I am in tears as I write this from home!! And still in a daze and overjoyed by this major turning point. We did it! To reiterate:
MRI Scan- Clear
CT Scan - No indication of disease.
PET Scan - No abnormal uptake.
Marrow – No indication of Lymphoma
Graft - Results pending
Prognosis - Promising
As I turned the key to my door, I was overwhelmed by the thought that I was truly lucky and blessed to be walking THIS threshold and not "the other". I entered and found my apartment stuffed with gifts and cards and photographs. I fell to my knees and cried and sent out love and thanks in all directions. Before long my neighbors came over with hugs and cookies.
I am savoring every little moment and inhaling each and every sweet/bitter/sour/salty taste on my tongue. Everything is fascinating and beautiful. The pitch-black silhouette of palm trees against a blue-orange sky, the hazel eyes of the check-out clerk at Trader Joe's, the thick aroma of Korean-tofu soup, the glowing faces of friends and the sound of my family laughing again. TC came to visit tonight and gave me my first homecoming gift: A solid-body mahogany electric guitar complete with Marshal amp and all the trimmings! Woo-hoo!
Though I no longer will be a resident at City of Hope, I am still a patient. The recovery phase can be slow and the doctors will be monitoring my condition weekly. But at this very moment my body is free and crystal clear and it just feels DELICIOUS.
I would not be here writing this had not a complete stranger on the other side of the world agreed to donate his marrow to another complete stranger on the other side of the world. Though he was only a partial-match, he was my one and only hope. If he had refused to donate, I would have not lived through the summer. His gift of life made him my hero. I am not allowed to know his identity for the first year of the transplant, but I am allowed to send one single letter. After one year,
if he agrees, we will meet.
Though the donation center said that I could only send one letter to this hero of ours, they didn't limit to how long it could be. ;) Each member of my family plans to contribute to this great Thank-You letter and we decided to open it up to anyone who wants to be a part of it. If you'd like to thank this man for saving my life, please e-mail the message to me and I will paste it in along with my words. Or send a card or letter by snail-mail and I'll personally wrap together the bundle of love and mail it in one big package. I won't open sealed letters. We will post selected open letters and thanks anonymously on the website so that others can see what a single person, in a single act, can do to make a difference in this world. Hopefully it will inspire others to do the same.
After my last e-mail, I was sent this quote about "Providence" and just had to share:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have
dreamt would have come his way. "
-William Hutchison Murray
Fear just isn't worth it.
Much much love,
P.S. My mother will finally go home on the 13th and from there, I'm flying solo. I am still in a weakened and vulnerable state so I'm going to be asking for alot of help.
In the meanwhile, my first big outing will be this Friday, November 10 at the NuArt in Santa Monica for the opening of F**K (a documentary I had a hand in co-producing before the relapse). There will be screenings at 5, 7:30 and 10pm, and Q&A afterwards with director Steve Anderson at the 5pm and 7:30. I plan to attend the 7:30 screening. Even if you cannot make it on Friday, the film will be playing all weekend and until November 16th, including matinees. For the NuArt calendar schedule, please visit: http:// www.landmarktheatres.com/Market/LosAngeles/LosAngeles_Frameset.htm
It's good to be back.