I had what is called a "triple negative cancer tumor in stage one", which means that three hormone tests did not show any reactions, and the lymph nodes were not affected. Such triple-negative cells are known to be more aggressive than other cancer cells. Thus I was advised to do Chemotherapy - just like I had done ten years ago. I had not even contemplated the idea of rejecting this suggestion. I felt that it was Krsna advising me through the same agents as He had used in order to arrange the fact that the tumor was discovered in the first place. To reject this part of the treatment would almost feel to me like rejecting Krsna's helping hand, which He has so kindly extended towards me.
While at Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai I had seen an Oncologist, who had given me a suggestion for a treatment plan. He even had agreed to my idea of possibly doing a somewhat "mobile Chemo" - one treatment here, another one there! This sounded of course especially attractive to me, being still attached to my wonderful traveling plans for this year. However, one morning before leaving Mumbai Vaisnavaseva Prabhu who had done my surgery had thoroughly smashed this idea, saying it was not at all a good plan, since I would have to be under the steady care of one Oncologist. And moving around, no doctor would feel responsible for me as a patient. Also it would not be easy to get the right medicines at the right time, and the timing was very important when taking chemo - it had to be taken exactly every three weeks. Vaisnavaseva Prabhu's reasoning sobered me up, and I immediately realized I had to drop this plan.
I had also sent a message to HH Niranjana Swami, asking him for advice in the whole matter. And he clearly expressed, that I should not mold my treatment around my preaching plans, especially in regards to the Deity installation, but should go to whichever place would be best for the treatment. I had to make my health the very first priority, and put all other considerations for service and preaching last.
Not easy for my false ego! Once again - Krsna was putting me through this exercise of giving up my plans, and simply accept His plans....!
After thorough deliberation the Toronto version seemed best. The devotees had agreed to give me all necessary support, and one mataji of the congregation who is a radiologist in one of the best cancer clinics of Toronto connected me with an Oncologist, who already looked at my various papers and histopathology reports and had given his suggested treatment plan. Everything seemed to fit perfectly together....!
While working on these plans I also engaged my mind in some little preaching activities - giving a SB class, and also the Sunday feast lecture in Cologne. It was a nice opportunity for me to once again connect with all the devotees and engage in various personal exchanges. Preaching always gives the right balance to all kinds of mundane anxieties and worries, and gives the ultimate spiritual perspective to things - it disentangles the mind from mundane thoughts.
With my mind fixed on the plan of soon leaving to Toronto I decided to spend one week in Goloka Dham - to relax and further recover after the surgery, to have nice association with the servants of Sri Sri Madana Mohan, and to get ready to embark on the odeal I had ahead of me.
But shortly after my arrival in Goloka Dham I received an email from Toronto with an urgent message: The Canadian Government had introduced a new regulation which would allow only patients from Kuwait and Qatar to come to Canada for medical treatments, since the government had a special contract with those two countries. Neeedless to say, these news were a real shock to me - within a few seconds all my plans were destroyed! How was it possible?! It seemed all so perfectly Krsna's arrangement...! But now all of a sudden He was pulling away the carpet underneath my feet, making me fall into a big hole of utter helplessness in dependance. And at the same time I could immediately recognise Krsna's jokes and games - He had His ways of forcing me into surrender, taking away all these last tinges of hopes to maintain some of my preaching schedule. If He had not instigated this, it would have been almost too easy. And I would not have learnt once again this valuable lesson of putting myself in His hands by letting go of all my plans and aspirations. Deep within my heart I felt such utter helplessness and dependance on the devotees - I think I have never felt so desperate in my life: "Krsna, where to go now....?"
I did not have much time to make the decission, since Chemo cannot be delayed and should be started one month after the surgery. My mind was frantically playing through different options. I even considered Melbourne again, where I had taken the treatment ten years ago. Staying up half the night I wrote several emails - there was no question of being able to sleep anyway.
One of the foremost criterias was the support of the devotee community. I would need a place to stay for around three months, and also help and assistance from the devotees in regards to my diet and other little things. Chemo is very unpredictable and not so easy and straight forward. It is considered to be a high risk treatment with a number of vulnerabilities.
I was dependant on the mercy of the devotees....!
Madhusudan Prabhu, one of the leaders of the Bangalore community immediately responded to my calls for help. He wrote: "Please come, Mataji. We will take care of you. Don't worry - leave it in my hands. We will arrange everything possible in order to give you the best care. We will pamper you......!"
His words conquered my heart, and within a few hours I decided for Bangalore.
My visit to Goloka Dham came ot an abrupt end - on the next morning of the 26th of April I took a train back to Koeln to apply for a new Indian visa..........
Your servant, Devaki dd