As you know we’ve been waiting for news on my bone marrow biopsy which was done twice because of inconclusive test results. Unfortunately, on Tuesday the Stanford doctor told me he is 99.5% sure that my condition is recurrent leukemia. This is definitely the worst diagnosis for my situation, and was not the news that I wanted to hear. I was hoping (and still am) that the bone marrow transplant was my cure. I’m not giving up.
My doctor says that there is currently a fight going on in my bone marrow between the leukemia and my donor’s cells. My soul is burning and asking me to join this fight for my survival because I so deeply love this life. While my donor cells fight the leukemia and while my fighting spirit is strong, I am reminded of the need to commit again and again to cultivating love and letting go of fear, which visits often. While I fight for my life, my intention is also to surrender: to live each moment as it comes and not worry about what has taken place in the past or what may happen in the future. I believe that I can both surrender to the Divine, and fight for my life at the same time. This strong will to live comes from my heart, which honestly is aching.
There is a 5 percent chance that I could have a miraculous healing over the next 5 weeks where my bone marrow will succeed in fighting back and killing the immature cells which the doctors think is leukemia. This is my hope and prayer – that my body naturally rallies and overcomes the cancer this month. This means that my bone marrow will be making all healthy blood cells – white cells, red cells and platelets — in all of the correct proportions, and there will not be immature cells or blasts. Currently, I am having blood transfusions regularly because my bone marrow is not making enough of these healthy cells.
I believe in love, and the power of intention. With my love and all of those around me, it is my hope that we can smother the cancer and say goodbye to it forever.
I have another biopsy scheduled for January 7, and if that one looks like leukemia, I will be re-admitted to Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael again to undergo chemotherapy while I live in the oncology unit. There would be two rounds of chemo, each requiring about a 5-6 week stay in the hospital. The chemo is hard to handle, and I hope that I don’t have to go this route, but I will if I need to.
I thought I was cured of AML, so this news is very surprising. Over the past month as my blood counts dropped and I got sick again the doctors kept saying that they thought it was graft rejection (easier to cure), and not leukemia. In the face of this challenge, I am working hard to keep a positive attitude and envision myself having a long healthy life with my partner Andy, and enjoying my friends and family. I am doing some deep spiritual work to meditate, do Reiki, and clear any issues that are holding me back. I’m working to commune with and heal my inner child, “little Debbie,” whose picture I have included with this blog.
I have overcome many challenges in the past and plan to do so with this one too! When I was 17 and had reconstructive knee surgery my doctor said I would never do gymnastics again, but I was doing back flips within the year. When I injured my other knee skiing 5 years ago, the doctor said I could not be healed without surgery, but an MRI six months later proved that I had healed my ACL with meditation and Reiki. There have also been many political situations where people said what I wanted “could not be done,” but I made it happen (with help from others), like building the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, forming the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and securing the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program federal legislation which provided key outcomes nationally for why investments in walking and bicycling improve health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety.
If it feels right to you, please continue to hold me in a healing light and I gladly accept and am grateful for prayers for my full recovery, as quickly as possible. Please envision me fully healthy, happy and vibrant, with my bone marrow and body healing naturally over the next month – so that I am cancer free forever.
I have much more to give and to live in this life, and deeply hope to have that opportunity. Thank you for your love and being my ally.