Thursday, December 19, 2013

Emotions are Amazing

          Yesterday I rode 3 airplanes, which lasted all day long, and today has been my first day back in Virginia, where I grew up. I will be staying here for three weeks to spend time with my close family and friends for the holidays!!  I have been wanting to write another blog post for the past couple weeks but I have been busy healing, shedding light on my path, as well as preparing for this trip. I haven't been back here to Virginia for about a year and a half now. WOW! I feel so happy and blessed to be able to connect with everyone I grew up with.

          Yesterday on the plane I read an article by a man named Alexander Dekker, a man who went through a similar experience I am on about twenty five years ago.  A paragraph in his article that gave me chills and opened my heart, read, "Our society doesn't encourage us to show our emotions; it's often seen as a sign of weakness. But laughing crying and sharing emotions with others can be an amazingly healing experience." A little further along he wrote, "Research has revealed that unprocessed emotions are stored in the limbic part of the brain..." WOW. His entire article is amazingly connected with the similar approach that is emphasized by eastern medicine and acupuncture and also has influenced me on remembering some of the emotional experiences that I underwent in the beginning of my hospital adventure.

          I remember when I was first admitted into the hospital, I had a couple days in a row where I felt strong, happy and positive, but a couple days later I suddenly felt angry, attacked, alone, and frustrated which then led to me feeling annoyed and guilty with myself for the new negative emotions which were ruining my positive ones which led to me feeling lost and confused and like I was heading down the wrong path without any control of how to get on the "right" one.  Something I have been NOW connecting with and learning which is related to Dekker's words, and also was presented to me by my acupuncturist/healer/life coach, Dr. Mao Shing Ni, is:

 "it's okay and a positive journey to have a flow of different emotions, including strength and happiness followed by weakness and sadness as well as other emotions. When we are going through tough experiences the flow of emotions is healing if it is like a river."

 As long as we don't get stuck or stagnated in a certain one (like creating a dam in a flowing river) for so long that it begins to take over and manifest physically in an unhealthy way.  Experiencing and allowing our emotions to arise and flow out is a very beneficial part of healing and growing in our journey. I have had amazing, joyous, and happy days, as well as days or moments where I have sobbed and let my tears flow.  There have been a couple experiences where I was yelling and screaming which lead to me immediately taking a long restful nap. So, it has been a healing and touching experience for me to embrace and allow whatever emotions I am feeling to come to the surface and allow my body and soul to flow and move forward positively on my quest.

           My release from the biopsy hospital adventure was exactly a month ago on November 18th.  It's amazing at how fast time seems to be flying and flowing.  On November 27th, two days after meeting with the radiologist doctor, I had my appointment to take the 43 metal screw/staples out of my head by the physicians assistant who has been helping with my case. Mmmm mmmm mmm; it was painful but within an hour, the intense headaches that I had had for the past two weeks since the biopsy suddenly disappeared. It was amazing! I was immediately able to start rubbing herbal liniment oil on my scar as well as have teachers put acupuncture needles right in and near the area, AND I could FINALLY take a shower!!! Not taking a shower in two weeks was hard. I am so grateful that my mother helped me wash my head in the sink twice a week and I was able to take baths, but finally being able to shower on my own was beautiful. I was so grateful and happy. I suddenly realized the stunning amazement of something I took for granted each day, and I am soooo grateful for having a shower in my life to clean my body.  There are many on earth that do not. The day before the staples were taken out, a woman named Tracy Gibson-Simmer gave me an astounding haircut, which was a new look for a new me. I have never in my life besides when I was born, had hair this short. She styled it so my hair swooped over the almost naked side of my head and you couldn't even visually see that I still had 43 staples in my head.  Below is a picture taken on the day of her cut, hair covering the bald side of my head filled with staples. Thank you Tracy!!!

On December 3rd I had my other oncology appointment with a doctor from the hospital. My previous appointment that I wrote about in my other post was a radiology appointment with a doctor whose office was in another location, not part of the hospital. When I met with the radiologist on November 25th, he had not been sent any results of the biopsy yet but he was a younger man who I appreciated and seemed to be on my page and not extremely pushy no matter what direction I decided to take down the road.  The oncologist on the 3rd who I met with had NOT looked over ANY of my medical results before I arrived, so I waited for a decent amount of time while he took his time to retrieve them on his computer and quickly read over them and then began to talk to me about what he was reading which seemed to me to be somewhat vague since he hadn't  had the time to look them over and be able to know and explain to me what he was reading at all. His vagueness influenced me even more to begin researching and finding out about the results on my own.  I have found through some personal research what they mean, but mostly I have spent my time relaxing, breathing, seeking inward and meditating which has helped me find out about types of healing as well as my life journey.

          The Western biopsy of my brain has been diagnosed by the western team as an oligodendroglioma on the left side of my brain attached to the temporal and frontal lobes. From what I have researched this type of brain tumor is more rare than others and mainly is diagnosed in people that are in their 50s or 60s. I found this to be very interesting and also caused me to realize how gifted I am to have the universe be presenting me with this opportunity and opening the door to help me on my life path of healing and acupuncture.  Legally the oncologist suggested that I didn't need to do any chemotherapy but that I should start on radiation right away! I told him that I would not be undergoing any radiation at this time and thanked him for his input and advice and that I would undergo an MRI in the near future and we can continue to keep an eye on my path.  I was so clear with him about my decision that to my surprise, he mainly just listened and then set up another MRI with me which will be near the end of February.

           I have chosen to and have already started on the path of acupuncture and eastern medicine to heal my body.  I am embracing the healing journey that my life path has chosen in this moment.  I am however grateful for the kindness and beauty of my hospital stay and the success of my biopsy.  After undergoing everything I have undergone,  I was truly taken care of and here I am, alive!  I have had no symptoms relating to the tumor and eastern medicine does not have side effects like radiation does, which one of the biggest includes short term memory loss. I have been an acupuncture student at Yo San University for the past 3+ years; part of what I have discovered since the biopsy is what I am undergoing has been gifted to me to open my eyes and heart to the path I have chosen as a healer and to first begin by learning how to heal myself.  Never in this lifetime, until recently, have I had acupuncture and qi-gong treatments 5-7 days a week.  The immensity of acupuncture that I have been receiving has been revealing to me a whole new outlook of acupuncture and chinese medicine.  I am starting to learn, like Dekker explains, that a healthy life is achieved by physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance.  It is important to be aware and uphold maintaining those aspects in a healthy way in our lives.  For the first time ever, I feel as though my brain has been brought to life in a new and amazing direction.  My eyes and heart feel fully open to beauty and gratitude.  I am alive!  I feel alert, awake and guided in my life direction.  I feel gifted and grateful for the healers that have been helping me on my path.  The foods, drinks and substances I have been putting into my system has changed, as well as my lifestyle.

          My left shoulder which was broken and then had to be reset about a month ago by my qi gong master Dr. Zhou, is healing twice as fast as predicted.  I could barely move my arm, could not lift it, or reach it out, or pull it in.  It has only been one month and I can now reach my arm up towards the sun, moon and stars.  All of the healers, acupuncture, herbs and liniment that has been directed towards me, I feel has been guiding me on a quick recovery.  This truly includes my outlook and positivity of believing in myself.  Also my hair is growing very quickly and my scar which was once raised high is almost flat on my head.  I have been rubbing healing tincture and cream on my scar to help the scar as well as my brain.  I have also been applying hair tonic which is strong to my head helping the hair grow quickly.  The picture to the left was taken in the beginning of december right before my mom left and the one to the right below was taken during my airport journey yesterday on December 17th which shows the astonishment of my head and hair.  It continues to amaze me at how capable the body is of putting itself to work to create healing and balance.  The more I believe in it and the more I assist it, the faster it heals.
            This spring semester at school which starts on January 6th I have chosen to take a bit of a break from taking classes full time at school and instead continue to spend full time healing myself.  I will be making up classes I dropped this fall as well as studying for the pre-clinical exam.  I was suppose to take the pre-clinical one of the days that I was in the hospital during the month of November.  The pre-clinical is the exam that the students at my school must pass in order to practice in the clinic as an intern acupuncturist.  The universe has given me what I feel are "extra credit" courses to undergo and to learn even more about the human body, before starting as an intern.  I have written an amazing amount about my experience as well as about eastern medicine, but I also wanted to continue to recognize that I am fully grateful for western medicine as well and the success of my biopsy and hospital experience.

          In February I will be visiting a Western doctor in Florida named David Perlmutter who specializes in neurological disorders.  I have been reading his book "Grain Brain" which emphasizes the importance of eliminating certain foods from our diet, the main ones being gluten, sugar, and limited carbohydrates. Eastern and Western doctors are both amazing and should be able to work together more side by side. I hope that the door will continue to open wider and wider to a world of integrated medicine.  

Another person that has been an amazing influence in my life is a man named Will Pye.  He is someone that has gone through an amazing brain tumor adventure and who has also reached out to me and helped me on my journey.  He is completing a publication of his story about the amazing gift of the brain tumor that was in his head, which I look forward reading.  Thank you Will for your guidance and loving energy that has been sent my way.  Below is a link sharing his the process of his publication which will be coming soon as well as a link to his website which is what led me to him.

 Tomorrow I am heading to the Ashram at Yogaville to partake in a meditative and peaceful journey of connecting with myself as well as Swami Satchidananda who founded this ashram.  He is no longer physically alive, but his soul is felt throughout.  He is the guru who gave me my sanskrit middle name (Sundhari) as an infant and whose presence I felt while going into the biopsy.  I will update all of you soon about my experience at the Ashram.  I am so happy to be in Virginia for a short while and also so happy to have so much love and support endlessly still being sent my way.  I love you all.  Namaste.

                     Tomorrow's worry will make you sick today. Stay healthy today.  ~Swami Satchidananda

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thank You Danielle!

         Holy Moly WOW!! I am moved touched and inspired by the fundraiser my friend Danielle DiVittorio started.  To get out of the hospital and be gifted by the financial support of many was astonishing! She has been a true friend since the day we met, about eleven years ago. Sometimes there are parts of our lives that we can look back on and wonder why certain things happen. When I graduated high school I went to George Mason University for a year and ended up dropping out because I felt no direction and my grades were dropping. Danielle is one of the only aspects that has continued to be a strong and influential part of my life from that experience. She has been and still is  like family and a positive strength in my life.

          Her starting a fundraiser has been a life moving event.  I did not even know it was happening until it had already unfolded to something beyond I could ever imagine. I am awed by her swiftness to create such an amazing movement. It has touched my soul in many more ways than the financial aspect of it.  Having so many people that have reached out and moved me with their healing energy, love and support has been life changing. It has brought forward so many close friends and family as well as people that I have never even met in person before, which makes me view the world in a whole new light. Thank you to everyone in my life for reaching out in all different ways. Below is the website link in case some of you haven't seen Danielle's astounding movement, and then below the website is Danielle and myself a couple years ago laying on the beach in Venice soaking in the sun and each other.

I Love you Danielle!!

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

Monday, November 25, 2013


Hey you all, I will post a more in depth update in the next couple days.  First I just wanted to test out my new blog and make sure that it is working and all of you can get the update sent to your email so you can follow my updates and path. The picture below was taken 48 hours after the biopsy when they finally removed the bandage. My shaved hair has already started to grow a bit to hide my scalp.  The staples are still in my skin and are supposed to be removed on Wednesday this week.   I am amazed by all of you sending your love, healing and support my way. I can feel it so strongly; it is amazing. I have never felt the energy of people move like this before and it it is beautiful and incredible. Thank you all.

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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...