Sorry I haven’t written an update in a long time. But now we have some good news to share.
On March 6th 2019 we met Dr. Patel to review the results of the last bone marrow biopsy. The results were clean and that officially ended Rachana’s Leukemia treatment. Dr. Patel put it best…. “you are now just another kid on the street”. All medicines are stopped and we can throw caution to the wind – well, perhaps a little cautiously!
The last few months have been pretty normal as Rachana’s health was stable and she was handling chemos and other medications pretty well. There were some episodes of fevers and ER rushes, but generally things were predictable. She has been concentrating on growing her business. Not sure if you all know that Rachana also runs her home based business Edible Perfections. She makes and ships cupcake toppers all over the world and offers themed custom cakes for people within the Dallas area. She now has a packed day between taking care of her business, the kids and home. So life has been very normal for about a year now.
Looking back, 2016 and 2017 were the toughest. Almost 3 years ago, on March 23rd 2016 Rachana was diagnosed with Leukemia. This 3 year journey took her through 14 separate hospital admissions covering 191 nights which included 85 consecutive days in ICU, 180 outpatient doctor visits, intense physiotherapy, and countless infusions and medications. She fought through multiple amputations, taught herself to lift her head, take a sip, stand up and walk again – not figuratively but actually train her muscles to function after almost 100 days of lying in a bed with no movement. That’s just simply incredible. Now that her treatment is complete and she is in full remission, she will just need blood tests every 3 months to make sure she has not relapsed. 5 years of being in remission will maker her cancer-free.
As we reflect back on the last few years, especially the first 30 days of intense chemotherapy, the long ICU stay, the cardiac arrest where her heart stopped beating for 11 minutes, and the new normal after the amputations – it’s fair to say that we lived through some intense periods and luckily came out to being mentally stronger than before. These, like all experiences, have shaped us and given us new perspectives. As I look back, here are some things I’m telling myself, things Rachana and I have spoken about, and the gyān I’ll give my kids if they ever ask for advice on living through difficult times.
- Life is as easy or as hard as we want it to be. Irrespective of our reality, know that there are people who have a tough time living much easier lives than ours, and others who make it look easy while living a much tougher life.
- Live in the present the best we can. Let’s not look too much into the future as we’ll either paint it too rosy or too gloomy. The future will be good if we do right and live right, now.
- Let’s find the strength to see things that are working for us, even in the darkest hour. There is always something we can be thankful about, and that will make the darkness a shade lighter.
And when you come out on the other side, know this….
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khalil Gibran
Rachana might not have intended to, but she has inspired many of us. Whether you believe in god, prayers, will power, positive attitude, power of medicine, or all of the above – Rachana’s recovery has cemented our faith.
If you haven’t already, please register to be a potential blood stem cell donor at https://join.bethematch.org