Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

March 22nd – Arrival into Delhi & Thank God for Mum


From Aspen’s Maroon Bells…to…


Delhi Traffic!


“In God’s world there can be delay, but, there’s no darkness!”


I know I’ve arrived in Delhi when…my freshly ironed white blouse now has yellow curry stains dribbled down the front (and so it shall remain for the next month); my arms feel like pin cushions from daily stem cell injections; my eyelids feel like they’ve got lead weights pulling them closed because my circadian clock is off; dust hangs in still air; the light is subdued and a sky is never really blue; my hospital room is adorned with 15 color photographs of friends and family reminding me of the love that I can feel even though I’m on the other side of the world; and my Indian family of doctors and nurses welcome me with huge open arms emanating a genuine undertone of caring and compassion like no place I’ve ever experienced.  I feel grounded.  I feel the pulse of this ancient country.  I embrace all that is ahead of me.  I’m back.


I know I’ve arrived in Delhi when…a statuette of a Hindu Ganesha that sits behind my taxi’s steering wheel is BIGGER than the speedometer and a strand of prayer beads hangs from the rear vision mirror;

india-march-09-006… and the van in front of us has JESUS LOVES YOU that covers almost the entire rear window;

india-march-09-007…a plastic icon of Lord Shiva rests nestled in the base of a tree on the side of the road; and a beautiful woman clutching a baby tightly to her bosom rides side-saddle on the back of a motorcycle as her Sikh husband with a full black beard and curled-up moustache weaves in and out of stand-still traffic.  The irony is that he has a helmet balanced on top of his turquoise blue turban and she chooses to go unprotected.  Wisps of her hair catch the breeze as her thick plait sways back and forth like a pendulum across her bright pink and orange sari covered in sparkly sequins.  Welcome to India where there is an inherent respect for all faiths under one God.


I know I’ve arrived in Delhi when…small trucks and big trucks are adorned with silver and gold tinsel and brightly painted flowers.  Bold lettering painted on the backs say “Blow Horn!”  Traffic somehow squeezes five cars across into two designated lanes.  Nobody follows road rules.  Drivers honk their horns as a courtesy to oncoming vehicles at least twenty times in a half hour.  Taxi drivers are quick to charge me triple until I tirelessly barter them down.  AC (air-conditioning) is at least 100 Rupees more per taxi ride, especially if you’re blonde and fair skinned.  Getting from point A to B can easily take an hour, even if it’s just a few miles.  When there’s an open stretch of pavement, most drivers will push the pedal to the floor and scream down the road regardless of the speed limit or oncoming traffic be it a car, truck, bicycle, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, donkey, mule, camel, elephant or the revered holy cow.  Traffic lights are often ignored—I’ve lost count how many times we’ve sailed through red stop lights.  It’s okay to drive the wrong way down a one-way street (at least all of my taxi drivers have gotten away with this death defying feat).  A head wobble is a sufficient gesture as if to say, “Oh well!” when another car accidently dints your car.  Despite this lunacy, somehow it all works and road rage is almost non-existent.


Delhites who openly defy road rules slow down only when they spot speed guns.  Officials question whether they should raise the speed limit on expressways from 50km/hr to 80km/hr.  Increasing the speed limit will increase accidents, especially when the road is shared by pedestrians, rickshaws and animals. Some argue that rules must be realistic for them to be observed and suggest focusing on driver’s education and enforcing lane driving.  I see that never happening.  How can you change a society that is hell-bent on drivers who do what they want?  Delhi it seems is still as corrupt and nonsensical as ever! 


Thank God for Mum!



Mum arrived this morning at 5:15 am.  She’s sleeping right now, catching up after her 24 hour jaunt from Australia.  God I was pleased to see her.  Tears filled my eyes, we embraced and I didn’t want to let her go.  I haven’t seen Mum since last November when we parted at the airport, flying east and west farther and farther apart.  I’ve seen more of Mum these past twenty months since beginning my stem cell journey than I have in years.  We are committed to seeing our days in India through together.  I will attempt to walk as much for me as I will for my Mum.  She has been there with me every roll, glide, crawl, baby step, and leap of my life.  She is my rock and I adore her.  I am so grateful to have my Mum. 



We strolled through Lodhi Gardens today with the sun beaming down on our shoulders and a burst of spring in the air.  Flowers of every color lined shaded pathways.  Ancient stone tombs sat peacefully in the background.  Families gathered to picnic or play a game of cricket.  School girls in neat uniforms giggled.  And lovers held each other underneath huge leafy trees.  That’s the Lodhi which I crave as my refuge away from the bustle of Delhi’s streets.



Tonight Mum and I have been invited to dinner with Ted and Karen Wachtmeister.  Ted is on his third round of stem cell treatments for IBM—Inclusion Body Myositis is a progressive muscle weakness and wasting disease.  Dr. Shroff has been able to stabilize his condition and bloodwork identifying his CPK (creatine phosphokinase) levels have returned to normal.  I applaud Ted for his courage to come to Nu Tech Mediworld.  Like many deemed incurable, he basically had no other options.  The treatment is working to the degree that the stem cells are keeping his disease at bay. 


A wise Indian man named Ajay whom I met on a previous visit to Delhi happens to share the same birth date as me.  He was one of eleven others who seemed fascinated by my life story and subsequently performed a collective astrological chart reading on my past and future.  The group divulged precise dates when cataclysmic events took place in my past, including my accident, and made some interesting predictions for my future.  I keep Ajay posted on my progress through my blog journal entries.  He sent a thoughtful email welcoming me to Delhi for my fifth treatment. 


Here’s what he wrote…. 


Dear Amanda,


Warm welcome to New Delhi.  I’m so happy about your wonderful recovery. With US President Barrack Obama clearing the way for ‘Stem Cell Embryonic Research’, there will be new floodgates of hope opening up. Who says there’s no God?


There’s a legendary saying in our land, which in Hindi goes like this:


“Bhagwan ki nagri may dayr hai, andayr nahi”.


The English translation means:


“In God’s world there can be delay, but, there’s no darkness!”


Tomorrow I begin an intensive month-long treatment schedule.  An early morning ultrasound followed by a stem cell injection, physical therapy, and then my first spinal caudal procedure.  Dr. Ashish has promised that he will jump start my body back to life and promises great results.  It’ll take a lot of hard work, determination, and belief.  Belief is at the core of my awakening.  I still believe and while my progress is slow, I am improving.  Plus, I have my Mum to encourage, love, and support me through it.  


Namaste from Delhi,


Amanda (and Mum—Jill) xoxo


P.S. Thanks to Gabrielle and Jay for looking after my sweet Tucker.


Last minute note…pray for Mum.  We opted out of dinner because she came down with a severe migraine headache and vomiting.  The nurses have given her two injections to help with the pain and nausea.  She’s now sleeping.  The little chickie squawking outside her window doesn’t help.  The pigeons are having a party at Mum’s expense.  I think the jet lag was too wearing on her body.  I feel so badly for her.  Hopefully things will improve tomorrow.


  Sonia wrote @

Just thinking about you…

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Have a great treatment…and of course enjoy your time with your Mum. See you in a month.

  Rusty Leech wrote @


Odd to think you just got there and I just returned home from there. Too bad about Jill. Hopefully she will recover with some rest. Seems like every trip over there and back gets harder for me to deal with. Do you have your new leg braces with you? Still working on getting mine. So, is the whole Aspen contingent there this time too? How is Alex getting along? He should be getting ready to leave soon. Hope he woke up and started making an effort to improve. Here’s wishing you good luck on your treatments. Hope the headaches aren’t as bad with the spinals this time. Write me at my new e-mail address if you get a chance. I didn’t get your most recent mailing. Send to;
Much love and admiration.


  Gary Stamey wrote @

Cheers, always a pleasure to read your blog!

Glad you have found such good care/support.

btw, dehydration is often a problem with jetlag/heat…your dear Mum will be right as rain soon…take care…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: