As some of you may know, after a couple of years of mysterious injuries in my left leg and spine, I have finally and thankfully received answers. In late January 2019, I was diagnosed with early stage multiple myeloma, a disease of the bone marrow and blood. After having a tumor on my spine (causing all that trouble!) treated with radiation, I've been going through weekly treatments to lower the myeloma in my blood. Using all the tools in my mind-body and consciousness toolkit, I have managed rather splendidly through the trials of treatment. Being now strong and recovering from bone pain and acute injury, I've reached the time for a stem cell transplant, which will use my own stem cells, recently taken from my blood, to heal from the the two-day chemotherapy treatment that puts the cancer into remission. I've remained positive and optimistic throughout this difficult time, even learning and appreciating things I never thought possible. But this road ahead will be the hardest yet and requires another three solid months of recuperation, during which time I will be more or less quarantined to my apartment because my immune system will be extremely comprised. At first, I'm told I can expect pretty much around-the-clock care from my husband, Jon, who will be officially assigned as my caregiver. So, obviously, these circumstances prevent either of us from fully working.
Thanks to the help of family and close friends, we have managed these months of my cancer care well. I am fortunate to have been able to work from April-September of this year and because of our economic struggles of the past year, we have a comprehensive NY state health insurance plan that covers all substantial medical costs. With this new period of quarantine for myself and Jon, we are hoping for the financial support to cover our rent, utilities and groceries. The stress of making ends meet can often make cancer diagnosis and treatment even more worrisome. This help ensures I can go back to work because I am ready and able to, as opposed to being forced to return because of dire financial circumstances. We hope to be able to focus solely on the wellness of our household and rest in knowing all will positively fall into place. Following Jon's medical emergency last summer, it's been a trying time for our household, but we've been truly blessed by the generosity of others. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in need once again. If you can spare any amount, it will be very greatly appreciated. If you're are not able to give, perhaps consider sharing this fundraiser on social media or with friends, or maybe just keep us in your loving heart, thoughts, or prayers.
I expect to rise from this lengthy treatment better than ever! With all of my being, I aim for it to be so! I ask that in your thoughts of me to call to mind the most energetic, joyful and robust Larissa you can. Hence my photograph at the top of this campaign page is by portrait photographer, Gregory Kramer, capturing me on my (actual) birthday last year as a dancer/choreographer, with my beloved Star Crap Method symbol, the friendly poop emoji. I will be back in action sharing with the world, and my dear community, all I've learned in my solitude in no time:))))
To hear Jon and I talk about our past year and my upcoming treatment in our own words, you can listen to our new podcast episode here: https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-jvgkk-c31a20
With love and hope,
Larissa, Jon and family
(from September 2019)