Being in my remarkable 30s


I turned 30 this year on January 22. It was the day I booked an appointment with clinical psychologist and went into counselling session for two months.

This has also been the year when I developed a painless breast lump that although resembled a malignant lump, thankfully turned out to be a rare condition called as Granulomatous Mastitis, for which I am currently under medication.

So basically, this post is about how horrible the 30th year of my life has been....yet how we are going to end it with an awesome road trip to the Rann of Kutch! (that's three paras..with three different contexts...but read on if you find interest in my rant!)

January 22, 30th birthday and the counsellor's appointment!

So I had Ovee when I was was a planned baby. I had decided that I would be a full time mother for at least two years. Tejas, my parents, and my in-laws supported me with that. I was happy and content with all the mothering for the first year..then it became boring...and then a binding...changing nappies, feeding, bathing, cleaning, playing, engaging, was like all my freedom has been sucked out. So basically I got frustrated and it all started reflecting in my behaviour. I became aggressive, got easily angry at Ovee...did not quite get violent..but used to scream loud enough to scare her.

My mother-in-law was taking care of the household chores and I was into baby caring..that was what I chose. I never had to cook or clean in these stay-at-home years...yet I was suffocating!

I started thinking of abandoning the family, running away to Bhutan, or some equally crazy thoughts, I cried through some nights all alone. Many times, it all poured on Tejas...did not talk to him for days..cried a lot with no explanation whatsoever for Tejas. Was grumpy most of the times...

Tejas understood that I was done being at home and it was time for me to start working. I had just completed my Diploma in Technical Communication and had started looking for a job as technical writer, but was not getting enough interview calls.

This was also the time when Deepika Padukone had just opened up about her depression, And I kept bumping on to that news on Twitter. Some celebrities do influence and I would be dishonest if I say that Deepika Padukone had no role to play in my decision to book an appointment with my counsellor.

And so my birthday arrived and I was in one of those foul moods. Tejas had called one of my close friends Maithili and we went to a coffee shop at night. And I felt so liberated being out well past midnight that I smoked..after about five years of quitting...I smoked and it felt good. But the day didn't turn out that well and finally, I made an appointment with a nearby clinical psychologist.

She was a great counsellor and after attending her sessions for a couple of months I mellowed down. The aggressiveness and anger went away and I was back in life! I only dread what I would have done if I had not seen the counsellor. Tejas went with me through all those crazy times and it was so important to have him sitting outside my counselling room waiting for me...They were simple talking-explaining sessions with no stereotypical mental exercises. She was basically teaching me to 'let go' some things about which I was too fussy about.

Meanwhile, I got my current (most comfortable job that I can have today) job in March..about the same time when my counselling sessions ended and it was all happy again. My in-laws and parents are happily looking after Ovee. I feel the luckiest with such family support, am happier, more playful, and a more caring mom..I get to play with her in my lunch time, after work, and of course weekends.

After all, a working but happier, merrier, fun mom is better than stay-at-home, grumpy, angry, and shouting mom!

June 2015...The Breast Lump

Just about when we settled into this better version of me...last month, I suddenly felt this big painless lump in my left breast. Tejas had gone for an outing on that we booked an appointment with a gynecologist the next week.

What followed was sonography, mammography, and a second round of sonography. All of these indicated that it was not cancer or tuberculosis of the breast...but then what was it?

And so we decided to go for a core biopsy of the lump to be sure of the diagnosis...whatever that would be. Tejas's sister's husband is a MD and has good references with doctors in Pune. He referred us to Dr Varsha Hardas who specializes in breast sonographies and USG-guided breast biopsy. We went to see her for the sonography, after which it was decided that a core biopsy should be immediately done.

Now, although biopsy seems like a big scary word, it was a fairly relaxed 30-minute procedure with local anesthesia. She just pricked a bigger needle into the lump to cut through the lump tissue from 3-4 places. These tissue samples were then then given to histopathologist Dr Sujit Joshi for testing. The biopsy reports were to arrive four days after.

Everyone in the family felt the tension, but no one spoke about it. Tejas and I kept searching about breast cancer on the internet and kept reading articles about how it is affecting younger women. The four days till the biopsy report came truly tested our patience.

A day before the reports were to come, Tejas and I just crashed and cried in each other's arms through the night hoping that it shouldn't be cancer..and if at all, it should be in early stages...and if in the final stage...well, what could we have done!

But then the reports came negative for cancer as well as for tuberculosis of the breast. And it was truly a celebration! Finally, we took all the reports to Dr Pranjali Gadgil .. the breast specialist in Pune and by far one of the best doctors I have come across. She said that the lump looks very similar to a malignant breast tumour that can create a lot of confusion. But since all the tests were negative, it was diagnosed as Granulomatous Mastitis and is now treating me with steroids...the only possible treatment other than surgery. It has been about two weeks and the lump is soon likely to disappear.

It is exactly six months through 30th year of my life!

November 2015...Rann of Kutch

And now that the 30th year has been eventful for all the wrong reasons, it is time to settle it right with a bike trip...a week long Pune-Rann of Kutch-Pune...just me and Tejas.

So after enough research, and drafts and redrafts, we shall be taking over the bike trip to Great Rann of Kutch on November 22, 2015.

Following goes the itinerary:
November 22       Pune to Baroda
November 23       Baroda to Dholavira (to see one of the largest Harappan sites in India)
November 24       Dholavira Halt
November 25       Dholavira to Hodka (to see the Rann and India-Pak Bridge)
November 26       Hodka
November 27       Hodka to Mandvi (to see the ship building yards)
November 28       Mandvi to Baroda
November 29       Baroda to Pune

This will be followed by a short trip to Konkan in car with Ovee, my parents and in-laws.


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