The very GOOD news is that Brian and I just got back from the hospital and blood test results showed my CA-125 at 4.61--- well within the 0-35 normal range!!!!! Red and white blood cells were also back in normal range. Dr. Rajan says I can now say that the cancer is in remission. I can't express how happy this makes me! It’s like the parol board just let me out of jail— only better! Life extension, how very very nice.
Am still experiencing light-headed-ness which Dr. Rajan says is likely due to low potassium level-- gave me a supplement to fix it. Also, still struggling a bit with the sinus/cough/chest thing-- we’re working on that and it has, in fact, been improving with all the arrows pointed it’s way. He also is treating the lingering neurotoxicity in my hands and feet with a new medication. These things I can deal with! Ding Dong the witch is dead- the witch ol witch- the wicked witch... (Please feel free to sing along.)
All that said-- Dr. Rajan made it clear that we cannot, because of the recurrent nature of the illness, use the word ‘cured’ and that I’ll need to continue monitoring my CA-125 levels every so often (at this point every 2-3 months). He reiterated the benefits of exploratory surgery at this juncture but accepted my decline-- and my reasoning—that I would like to try working on my immune system and hopefully it will fight off any possibly remaining ‘cancer seeds’ as he calls them. He also acknowledged that the surgery is still an option if the cancer returns. I am scheduled for an appointment on August 29/30 for an additional blood test and CT scan. It’s sooner than he would like but I felt it was important to do while I am still here in India and have available the affordable services of Dharamshila Hospital.
Again, I need to thank all of you, my very dear friends, for being with me through this extremely difficult time. This will take a very long time and so I hope you don’t tire of my gratitude. Without you, sending encouragement and support (physical, emmotional, spiritual, intellectual, as well as financial) I would not have made it through this dark tunnel. I was truly stunned and needed all of you-- to help me believe that surviving this assault was even possible. Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you! I say it every night and every morning.
with love and gratitude,
p.s. more good news on same day— SPAN magazine is featuring my road-collage work in the current July/August issue. It will be available in English, Hindi and Urdu. The writer, Daniel Haber, an Asia based travel-writer, who I first met in Dharamsala in 2002 and then met again in Kathmandu and again in Bangkok in 2003-- approached me with the idea in March 2003-- We finally got to it.