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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: stem cell transplant
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
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
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
Some people watch the stock market, examining each up and down and analyzing what it means. I watch my blood counts… During my last visit to the Stanford Clinic, Dr. Lowsky said that I don’t need to have any more … 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
On July 17, I had an awesome visit with my Stanford bone marrow transplant doctor, Dr. Robert Lowsky. The date of the appointment was exactly nine months since I was diagnosed with leukemia; now the cancer is gone and the … Continue reading
I’m honored that the Marin County newspaper the Pacific Sun published a cover story this week on my recovery from leukemia and my environmental and health career since the 90’s — improving walking and bicycling in Marin and nationwide. You … Continue reading
June 27, 2014 was the magic mark of 100 days after my bone marrow transplant! This means that I made it through the most difficult phase of healing from leukemia, but my doctor keeps reminding me to take it easy … 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
Good news! The plan is that I’m moving home soon! I left Marin on March 9 to come to Stanford Hospital to have my bone marrow transplant (BMT) and to be cured of AML forever. I was discharged on April … Continue reading
Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter Deb! I am thankful to have you as my daughter, and so proud of you and all you have accomplished. I am amazed at how you have remained so positive these past eight months … Continue reading
Sunday morning, May 25, Deb woke up with a queasy stomach. She didn’t have much appetite and couldn’t finish her breakfast, which is usually a fairly substantial meal for her. Andy was here, and they had planned to go to … Continue reading
BENEFIT TO HELP DEB HUBSMITH HEAL FROM LEUKEMIA FRIDAY, MAY 16, 8 pm – 2 am 15 Bands, 3 Venues, one price of $20: DOWNTOWN FAIRFAX
Dear Friends, Being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last fall was a huge shock. I never thought I’d get cancer. But there I was, on October 17, facing down a serious blood cancer diagnosis. Soon, the reality set in that … Continue reading
Sunday, May 11, 2014 is Mother’s Day and people all over the world will be honoring their Moms — the amazing beings who brought them into this world, a miracle in itself. This year I want to draw special attention … Continue reading
In the world of bone marrow transplants (BMT), everything is measured in terms of how many days have passed since my “new birthday,” the day I received the life-saving stem cells from my anonymous donor who we affectionately call “Mr. … Continue reading
It’s been 46 days since my bone marrow transplant at Stanford Hospital, a procedure that has saved my life. As I’ve reflected further on my journey to heal from acute myeloid leukemia over the past seven months, it’s become clear … Continue reading
Deb is doing well. She is now Day +38 and her energy level is better. She is not napping as much as she was in the beginning. Her rash from the Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) is almost gone, but … Continue reading