It’s been an emotional week, good and bad: Strange, wonderful, sad, beautiful.
GOOD NEWS – I had follow-up visits with doctors this week. City of Hope said (and I quote verbatim) “Considering what you were up against, you are doing EXTREMELY well”. It’s true. The GVH on my skin is still there but thankfully diminishing. My blood counts are steadily rising and no new complications have come up. My oncologist at the Angeles Clinic said, “Over the next three months, start shedding the ‘cancer patient’ and start preparing for the rest of your life.” Music to my ears. “The rest of your life.” My God, I actually have the rest of my life to live. Okay, there I go tearing up again.
It’s been 10 months since Day 0 of the transplant but I’ve only been out of the hospital for 4 months. Even if I get to have fun every once and awhile, I’m STILL recovering and have to wait for my body to heal and… well… I feel like I’m sitting on the bench, turning to God and pleading “Put me in the game, coach!”
Last weekend I dubbed the “Bone Marrow Extravaganza weekend”. Friday was the BMT reunion at City of Hope. I was singled out and honored among the thousands of patients there and was humbled by the shouts and applause as I stood and waved. Saturday I had the honor of being the guest speaker at Asians for Miracle Matches’ annual luncheon. It felt so good to be able to stand up at the podium one year later and thank the organization, staff and volunteers who made a difference in my life and continue to make a difference in the lives of others. I ended up going off the paper and spoke from my heart. Sunday I attended my first marrow drive since the BMT. My friend Barak funded the entire drive and signed 80 more people onto the registry at the Israeli Independence Day Festival with the help of City of Hope and other volunteers. Being there to answer questions and spread the word as a BMT success story, I felt like I had come full circle. It was an awesome place to be.
Now for the fun stuff. Last week I had a “cameo” in the Gilmore Girls episode “Lorelei Lorelei”. I was visiting the set when I was invited to jump in a scene and *voila* there’s the camera tracking me across the Sookie’s kitchen. I think I had more fun doing it than watching it. Also, May 18 starts a new show on TLC called “Making the Cut”. As some of you know, I was a hair model for Vidal Sassoon until I lost all my hair. I met the show’s director while visiting the salon and before the end of the day, they put me in front of the camera for an interview. My story of hair regained will be used in a segment in one of the episodes. My guess is that I will be in the “Giving Back” episode airing June 8. Finally, I will be fulfilling my fantasy to be a runway model at the Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. It’s so cool to think that less than a year later I am literally strutting my stuff.
This is all a wonderful transition and something I have been looking forward to for a long time: To write about life instead of cancer.