An update on my former student, Carla Wu

Carla Wu Shuang

Carla Wu Shuang

JISHOU, HUNAN — I’ve been holding off on posting about Carla Wu Shuang until I was sure of what was going on. And I’m sorry to say, it’s not good news.

When I last posted about Carla, it was all good news. Her cancer seemed to be in remission, and she and her fiancé went ahead with their wedding plans and held the ceremonies in his hometown on January 1. They held similar festivities in Carla’s hometown of Yueyang in February, after the Chinese New Year. By then, Carla was already two months pregnant.

But Carla told me in February her leg was bothering her, and she was feeling weaker than before. Last month, she consulted with her doctors. They gave her some grim news. The osteosarcoma in her thigh had returned, and there was little they could do without jeopardizing her baby.

On Tuesday, she told me she was now suffering from terrible backaches, as well. Doctors this time told her the cancer had probably spread to her kidneys, and now the choice was even more grim. For her to survive, they would have to terminate the pregnancy.

I have not heard from her since Tuesday, so I can’t be sure where she is now — at home or in hospital. She an amazingly brave young woman, and had dealt with her illness with admirable grace and patience. My only worries at this point is her physical health, which deteriorated quickly since I last saw her in January. I couldn’t attend the February wedding party, sadly.

When I hear from her again, I’ll post the news here. In the meantime, please hold her in your thoughts and prayers (whatever you prefer).

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