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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: leukemia diagnosis
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
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
I am still open to a miracle cure, but over the past few weeks I have finally come to acceptance that due to my severe health condition starting with leukemia 21 months ago, I may not have much time left … 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
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
Thanks to everyone who has been sending me positive energy toward healing my asthma and leukemia. Many of you know that I nearly died on the CT SCAN table at the end of January. I was brought back to life … 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
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
I am posting this lighthearted, healthy photo of me, as I fully aim to be healthy and cured of cancer forever! I encourage you to think of me this way – thank you. Unfortunately, my road to the cure for … Continue reading
Dear Friends, 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 … 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
Here’s a “home grown” live video recording of my song “Deeper Inside,” which is about my “come back” from being diagnosed with leukemia last Fall. Special thanks to Anny Owen Densmore who masterfully put the lyrics to music and encouraged … 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