Friday, May 11, 2007

A Few Heartfelt Words

This is what I wrote to be read to the (I have heard 83) guests at AsiaSF last night. Thanks to Eileen for reading it.

May 10, 2007

Dear Wonderful Friends and Family,

When I first heard the rumors about this benefit way back in February I was horrified. Me, who has attended countless benefits for hundreds of causes: I just couldn’t wrap my head around a benefit for myself.

However, a few of the key organizers convinced me to back off and let people who love me take charge and do it. So, a bit reluctantly, I did. If there is one thing I have learned since getting diagnosed with this cancer, it is to let go of control. And to open myself up to the possibilities ahead of me and to the boundless love in my life.

What I have received in return is beyond my wildest imaginings. The love, prayers, positive energy, good thoughts and donations that are sent my way in cards, emails, visitors, and yes, in care packages and food overwhelm me with joy.

This has been and continues to be a scary path that I am on. As Elizabeth Edwards said a month ago about her cancer, this time, it does not go away. And, although I am hopeful that the lesions are shrinking as they appear to be from the lab tests, I know that the long term prognosis is uncertain. My life is likely to be shorter than I had planned, but I have made peace with that.

I choose life.

I am determined to live fully, to watch Sofie grow and learn and to embrace life with love. Those of you who have been able to visit me in Durham know that I still try to do too much, being my obstinate self, but I am forever appreciative of my visitors, who have helped beyond measure.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Friends of Debra account. Gifts of all sizes add up to make a pretty impressive total! Know that I am using this account pragmatically. I still have my job, no need for short or long term disability at this juncture, thank goodness, but the added on costs of having cancer can stress the normal budget. So the fund has and will continue to make a difference.

And thanks to all of you, for the e-mails, flowers, prayers and cards that brighten my day and give me strength and courage and, most of all, hope.

My thanks to Larry Hashbarger and Skip Young for opening the doors of one of my favorite places in SF for this event. And to Brenda, Kerry Enright Peachy, Kelsey Han, Natalie Smith, Kerry Heffernan and my cousin Jeff Wexler for taking charge of the arrangements.

If I could be there with you, I would be holding a Kentini, eating the delicious food (especially the Asia-dillas) and planning to stay for dinner.

And I would be hugging each and every one of you. So, since I am not there, turn to the person on your left and then on your right and hug them for me. Pass it around.

And know I love you all.


1 comment:

Mariana said...

Hugs to you, too, Debra! We're sending you lots of love from afar. Mariana and Steve