After I returned to the US in July, 2010, I continued to improve. I began taking my clothes off by myself and continued to strengthen. In October, I attended my daughter’s wedding. It had been my hope and prayer to have more strength for that blessed event, and it was everything I hoped for and more. Ironically, the ceremony was half Hindi and half Jewish, which seemed very fitting now that I had Indian stem cells. And, in true Indian tradition, not only were the my daughter and her new husband united, but the two families were as well.  I had experienced yet another Indian tradition from the inside out.

With a degenerative illness, one has to return to India every three months to stop the progression and reverse the illness. Especially with Lyme disease, it is important to stop the infection from mobilizing the immune system. I was scheduled to return in November. My core was beginning to weaken again, and I was ready to return.

Something very strange happened when I was packing to leave.  Usually when I was packing for a trip, my great dane, Basha, would jump in the car. When she wasn’t coming with us, we had to be sure to keep the doors closed while getting ready.  This ritual had been going on for years. However, this time when I was packing, she slept. When I got in the car, I looked at her and, instead of trying to join me, she walked next door with a sense of resignation. I thought it odd, but I was glad to not feel the overwhelming guilt and grief I usually felt when leaving her. In retrospect, I realize that there was something else going on, outside of my awareness.

My girlfriend, Lynne, from college accompanied me on this trip to India. She is someone who agreed to take a month out of her life to work her hindquarters off to support me on my journey. That is an enormous amount of love to give, as well as to receive, and I’ll never forget it. She and I had many adventures through the years. So we went to India together and I was open and ready for more improvement.

What seems to consistent in life is that I never know which way the winds will blow. When in India, I got an e-mail about my precious, beloved Basha. She was not eating and we wondered if it had to do with me being gone. Then I received an e-mail that she was going to the veterinarian and she needed emergency surgery for a uterine infection. I sat up all night with my computer on my lap while she went into  surgery. After many hours of waiting, I got the word that she never recovered. The mixture of feelings that welled up in me was extreme. My body shut down and the grief could be felt within ten feet of my body. The medical staff worked with me as best they could. I could see their faces–“don’t do this,” they seemed to say. I didn’t know how not to. It is still extremely difficult. I started another post on my beloved dog a few weeks ago, but I’ve been avoiding it.

I know, like everything excruciating in life, there will be a resulting experience of liberation. (I wonder if I can curse in word press)  F––– liberation! And that is precisely what happened. I developed a lung infection so severe that I was on constant antibiotics and nebulizer treatments for the rest of my stay in India. I did manage to go to the Taj Mahal and to Jaipur to ride an elephant.

Unlike my first trip to India, I did not experience any physical improvement. But the way I see it the stem cells helped me stay in my body long enough to release my best friend into Spirit.