C h e c k l i s t

Check to the end...

          ☑ Chemotherapy
          ☑ Surgery
          ☑ Radiation
          Maintenance Therapy
                     ☑  Herceptin
                     ☐  Anti-Hormonal Treatment

August 23, 2010

Have a good weekend!

I can count on my fingers my good days in 2010. Days when I did not worry about my cancer.  My first good day was the day my mom arrived. It was also the day I met Dr. Awesome for the first time, and Dinar and I were smiling after 2 long weeks as we were full of hope. I also remember that Sahil's birthday weekend was fun-filled and relaxed and then there were a few handpicked days here and there that were good.

But by far, last weekend has been my most relaxing weekend of the year. We went to the beach with Zyra and her parents. Children loved the beach and the water and so did we. Children loved to just roll in the wet sand and so did we. Children loved the feel of the sand slipping from under their feet with every wave and so did we. Sahil pointed at the sun and said "ba" and I said to him "This is the biggest ba in our universe Sahy and this is one of the big swimming pools on our planet. So enjoy nature and the simple pleasures it has to offer to us. You dont need your toy truck and I dont need my i-phone, may be my video camera and my still camera."

We also enjoyed the ocean's abundance at the local eateries. But the highlight of the trip was Vikram walking into a parking meter and breaking his Oakleys. You have to call him and ask what happened. I wish I could rewind the moment and capture it on my camera. These are the times that make life worth living. I was about to roll on the road laughing when that happened. Good times.

Love sand sun sky. Live to eat raw oysters. Laugh at your big brother.


August 19, 2010

As I enter the 34th year of my life...

I am happy to be breathing and writing this post today. I am so grateful that I will be having a quiet (or may be not so quiet with 2 toddlers and some wine for non-toddlers) dinner with my family. I love you guys. 

I love you mummy. And congrats to you as well!

I am keeping it short. Here is to another 33 + years to me! I would love to get wrinkly and frail and old with Dinar and watch Sahil grow into a handsome young man like his dad. Today, thats all I ask for my birthday. I hope you are listening to me sitting on your throne up there.

Live 33 more years. Love 33 more years. Laugh 33 more years.


August 10, 2010

Lay heavy....

Today was my first radiation treatment (XRT). I had an hour long simulation  where they marked me up with sharpie and beebee stickers. I was already marked last week during CT scans and had bulls eye marks in 5 different places and lines in a few other. The beebee stickers help the markings from getting washed out after shower. Now I have lines, solid and dotted, bulls eye marks, someone wrote XIM in one place and all other sorts of blue, purple, and black sharpie marks to flaunt! So next time you see me, you will know that it is not Sahil who is having a field day scribbling on my neck and chest!

It is a strange feeling to know that your body is someone's work space. It is like their desk, where they do their work. And a team of physicists, radiation oncologists and technicians (they are called tomoterists or something twisted like that but lets just call them "tomotwisters" going forward) were all around me and trying to align these machines and beams. I kept hearing it is at 95.7 and then that one is at ninety one point something.... I felt the need to help them as there seemed to be a problem but I was told to not move and behave inanimate and turn my neck to the left while laying on the metal board with my hands by my ears.  And yes, one tomotwister told me to lay heavy as he wanted to move me. So I started moving to the right as he seemed to want me a bit to the right and he said "miss please just lay heavy!".... What the heck is laying heavy?? And thats what I did--- laid heavy while he pulled the sheet under me a bit to the right..After 2 hours of being still, being marked, and laying heavy, my neck started to hurt so bad that all I could see was the ocean and me running towards the water...

One of the tomotwister sighted my plight and kept reassuring me that it was almost over...He had said that only 4 more minutes were left 10 minutes back!! Well he didnt know that I can count time in my head , count upto 60 for a minute you tomotwister and you will know what a minute feels like...

I have been assured that it is not going to take that long going forward and I want to believe this tomotwister. One other tomotwister told me that " we are the nice people and we dont hurt you, unlike the ones above us (they reside in the sub-basement level of the building for obvious reasons)". I agree with that mostly, but laying still is painful too especially when your mind is anything but still . So much for mindful meditation...

So I have 6 weeks of XRT with my team of tomotwisters and I am hoping that it will be a breeze compared to earlier chemo treatments.

BTW, I had my 8th Herceptin infusion yesterday and a bone density scan. So far so good.

Chemoed. Surgeried. Radiated. So that I can Love Live Laugh.

August 5, 2010

Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera..

 I miss home, I miss India, I miss the smell of my country, the aroma of wet soil after the first rain following a hot scorching summer, I miss my people. So here is the song that evokes all these feelings:

Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera

Yeh jo des hai tera
swades hai tera
tujhe hai pukara
yeh woh bandhan hai
jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

yeh jo des hai tera
swades hai tera
tujhe hai pukara
yeh woh bandhan hai
jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

mitti ki hai jo khushbhoo
tu kaise bhoolayega
tu chaahe kahin jaaye
tu laut ke aayega
nayi nayi raahon mein
dabbi dabbi aahon mein
khoye khoye dil se tere
koi yeh kahega

yeh jo des hai tera
swades hai tera
tujhe hai pukara
yeh woh bandhan hai
jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

tujhse zindagi hai yeh kahe rahi
sabh to paa liya abh hai kya kami
yunh to saare sukh hai barse
par door tu hai apne ghar se
aa laut chal tu abh deewanae
jahan koi to tujhe apna maane
awaaz de tujhe bulaane wahi des

yeh jo des hai tera
swades hai tera
tujhe hai pukara
yeh woh bandhan hai
jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

yeh pal hai wahi
jis mein hai chuupi
koi ek saadi, saari zindagi
tu na pooch raaste mein kaahe
aaye hain is tarha do raahein
tu hi to hai raah jo sujhaye
tu hi to hai abh to jo yeh bataye
chaahe to kis disha mein jaaye wahi des

yeh jo des hai tera
swades hai tera
tujhe hai pukara
yeh woh bandhan hai
jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

Lyrics by Javed Akhtar, music by AR Rehman (AR Rahman), from the film Swades

August 3, 2010

Run Bela Run!!!

I have started going for walks lately and I try and run some during these walks. At least I know my legs want to run, unlike after my delivery when I would try to run but my legs would not run, they were kind of locked. I felt so helpless! I think it was my body's way of telling me to take it easy and not push it too hard after all the hard work it had put into making a human being.

I went to the gym yesterday and I was walking on the treadmill and then one of my favorite songs started playing from my ipod playlist.It is a hindi patriotic song that makes me homesick every time I listen to it. It made me realize that I dont want to die in my adopted country, but in my birth counrty. And I am going back to my homeland only after I retire, and I want to live in a beach front home somewhere in rural Konkan and eat catch of the day every single day :)

This song also took over me and my hands went to the dashboard to increase the speed on the treadmill and my legs started running, all this in many ways was involuntary. I started running fast and there were tears streaming down my cheeks. Tears of victory, tears of defeat, tears of many other emotions all together. I remember saying to "cancer" (yes I personify the biatch in my head many times), you chose the wrong girl. You bite me and I will bite you right back, until every last bite is left on me. You have taken my dignity, my vanity, my modesty, my peace of mind, but you cannot take my mental strength from me.

A few lines from a poem written by my baba

"Keval maaza sahyakada"

"Bhavya Himalaya tumacha amucha keval maza sahyakada
Gaurishankar ubhya jagacha, manat pujeen raigada
Tumchya amuchya gangajamuna, keval maazi bhivarthadi"

 [Bapat Vasant, Shingha Funkeele Runni, 1982]

Love deeply. Live fully. Laugh often.