Santikaro’s latest challenge

It’s been a good year at Liberation Park. We were able to get some necessary infrastructure in place to support eventual facilities for guests. Now, a new twist: After working on selfish defilements for years, another mis behaving aspect of life has erupted quite suddenly.

On my annual trip to Thailand, which began November 16, I experienced a lot of discomfort and pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis. I thought is was really bad constipation, but a CT-scan showed a large mass (12 cm by 13 cm) in the lower abdomen and pelvis. This was flattening the lower bowel (sigmoid colon) and putting pressure on bladder, ureters, and lower spine. The doctor felt it was still safe for me to fly home, so we moved up my departure date a few days. With lots of help and generosity from Thai friends, I caught a flight 16 hours after learning about the mass and landed in La Crosse on Friday December 10th.

We went immediately to the ER of Franciscan Skemp Hospital from the airport and was admitted to the hospital Saturday morning. Tests and procedures began. FSH is part of the Mayo system and my lead doctor, a surgeon, was excellent.

All signs pointed to a Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphocytes) and a biopsy was needed to confirm that and also to determine which of the 30 some kinds of lymphoma it is. To work out a treatment plan, the exact form of lymphoma needs to be clear. Currently, the oncologists think it’s a highly aggressive form of non-hodgkins lymphoma, of which there are three forms, each with different treatment strategies. We will have this sorted out on Tuesday when we get to the Mayo Clinic, which will do the treatment.

We’re also being supported by great family & friends. This is very hard on Jo, too, and her Dad is here to look after the apartment and animals. Some excellent naturapathic healers are strengthening me and friends are cooking healthy, healing, tasty food. Many touching messages have arrived by phone and email; we wish we could respond to them all, but are a little overwhelmed with the needs of the situation.

Please check this blog for ongoing reports and Dhamma reflections.

Any metta-karuna that you care to send will be gratefully recived.

May all beings be well.

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