A Cultured Life…

…stumbling through life with two beautiful daughters – often tripping, sometimes running!!

Day 187, d73

on October 18, 2021

Hello, Hello!
The biopsy results are in – Her 4th!
“ Negative for measurable residual Acute myeloid Leukemia “ in Swati’s bone marrow. This was a Bone Marrow aspiration – read here. The first analysis of the fluid in the marrow is reassuring. From here there will be be further analysis by flow cytometry ( this is at the molecular and gene level. So complicated – I go deep into NIH archives and PubMed articles to understand). We will celebrate and give thanks for this. 😇

Swati was excited for yesterday. She and Ansh had planned a day out and I was grateful that we were beginning to see glimpses of Swati. Just before leaving around 1pm, the nausea reared its ugly head and my heart sank. But I (and she!) were determined to keep this a normal day. So she did throw up and go on her way 🙃 I did something else – I pulled Ansh aside and told him to watch out for my baby😃 also asked him to carry her bag because it was heavy. Now it had a throw-bag, extra water, ginger chews, etc. She had a lovely day.

🙂 😦

I must tell you what I did today – From our kitchen, one can glimpse into the bedroom. I saw rush (walk quickly!) to the bathroom. A month ago, I would rush in, after a knock on the door. Today, I almost knocked but stopped myself. I stood there 30 seconds, straining to listen. Everything was awfully quiet. Then I began looking at the bottom, towards the gap between the door and floor. No shadows. Then I lay on the floor, trying to peer in through the gap, trying to discern any sound or movement. After a minute, I could hear some sounds from her phone. At that point, I left the room.

Who am I? What have I become?

The coming week

Tuesday we begin tapering Swati’s steroids from 30 mg to 20 mg for the next seven days. The team is watching to see what the taper will do to her Graft v Host symptoms. I am praying that we have arrested them and the other counts continue the upward trend.

Amidst this, we need to think about logistics. Notice on our apartment, packing, the drive itself. One car, two cars?? Is the 100 days negotiable? 95 days? Questions abound.
In anticipation of the nebulousness, Srinivas has gone to Austin today with a car load of stuff. We still have many things 🤷🏼‍♀️🙃I am trying resolutely, to banish questions from my mind.

You made my day!

Earlier today, I got a call from my co-worker. She read this blog only last night, having resolutely stayed away all this while. She told me that she was scared to read, scarred by memories of her grand mother who died to cancer when she was a child. She stayed up late reading, and was moved to tears, by my strength. What also made her cry was that she felt my pain, as a mother herself to two young girls.
This response made me cry too.

My tears have been few and far in between.

I have cried when I have brought her home from the hospital.
I have cried more in the hallway at St. David’s in Austin that I have at MD Anderson in Houston
I have cried one morning in the family room at MD Anderson – in a phone call with my friend in Portugal
But I cry when I hear first-hand from people, that they feel my pain, they know/dont know what I go through
She also said that she ended up googling words to understand better. That made us both laugh.

I am grateful to all of you, my readers! Some comment, some text, some WhatsApp, some write to my mom, some dont say anything. But I know that I am surrounded by diving grace and the love and generosity of countless people – I can never repay but I hope my gratitude shines through these words.

Please continue to pray. It uplifts me and gives me strength. I hope I am putting something positive out there and will pay it forward in my lifetime


I am very grateful for your support. Thank you very much. 💕😇

One response to “Day 187, d73

  1. Aratrika K says:


    On Mon, 18 Oct, 2021, 1:03 am A Cultured Life…, wrote:

    > runneranu posted: ” Hello, Hello!The biopsy results are in – Her 4th!“ > Negative for measurable residual Acute myeloid Leukemia “ in Swati’s bone > marrow. This was a Bone Marrow aspiration – read here. The first analysis > of the fluid in the marrow is reassuring. From here the” >

    Liked by 1 person

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