And What Followed...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm Back!

I'm back after an emotional
homecoming to the Northwest
and the East
coast. It was the
first time I was allowed on a
commercial flight
December 2005. As the plane
lifted off the earth, my throat

clenched and tears began to
stream down
my cheeks. I thought, “My God,
made it. We did it. It’s August 2007 and I’m alive.” This thought
popped into my head everyday, several times a day as I made my way through the
streets of Seattle, strode the great avenues of Manhattan and sailed the
gleaming waters of Martha’s Vineyard. A year ago I
didn't even have the
strength to walk more than a few feet. Now I am
riding my bike for miles
and making plans for months ahead. MONTHS ahead!!! You have no idea
how GOOD that feels for someone who, at one
point, wondered everyday
if she would make it through the night.

I have not updated my blog in the last few weeks because I took a much
needed break. It has been 21 straight months of searching, fighting,
praying, hoping, crying, introspecting, speaking, reaching, dealing
with, recovering, writing, giving, surviving and talking cancer. I
needed some downtime before embarking on this second chance at life.

I have much to catch up on, plus there is a lot going on, so instead
of writing one huge onerous message, I’m going to break it up into
smaller bites so all the details are easier to digest. For now,
here’s a quick summary:

While on this first vacation, I found out tha
t my survival story and
prom celebration were on the front page of a few national papers and
that a video news segment about the party was broadcast around the
world via satellite TV. “Forever Young 2007” is probably the only
fake prom to ever be broadcast worldwide! It’s wonderful to know that
a small group of people, dancing under aluminum stars and paper
streamers, (in terrible 80s outfits, mind you) can create so much hope
for so many. :)

The Writing for Wellness book is coming out next week and we already

have thousands of pre-orders via The writing program
developed in our class (and featured in the book) is being introduced
to health centers across the country. We (the writers) are excited to
know that other patients and families will benefit from the healing
power of writing and sharing with others. All proceeds from the book
benefit City of Hope. I’ll send the link soon.

I continue to speak at events and fundraisers and will give more
details about a huge dinner/concert event on October 14 for A3M (I’ll
be speaking in front of up to 2000 people that night!), a big
dinner/dance on November 10 for Angels of Hope, and a Comedy
fundraiser later this winter in San Francisco for the Asian-American
Donor program.

I have a few friends who are participating in marathons and walks to
raise money and awareness for cancer research. Please look out for
those updates and help support someone who is trying to make a
difference. All you have to do is pledge. They will do all the hard
work for you! (Meaning running like, 26 MILES!) All you have to do is
click "send".

There’s probably more pertinent stuff I’ll remember over the next day
or two. Yup, got a lot of catching up to do! In more ways than one.
Life is good.


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