It is surreal to go from feeling just fine one day to being told that you have stage 4 melanoma the next. I vacillate from feeling as if I am an actor in a play to feeling sick at my stomach as I contemplate what I am facing. On the bright side, I have the best husband, daughters and extended family in the world, and I have been surrounded by caring and love every minute of every day. My best friend can keep me laughing no matter what the circumstance.
My physician daughter was able to schedule an appointment for me with one of the best melanoma doctors in the world within the week. There is hope, and I am going to try to hold onto it with all my might. As she explained to me, we don't talk of curing melanoma at this stage, but in ongoing clinical trials at Penn, they are seeing partial and complete remissions in a number of patients through a combination of standard and immunology therapy. I qualify for the trial, and after several more procedures this week and next, will be getting started.
I welcome prayers from those who pray, positive energy from those who meditate, and good wishes from one and all. I am working hard on mindfulness exercises, as I can see already that a major challenge in all of this will be letting go, living in the moment, and controlling the racing of my mind.
As my thoughts and emotions have careened all over the place this past week, I have been thinking about why I have been so dedicated to adoption reform and adoptee rights over these past 16 years. I was blessed with loving adoptive parents, and I found myself feeling so very close to them this past week, as I sat on a bench looking out over a beautiful cove where I had grown up sailing and water-skiing with my parents and brother.
But like many adopted people, I feel connections to other people as well. Neither I, nor any adoptee, should ever be forced into an either-or kind of thinking, in which one set of parents is recognized and validated, and one set is not. Having experienced the paradoxes and willful mistruths of the adoption system, I myself have no tolerance for half truths and the masking of deep truths.
Throughout my life, I have learned that the road to peace is never through falsehood, and I think that is the reason I have always felt so devoted to truth, fairness and social justice.
It is truly misguided and so very wrong for the state to attempt to block two grown adults from knowing the truth about each other's identity -- especially when those adults share such a deep, primal connection. We cannot and should not ever block a human being's path to truth, peace, forgiveness and love.
I was told through the agency that placed me that my original mother did not want any contact with me. With help from several enlightened souls, I found her on my own and sent her a sensitive and compassionate certified letter, asking her also for medical history. As a human being facing a medical crisis 16 years ago, I felt that I was worthy enough to at least ask for information. I received it, and eventually my original mother told me over the telephone that she had always loved me "in her heart." Not every adopted person will seek out her original parents or get even that far in the journey. Some will get further.
But how dare the state block the possibility for that love to be expressed? How dare they? Let people -- adults with minds and souls of their own -- find their own way. Facing a critical illness at the moment, I can tell you with certainty that there is nothing that is more important than love. Nothing. Please, let's let the light, the truth and the love overcome the misguided fears and the ideology.
There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer,
no disease that enough love will not heal;
no door that enough love will not open;
no gulf that enough love will not bridge;
no wall that enough love will not throw down;
no sin that enough love will not redeem ....
It makes no difference how deeply seated
may be the trouble; how hopeless the outlook;
how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would be the happiest
and most powerful being in the world.