Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Journey: The Beginning

          The following is an update of the progression of the past month since the scooter accident.  I have left a few updates on facebook but I wanted to write a summary for myself and for anyone else who finds interest, on where my life has unfolded recently and what has been unfolding.  I also wanted to let all of you know how strong your love, passion, energy and support has been along the way.  I can feel it physically and emotionally.  It has been amazing and healing. I love you all. 

It has been one month and one day since the accident on October 25th, 2013.  At around noon I took a little ride on my scooter to run an errand at the post office, less than a mile from where I lived.  I saw my destination up ahead on my right when suddenly several cars slammed on their breaks and before I knew it my scooter swerved and went one way and my body went another way and the last thing I remember was laying on the road as my body went into shock and was unable to move, and a couple people stood over me and spoke to me.  Not too long after EMT arrived and I was being lifted up into their vehicle.  My brain was in shock and the only thing that seemed to be on my mind was if I was attached to my physical body or in a lucid dream state.  I was taken to the ER at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, where I remained for the next 13 hours.  They informed me that my shoulder was broken, and everything else seemed to be alright but that they wanted to run a CAT scan just to double check that their were no head injuries, even though they knew I had not hit my head on the ground and was showing signs of nothing apparent, it was their procedure to cover all bases.  Shortly after the CAT scan, they informed me that it seemed as if there was something evident on the scan and they wanted to undergo an MRI.  Shortly after undergoing the MRI, a pre-med student came in and informed me that they had found a cancerous malignant tumor in my brain.  To me experienced was him walking in, reading off a piece of paper my diagnosis, walking out, and my entire body going into another state of shock.  I had gone from, a short ride to the post office, to an immense accident, to being told I had cancer.  Its amazing how life can change within a moment.  Shortly after when they found I did not have health insurance, I was discharged out of their hospital on my own with a broken shoulder and informed I had cancer in my brain.  They told me to head down to their other public hospital which accepted those without health insurance. 
          On October 27th, 2013 I was admitted into the public hospital, where I was a patient for about two weeks altogether. At first, when I tried to get admitted into the ER, the hospital employees told me I would have to go for my shoulder first and then come back later in a few weeks for my brain.  This frustratingly made no sense to me and seemed medically confusing and a mess, provided by a hospital that was suppose to supply to those without insurance.  My close friend from high-school, who happened to be a nurse in the neurology department at the first hospital, magically worked the system without my knowledge.  A doctor actually came down approached me and admitted me into the system.  Once in they informed me I would be undergoing a biopsy to surgically removed a small specimen of the tumor to diagnostically examine its presence. However the biopsy was immediately delayed so they could undergo other testing first to rule out any other infection in my brain that it could be. The testing included 2 other types of MRIs (so 3 total because I took one at the first hospital),  an EEG scan to measure brain waves, as well as a spinal tap.

Spinal Tap
          Throughout the next week all the MRI's showed and represented a golf-ball size tumor on the frontal/temporal left side of my brain.  The other infections and possibilities were ruled out according to the spinal tap in western medicine.  The surgeons seemed to think it was a low grade stage 2 glioma.  Throughout my life I have had zero symptoms related and no indication that this was there at all.
          My biopsy was then scheduled again, which immediately a couple days after was canceled AGAIN, because the surgeons found out one of the nurses had given me a pain killer which should have not been given.  It was a blood thinner type of pain medicine and was never suppose to be given prior to surgery because it could cause bleeding during the surgery. So BAM, they suddenly discharged me and rescheduled my biopsy for ten days later.  At the time, I felt angry, frustrated, lost and abandoned.  However, in the next few days, I realized there was a reason for the delay and part of it was so my body and mind could get stronger, settle, find balance, and heal before the biopsy, as well as give me time to emotionally connect with myself and my experience.   The following ten days gave me immense strength and a new outlook in my life.
          The first week in the hospital (Oct. 27- Nov 4th) had been close to a dream experience beyond reality, and I felt so loved and recognized by my family and friends.  The little frustrations and annoyances that had seemed like a big deal weeks ago, had been thrown out the window, and what mattered now was my body, my soul and my beautiful life here on this earth.  So many people came to visit and bond with me. Some people were friends that I hadn't seen for a while as well as children and parents that I have babysat for bonded with like family. Thank you, to all of you, who have called me, messaged me, visited me, and sent me flowers.  This has moved my soul and body emotionally and spiritually in a way I had never experienced in this lifetime.  I felt so gifted and loved that I wanted to share. I walked down the hall way of my floor and shared flowers and gifts that were sent to me with many others in my ward so that we all could embrace a more healing happy energy as opposed to any hospital negativity or a fearful environment.  Patients looked at me shocked and surprised by my actions.

          Allie Torro (my close girlfriend from Virginia) came to visit me on nov 7th- 12th.  She, myself and my mom bonded and spent an amazing time together, chanting, meditating, experiencing life in a different way and feeling gratitude for each other.  I also felt my Virginia community love being resonated from Allie, she brought so much love and support from everyone and the environment with her when's he came.

         During the ten days before going back to the hospital, I received acupuncture from Dr. Wing (one of my teachers as well as incredible practitioners) at my school, Yo San University.  I felt a spiritual bond between he and I that I had not yet felt that I realized served a purpose and was brought to me exactly at that time for a reason.  And I have had him as a teacher now for about 5 different classes but never had a treatment from him until now. I also received treatments from Ting-Jue Zhou who is a Qi-Gong master.  He has been amazing!! He has helped and is still helping detox my body, my shoulder and my brain.  The picture below is of Dr. Zhou giving me a healing treatment to help move my body physically and emotionally.  If you click on his name above, it will take you directly to his website if you would like to find out more about this Grand Master. 

          On the 13th of November I was re-admitted back into the public Hospital to start on the biopsy process. Right before entering, I felt a small part of me that was telling me not going to undergo the biopsy because it's actual result did not seem, to me, be something that was 100% necessary to know, based on my outlook of treatment therapy.  But I realize now that undergoing it served a different purpose all together, and part of it was the process of going through the medical experience to view life now in a different light. The biopsy started Thursday, November 14th around 4:00 pm, at which time I became blacked out on drugs and did not wake up until 1:30 am the next day.  All of it seemed like a dream and still does.  I was completely blacked out during the biopsy but I do remember one thing which was a tunnel with a light shining from the end of.  I had embarked up the tunnel reaching toward the light.  My close friend, Sean Reilly's father, whom I have never met in person or even seen a picture of, stood at the end of the tunnel with his arms crossed, smiling and laughing.  He looked at me and chuckled and told me to turn around, so I did, and suddenly I awoke, and there was Sean Reilly's face next to me as well as my mom.  I was laying down in a hospital bed with pulsating massaging blood moving machines on my legs and gauze wrapped around tightly around my head.  Last I had known, Sean was still living in Hawaii and I never ever would have expected him to show up during my operation.  To this day I still wonder how he was able to contact the hospital as well as my mother and make an appearance.  When I first met Sean, he had just moved back to California to help his father who was sick.  I met him and than shortly after did not hear from him for a long time.  His father had passed on.  This was a couple years ago.  His father had been diagnosed with the same brain tumor which was however at a higher grade than my diagnosis.  There is a reason why Sean and I became friends right before his fathers death.  It's amazing.  And his dad who I have never met in person, I just had gotten to meet in spirit and has now become a part of my life. WOW.  I asked Sean to see a picture not too long after, and when Sean showed me a picture, chills thrusted through my body and tears filled my eyes.  The unfolding of life and moments and people in life are miraculous. 

         During my biopsy hospital stay, I thought I was only in the hospital for a couple days. I kept saying to my mom everyday, "...when I had the biopsy yesterday." Turns out it was about five days total. I was on so many western medications that the whole thing seems like a blurr.  I left the hospital November 18th, 2013. Each day since then my body has gotten a little better and a little stronger.  It has and still is taking time to detox from all of the medication. My shoulder had to be reset by the Qi-Gong Master Ting-Jue Zhou, even though the hospital said it didn't need a sling and was healing just fine. My body felt it was not.  My stomach and intestines have gone through pain but feel a little better each day, and my legs and their circulation has been tough and intense but is slowly improving as well.  Getting acupuncture and herbs every single day has created a full body healing in every area where there is pain.

           Yesterday morning (November 25th, 2013) I met with the oncology/radiation doctor, who seemed relaxed and had a beautiful office.  I told myself before even going there that it is important to listen to all western information but not take anything to heart and as the truth. I thought this Dr. was going to have my biopsy results but he did not yet.  We were able to just meet and talk and he was really positive and actually put me at ease and looked me in the eyes and I felt respected by his energy.  After meeting with him I headed to Santa Monica to get acupuncture and tuina from Dr. Benny Lin, who also teaches tuina at my school: Yo San University.  Benny Lin has been doing an incredible job focusing on healing my shoulder through his incredible tuina massage as well as needling.  The energy at his office puts me at ease and makes me feel calm and relaxed and nurtured to be there.

          It has been one week now since I left the hospital and eleven days since the biopsy.  I take each day and each moment at a time and follow and listen to what my body feels physically and emotionally.  My mother came here immediately, two days after my accident and has been here living with me and my two roommates (Nick Fulwieler & Sannah Rahim).  The four of us have bonded and become like family!  I have gotten to know my mother in a new way like never before, this journey has brought our relationship to a new level.  As of now I am feeling a pull to head to Virginia (where I am from) sometime in December, to see and be with the rest of my family as well as the friends and community I was raised with.  Thank you all for your love and support and it's an honor to have all of you read my words and send me love and feel my love.  Feel free to leave comments or email me at anytime. Much love.  Gabrielle


  1. You are so amazingly strong. Thank you for sharing that with us. We will keep the positive energy coming your way.

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey, Gabrielle. There are some details that I had not known, so getting a bigger picture is revealing of what you have endured... or, shall I say, embraced. These kinds of experiences in life make us stronger. You realize that, of course. Swamiji always said "Adversity is a blessing in disguise." Oh, ain't that the truth! I look forward to seeing you when you come back to VA. Missing you & sending lots of (god)motherlove your way. Big hugs. ((((())))) - Barb

  3. HI Gabby - thanks for sharing this, your words are beautiful. You are spreading the same loving support and energy to all involved that you feel from them. So thanks for being awesome :) I wish you the very best as your journey continues. Sending much love your way. - Katey

  4. Gabby, thank you for sharing this story. I am one of your mother's friends here and Virginia. Please know that we are holding you and your family during this time. Hugs, Breyette

  5. Dearest Gabrielle, Your response to this series of events is inspiring me. I talk about using Western Medicine for information along with my own sense of myself, but I have never seen anyone really take it on as you have. Your heart-and-head-felt approach to healing is beautiful to behold. Thank you for sharing your journey so clearly. I am praying for you each day; is there something in particular you would like me to visualize? With great love and admiration, Kate von Briesen

  6. You said "I take each day at a time" it reminded me of my grandma who in the last 5 years of her life when she had dementia (mild alzheimers) she would rock back and forth and say "One day at a time, one day at a time."

    Thank you for posting your updates. It really helps me feel not so far away from you. Let me know when you're healed enough to skype.

    Also, If you head to Virginia, please let me know and give me an address I can send stuff to. There's a package coming your way. <3

  7. Hi Gabrielle, thank you for sharing your experience and baring your soul. I am in awe of your clarity, your bravery, your honesty, your beauty and your power. You are an inspiration to all of us and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you -- most certainly, somewhere golden. I also love it that your mom was able to physically be there with you. That is so special and, no doubt, supreme medicine! And I bet your dad, your bro and your sis will receive you with tremendous joy and love when you get back to VA which will only hasten your healing process. Much love to you and your entire, wonderful family, dear lady. Let us hometown folks know when we can see you. XO


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Welcome. This is my 30th post of this journey. The beginning of this blog was November 26th, 2013  My Journey: The Beginning .  One month pr...