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The Sense of touch

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With the failure of Xtandi, Arun's fatigue continued to increase slowly but steadily. It was becoming too difficult for him to continue working, and he wanted to spend the time he had left in pursuit of things that gave him the most pleasure. In May 2014, he resigned from his job. He also stopped taking Tibetan medicine and switched to Ayurvedic treatment.

Ayurvedic Treatment

The Kottakkal group for Ayurvedic medicine has a hospital in East Delhi. There we met a young, articulate doctor, who gave us a prescription for three medicines. One was to boost the immune system, the second was a 'churnam for detoxification and the third was a medicated oil for massaging the areas of pain. He clearly stated that there was no drug in their arsenal that could target the cancer cells directly, he also reassured us that none of the medicines he had prescribed contained heavy metals or would interfere with the chemotherapy.

We started the Ayurvedic medicines in May. All the prescribed medicines seemed completely logical--the immune system boost would help fight the cancer from within, while detoxification was necessary to remove the destroyed cancer cells and any other waste material that had accumulated in the body after chemotherapy. Earlier, we had given Arun purgatives whenever the need arose, but now they were administered daily. The immediate fallout of this was an improvement in appetite and some reduction in his fatigue.

 Importance of Touch

Every evening, before bedtime, I gave Arun a light massage ith the prescribed Ayurvedic oil on the lower back and left hip-these these were the areas where the pain had first begun. The massages had more than one effect. Firstly, the medicine in the oil was therapeutic; secondly, the act of touching had a calming effect on Arun. Maybe, massages reassure the patient that the caregiver is committed to their wellheing. The gentle rubbing signals your concern and makes the patient more serene. This may be the true essence of Avurvedic massagestelling the patient they are still alive and that you are there for them. The massage is a tactile way of expressing love.

We receive tactile information from the world around us every day and it is central to our lives. We have two touch systems-the discriminating and the emotional touch system. Early touch experiences are important for the development of both cognitive functions and a healthy body. The skin, a membrane that covers the entire body, is perhaps our largest organ through which we communicate with the world outside.

The experience of the movements we make, the textures and the people we touch, are the first joys of life itself. The immediate tranquillity of a mothers' touch-being held and fed by her-is ingrained in our minds from birth. This tactile experience is the earliest form of communication, from the time we gain consciousness. In other words, we live by the Sense of touch, Adam Gopnik's observation about touch: What we see we long for: what we hear we interpret; what We touch we are,' may well be true after all."

This remarkable insight is even more pronounced in team Port. When players touch one another and acknowledge shot or performance, their morale is much higher hose players who are aloof and individualistic. Touch stress, builds morale, and produces oneness that a good shot or performance than those players lowers stress, build helps teams to triumph. The same applies to sick patients. A gentle massage in the area of pain, with or without oil, Can be soothing.

 Continued Drug Resistance

In May Arun was started on a new drug, Carboplatin, and in July, Navelbine was added to his medication. Arun was steadily getting resistant to more and more drugs. Our concerns continued to mount as the options available to us slowly dwindled. We had already exhausted the newer drugs for prostate cancer which had only recently been approved by the FDA and introduced into the market. Besides, Arun was alone at home while I continued to work. I realized that I needed to rid myself of the stresses of work and dedicate more time to his well-being. The time we had left together was getting shorter as the days went by, so I resigned from my job.