Dad and Mum went over to Bethany Hospital to meet his oncologist Dr. Ashish Bakshi and show him the blood tests and the CT scan he had requested over the weekend.
The plan was for them to call Sheba and myself when their 'number' got close. We would then drive over from Jeevan Sahara to have a conference with the oncologist and see what the next steps should be. Usually Dad spends about an hour before he gets to see his doctor.
This time was different. When they arrived, they were whisked right in to see Dr. Bakshi. No waiting this time. So when we finally got the call, Dad had already been seen by his doc.
And the news is good news.
Nothing at all on the tests to suggest any need for further treatment. Hooray!
Dad's cancer treatment is over for now - and by everything that we can see it has been a success!
And what a journey it has been. Our initial concern when we got a copy of the ultrasound from Mussoorie showing a mass blocking the common bile duct. Dr. Stephen Alfred insisting that Dad come down to Bethany immediately. Mum and Dad being woken up by Stefan and Neeru and told they have to be out of the house in 3 hours to get the flight to Mumbai. Dad's ridiculously high bilirubin levels. The initial stabilising procedures. Stefan and Neeru's coming down to help. Then huge step of the major surgery - a Whipples procedure - to remove the large cancerous tumour and a goodly portion of Dad's digestive plumbing. The post-op care - at the hospital and then at home. Then news of one of the nodes being positive for cancer post-op and finally the 6 months of chemotherapy...
Well, the journey reached a milestone today. A happy milestone that says all is clear... for now!
No mo chemo. No more diet restrictions. Dad and Mum are free to go back to Mussoorie. Amazing stuff. And all the fruit of so much love and so many prayers.
Dr. Ashish Bakshi would like to meet Dad again in 4 months. The shift to surveillance has begun. Pancreatic cancers are aggressive and could very well show up again, having micro-seeded in the initial outbreak. But we will take one day at a time. And we will celebrate this amazing recovery and the good news that nothing was detected in the blood tests and CT scan.
We are so proud of how Mum has soldiered through all of this - especially being with us in the heat of Thane (and October being very much a second summer - we had 5 over 37 degree days so far this month). Her dogged love. Her on-going care and willingness to adapt and be a blessing to us all and a support and help for Dad is such an example to us.
We never imagined we would be living 9 months this year with Mum and Dad - what an amazing blessing it has been to us all! We would of course never want them to be here because of cancer... but this has been one of the many silver linings of this extra-ordinary experience for all of us.
We had a small celebration at supper this evening.
Out came some cards and a bunch of flowers. And a big thank-you to God for bringing Dad to this amazing place.
And a big THANK YOU to so many of you who have been reading along and praying - both near and far. We have had folks 3 floors below us tell us that they are reading about Dad on the blog - and folks in remote parts of the world send emails (and prayers) our way. Each prayer has been such a treasure - we will never be able to thank all of you in our extended family enough.
But suffice it to say - today is a day of celebration. And so after supper we broke out the coffee and caramel icecream. Speaking of which, I am off to get another bowl from the freezer...
The day to celebrate is not yet over!