20th October 2021
Update on my father’s health – 5
As many of you might be aware, I am working on multiple projects even as I am looking after my father’s health. My projects include:
- Helping create/ build a political party to fight tyranny in Australia
- Cost-benefit analysis to support a legal case in Australia against ongoing tyranny
- Supporting the Indian liberal political party that I had helped establish in 2013 (that’s ongoing work since 1998)
- Helping re-establish and grow India Policy Institute
- and many others – too numerous to mention, e.g. innumerable writings in the pipleline.
In addition to the stakeholders of these projects, a number of other people regularly inquire about my father’s health – either out of curiosity or in order to know when I can return to Australia/ teach in a school in India/ run a governance training program in India, etc.
I was down for 3 days (just slightly better today) with extremely severe vomiting and related symptoms – I always get that in India. I can’t seem to eat anything from outside. I needed to go to hospital to get an injection to stop my vomiting since nothing, not even water, was going in. Despite that I’ve been active on my mobile phone these last few days, punching out messages on Telegram and Facebook.
MY FATHER’S HEALTH
I last updated on 18 September. Then, on 13 October 2021 I provided a quick update here: https://t.me/sanjeevsabhlok/2266
After successfully dealing with his first major issue (massive tumour in the pelvic area) through radiation from 25 August to 14 September (the tumour shrunk by 75% in volume, allowing many of his normal functions to resume), a DOTANOC scan was conducted at my request. The Octreotide injection he had been given on 14 September was not going to be effective according to the second opinion I had obtained (I consulted around 6-7 of India’s best oncologists by email/personally and over the phone). The DOTA scan of 7 October 2021 was negative – which means that Octreotide was a wrong remedy – and it showed that the cancer had spread into the brain.
Due to edema and bleeding in the brain my father was admitted to emergency and hospital for 3 nights on 13 October 2021 for 9 IV doses of mannitol. Subsequent MRI shows six lesions, for which an advanced, targeted radiation with the world’s most sophisticated machines has been planned, to start either from tonight or tomorrow, for 5 sessions.
(Prior to this episode he was in ICU in a hospital on 6 October 2021 for 24 hours for treatment of an ongoing episode of acute dehydration treatment – that, too, was caused by the disturbance in his system due to cancer.)
It has separately been finalised that he will be administered chemotherapy as soon as radiation is over. Due to his age (89) and relatively weak condition, the toxic drug Etopaside will be replaced by a milder drug Paclitaxel. Carboplatin will still be administered. The debate is now about starting one drug first and seeing its impact, and then adding the other one. Also, instead of the regular dose of 3 injections in 3 weeks, he’ll probably get one injection per week and will be closely monitored.
Chemotherapy is VERY HIGH RISK in his case (as reported by all doctors) but since the cancer is now so aggressively spreading across his body, he has decided to take the chance with chemo. I support this choice. One can only hope for the best. One of India’s finest doctors, who has successfully treated another elderly patient (although only 83 years old) for the same cancer, is going to decide the final dosage – in consultation with yet another highly experienced and competent doctor. I won’t publicly name these doctors (from two different hospitals) for the sake of their privacy. But I don’t think one could get better treatment anywhere else in the world.
I’m hoping my father will benefit from radiation and chemo and will be able to fight back this extremely nasty cancer.
From tomorrow (it is already too late and they haven’t called so it will probably start tomorrow), I’ll be busy non-stop once again in getting these treatments delivered to my father – and in managing the massive expected side effects. Then there the regular management issues (too many to mention) which will keep me occupied.
I therefore don’t expect to have much spare time for any other work in the next few weeks. But if it is safe (for my father) to do so, I’ll bite into my huge backlog of work.
I’d like to thank those who have helped provide names of doctors to consult. That’s been vital in arriving at this current situation.
Why is it that people who have lived out of India(particularly the West and similar countries) for a while, keep experiencing food poisoning when they consume the same food they used to consume before they left India? Is it because their immune system has become used to the props and crutches it is given in the West? Is that what the forced vaccination drive is trying to achieve in the billions in India,Africa,China and other such countries that live “dirtily and filthily” ?
Not really. I have always been very susceptible to extreme gastro issues in India since my childhood. Once in Calcutta many years ago (in the late 1980s I remember) as a young IAS officer I had amoebic dysentery when I became even worse than I was this time. My son is very susceptible, likewise – even worse than me, but my wife and daughter are not. They can eat virtually everything and their system will fight off the bacteria and amoeba.