Gi's Fight Fund
The first GoFundMe campaign and the bracelets were the brainchild and work of the greatest nieces and nephews any woman could ask for. That goal was met with mind bending speed. Thanks to your generosity I will be going home to spend time with my family and attending an amazing women-only writing retreat in Rochester, NY in July along with many of the most amazing poets in the country.
My doctor continues to be amazed not only by my body's fantastic response to treatment, but also by my positive attitude and can do spirit in the face of what she initially felt was an unwinnable fight. I just laugh and tell her 'That's what happens when the whole world is praying for you!' LOL
Next week I will begin my 4th round of chemo. I was blissfully unaware when this began that the chemo side effects would get progressively worse. Round 3 was by far the toughest to date, but your continuous love and support along with the tremendous success of my treatment makes all of it bearable.
The medical bills have only just begun to roll in and there are still many dreams/plans on my wish list. I refuse to call it a Bucket list because I'm not planning to kick any buckets any time soon.
I've never been very good at promoting my own work or God forbid, asking for donations. I prefer to share my poems and let you decide if they move you enough to buy my books; to keep you posted on my journey, my fight, and give you this space to lend any financial support you are able and willing to provide.
Your love and prayers are the most priceless gifts I have ever received. Cancer treatment and wish fulfillment are both costly and I thank you in advance for your continued generosity.
Love you back!
(9 months past my expiration date and counting...)
True thing that would make no sense to me if I wasn't actually living it.
The worse the pain - the less I think about death/dying/big existential stuff. Honest to God! I don't have time for that foolishness.
If I'm puttering around and I get a twinge or have a steady ache that lingers for hours, or days, I might be inclined to worry that OMG (insert scary thought here).
BUT when the pain starts at an 8.
When you take EVERY DRUG in your little magic bag of tricks and it dips down to a six, winks at you and you can almost hear your body say Phyche!!! Or alternately, Nah Bitch, we not done dancing yet, say Hi to 9...
All you can do is breathe. Just breathe. Send an open plea to your army. There is no Big picture in those moments/hours/days. Pain is this magical shrinking ray and just like that SNAP the world is 5'4'', 126lbs, bald and bloated. In the universe of my home, the kitchen is light years away and the woman that brings me tea and rubs my back wears wings and a halo. In that world nobody dries tears. All available hands must rub - oh God - Right There. And There. And There.
Back when we first started, back then, if I winced while they were rubbing, my new nervous nurses would quickly pull their hands away. They all know better now. Sorry for snotting up your clothes, but please Don't Stop!!! Now they dig their fingers (sometimes elbows) in there and drag me right through that minute. Then the next minute.
I told you all of that to say - I'm feeling pretty good today :-) This is what I refer to as my 'feel good' and damn if I'm going to waste any of it trying to do God's job or worry about it.
Good morning #teamGi!!! The ground outside is completely saturated. No drought happening here. Here we are nurturing miracles. They feed on love. I love you back!
I haven't posted an update in awhile because 'That' was happening. Today I am SO THANKFUL that 'This' is happening, I had to come back here to thank you.
God gave me this army. This army keeps me lifted in the presence God. I look at my warriors and I see the working hands of God.
Stay safe and warm and healthy and happy.
Don't waste a moment of your Feel Good!
The last month has been a challenge. Many days were a real test of faith. Never my faith in God, nor my faith in you, but my faith in myself, my own ability to withstand this challenge.
7 weeks ago I flew to San Antonio for a cat-scan to monitor my progress smiling and hope-filled, only to fly back the very next day, too drugged to remember any part of the trip.
That same night I flew through the doors of Jamaica Gates with all the bravado I could muster in the wake of hearing that my tumors were growing back. I asked the natty roots nation and you sang for me 'don't worry about a thing' and I began a new treatment 2 days later.
That same energy propelled me through a fantastic Christmas visit home with my family. My poet sisters were laying in wait when I returned and we rang in the new year here in my home, the Poets Space with so much love and joy and laughter and...
Suddenly I felt like Wiley Coyote, running full speed ahead with no solid ground beneath me.
I've had 3 courses of this new chemo and it's been beating the stuffing right out of me. The sicker I got, the more my family (both of them) circled the wagons, some days literally lifting me when I just couldn't.
I've deliberately stayed away from Facebook while my pain and illness were overwhelming my own faith and fight. I felt it was unfair to ask you to have more faith and more fight than I had. For a time I forgot that the role of my army was precisely to maintain the faith and the fight when I myself could not.
They will repeat the scans tomorrow and we meet to discuss results on Friday. I know your prayers never ceased. I know because I certainly was not operating on my own strength these past few weeks so it had to be yours.
It is your love and light that will surround me tomorrow and all the days to come. Thank you for being the best army. Love is the greatest weapon I could bring to this fight and I will never take yours for granted. Love kicks cancer's ass - every time! I love you back!
It will always be easier for me to ask for prayers than money. Sadly, on the practical side, this fight is very expensive. Any donation at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
But we get up
We fall down
But we get up
We fall down
But we get up
For a saint is just a sinner
Who fell down
And got up
You can get back up again ...
(Bet you are singing it with me right now! Lol!!!)
The last couple months have dealt me some sucka punches and I ain even gon try to play, the had me flat on my ass. There was never any doubt that I'd get back on my feet but just how to do that, especially when they kept painting gross word pictures. It is hard to stand under the weight of ugly and unexpected words.
You - God in you - where here filling the air Inside me and wrapped all around me.
Tonight I am back on my feet, we have won another battle.
Tonight Gabi is typing this message because I am totally medicated.
Tonight I'm not wondering how to be strong, I'm just DOING IT.
Keep being my army. I won't give up the fight.
Love you team Gi.
(Doing what you can includes posting after the meds are worn off - lol)
Have a beautiful weekend filled with blessings both visible and invisible. The Most High never rests. We can always rest on Him.
Your contributions here are much need and greatly appreciated.
This week was my 2nd treatment and although it does not cause many of the nasty side effects of classic chemo, it does cause inflammation in my organs, so it has been pretty painful the fatigue is making simple tasks seem daunting. The possibility of a cure, however, makes all of that easier to keep pushing thru.
Despite all the wonderful groups I have found, like Angel Flights (volunteer pilots) and the American Cancer Society (for discounted hotel rooms), this clinical trial and all the other expenses that seem to go along with conquering Stage 4 cancer, are straining the limits of my credit and have long since overwhelmed my disability income.
This is the part I hate most and therefore the part I'm worst at doing. I am so thankful to all of you that have already contributed.
If you are unable to assist financially but can share this link with your friends, every dollar helps.
Just last night I received the video link to my performance at Nationals.
If you know me, you're aware that I watch video of me with my eyes closed. LOL!! The opportunity to open Final Stage and the Insane love and support in that huge crowd remains one of the Best moments of my life. I promised to be there next year, so now I need to be about the business of kicking all this cancer ass. I appreciate your continued support!