Some people watch the stock market, examining each up and down and analyzing what it means. I watch my blood counts…
During my last visit to the Stanford Clinic, Dr. Lowsky said that I don’t need to have any more biopsies if my blood counts are good, as normal blood counts are indicative of no leukemia. That news was music to my ears as biopsies hurt and always made me anxious (I’ve had seven of them since October 2013 and hope to never have another). I generally get my CBC (complete blood counts) every two weeks these days to make sure I continue to stay stable.
Last Monday, on Day +152 I got a little scared. My blood counts had dropped slightly after a long time of them being constant or increasing. The labs also showed an “immature” white cell. In a near panic, I immediately contacted my awesome doctors at Stanford and Kaiser. They quickly reassured me that my blood counts were still in the normal range, and that immature cells usually just haven’t matured yet into healthy normal cells. Their quick response and this affirmative reply definitely put me more at ease, but I decided to go back and get more labs to have the numbers tell the story.
On Day +157 (Saturday, August 23) I was thrilled to see that my blood counts were back up! While most people probably aren’t concerned with the details, I know that some who are recovering from leukemia check my site, so I’ll post my counts which were: 4.2 white cells, 11.7 hemoglobin, and 168 platelets. Who ever thought that blood counts could provide so much joy!
I am very happy to have this second chance at life, and I try to have patience and be positive as I continue healing. Recovering from a BMT certainly DOES take a lot of patience. And the truth is, I deeply long for the days when my energy will fully return, when I can hug friends again, when I can work and travel, and when I can be outside in the sunshine. For now, the journey continues to be very inward as I mostly stay inside my home.
I’m so grateful to have so many special friends in the community who are extremely generous with their professional healing and creative gifts. I want to acknowledge these super kind friends who have offered me their services for free. My partner Andy for never leaving my side, loving me completely, and healing me with music, laughter and massage; My dear friend Tara for her crystal healings and meditations, leading me in shadow work, and heading up the love healing deb medical fund campaign; Christopher my new housemate for always being cheerful and giving me awesome Reiki healings; Padma for amazing hypnosis healings; Osher who gave me a wonderful sound healing; Samantha for the sweet Reiki and energy healings; Lindsay for deep massage; Matthew for a beautiful sound and crystal healing; Alison for yoga DVDs and sequence ideas; and Anny musician extraordinaire for writing a song with me about my healing journey which we’ll be recording soon.
Thank you too to my long-time friends Amity, Rachel, Pam, Devi, Peter, Wendi and Jai who visit and send me lots of encouragement and love. Also, special thanks to my Super-Mom (who I miss greatly), my Dad and his wife Elly, and my sister Chris and her kids for being so present and caring.
I’m very grateful for ALL of my family and friends (too many to mention) who continue to reach out and send their prayers and love for my full recovery, including those of you who read this blog and my friends on Facebook, and those of you who donated through the medical campaign. Thank you so much to everyone who is putting energy toward my complete cure – you are all the best! I’m certain that my good progress and ongoing healing from leukemia is directly related to this incredible outpouring of love!
And thank you too to “Mr. International” who donated his stem cells so that I could live. Although I have no idea who he is, I always feel like “Mr. International” is some kind of Super-hero; an ally who is always at my side, pulling for me, keeping my blood counts high and protecting me from ever having a relapse. Mahalo and onward in health!
Finally, I’m very sorry to hear the reports of the homes, businesses and historic buildings damaged by the 6.0 Napa earthquake on Sunday morning, and the 120 people who went to the hospital, several in critical condition. My sympathy goes out to all those who were injured or affected in any way. We definitely felt the quake here in Fairfax where I live (only about 40 miles from Napa), but we were far enough away that we were fortunate not to sustain any damage.