Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: About me

Update on my father’s health – 6

This is an update from the previous one just a week ago – the next steps are now much clearer.

Radiation to the brain completed

A 5-day course of radiation (cyberknife) to my father’s brain was completed yesterday (26 October) to deal with six cancerous lesions that had started causing significant issues (MRI of the brain for anyone interested in technical details). The next MRI is due after 6 weeks to re-assess the cancer in the brain.

The supervising doctor advised that it will take at least a week for the brain to heal from the trauma of the radiation, so no chemo should be given before that. Chemo, planned to start from today, has therefore been pushed back a week.

Chemo from 3 November 2021
A light and carefully structured dose of chemo will be administered to my father for nine weeks (one injection per week) from 3 November 2021. The course will only be completed if my father can tolerate the drugs without excessive side effects.

Chemo won’t directly shrink the cancer in the brain due to the blood-brain barrier but will slow down the further spread of cancer across the rest of the body (it has spread to almost every organ and lymph node by now). Through that mechanism, chemo could help reduce further metastasis to the brain.

Risks: There is 20-30% chance that chemo won’t work for this cancer. There is a 10-25% chance that chemo itself could kill my father due to a wide range of side-effects. But if it works (70-80% chance), it could give my father a chance of survival into the medium term. This is a calculated risk that must be taken since there are no other options left.

Actively managing basic things

A lot of active management will continue, such as medicines and a number of supports. But the management of simple things like food, water, salt, sleep is also crucial, since the body no longer has the capacity to self-regulate. E.g. massive weight loss from cancer means there is no bodily insulation and ability to sense ambient temperature – this has already caused serious grief through three episodes of dehydration.

Each episode that leads to the hospital causes further muscle atrophy. A few weeks ago he was starting to walk a bit and even climbed two flights of stairs – after a gap of 3 months, but there have been further setbacks, so he’s now barely able to do 20 metres of walking within  the house. Rebuilding the atrophied muscles is therefore a key goal.

Then there are the structural symptoms of cancer. Two of them have already led to Emergency admission (urinary retention and brain edema and heaviness). Let’s hope these reduce in the future.

My time availability

Subject to successful ongoing active management of my father’s needs, I expect fewer medical trips to doctors/hospitals in the coming weeks than I’ve had in the past 2 1/2 months.

This means, that I can resume work on a number of other things. (Of course, once again, there is a lot of ongoing paperwork to claim reimbursements from the government insurance scheme).

If all goes well, I’ll not need to update my father’s health for another 10 weeks or more.

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Some old pictures from defence negotiations my father conducted for India

I found two albums that were given to my father at the end of various defence negotiations in the 1980s on behalf of India. Got them scanned at the local shop and here the are.

  1. The colour pictures are for the purchase of British Aerospace PLC Sea Harriers for the Indian Navy, an agreement that my father signed on 25 November 1985.
  2. The black and white ones are for something (I can’t read Russian) in 1988.

He was involved in tens of other negotiations and defence purchases for India, as well – no documentation available at home.

Btw, my father’s elder brother was a senior Naval officer in India and a hero of the Indo-Pakistan war. https://www.facebook.com/sabhlok/posts/10156905832043767

My father served India faithfully during his career to support the integrity of the accounts and purchases made for the defence forces of India. NOT A SINGLE RUPEE OR CENT IN CORRUPTION
HAS EVER TAINTED THE SABHLOK FAMILY. AND NEVER WILL.

 

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Thanks Internet Archive. My old web pages on almaak/rcf/scf at USC

I’d love to find a snapshot of the page I started in February 1998 announcing a new liberal party for India. I’ve got it elsewhere on sabhlokcity but not on archive.org. Nevertheless, they’ve done a decent job of keeping a few remnants of the two web pages I operated at USC (I also managed the Economics Department’s web page and trained students in html).

Found these:

RCF SERVER

5 June 1997: https://web.archive.org/web/19970605084402/http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~sabhlok/

27 January 1998: https://web.archive.org/web/19980127072453/http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~sabhlok/

5 December 1998: https://web.archive.org/web/19981205211942/http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~sabhlok/

19 February 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19990219192343/http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~sabhlok/

SCF SERVER

7 June 1997: https://web.archive.org/web/19970607074852/http://www-scf.usc.edu/~ssabhlok/

MOVED TO SABHLOKCITY

13 October 1999: https://web.archive.org/web/19991013171840/http://www-scf.usc.edu/~ssabhlok/

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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:

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.

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