Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

01.06.08 Preparing for my second trip to India


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Forgive me for being out of touch these past few months.  As I prepare for my second journey East half way around the globe, I recognize my innate desire and yearning to write again…to blog and get back in touch with every reason why I am rolling forth on a pioneering path to quietly open my Being to the realm of possibility and healing.  Yes, thanks to the generosity of this community I am heading back to India for my second treatment of human embryonic stem cell therapy.  I will be gone for one month from January 11 through February 11, 2008.  My Physical Therapist, Tami Cassetty, will join me for the first week, and then my devoted and amazing Mum will be with me for the remaining three weeks.

I will continue to post my thoughts, photographs, and progress on this blog.   

Chickens can fly…

Memories of living in Delhi fleet through my mind as I count down five more days until my second visit for stem cell treatment.  Last summer, Gabrielle and I shared an apartment in Delhi with anywhere from seven to ten Chinese at one time.  Three of the ten were receiving human embryonic stem cell treatment with Dr. Geeta Shroff, and the rest were family members.  The Chinese were the most resilient of the bunch and literally the most polite roommates I experienced.  At one point I remember a family of five all sharing one room.  I wondered where they all slept and the rhyme played over in my head… “And the little one said, “Roll over, roll over”.  So they all rolled over and one fell out…” 

After an intense physical therapy session each morning and unbearably sticky heat, we could barely wait to sail through the door into the cool air conditioned apartment.  The foul smells that wafted from the kitchen infiltrated the entire four bedroom unit and were so putrid at times that my stomach would turn and my throat would gag.  What on earth were the Chinese cooking?  Monkey brain stew?  Pigeon?  Pig’s feet goulash?   

Let it be known, our roommates were most civil and generous, always greeting us with a smile and laughter.  We never knew totally what they were saying, but their joyfulness was intoxicating at times.  Upon arriving home one afternoon, Gabrielle and I were presented with a snack gift from Hong Kong—a lone chicken wing so tiny it squished inside a sealed packet the size of a soy sauce sachet.  The bright green and white sachet read:  Isoyaki Chicken Wing; Best Before 2008/03/15.  Based on what was wafting out of the kitchen, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to open the packet and take a peek or a sniff.  The squishy gel-like texture in between our fingers twisted our insides.  Thank God I never saw the chicken wing again…Gabrielle got rid of it.   Nowadays, when I get a whiff of garbage (or Tucker’s breath after eating garbage) I am instantaneously reminded of those putrid odors from the Chinese cooking, which is akin to decomposed road kill. 

Back in Colorado on a bone-chilling Christmas morning in negative double-digit temperatures I began to open my Christmas gift from Gabrielle.  The box was huge.  What an earth could she have given me that weighed so much and was so big?  She had packaged this gift so tastefully with matching ribbon tied around green and gold paper.  I had transported this gift hours by vehicle to a seven thousand acre ranch in the middle of nowhere.  Gabrielle had provided me with strict instructions:  “Promise me you will bring this gift with you to the ranch, and promise me you won’t open it until Christmas morning?” 

“I promise”, I faithfully replied.   

As I tore off the paper and opened the box, a smaller package was nestled amongst Styrofoam popcorn and a five pound dumbbell weight lay in the bottom.  So that’s why the box was so heavy!  What is Gabrielle up to?  I tentatively unwrapped the smaller box treating it as if it was the most fragile thing on the planet.  Inside was a bright green gift bag.  I opened the bag and unraveled the tissue sliding my fingers inside.  Could it be jewelry?  Instantly my fingers touched a soft jelly sachet.  Ugh.  My throat tightened.  I pulled the packet out of the tissue and a bright green and white sachet containing a CHICKEN WING lay in my hand.  Just the feel of the squishy package grossed me out.  A huge smile swept across my face and I let out a scream of laughter.  I laughed so hard I snorted.  That damn chicken wing flew half way ‘round the globe to surprise me.   

Gabrielle my friend–Beware!  When you least suspect it, despite its expiration date, that little chicken will raise its ugly wing again one day and come back to haunt you.   

Preparing to leave…I will board a United Express Flight next Friday, January 11th from Aspen bound for Denver, Frankfurt, and Delhi.  As I sit at my computer cozy in fleece, a blizzard roars in a fury outside and literally feet of fresh powder blanket the earth.  Next Friday I pray that the skies are crystal clear, the sun is shining, and the wind is calm as my jet lifts off from this winter wonderland. 

As I prepare to leave for my second visit to India I rack my brain trying to think of essentials that I might need to make life as uncomplicated as possible.  Delhi is challenging to say the least.  Oddly, my first thought was:  Indian panty liners don’t stick and inevitably end up in a wad in my undies.  No.1. on my list:  Panty Liners.  No. 2. Charmin Ultra Soft & Most Absorbent toilet paper.  No.3. Backpacker’s Pantry Outdoor Gourmet Food – just add hot water (10 packets).  No. 4. Wild Caught Smoked Sockeye Salmon for a decadent moment.  No. 5. Udi’s Natural Artisan Granola.  No. 6. Peet’s French Roast Coffee.  No. 7. French Press and mug.  No. 8. Peeler  (I remember the rule to fight the dreaded Delhi Belly:  If I can’t peel it or boil it, don’t eat it!).  No. 9. Small paring knife.  No.10. Hand sanitizer.  And the list goes on…  In fact, it seems that I will have one suitcase reserved for food and products to make life less tricky.  

Two days before my departure I will have the honor of sharing the platform speaking alongside Max Grange, a non-verbal quadriplegic who has overcome so many obstacles in his lifetime.  Max is now twenty and technology has enabled Max to speak through a computer and show the world that he is brilliant, sensitive, and humorous.  Max’s computer allows his voice to be heard and although he cannot speak from his vocal chords, he exemplifies the voice for us all.  Max is a shining example of resilience of the human spirit and he is my hero.  Max will end his presentation with his own quote:  “When I sleep I dream I am flying.  When I am awake, technology helps me fly.”   

William Blake said, “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”  As I prepare my body, mind and spirit to embark on my second journey to India to receive human embryonic stem cell treatment I think to myself:  “When I sleep I dream I am flying.  As my body awakens, stem cells help me fly”.  This is a journey of awakening not just for my physical body, but for my entire Being.  I will do everything in my power to be an emissary for the Light:  To fill my Being with a pure Divine Life Force, and emanate it through my Being, and out to the world.  I am embarking on a mission of love, light and healing. 

Thank you to all who continue to support me in my journey.   

With love, gratitude and light, Amanda xoxo 

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