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  • Writer's pictureAli

Next step begins

Thanks for your patience as many of you have been hoping for updates.

Here's the scoop:

After surgery, things were progressing very well. My first followup visit left me feeling victorious as I was surpassing healing benchmarks, and feeling inwardly proud of this. Less than a week later, I ran a fever and began to go downhill. Ended up in the hospital again with post op infections and other setbacks. In the process, I lost a good bit of strength and weight. That has been a huge challenge and discouragement, and I have had the ability to articulate this in a blog. Perhaps I simply could have written, "#$%?$&", but that might have been confusing.

The photo above is of my first Chemotherapy infusion, which occurred yesterday. I never imagined this path for myself, given my alternative bent, but here I am.

I learned a few weeks ago that I have a genetic mutation which makes my immune system confuse cancer cells with healthy ones. The cancer remains cloaked, and the immune system is not alerted to respond. I have always been told that my immune system is outstanding, but it is not able to respond to what it can't find, and it can't find this cancer.

Now for the surprising twist: Because of this mutation, this cancer's sensitivity to chemotherapy is significantly higher. The chances of me having a positive response to chemo (and after-chemo treatments) are improved because of the mutation.

I was so anxious about this step. I sat in the waiting room hoping they wouldn't call my name. I just didn't want to be there, doing this. But when I got settled in and hooked up, and when they found the best nurse to handle my veins, a peace came over me and I rested, ate and felt deeply cared for by family, praying friends and great nurses.

I know that chemo will begin to have its effects tomorrow, but for today, I feel good. Walked 3/4 of a mile, and am about to eat some homemade soup from a friend.

I thank you for your love, prayers and patience.

Don't know how to say what huge thing that means to me.

Love to you all.

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Dear Ali, I am missing hearing about you and pray that you are getting healthier and feeling more whole each day! Blessings to you, beautiful friend and to George!


"a peace came over me and I rested, ate and felt deeply cared for by family, praying friends and great nurses"...When I read this I felt peace and joy for you, and happiness. I am glad you are following your intuition wherever it leads you. Love, Jenna


Dec 14, 2018

You were on my heart this morning, my dear Friend... And this poem by Mary Oliver came to mind. It seems to describe your journey.... as you make your way to the "pond", undeterred... and I imagine your sudden surprise to see bleakness "wrinkle" into transformed life.



Where the path closed

Down and over,

Through the scumbled leaves,

Fallen branches

Through the knotted catbrier,

I kept going. Finally

I could not

Save my arms

From the thorns; soon

The mosquitoes

Smelled me, hot

And wounded, and came

Wheeling and whining.

And that’s how I came

To the edge of the pond:

Black and empty

Except for a spindle

Of bleached reeds

At the far shore

Which, as I…


Dec 10, 2018

"The ends of earth are in thy hand, The sea's dark deep and far-off land. And I am thine! I rest in thee. Great Spirit, come, and rest in me."


Dec 08, 2018

You do look victorious in that pic - and beautiful... You are always on my mind and in my heart... May this be an Advent like no other... the night almost over, the light coming closer with its healing embrace.

All the broken hearts shall rejoice; All those who are heavy laden, Whose eyes are tired and do not see, Shall be lifted up To meet with the motherly healer. The battered souls and bodies shall be healed; The hungry shall be fed; The imprisoned shall be free; All her earthly children shall regain joy In the reign of the just and loving one Coming for you Coming for me In this time In this world.

~~Sun Ai Park

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