Compared to most of Deb’s hospital stays, this was a short one … but any number of days in the hospital is more than we want. Deb was released on Saturday after her latest chest x-ray came back clear. She is on a couple of new strong antibiotics along with her other medications. She is having continued difficulties with her asthma and breathing. Deb’s blood transfusions are required more frequently now. This may be a result of the donor infusion and is expected to continue for a few weeks before the counts begin to rise again. In the meantime, Deb is trying to gain back some strength and energy.
Join the National Marrow Donor Program and save a life: Be the Match.
I'm blessed with a beautiful life, wonderful family and friends, and had an exciting career. But, in October 2013, I was suddenly stricken and diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) following a two week illness not unlike a flu. My life changed immediately.
I was treated by Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Rafael, California for months where I received multiple rounds of chemotherapy. This treatment did not knock out my AML and my only hope for a cure was to go to Stanford Hospital for a bone marrow transplant (BMT) in March of 2014.
The BMT was very intense and painful but I made it out of Stanford alive. I was doing great and growing stronger until November of 2014 when my blood counts again dropped. I am now being treated for a rare bone marrow condition called serous atrophy, which keeps stem cells from functioning/multiplying properly in my bone marrow. I lost a significant amount of weight and have intense fatigue, must avoid public places (due to infection risk), and as a result spend much of my time lying in bed.
I deeply want to live but desire to have a quality of life that includes dance, community, working for environmental/social causes, being able to enjoy time in nature and spend quality time with my beloved newlywed husband Andy Peri.
I am surviving on blood transfusions and am in a place of yearning to survive. I am also open to letting go of this life with grace should my options fade away. What carries me more than anything else is the dramatic, soul-enriching love of family and friends and my own love and acceptance of change and all that has come to pass.
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