I've had brain cancer for almost 7 years. It has not been easy, but I've had great support from
family,friends, and medical staff. I also think that my writing keeps me going. I exercise daily,
use a walker and a wheelchair, eat very healthy meals by my talented husband, and keep up a good
spirit (most of the time!). It's hard for me to tell stories the way I used to: my sign
stories, paper tales, and Asian longer epics are not possible at this point. But luckily, I can still write,
thanks to Dragon Naturally Speaking software. I have an enormous backlog of stories that I collected
over the years, as well as numerous journals that I wrote on my travels through Asia. My wonderful
mother also kept most of the letters that I sent home, so I have those as well to work from!
I have 17 books out, a CD and tapes, and many articles, all circling around my work and study in
Asian tales and tellers. I'm also writing the story of my life, from my birth in Greenwich Village through my years in Asia including a trial in Afghanistan, and so much else. Of course, also I write about my struggle with cancer, to help anyone else going through that ordeal.
The picture below was taken outside of the house that we built ourselves; it features part of my great support group, and a very stunned Cathy. This was taken after I was was out of the hospital for a while, my hair is just starting to grow back! But my expression and face I hardly recognize now, thank God!