On Thanksgiving Sunday, 2008, I had a brain tumor partially removed, and my right side was
left paralyzed. My flight to Asia was cancelled, the doctors said the tumor was incurable, and
gave me two - three years to live. With my paralysis, I was unable to do anything for myself.
Chemotherapy, radiation, drugs, & further surgery all seemed to have no effect.
Yet after 10 years, I am returning, slowly, to writing and moving around with a walker
and a wheelchair. I can't tell stories very well now, but I have more than enough to write! I've had great medical care, healthy food from my talented husband, excellent help from my son, Manu . (My amazing mother lived to 99, my father left us too soon). Two
special, successful fund raisers, featuring entertainment, a raffle, and sales of my books were organized by artists and supporters, and a number of friends from the US and Asia helped out with generous checks. I started working on my autobiography, life was looking pretty good.
But, on December 3, 2015, I went for another regular scan, expecting good news. However, unfortunately, they found my tumor was growing a little. At the same time, our trip to India was canceled by the airlines because of the monsoon rains in Chennai! So we took time to think about options, called the Proton Therapy Center (since I've tried almost every other therapy), filled in their long form, got my other medical records to them, and talked with the lovely staff there. Yet in the end, they decided it was the wrong procedure for my cancer. So we decided to go to India anyway. We stayed for 2 months, saw family and friends. It was great, but so hard for me to get around in the sand there. Back to India again, this time Sivam went first, to finish the house. Manu and I came 2 months later, and we were thrilled to see a wonderful new house!! Sivam even had a ramp built for me!!
Who/what else helped.... even
Sivam, Manu, Mom (Dad left us too soon), and the rest of my great family
friends in the U.S. and Asia, who freely gave gifts of music, time, cash, and more
Ram Swarup, Dharampal, Prakash Jain: older friends who worked with Gandhi's disciples
building our wonderful Vashon island home, with help from friends and family
Indira Rao, Yong Jin Choi, Chinna Oommen: Good friends and talented Asian educators
redesigning/updating my website
studying Japanese slowly, love the characters's meanings, the range of sound words
Sally, Elaine, Matthew, Michiko, Jane, Carrie, UPS students who helped with exercise, massage, physical therapy, mirror therapy
acupuncture with Dr. Han, homeopathy pills and advice from Dr. Banerjee
kind nurses and doctors at Highline and Group Health hospitals
eating well, thanks to my husband, a wonderful cook, and a talented artist
watching football and thinking of Manu GO HAWKS
Sunmi and her wonderful family who sheltered us many nights; we love to laugh together
prayer, nature, singing, memory games, reading out loud
The Korea Foundation, The Japan Foundation, U.S. State Department, Singapore Ministry of Education, among a number of groups
Finally, a word about my "regimen." I drink healthy shakes for breakfast, eat lunch with good salads, beans, eggs, seaweed, etc. And
supper is usually dal, veggies, perhaps fish, and fruit after, with an occasional treat, of course!
I exercise twice a day, using stretches, mild yoga, and PT. I love to walk, but now need a walker, or my trusty wheelchair
to get around. There are tears and days of frustration when I miss my old self so much. But I'm still here: learning, playing, laughing,
and reaching out to you, with many thanks...