Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Margi on NPR

Hello all -
I've just recieved an email from Elizabeta Betinski at Overtones, the gallery in Culver City where Margi's exhibit was held last spring. Elizabeta recieved an email from the NPR producer that has done the story on Margi.
"The piece is slated to air as early as Wednesday afternoon, on All Things Considered."

There will be a web page on Margi on the NPR web site that will also link to the Overtones website, and link on the Overtones "Latest News" section that will link to NPR's Margi story.

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=2
http://www.overtones.org/

IN ADDITION
Elizabeta will be hosting a fundraising event for Margi on the 23rd of April. More news about this event will follow after I return from seeing Margi.
x
Susan

Monday, February 27, 2006

arrived in Delhi

Namaste everyone!
after the 12 hour flight from Chicago, i arrived late Sunday night and stayed at a hotel since it was too late to be finding Margi.

i had tremendous help from Kartik (Sandy and Penelope's connection) and found her the next day at the home of Gaye. Gaye and her husband are away for a few days and her daughter is with friends, so we have the place to ourselves. we will be moving to another location after that. i'll keep you posted.

she is in good spirits and is bright eyed. she has lost weight and looks a little too skinny and is rather frail looking, but she is still laughing and smiling, so it's easy to be optimistic and know that she will get over this. she doesn't have any illusions about the severity of the situation though and is able to talk about all options open to her.

she has been pleased with the doctors that are taking care of her and that has helped in her decision to carry on with the chemo. one of her main concerns is the neurotoxicity that could be affecting her ability to keep doing her artwork. her fingers have the 'pins and needles' sensation but so far it is manageable.

as of this moment, the plans are to stay in Delhi to be close to the hospital. they will be monitoring the effects of the chemo.

she still plans to get to Dharamsala as soon as possible, but it won't be immediately at this point. the city will be good for taking care of things, but it will be more restful for her in the mountains.

she says that she has a bit more energy and is starting to get back to the computer in order to connect with those who have sent their support and love.

thank you all who have helped me to get this far. it is a relief to be here and i'll be on the blog when there is news.

for now, your prayers are what we need.
cm

ps. if anyone can contact Olivia, that would be great, i'm not sure if she has been in touch with anyone about this yet.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Carolyn leaving Sat

hello all,
well my bags are packed and i'm ready to go....i think. i leave Sat am 2/25 and arrive late Sunday evening and will try and get to an internet cafe on Monday so i can let everyone know how Margi is doing and what her/our plans will be.

if there is anything that you want to send to Margi, please talk to Susan (323-493-2920). she may be loaded down with lots of things, so please talk to her before your shop or send.

for those of you who don't know who i am and how i know Margi...
i was in Nepal from 2000-2002 as a Peace Corps Volunteer and met Margi when she was passing through from Delhi to Kathmandu and stopped in my town. it was a chance meeting because 'my' town got so few tourists. i currently live in Los Angeles, so when Margi came home, we reconnected. i spent a few dusty days with Margi when she was cleaning out Mac's Studio, so i may have met some of you along the way.
i am able to pick up and go because i have no kids, husband, pets or mortgage and my job as an xray technologist is easy for me to come back to when i need to. i don't have deep pockets, but i can manage a few months without work and i know that Margi and i can live as cheaply as one over there. i'm very happy that i can do this for Margi, since it would be just too hard for me to sit here and not be able to help. i also work with a computer program that reads the body's frequencies in a similar fashion to the biofeedback machines, but this is in the quantum age with computer technology. it is helpful in reducing stress on the body that can cause disease and i will be using that machine on Margi. i am hopeful that the combination of Chemo, Auyervedic, Tibetan, prayers and the EPFX/Scio machine will pull her out of this hole that she has found herself in. your prayers are a vital part as well as her attitude.

i am sure that there is something that i am forgetting, so i will get back to packing and last minute details.

thank you to all for your support.
cm

PUSH Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Margi's new relatives

In a telephone conversation this evening, Maya told me her family has really taken to Margi, and that Margi is in good spirits and surprisingly lucid and lively after her first chemotherapy treatment. Also that Margi very much wants to stay in India at the present time, and that she's very focused on being alive NOW. She and Karthik were apparently swapping jokes, Margi giving as good as she got. They also swapped stories about Nepal, which Karthik (a travel agent) knows well. It seems that Margi really does have a new Indian family, one that is very interested in helping her get well and in assisting anyone who goes to visit her - if assistance is needed in figuring out things like what hotels to stay in.

Penelope

Carolyn's news

Hi all - Carolyn will now be leaving Saturday arriving Delhi Sunday night.
So, if there are things you'd like to get to Margi you can send them to me,
Susan Barnet, sebarnet02@hotmail.com. As of now I am planning to leave on March 15th but may move it up to March 13th.
Thanks,
Susan for Carolyn

Out of hospital

Margi has been discharged from the hospital and is in tremendously good spirits -- seen off by her new Indian family -- Karthik and co -- Maya's relatives -- somehow related to Penelope's boyfriend but I have lost the plot so P please explain. They took care of her when I got delayed at school and then in the inevitable negotiations over the hospital bill...and she adopted them. Karthik pretended to be a dr and cut through red tape that would have taken another hour....She had a great interview with NPR. Listen out. She's worried her dad will hate the political bits. But she figures she has a good excuse.She was happy to be left alone in her guesthouse in Defense Colony, quiet, pleasant and spacious. Harish is now looking after her. He warned her that he sleeps behind the sitting room sofa in case she is wandering around at night -- doesnt want to startle her. Anya and Joel will be with her Friday. Jennifer and Carolyn are on their way. All feels well.x gaye

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

From Connie

Hi everyone, I am a friend of Margi's from waaaay back in high school. I just talked to her and she has survived the first round of Chemo with flying colors. She says she feels good and woke up with an appetite for the first time in a while. Her voice was strong and had life in it! Thought I would pass it along to everyone.

9:52 PM

Carolyn going to India

hello all,
i wanted to let you know that i will be going to India next Wed March 1st. i should have my visa by Sat (thank you Susan) and will be in Delhi on Thurs 3/2.

if anyone wants to send something to Margi (think light, small and easy to pack) then you are welcome to send it to me and i will bring them to Margi. i was thinking that pictures or hand written notes would be nice to put up around her room, where ever she is. smiling, friendly faces will be most welcome!!!!

my address is:
2532 Rockdell Street
La Crescenta, CA 91214
818-359-9230

if you can't get it to me, then send it to Susan Barnet, who will be flying out on March 15th.
Susan's address is:
3232 Ettrick Street
Los Angeles, CA 90027

thanks to everyone and a special thanks to Jack Scharff and Susan Barnet for your support. i am very grateful.

cm

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Recent Update from Susan Barnet

Hello community of Margi's friends and family.
I want to let you all know what i know at this point.
I spoke to Margi at around 3 in the afternoon her time
Tuesday the 21st. She sounded good but tired. She took
her advance injection by 10 or 11 pm that night,
then Wednesday morning she will have her first dose of chemo.
(that's about 7pm Tuesday LA time)
Gaye is with her as is Manju and Carolyn McBride will be
heading over there tuesday or wednesday of next week, feb 28th
or March 1st.
Caroline is a good friend of Margi's and a medical practitioner.
Margi has been asking for her, so I think this is a good thing.
Carolyn's plans are to quit her job and stay for 6 months -
she also knows India as she and Margi met there. She will be able to
help Margi negotiate that time she has to stay in the bigger city of
Delhi where the hospital is.
Then she can help get them set up in Dharamsala up north nearer to
Tibet and the mountains Margi loves. Then once a month they can hire
a car and driver to take them into Delhi for Margi's chemo.
I beleive it is important that they have the funds to do things
like hire a car rather than take the overnight train.
It is extremely easy to put funds into Margi's account.
Only you cannot do it over the internet or telephone but must go to
the bank in person. I also have an account with Bank of America so
I just ask them to transfer from my account into Margi's.
Has anyone done this with funds from a different bank?
I emailed Margi's bank account number which has been added
to one of the posts as a comment but I am wondering if this is safe
to do via internet. Does anyone have an opinion on this?
If you all think it's ok I can add it to this blog in a way that's more
easily accesable.
Finally, I will be going to see Margi myself on march 17th
for about ten days. I will bring her laptp with me then -
I think it is easier for me than Jennifer or Carolyn as I'll have less stuff.
But I can also bring other things then as well.
If anyone has any additional info or corrections on any of this please let me know.
And if i can do anyhting for anyone wanting to help out also please let me know.
Susan Barnet
mobile 323.493.290
home 323.665.1705

Travel Plans

This is Jennifer, Margi's niece. I will be going to India as soon as possible. I am waiting on my visa and I have a few things to take care of here regarding school and work, but I expect to be able to leave by early next week. I am willing to take whatever with me to her. If you have letters or anything else that you would like to send her way, feel free to send it through me.

I will be taking my laptop, as I will be continuing coursework there, but it may be best for her to have her own.

I would like to thank you all on behalf of the family. The outpouring of support and love for Margi has been amazing. I always knew that she had a wonderful circle of friends that she considers to be family and I just hope that I will be as lucky as I continue my path. I honestly don't know what else to say right now. Please just know that I am preparing for the journey and I am grateful to all of you. I will keep you posted about my plans.



Thank you all,
Jennifer

Breaking News

Margi has given her consent to begin chemo tomorrow/Wednesday Feb 22.

Margi and the view from her room - Feb 21/06



Monday, February 20, 2006

Margi and chemo

Latest from a visitor to Margi on Sunday Feb. 19th

she's looking frail, but good. for those who know her, the frailty
comes through. others are amazed by her vivacity: but that is her
usual state.

her mood is alright. her mind is very resilient, she's going over all
the options clearly and often with good, if dark, humor. she is
understandably nervous and jittery, but she is also able to compose
herself from time to time. that said, i'd say she's overall quite
fragile emotionally.

the doctor strongly suggested not waiting for more than one or two
days before starting the first round of chemo. there are two medicines
they will administer, if margi gives the go-ahead: carboplatin and
paclitaxel. they recommend taking three doses (one every three weeks)
and then getting tested to find out what the effects have been. there
are side effects, some potentially serious, to chemo. but the
alternative of going straight to surgery is unadvisable, as margi's
lungs and intestines have fluids and it would be impossible to rid
them of all the cancerous cells. the other alternative is, of course,
to refuse treatment.

margi is swaying on this issue. occassionally she feels she should
give in to the cancer. but she also feels too weak to get to a place
where she would want to die--up in the mountains, as she says. then
she also feels more optimistic, and feels that she can overcome this.
she is scared by the question of the quality of life she will have
under treatment, and would rather shorten the quantity of her life if
she could ensure better quality, or if the quality is assured to be
poor. when i left her, at the end of the doctor's consultation, she
was leaning towards taking the first dose of chemo, and considering
her decision as she goes. she is fiesty, and brave, and she kept
telling the doctor she wanted to reserve the right to refuse
treatment. he was impressed, i could tell, with her fearlessness. but
he was also firm about preferring that she take the chemo, and he was
even and optimistic, saying there is a 40 to 50 percent chance of
recovery.

the kinds of things that would be most useful to margi right now are
money in her bank account and an administrative system in delhi
(i.e. someone to pay the bills, ensure that her daily needs
are being met).

the company of known friends would also be helpful. margi isn't a
phone person, but it may be helpful if some people she knows and
trusts call to talk her through the decision about chemo. she is frail
in the mornings, so it's best to call her after 10 am delhi time. in
the case that she decides, tonight, to go ahead with chemo, she will
be taking her first dose tomorrow around 11. so that is something to
keep in mind. also, the balance between her need to be alone and her
need for company is a tricky one. the decision to go ahead with chemo
or not is something she will need to feel out. in my opinion it would
be best if she could do so in the company of people she knows well (at
least over the phone). or maybe it would just be good for people to
let her know that they will support her no matter what.

Laptop

We have Margi's laptop along with some of her artwork. We're going to try and call her tonight. We'll ask if she wants us to ship her laptop to her or a contact. If we don't succeed in reaching her, if anyone else does, can you ask if she wants us to send it to her – or to someone who is going over?

Margi Scharff

Margi Scharff- Hi All - Not sure who would like to post new content so I will add anybody that would like to. Anybody can add a comment to an existing thread but if you want to start a new discussion or post any new individual information you have to be a contributor and be added. I could add everybody on my current distribution list but that's over 40+ so please do contact me if you would like to be able to post new information and I will add you. Thanks and Margi must be feeling all the love and thoughts going out to her......Anne

Margie in Nepal - 2002 Posted by Picasa

Margi Scharff

Margi Scharff

From: <rclark@covad.net>
To: "'Anne Green'" <astro_green@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: Blog set up for Margie infoDate:
Mon, 20 Feb 2006 13:03:28 -0800

Anne,

This blog is a great idea. Thanks so much for setting this up. I am going to try to call Margie tonight. From the messages you’ve forwarded, it sounds like she would be beginning chemo around the time I am calling so I am not sure I will be able to reach her, but I am going to try nonetheless. I also contacted a friend of mine who is in India through Feb 27 to see if he is going to be in Delhi these next few days. I am going to stand by and wait to hear more. If possible, I would like to fly out and see her.

Rachel------------------------
Hi All: To be forwarded Monday noon:

I just had a long talk on the phone with Margi's father . He spoke to her for over an hour this morning. He seemed to be right on. He listened to her, she spoke. She has decided to go ahead with the chemo tomorrow and then take it from there. He is fine with her staying in India, as it is what Margi wants to do. Hospital costs $100 per day and treatment costs $400 every 3 weeks . He thinks her expenses will be $1500 per month. I asked point blank if he was going to pay. He said he "was fine covering this phase of it - but he is not as well heeled and some would think." He is confident she is getting good care. Margi's birthday was February 11. First sign of a problem was after that - she had a "jelly belly." She sacked the first doctor, when he would not talk to her about options. Her neice Jennifer (30 year old getting master's in public health, knows India) is going over ASAP, probably with her brother in Japan and her father. Jennifer and Margi get along great - she seems to be the perfect one. I spoke to her Aunt Jane and Uncle Matt . They will do whatever is required of them. They are calling Gerda regarding getting the banking information going. People should start making contributions. Luis or Aida - can you set up a blog? Aida...sorry to pulll you into this unannounced - but you're the only one I know who has ever set up a blog! As you can see, our friend Margi, whose travel journal entries I have forward to PA, is in India, in the hospital, with advanced ovarian cancer. I think someone should also get Margi a laptop. Who has a used one?
RB

daniel lak <danielglak@gmail.com> wrote:
Robin, . In terms of contacting Margi, I am trying to arrange a cellphone for her that she can switch on and off according to how shefeels, and of course she can make calls out. That could be in placetomorrow of Wednesday.
I think it's crucial at this point to get her health stabilized beforeany serious contemplation takes place of quantity vs. quality, andthat friends and loved ones be by her side to support her through bothof those stages. so for the time being, it's probably best toconcentrate on the practical aspects, money, company, contacts,information and comfort for Margi. Philosophy can wait.
Perhaps if you were to set up a website or blog, or get someone youknow to do it, that would be most useful then we could jsut upload thelatest info having checked that it's not there already.
I am in Canada. Gaye is in Delhi and very very overwhelmed by beingsole provider of care so far. I'm hoping that some Americans in Delhimight rally round, even on a rota system, to help Margi through thediscomfort and potential distress of the first chemo, until loved onesget there. I'm sure once the community in Delhi -- American, artist,fellow travellers -- hears about this, they'll help out.
It's so distressing all of this, I;ve hardly had time to think aboutit, which is probably good.BestDaniel

Margi Scharff

Margi Scharff

Sunday, February 20, 2006

Margi wants you to know that she is feeling much better today. She had arough night and was admitted to he Dharamasala Cancer Hospital, VasundraEnclave, Nr Mayur Vihar (on Rd to Noida just past Nizamudding bridge). Sheis in room 227. The tel is (011 91 11) 2261 777123She'll be there for most of the week while they determine treatment that is in keeping with her spiritual wishes. The cancer seems too advanced forimmediate surgery, so they are talking of 6 months of chemo first....She's in less pain as they drained her abdomen of 3 liters of "golden fluidthat smells like nectar and looks like that kind of beer we used to love."She had a hard time at first convincing them she was really ill, as apartfrom the ascites her skin and eyes are still glowing with health. And shekeeps cracking jokes.She's been writing many notes to pass on --Please fwd to other friends you may know of. Does anyone have contact forBrian in Dharamasala or Daniel H. Merrit? -- or Scott Grieger? Jack Scharff,Judy Wilson, Gordon greene, Penelope Moffat, Anne Greene, Mac McClain, SusanBarnet, Janet Fitch, Laurel Paley, Eli Pulsinelli, Elizabeth betinsky, GerdaGovine, Luis Ituarte, Deane Swick, Michelle I, Julie Olivia -- [I'll try tofind these in her email]. She doesnt want to leave anyone out, but the lackof sleep is impeding her memory a bit.Please someone tell her dad, but tell him not to worry.She likes her new doctor and the nurses are charmed by her. The oncologist,Dr Gupta, turns out to have an appreciation for collage. The ER had tulipson the curtains. She has a room of her own, with a window -- and even thebathroom has a big window -- for those of you who know her working habits.There's also a spare bed for visitors.Mostly she wants to say "I love you all...I have lived a full life...I amloving this time of the journey. I reserve the right to die in peace as afull person...true to my spirit."She is talking a lot of getting out of hospital and heading to Dharamasala.It may not surprise you to know that she is unsure of her own bank details-- but we're looking into it.Thanks for keeping the energy coming. She seemed to feel it -- she was highon something today.x gaye

GAYE FACER
Flat 19, Bulgarian Embassy Residence16/17
Chandragupta Marg,
ChanakyapuriNew Delhi 110021
Tel 98 1861 2599

Margi Scharff

Margi Scharff

Sunday, February 19, 2006 _
Dear Friends of Margi,I am Margi's friend who made the film about her in Kathmandu. While inNew Delhi, India, she has been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancerand is probably going to undergo a round of therapy within a day orso. She's in some discomfort although resting with a teacher from theAmerican school named Gaye Facer, a compassionate and caring personwho knew Margi only through my film, Rangi Changi, the color of art.Gaye and her daughter Emma have taken Margi in and are runningthemselves ragged handling her needs and taking her to doctors. Ifthere's anyone, anyone among you, who might be able to go to India tohelp out, that would be wonderful. If anyone, such as Jurgen orNicola, know someone in Delhi who can help out or make suggestions ofsame, that would be great too.India has a very good medical system and costs are much lower than inthe USA. She is in good hands there for her immediate treatmentneeds. but she will need some money put into her US account becausetreatment is paid for in cash. She'd also like to talk to some ofher friends. When I spoke to her, she said she really needed this.Gaye's cell phone number is 011 91 98 1861 2599. Remember that Indiais 10 and a half hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, 13 and a halfahead of Pacific Standard. Margi isn't looking at e mail much assitting up is uncomfortable. People can call me. I'min Vancouver orif they call margi or Gaye, please keep in mind the time difference.I found that calling around 630 pm PST was good, that's 8 in themorning their time. But so is midnight PST or no later than 9 amPST...about 1030 pm their time. Just so you all know.I hope this finds all well and able to pray or do whatever isapprporate for our friend Margi Scharff.--Daniel Lak432 Bartlett Ave. NToronto, ONM6H 3G7CELL: 416 822 8044TEL/FAX: 416 530 9741

Monday, Feb. 20- Robin's email

Hi All: To be forwarded

Monday, February 20, 2006, 12pm PT: I just had a long talk on the phone with Margi's father.

He spoke to her for over an hour this morning. He seemed to be right on. He listened to her, she spoke. She has decided to go ahead with the chemo tomorrow and then take it from there.

He is fine with her staying in India, as it is what Margi wants to do.

Hospital costs $100 per day and treatment costs $400 every 3 weeks .
He thinks her expenses will be $1500 per month.

I asked point blank if he was going to pay. He said he "was fine covering this phase of it - but he is not as well heeled and some would think."

He is confident she is getting good care.

Margi's birthday was February 11. First sign of a problem was after that - she had a "jelly belly." She sacked the first doctor, when he would not talk to her about options.

Her neice Jennifer (30 year old getting master's in public health, knows India) is going over ASAP, probably with her brother in Japan and her father. Jennifer and Margi get along great - she seems to be the perfect one.

I spoke to her Aunt Jane and Uncle Matt . They will do whatever is required of them. They are calling Gerda regarding getting the banking information going. People should start making contributions.

Luis or Aida - can you set up a blog? Aida...sorry to pulll you into this unannounced - but you're the only one I know who has ever set up a blog! As you can see, our friend Margi, whose travel journal entries I have forward to PA, is in India, in the hospital, with advanced ovarian cancer.

I think someone should also get Margi a laptop. Who has a used one?

RB