Update from India, January 15
Seena came running into my room this afternoon to tell me about a guy who was here for four weeks and left the week before we arrived. He has cancer…a large tumour in the center of his chest. He was given three months of meds to take back with him, and has been religiously following the regime. The plan was for him to return home and begin chemo and radiation treatment. He was given a scan last week after being back for a few weeks, taking his meds, and preparing for chemo. The oncologist is floored. The tumour is gone. Gone! He refuses to believe it’s the Ayruvedic treatments and wants to go ahead with chemo and radiation, but the guy is saying no to this…and they will take another scan in a month to validate the findings. He is confident that the tumour will still be gone.
I have to say that this story could not have come at a better time for me. I have had another awful day: after vomiting again last night, and feeling, generally, like I start over every day. Seena came to me with this just as I was finished eating what I was able to of lunch and while I struggled to keep it all down. I went to treatment right after that somewhat buoyed by this information.
I lie on a hard table with my head on a pillow, naked, except for a loin cloth. There are three women in attendance: one on either side of me and one heating oil at my feet. A contraption containing cold buttermilk mixed with oil and herbs is hung above my head. It is like a bowl with a hole in the bottom. The buttermilk drips on my forehead and down my hair for an hour while the two women massage me on either side in large amounts of herbal-based oil. This treatment is for the central nervous system…and I am slowly starting to feel the effects of it… I’m just slightly more awake and alert… my stomach, despite the discomfort, is functioning a little better than before. Hopefully, they believe, I will stop vomiting and be able to do some of the more therapeutic treatments… the ones I came here to do…. the ones for cancer.
So, even though this has been a rather slow and difficult day, I am somewhat hopeful that things are shifting.
Muggie and Luben went to Cochin today to get the computer fixed. Having film equipment and other delicate things here in this dust and humidity is really dicey. They are in a cab for three hours either way. There are two lanes of traffic going either way, but no one honours that…people drive all over the road and horns are honking constantly. The exhaust fumes are ridiculous…it’s quite stressful. I really wanted to go but was not allowed. I may end up being in India and seeing nothing except the inside of this clinic and the one-horse town down the road. That would really be strange…but, then…this whole thing is strange.