In January we offered some support to Daw Wato, one of the helpers at the monastery whose daughter (Ma Sandar Win) had undergone an operation. She had had to go into debt to pay for it and we were happy to relive her of this burden. All seemed well.
But in March, she came to me (Ayya Virañani) again with the bad news that the symptoms had returned, and worse. A local doctor had tentatively diagnosed a malignancy, and Ma Sandar Win was admitted to the oncology ward a nearby government hospital for further testing and treatment. The diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma came back, followed immediately by a round of chemo treatment.
Anyone who has lived with cancer knows the special hell realm of worry, uncertainty, and discomfort that it entails. The medical system in Burma being what it is right now, all of that is even worse. And it is expensive even here – costs quickly added up for basic tests at the government hospital, and more advanced imagery at a private hospital (where you can’t walk through the door for less than the equivalent of 100USD).
So we were very glad to be able to offer some support to ease Daw Wato’s concern about how to pay for the necessary treatment. She has been unfailingly helpful to us and now it was our turn to offer her and her family some ease and heartfelt well-wishing.
Fortunately Ma Sandar Win was discharged right before I flew to Europe. So she, Daw Wato, and a veritable posse of supportive neighbors came to say thank you. In spite of the intensity of the chemo, she was feeling better than in a long time, without the symptoms that had been bothering her. Since then, Daw Wato keeps me updated by Viber and so far so good: the blood tests are improving and she has done another round of chemo, with four more left to go. We feel for her as she does this intense treatment and cross our fingers that she goes into remission!
Her thanks to us are thanks to you. One less bit of suffering in this world is no small thing.
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!