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My 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.

Journal

Notifications

2 Year Anniversary...

Oct 14, 2012 7:30am

Hello from the sunny Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, two years on from my life saving transplant.

It has been a long while since I have written a post and that is good news because it means I have been living, enjoying and loving all that life has to offer. For those of you who supported me through my journey back to health and been wondering how I am doing, please read on...

Here's a quick recap. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma on April 10th 2010 in San Francisco and not expected to last out the month. Shortly after that this blog was started and you all came on an amazing journey with Carlin and I. After undergoing 6 rounds of chemotherapy over 6 months to get the Myeloma under control, I received my stem cell transplant on this day (October 14) two years ago. Two days before the stem cell transplant I was given a near lethal dose of chemotherapy through my chest, designed to kill off my bone marrow cells (and any cancer that resided there). On the 14th October 2010, my harvested cells were introduced back into my body and over the course of two weeks we waited for them to take and give me my immune system back. The whole transplant process was not much fun to say the least, but it played an important role in getting me to where I am today. It is also great motivation for me to live a healthy and happy life and reminds me to make the most of this second chance, which I am doing. 

I reached molecular remission in early 2011 and I am still in molecular remission to this day, not bad for someone with an incurable cancer who was only given a few weeks to live when diagnosed. I get introduced to other cancer patients all the time and am happy to inspire them, share my experiences and listen to theirs.

Last year Carlin and I decided to renew our wedding vows in San Francisco to celebrate my 1 year anniversary and we had an absolutely amazing time. Carlin shortly after found out she got into medical school hence our move from Sydney to the beach on the lovely Gold Coast at the start of this year. Carlin is doing fabulously well in her studies and has final exams coming up in mid November. She has been elected the "Wellbeing Officer" for the University for next year, which is right up her alley. She is also busy helping other cancer patients from all over the world with cancer support. She has a wealth of knowledge on traditional medicine and nutrition and combined with her medical degree, will be one of the truly great healers on this planet.

We recently purchased an apartment, gutted and renovated it. We move in at the end of the week and it will be nice to get settled again. I have installed a great water filtration system and we have a new Norwalk juicer on its way from the US. The Gold Coast is surrounded by a great food growing region and we get delicious organic produce from our all organic farmers market.The Gold Coast lends itself to a healthy, outdoor lifestyle so we make the most of it with spending tim at the beach, hiking in the hinterland, and taking day trips to surrounding areas like Byron Bay and trips farther a field. We had the opportunity to visit Fraser Island with Carlin's Dad earlier this year, which is the largest sand island in the world and very beautiful. Carlin and I visited Townsville in Far North Queensland and the stunning Great Barrier Reef last month. We are off to the US in November where we will visit friends and family as well as Dr Gabriel Cousens detox retreat in Arizona. 

Workwise, I am busy helping Fujifilm take Imagine photo imaging software global. I recently returned from a successful trade show in Cologne Germany where we showcased the software to other Fujifilm countries. I am also getting involved in some new business opportunities for 2013, which will be exciting so stay tuned.

I continue to get up with the sun and do either some exercise or yoga every morning and combine it with meditation/prayer. This is followed by one of my famous green smoothies. I then have all the energy I need for the day. 

As you can see I have embraced life and Carlin and I are in a happy space. I hope that you are too. Please don't underestimate the power of positive thoughts and prayers as yours helped me heal. For that I am eternally grateful and will repay you by making a difference with my second chance at life. 



 



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Thank you so much for your messages.  They keep us going through this hard, long journey.  Please come by and leave messages often, we never get sick of hearing from you!

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