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James’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about our loved one - James Saldanha.
 
This myeloma journey is long and there are many ups and downs.  This site, and the guestbook messages left for James and I, are really what keep us going and motivated through the epic battle we are facing.  So please, visit often, and drop James a line of encouragement, love, and support.  His face lights up when he gets new messages, and they give him reason to battle on.

Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.



It does say background story here, so I'll give you a fairly in-depth one.  James is sleeping and so I have a moment here.

James was born in Mumbai India in July of 1970 and moved to Australia with his parents in December of 1970.  He had a happy childhood in Sydney's western suburbs, enjoying mates such as Jerome and Andrew and of course younger brothers Orion and Jarrod.  James attended University of Western Sydney studying microbiology, and then worked for many years at Wyeth.  He then decided to get into business and got involved with the company that would eventually become whitech.  

On James' 32nd birthday, his life really began (humor me here) when he met Carlin while out at a pub celebrating his birthday with mates.  We won't mention the name of the pub, but let's just say it was a super classy establishment (yeah, right!).  Anyway, they hit it off, and next thing you know, on December 19th, 2003 James and Carlin got married in Sydney.

James and Carlin have been married almost 7 years and during this time we have had so many adventures, the highlight of which is undoubtedly the year we spent traveling around India.  We talk about that trip every day in the hospital here to raise James' spirits.

James and Carlin set off for America in June of 2009 to spend some years living near Carlin's friends and family.  After enjoying an amazing 2 month road trip around the USA, we settled into life in Minneapolis where James got to know many of Carlin's childhood friends and family.  Sadly, it was in Minneapolis that James began to feel pain in his chest, which we attributed to a freak hottub accident involving James ,4 hot jivamukti yoginis, and a big hottub cover (James you legend!).  In December 2009 we moved to San Francisco to be near Carlin's grandmother and enjoy a much-anticipated life in San Francisco.  James' ribs were still bothering him though, so we got some xrays.  The xrays showed nothing and we were sent home.  In the following several months James' ribs had cleared their pain, but his back was quite sore.  We attributed this to sore muscles from having overcompensated for the previous rib injury.  Yes we are always thinking there is a simple answer and you should just try salt baths and magnesium (lesson here people- coming up).  Well, around the end of March 2010, poor James' back had really reached breaking point, and he proceeded to rest in bed- not being able to get up, until we finally got some medical advice.

Carlin's amazing grandma Lillie was much concerned over James' condition and called a family friend who is a doctor.  He spoke with Carlin, and urged her to bring James to the hospital immediately.  An ambulance was called (though really, at least Carlin thought it was still nothing serious, James now admits he secretly did wonder if it was something much more serious), and when we arrived at the emergency room Friday April 9th, 2010 a blood test and CT scan quickly revealed James had most probably bone cancer, soon confirmed via a bone marrow biopsy to be multiple myeloma ( an extremely rare form of cancer, even more rare in those under 40- we always knew he was 1 of a kind!)

And that day, Friday April 9th, 2010, is the day that has changed our lives and marked the beginning of our epic battle with multiple myeloma.  We are determined to try our hardest to win this battle, and face it head on with dignity, strength, integrity, and the power of positivity and perseverance.

Latest Journal Update

4 Years since transplant

Hello everyone,
I haven't posted anything in a long while and so I thought on this day it would be nice to share a little update. Today I celebrated 4 years since my stem cell transplant and continue to remain in complete remission. I continue to see Professor Kerridge every 3 months and he is over the moon with how I am travelling healthwise. I feel great and continue to live consciously and focus on my health and well being. We have also managed to travel and see other parts of the work. In the last 12 months we have visited, Berlin, Zurich and Copenhagen as well as exploring Angkor Wat in Cambodia. 2014 has been a big year to say the least.

The exciting news is that Carlin and I are expecting our first child in December. We made a conscious decision to try for a baby naturally. We figured if we were as healthy as could be there was every chance we could conceive naturally, especially with Carlin's knowledge as a naturopath. We also had the challenge of trying to time the birth during Carlin's 2 month break from medical school at the end of the year. Well, someone upstairs was looking after us and we timed it to perfection with the new arrival due on the 8th December (only 7 weeks to go). We are both looking forward to the next exciting phase of our lives and sharing our love, knowledge and experience with the new little soul. I continue to share my journey and experience with many people and often speak with friends and family of friends who are battling with cancer. I can only hope that I can inspire others to think about what they want out of life and then go and get it. Life is finite so you have to make the most of it. Every day for me is a bonus and one worth celebrating, especially little milestones like today. 



Comments

3 Comments

DENISE BRETAGNE
By DENISE BRETAGNE
Oh My..... What a Journey.
I saw you by chance James this year and thought you looked amazing.
I am so happy with your great news for December. I wish Carlin and you
continued blessings and Love in your life.
All my love Denise Bretagne
maxime banks
By maxime
bonjour james and carlin,

this is wonderful amazing news!
continued blessings to you both and your families.
overjoyed!

namaste metta
maxime
natalie therese
By natalie therese
Sorry if this message comes up twice...... Wow. Amazing news! How exciting for you both. James, You are a true inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing. X