The list of things a rainbow might signify runs long and reads like feel-good-about-it all dime store psychobabble: acceptance, new beginnings, harmony, happiness, hope, inspiration, integration, love, luck, joy, transformation. Let’s not even get started with equity and inclusion for all!

Paul & I try to do fun and normal things these days, so we have lunch with dear friends, Polly & Rob, then take ourselves on a tour of a cute New Hampshire village. We walk through a hard rain on this somewhat dreary day and sit in a cafe watching—wide-eyed—as marble-sized hail bounces sprightly off the gravel. I take it all in: grateful to be alive, in this world, at this moment, and experiencing bits of the natural world.

Driving home, all of a sudden, the sky clears and sunshine pours through windshield; light bounces off the shiny wet pavement blinding me, as the rain continues. I think, the sun at this slant, at this hour, there must be a rainbow so I pull off on a side road and come to a grassy clearing. There quiet and shy I see the small arc in the eastern sky, the birth of a rainbow, delightful and welcome. As quick as can be, it expands across the whole sky, bold, and vibrant, with easeful intention to reach its far away goal.

The Judeo-Christian interpretation of the rainbow has  to do with protection and God’s covenant with people—after our poor human behavior and the Big Flood—God set a rainbow in the sky as a message of a covenant that God would not again destroy all life with flood waters. We had a chance to begin anew. Of course there will be hard times again, but God or nature, or whatever you might believe in, will be there for support. I am not too literal in my reading of the Bible, and I do my fair share of cherry picking the parts I relate to. So here I will take on the concepts of protection, of beginning anew, of getting through something hard with a world of support.

I will bring my timely sighting alongside some dime store symbolism in my pocket with me as I head to MGH this Tuesday. During conditioning, while my bone marrow is stripped and chemo knocks my immune system out, I will sit under the protective colors with as close to easeful intention as I can muster. I will consciously make room for the arrival of my new cells and welcome each one with an open heart. I am scheduled to check in on 1/16/24 and will receive my shiny new cells a week later. I will remain at MGH for at least 2-3 weeks after that where I can be monitored and cared for by my A team. Paul, the ace in my pocket, will be with me a lot, advising, cheerleading, running interference and errands, and basically being the best partner on earth.

I can have visitors if you happen to be in Boston, reach out to Paul, he’ll know if it’s a good time. I have been cooking up a storm and freezing meals for myself so I can side-step hospital food. I have been spending way more time than I should admit to at the gym, convening all my healing energy in the pool, lifting weights, running, and biking and basically marveling at how the human body can bounce back. I have my eye on a sprint triathlon in September for any of you who want to join the fun. 😊

As I approach my big day, I feel 100%. I am on it: with my diet, with my exercise, with my optimism, and especially with my openness to your love, positive thoughts, and prayer. If things go sideways or there are complications, I aim to have faith that I will get through it. Here is a brief version of my current pep talk to myself: I am strong, I am resilient, I am blessed, I am healthy, I am calm, and my ever-favorite: I can do hard things.

If you are so moved and have the bandwidth, on Tuesday, Jan 23rd, let’s say between 12-3pm east coast time, light a candle and send some positive thoughts or prayers in the direction of Fifty-Five Fruit Street and me! If you need some verbiage to work with, here you go: May Amy receive her new cells with grace and without trouble. May her recovery be complete, uncomplicated, and enduring. I will work to be wide open to your love and to integrate your healing into my new found stem cell miracle. There is something about the huge arc of this rainbow– makes me feel like whatever you send my way will arch right back over toward you, probably picking up at least some of the other beautiful energies coming my way. Ever grateful for your ongoing love and support.



#stemcelltransplant #leukemia #thriver #survivor #rainbow