Posts Tagged ‘leukemia’


Sooke Author Deborah Hawkey with her book, Glorious Me: My Journey on the Path to Self-Love. – Article Credit: Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror

Re-printed courtesy of Sooke News Mirror – September, 2016

Sooke resident Deborah Hawkey has gone  through a lot of tough stuff in her life. Instead of letting it drag her down though, she decided to do something about it. She wrote a book.    Hawkey is also the first person in Canada, diagnosed with acute blast-cell leukemia, to reach the five-year milestone after experimental bone marrow transplantation.
In Glorious Me, My Journey on the Path to Self-Love, she takes the reader on a journey of triumph over childhood emotional abuse, life with a rage-alcoholic father, PTSD, and possibly her biggest challenge ever: being abandoned by her mother at the age of six while battling for her life against terminal cancer.

Hawkey is also the first person in Canada, diagnosed with acute blast-cell leukemia, to reach the five-year milestone after experimental bone marrow transplantation,

In the end, her intent was to not only tell a story, but to create a book about the power of the human spirit and its inherent resilience against all odds.
“It is more than a story about childhood illness and emotional trauma, it holds the key to what is possible when you trust, love and forgive,” she said.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family, writing was a way for her to deal with her frustration and anger. She eventually realized that what she was writing was the same thing, over and over.

“I was so angry when I was growing up that I’ve written this book many times and I kept on shredding it, because that’s how I was working on my anger,” Hawkey said.
Everything changed when she joined a writing group in Victoria eight years ago, which allowed her to not only become more comfortable with telling her story, but with writing as well.
“My writing coach told me, ‘the more vulnerable you can be, the better it is for the reader,’” she said. “In the end, I just put all the stories together and added a bunch more, so that’s how it happened.”
She added that at first she was a bit hesitant to share such an important story with everyone, but when the website and everything else came together, she felt more self-confident.
“It feels pretty darn good.”
At this point, she is taking take life coach training and plans to use the book as a vehicle to attract coaching clients who are going through similar trials and who need support.
Hawkey will have her official book launch at The Church of Truth, 111 Superior St. November 18 in Victoria, For more information, please go online to http://www.deborahhawkey.com.


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In September 1959, I was 4 ½. I lay in a hospital bed, comatose, wrapped in ice old sheets in an effort to reduce the 106 degree fever. I was later told that the nurses were standing around the bed…crying, I had contracted acute blast cell leukemia, which the doctors thought was probably from playing in a field that had recently been sprayed with pesticide. With zero chance of survival and only hours to live, a minister was called in to perform last rites.

For 37 days I was in and out of a coma, had over 100 blood transfusions and several bone marrow transplants. With no anesthetic to dull the horrific pain, long needles were drilled into my sternum, piercing my soul, into the marrow.

When I returned as an outpatient I remember asking for a shiny red apple from a wicker basket on the desk at the nursing station. “We never saw a kid with such a strong will to live” the nurse replied. I wasn’t sure what those words meant but those words, instantly and forever burned into my subconscious memory. They became my silent mantra throughout my life.

Shortly after, my mom had a baby which my dad said wasn’t his and he gave her an ultimatum; either give the baby up for adoption or leave.

She chose the latter.

This left me and my younger brother and sister with our dad, who was ill-equipped to handle the situation. Unaware how the magnitude of this decision would negatively impact the rest of his life, he started drinking and became an abusive and neglectful rage-aholic… and I became his scapegoat.

‘You’re just a stupid fucking bitch and you’re never going to amount to anything”, he’d say with reckless abandon. Those words cut deep into my core and killed me emotionally. I grew to despise him and believed I was worthless and unlovable.

It was such a stark contrast to someone believing I was a kid with a strong will to live. My life continued to spiral downward to the depths of despair. I went inward to find solace from the hell…that was my life. I’m not sure which was worse; the physical pain or the emotional pain…just that the emotional pain lasted a lot longer.

My childhood conditioning continued into adulthood. I trusted no one. This lack of trust toward others made me feel that what was about to be experienced was either potentially hurtful or something to be avoided. This caused huge obstacles in my life, both personally and professionally.

I spent a great amount of time identifying with and trying to eradicate what I thought was “wrong” instead of discovering the lessons and learning from them.

With the help of professional life coach, we systematically worked through the Fearless Living program, giving me an opportunity to “choose again” by deliberately working to change my perceptions and attitudes and reducing the negativity associated with emotional trauma.

She reminded me continually “where there is lack of trust there is usually fear.” By not trusting others, I did not trust the urge to love that came from within me, and always being hyper vigilant kept my pervasive anxiety alive.

When I learned about my fears and how to face them, my life started changing. I wanted to be loved. Being able to share that love gave me the connection to my power and the ability to love and support others. When I learned that relationships are based on soul, I had the opportunity to gain a sense of meaning through them. Soul showed me a bigger picture by creating deeper connections to the true needs in my life and the lives of others.

I still struggle with some issues; when my buttons get pushed, for example, it takes a bit of time to process and when I realize the other person is…just a person, like me; this allows grace to fill the gaps and love to ignite my heart so it can flow freely once again.

When I finally resolved my internal dilemmas I came to the realization that the treasure is me, it’s you. It’s each one of us. We are the treasure. The treasure that lies at the end of our journey is to be found within ourselves.

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