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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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Tag Archives: bone marrow biopsy
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
My bone marrow biopsy information came back today, and unfortunately the results were “inconclusive,” so the sample now is going to Stanford for further study, and I need to get additional tests and another biopsy at Stanford next week. While … 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
It was one year ago today, on October 17, 2013 when I got a call that changed my life forever. Dr. Lori Kim, an amazing Oncologist from Kaiser Permanente called me at 11:30 AM to let me know that the … Continue reading
Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world. I found my niche in the late 1990s with Safe Routes to School and never looked back. Good ideas have a way of catching on, which … Continue reading
I heard the absolutely best news ever on Wednesday, June 18 – which was exactly eight months after I was admitted to Kaiser Permanente to start chemo for acute myeloid leukemia. My Stanford doctor, Robert Lowsky, MD, met with my … 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