Monday, February 15, 2016

New trials

Well, last Sunday all seemed golden, but matters have a tendency to switch around here with frightening speed... Since last Tuesday I am in the middle of a new health crisis with Keita’s blood (haemoglobin) count suddenly plummeting to a very worrying 3 – normal value is 12! This means he has to have immediate blood transfusions and he has had some, but not enough. He is in Segou at the moment.
 I am leaving Djenné Thursday for Bamako and will meet him on the way in Segou.  We will stay with Eva again and I am going to photograph the new MaliMali collection. But it looks as if health matters will once more take over...After Keita's crisis in the autumn when he responded so well to the treatment with the drug Velcade we thought all was going to be well for a little while at least, but the Enemy has been quick to return...
Keita needs to change his medicine regime to try and ‘fool’ the cancer. Therefore I have been trying to buy something called Lenalimide from India for the last month, but the procedure is long and labyrinthine: the Indian invoice has had  to be scanned and delivered to the airport in Bamako  together with  a request from his doctor for an import licence which then has to be sent to India.  

First we could not get hold of Keita’s doctor for weeks, then the person at the airport who signs and stamps the document was away on holiday for another few days, during which time the money transfer from the UK to India also  got lost but  finally turned up. Meanwhile Keita’s health is deteriorating every day!
This morning everything finally seemed to be in order and I could not imagine that anything else could possibly be required but the long awaited confirmation from New Delhi was not forthcoming. So I wrote another email asking what was happening and was given the response that the drug company now needed a scanned copy of Keita’s passport before they were able to send the drugs! Now this is when I lost my temper: why on earth did they not tell me that before! We could have organized that during the time we were waiting for all the other things to fall into place!

Keita is too weak to rush around to the cybercafé in Segou and he does not have a scanner at home. So he dispatched his friend Boubakar who now says he has scanned and sent it to me. However, I have not received it. Surely emails are instant are they not? I have a feeling that they have not managed to type the email address out properly for I have received nothing here. Therefore the medicine will not leave India. I can’t bear it.

And just to cheer me up, there are whole swarms of goats in the garden who have already managed to destroy the new mango tree seedling we planted with the money we received from the goat owner last time. The little seedling was standing in a bamboo protection surround. The goats must have performed an advanced piece of acrobatics to get to it, but they did. The next time we catch one of them we will take no prisoners, it will become a kebab.

P.S. Some nail biting time later: having overcome a sporadically malfunctioning internet connection I have now managed to send off the missing  identification to India. I would like to sit down on my sunset terrace with a large glass of whisky and ice, but of course I can't. It is lent and I am cutting out alcohol- is there going to be no end of today's trials?

Tuesday afternoon. 
Still no confirmation from India that the medicine has left. It is now well past Indian closing hours  and it must mean that it has not left. Why? Keita is sounding bad on the phone although as always he keeps up a positive front: 'ça va. ça commence à aller'...
I keep working in the studio in order to have something to do.


Blogger Pascal et Monique said...

Sophie, nous pensons beaucoup à toi, à vous et on espère que vous allez gagner cette nouvelle course contre la maladie.

9:41 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well, people generally resent cancer being described in battle terms, but you are still Keita's unbelievable knight in shining armour - and indefatigable. I think under the circumstances you should just allow yourself one drink on your terrace each evening: don't be hard on yourself in that respect, you've got so much to cope with. Our thoughts and love as ever to both.

Reposting because, slipshod, I put 'army' and not 'armour' - though not many armies would be as efficacious as you in your sole doughty personage.

9:50 PM  

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