any positive findings on clinical examination. I replied negative.
Then she broke the bad news. The lab tests were suggestive of acute leukemia, that too a bad sub type. I was stunned. I did not know how I could break the news to that smiling young man.
As the patient was dizzy and still bleeding from gums, it was his brother who came for the report. Telling him was more easy for me, though still painful.Giving sometime for the harsh truth to sink in, I told him the need to get the patient immediately to a Hematology Centre. I gave the reference letter and a little hope by saying the last patient I send there few months ago was doing well.
Acute Leukemia strike suddenly. It is so dramatic that it is found in so many film scripts. Why it occurs? It has no known reasons in most of the cases.You accept it as a part of life.
But when it comes to you or to a dear and near one, the question arises.
Why me? Or as the patient's brother asked me "why him?"
I did not have an answer then or even now.