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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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Category Archives: Health Update
Dear Friends, Below is a reminder regarding Deb Hubsmith’s Celebration of Life Party on Saturday October 10, at 6:00 PM at the Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, California. Please join us; this party is Deb’s gift … Continue reading
Family, colleagues and friends are invited to attend funeral services for Deb, which will be held at Limantour Beach in West Marin on Friday, August 28 at 10 AM. Please carpool (or ride your bike) and park in the main … Continue reading
Today I lost my beautiful daughter Deb after her long and hard fought battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Deb passed away peacefully this afternoon at home. I will miss her with all my heart, but along with my sadness I feel relief … Continue reading
Deb has asked me to share this with you. Sweet friends – after nearly 2 years of struggling with acute myeloid leukemia cancer, I am going on Home Hospice. This brings me peace, relief, and I feel the love even … Continue reading
It’s been many weeks since we provided an update on Deb’s health and her battle with acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most challenging and low survival rate cancers. For the past weeks, we have been waiting for results from … Continue reading
As I celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I am grateful to be in CA supporting my amazing daughter Deb in her ongoing battle against leukemia, while I dearly miss my equally amazing daughter Chris and my delightful grandchildren, Carly and … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
One thing Deb really hoped to avoid was going back into the hospital. For the past 7 weeks at home, Andy and I have done everything we could to keep that from happening. We’ve made sure that Deb receives all … Continue reading
Andy and I and Deb’s friend Christopher went with Deb today to Stanford, where she received her donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) as an outpatient. The lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, were collected from Deb’s original donor, Mr. International, … Continue reading
Deb has been out of the hospital for a month now, and I know an update is long overdue. Deb was extremely weak when she came home, and is still struggling to do basic things like walk up stairs alone. … Continue reading
Deb was released from ICU last week and moved back up to her regular floor of the hospital. The care in ICU was excellent, but it is comforting to be back where we know all the wonderful nurses so well. … Continue reading
It’s been a tough week for Deb — and Andy and me too. Saturday morning Deb’s breathing tube was removed and she is completely off the ventilator and breathing on her own. However she is still experiencing labored breathing and … Continue reading
Last night the doctor lowered the sedation level for Deb, and she became fully awake and alert and communicated with us by writing questions. This morning they did a spontaneous breathing trial by turning the ventilator off and allowing Deb … Continue reading
Deb has been having difficulty breathing for some time, and edema (swelling) in her lower legs, feet and abdomen. A CT scan of her chest was done yesterday afternoon looking for a cause for her breathing difficulty, and the results … Continue reading
Deb’s chemo treatments were from Jan. 7-11. The side effects set in the second week, and she continues to deal with other challenging issues – breathing difficulties, coughing, fever, and low blood counts with frequent platelet and red cell transfusions. … Continue reading
As you know, Deb has been in Kaiser Permanente Terra Linda hospital recovering from respiratory problems – wheezing, difficulty breathing, and coughing. She has had three chest x-rays and two CT scans. The most recent CT scan showed a sinus … Continue reading
People have been asking me (Mary Lou) why there haven’t been any recent updates, and the answer is simply that we have been very, very busy. The happy news I have to share is that Deb and her sweetheart Andy … Continue reading
Hi everyone, this is Mary Lou, Deb’s Mom. Deb had been recovering well from her stem cell transplant (March 19), with only minor issues over the past few months. By September she felt like she was getting more energy back. … Continue reading
Hi everyone, this is Mary Lou, Deb’s Mom. I haven’t written in a while since Deb has been feeling better and able to write her own blogs. The updates that Deb writes appear under the “Deb’s Blog” tab, so be … Continue reading
I must say that my daughter Deb is a very brave gal. I was queasy just watching her procedures yesterday, but she handled everything amazingly well. Even with morphine, ativan and lidocaine, there was still pain. Luckily Deb has a … Continue reading