The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks–Read it!!

  • The book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, Dear Aunt Joan, Dear Aunt Joan gripped me from beginning to end. While reading it, I was in the midst of a cancer diagnosis and caught between two battling oncologists different perspectives concerning how my dormant illness should be treated(2006). My confirmed oncologist insisted on a “wait and see” approach, while the other felt I should undergo immediate treatment of R-CHOP(chemotherapy). Later, reading medical documentation, I zoomed in on the statement that I would eventually be placed in a study group. I questioned this placement in a study group, and my oncologist denied this fact.????? Fast forward. Over the years, I experienced pain in my spine, shoulder, and ribs, but continued my life. In the fifth year(2011), the pain increased and I knew I needed help. However, my oncologist felt I was exaggerating and would not take my cries for help seriously. Only after emailing him photos of perspiraton drenched pajamas and a copy of the email to the American Consulate in Strasbourg, France, did he confirm an appointment in his office. Thereafter, he quickly arranged a TEP-Scan, and results indicated that the once dormant cancer had transformed into an aggressive form. I then changed my oncologist. The new oncologist informed me that my type of illness is never treated only with rituximab, but with R-Chop. Shocked at the reality that I may have indeed been a guinea pig placed in a study group with the first oncologist, I had to shelve my anger in order to prepare for the urgent arduous chemotherapy and suggested autologous bone marrow transplant. Two operations were necessary for the extraction of cells from my bone marrow. I felt as if life was drained from me(both times). In this weakened and fragile state, a nurse then told me that the next phase of my journey consisted of an intensification of chemotherapy, a three week stay in an isolated section of the hospital, and thereafter, my cleansed bone marrow cells would be reintroduced into my body(autologous bone marrow transplant). My oncologist had not informed me of the specifics of this procedure. He explained that it was simply like a blood transfusion. Yeah, right! I was furious. I penned an email that he will never forget. I had zero trust in the medical field. I had an intense talk with God Almighty, and decided that I WOULD have a testimony. After the sixth chemo session, I stopped……everything! Against the wishes of my oncologist and his team, I decided against the bone marrow transplant. I went to South Italy, visited countless churches, was invited to sing gospel in Chiesa Madre(Mother Church) in Manduria, Italy….and prayed relentlessly. By the grace of God and additional alternative medicine of mistle (viscum), that I continue until today, I am in remission. But, I wonder? What has become of my extracted bone marrow? How is it being used? Since reading the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I can’t help but wonder if my bone marrow is being used experimentally(normally, bone marrow is kept for ten years, I have been told???) But, kept, how? Untouched, or are samples leaked away for other purposes? Sisters, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. If faced with a health challenge as I, do your research! Get more than two expert opinoins. Demand transparency in all phases of your treatment. Do not allow fear to shelve your instinct and intelligence. It is your body, your health, your life!!! Kudos to Oprah Winfrey for transitioning this piece of literature(that deserves the status required reading) to film .

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‘Tis beauty and power that they fear-To my Muslim Brothers and Sisters – Marrakech, Morocco


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Taschira Dell’Era


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Truth Won’t Sleep

my heart

bruise mode

countenance on alert

racial injustice

constructed to hurt

US… county ’tis of thee

result of cause and effect

We, sardined in Middle Passage boat$

quarantined, milked welfare cheese

then denied the right to vote.

Coretta’s spirit is tempestuous

Ancestors’ tears aggravate our seas

you confederate flag wearing miserable skeletons0361.jpg

worse than a bag of fleas…karma


that you once held down, whipped, and kept blind.

We.. are screaming now for you to cease

and desistInside out

Before we are rewound back in minus time.

I am the Hill and the Mountain

Enemies attempt to climb, I am far above in my psyche

Love is the only friend of mine.©mushroom gatherers

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Lord, Do You Hear Me?

Whenquiet's Blog


You must be tired of the black mamas/papas wails of grief
Ricocheting off streets of gray concrete.anna_s-15 copy

Chaos unisoned

in conflicting waves
Skeletons of past discord
Rattling as the war is waged.


You must be tired
Of seeing black hands against the wall
Up in the air
Bodies fall
Blood seeping into ground….


Mingled with water.
Recycled to quench thirst of murderer’s daughter.

Lord, you must be tired
That their puzzle’s still left undone
They still don’t get
That Jesus is your son.

Lord, I am tired
of seeing the same ol’ script
Today a gun
Yesterday, a whip.DSC00017

And now, Lord,

with the monsters that plague my t.v. screen and my dreams,

Where do I leave my heart? In which forest do I scream?

I wrote my Senator

expressed my concern,

I think even he knows

The SWAMP is getting ready to burn.

I am tired…

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Sunday Morning


by Anna Greene Dell’Era
On this early Sunday morning
My heart is open to pray
I kneel at my throne of worship
A melody comes my way
Lord, you are so amazing
Your touch, so warm yet light
You ease my every burden
Sanctify my life
Forever strengthening my temple
me to help those in need
Reminding me I am never alone
Observing my every deed
I thank you Lord
For all of your blessings
Valleys, mountains, and streams
Your grace which is overflowing
So grateful you are our King.
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Life bends us backwards, God straightens us up!

anna_s-15 copyanna_s-12

Posted in African American History, black voices, Contemplation, Dance, faith, International Travel, mental health, photography, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment