Friday, December 12, 2008

I Hear A Frog

Okay, I don't even know where to begin. Hmmmm, I think I'll begin...right...

HERE. I have finished my radiation and I believe I glow in the dark now just in time for the holidays. It was not bad except for the fatigue that follows and then I got this lump on my neck which appears to be a lymph node and the possibly good news IF THERE IS SUCH A THING, is that it seems to have gone down quite a bit since it first appeared and it may have been the reason my right arm wasn't working and the reason for it's appearance may be the horribly unattractive entrance to my feeding tube. As you may recall, the tube caught on a chair a few months ago and popped out and ever since then it has just been a pain in the tube and is always red and yucky but no one wanted to do anything until I finished the CLINICAL TRIAL (THUMBS DOWN ON THAT ONE) and immediately after that I went into the hospital and then onto radiation so they couldn't mess with the tube until RADIATION was complete. So now it's done and Monday morning my tube is going to be adjusted either by surgery or just sticking another tube into the hole and yuck and you have no idea how tired I am talking about tubes and holes and not in any form of sexual reference. Ah, I remember the good ole days of happy tubes and holes. Not painful tubes and holes.

So I am recouping from radiation and I learned from my friend Carol that my very handsome and charming radiologist, Dr. Song, is married to a famous journalist who used to be on The View and I think her name might be Lisa Ling and she and Dr. Song were on the View last week and Carol saw them and confirmed that I was NOT light headed and yes, Dr. Song, IS a very handsome man. I want to kiss him. I think I will in my dreams. Tubes and holes.

Speaking of kisses...There is a very loud frog outside my window and I have started to think that maybe he is that prince and he's just waiting for me to let him in so I can give him that big slimey kiss that transforms him into Prince Freddy or someone with a good sense of humor and a Prius. But if I open the screen to let him in at night then it also gives a signal to the mice and I do not want to kiss any of those guys even though they are awfully cute but they poop just about everywhere when allowed in and I don't know much about frog poop but if I kiss Mr. Toad right away maybe I could catch him as a prince and I have never heard about any Princely pooping problems.

Oh my God, do you think I am loosing my mind? Is it the season? Deck the halls and all that. Kiss the frog. Kiss Dr. Song. I did have a full body scan this morning and was injected with more radioactive stuff and some of it must have gone to my brain so I take no responsibility for what I am saying. Or thinking.

I have to buy some presents. I'm late. For a very important date. Did I ever mention that I was cast once as the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland because I fit into the costume? Actually, it was Alice in UNDERLAND and it was a Seven-Up commercial, THE UNCOLA, and I went up for the part of Alice (I had long blonde hair, after all) but I happened to fit into the rabbit suit and oh they were so happy to have an actress who even fit into the damn rabbit feet shoes. I was so humiliated wearing that giant rabbit head that I wouldn't take it off all day, even for lunch. They would fork sloppy joes into my big rabbit mouth. And no one ever knew what I really looked like. I just sat in that costume all day, crying, wondering why I wasn't Alice. My entire childhood flashed before me as I watched through the rabbit hole eyes the entire crew flirt with Alice and I sat on the sidelines, legs crossed and sloppy joe dripping down my whiskers.

Good residuals, though.

So Monday they fix my tube.

And maybe that frog will be there.

I am so ready.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Well, the answer to that question is...No where. Actually, that's not completely true. Thursday night I went to my friend's Dennis and Dierdre's house for Thanksgiving. And I ate. Oh boy oh boy oh boy did I eat. Yes, hold on to your chairs. I, the one with almost no stomach and only part of an esophagus was able to eat ONE BITE of carrot and ONE BITE of mashed potato! Ta da! How is that for a feast? Oh, and one tiny bite of apple pie. Oooooh, it was heavenly. Just that tiny bite. And I was thankful for so many wonderful things in my life.........................

That is so not true. What the hell do I have to be thankful for? I wanted to eat that whole damn pie. And the pumpkin one, too. And I wanted turkey and gravy and CRANBERRIES! And sweet potatoes and I didn't want anyone else to have anything. Just lots of food for me. ME ME ME! Dammit. Thankful? This has been one lousy shitty yucky year and to top it off I can't move my right arm. Yes. I am sitting here in pain writing this blog because one week ago I slept in some funny position on my right side and Joyce massaged it and that helped but I still can't lift it up and right now it is hurting as I write and all I want to do is eat something with sugar but I can't do that so I blog with a pain that has nothing to do with cancer just some new inconvenience while I wait for what's next in my seemingly endless series of woes. OH WOE IS ME!!!!!!!!!

Okay, that's out of my system now. All I really wanted was a piece of pie. So I had to complain. Just a bit. Come on. Everyone has to complain every once in a while. Right? And I am thankful. So very, very thankful...For...

My left arm. Yeah, that's it. My left arm works. I am thankful for my left arm. But I have to get off early today because my right arm is killing me and I think I need a popcycle or maybe a bicycle and don't you just love the holidays. Don't they just fill you with joy and hope and happiness?

And pie? Next year, fuck it. I am eating pie on Thanksgiving. With my right hand. A la mode. And if I pass out in a pie filled coma it will be with a smile on my face and a little belly full of sweet apples and I will give thanks for everything and maybe we'll be out of Iraq and I will stop feeling sorry for myself in anyway because truthfully I have everything a person could want and I am one of the lucky ones even without the use of my arm...Which is only temporary. Right?


Okay, already. I am thankful and I love you all and peace on earth and all that jazz.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Long Story Short

Well, obviously nothing seems as important or as exciting as last Tuesday night. Amazing and it happened in our life time. How lucky are we. He's smart! He's handsome. She's smart! She's beautiful. And they have to much shit to deal with I cannot even imagine. But for some reason I think they can actually handle it. Finally someone is representing me that I am proud of in so many ways. Will brought me home from the hospital just in time for the returns. Yes, I was in the hospital for a week. Okay, now I'm going to talk about my silly personal stuff that seems so meaningless compared to the shift that occurred last week in the unsteady plates of the USA.

In a nutshell, here's what happened...Suddenly, I couldn't eat anything. Not yogurt, not peanut butter, not Popsicles, not water...NOTHING. Hmmmm. Not a good sign. So I got very dehydrated and finally checked myself into the hospital where they started pumping fluids into me and some pain medication and anti nausea to try and help me stop tossing my cookies. (Oh, for a cookie. Warm and dripping chocolate chips. Even a snickerdoodle would do) So it was determined that the clinical trial I was trying was not working and my days as a guinea pig were over. I failed. I asked the doctor in charge of the trial if that meant I won something just for donating my body to science for five weeks. You know, like a trip to Paris, business class or Sarah Palin's old wardrobe, perhaps, even though it's not my style but I might like her blue moose sweatshirt but no, I get nothing except a pat on the back and a thanks a lot and please bring back the pills you didn't finish. Hmmm, wonder what XL88L is worth on the street. Probably a punch in the nose. So now I am onto the next treatment, good ole radiation. They have tattooed a mark on my heart and a couple marks on my sides and five days a week I go into a Star Trekkie room where I machine rotates around and radiates my tumor that is preventing me from eating or drinking. The tumor that just seems to be growing and not taking orders from anyone. One good thing about this little tumor, it seems to be on it's own, not bothering any other organs. Just does it's own thing and that's a good thing. Thank goodness! Something in the positive column for once. So for three weeks I get radiated and then............WHATEVER COMES NEXT!

Robert DeNiro. Remember him? I sort of do.

The most exciting moment of my radiation thus far...There are technicians who put you in the right place on the silver table so the radiation beam can hit you in the exact spot that it should. These technicians have all been women...Until today. Gordo. Gordo was there taking off my blouse and lying me on the table completely topless. It had been so long since a man had taken off my blouse that I wanted to throw my arms around Gordo and pull him down to the silver table where the beam would go threw his back to my chest and we would be some kind of bonded. But I resisted and he covered me with a towel and beep beep I was radiated alone. Just me and my tumor and Gordo in the outside "safe" room. Maybe I'll ask if I could stand in the safe room with Gordo while he zaps someone else. Maybe we'll just be really good friends. Maybe I need a vacation

The mice are still here. Rats? I'm beginning to like them. I think they like me, too. I mean, they always leave me presents. And Christmas is coming. Nice to have something around that wants to give you presents, right?

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING? Am I getting better? Or do I just keep trying out different possible methods that may or may not work? I was told today that the trial in Japan I was so interested in only seems to work on Japanese people! What the hell does that mean? Anything out there that just works on Jews? Must be something, right? Like a matzo ball chemo where they inject you twice a week with matzo meal and you complain every waking moment until the tumor has no choice but to shrink and get the hell out of there. I'm telling you, I am going to think of something so I can get back to some semblance of a normal life if it's the last thing I'm going to do.

Ah, but we've got a new President. Things have changed. There is Hope. Yes, there is. Even if everything went down hill from here a good thing happened. A change was allowed to occur. And we have one person in particular to thank for that change. George W. Bush. Even if things were just so/so I'm not sure such a radical change would have happened. I think things had to sink to very very far down that people of all persuasions felt that something drastic had to happen. I never thought I would say this but, thank you George W for doing such a spectacularly awful job that even people on your own side saw that there was really only one choice to get us out of this swamp. Thanks for bringing us Mr. Barack Obama. As that radiation radiates through my bones I get sort of a heavenly feeling that maybe love is in the air again.

Or maybe it's Gordo................................

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sleeping Booty


ALEX: Psssssst. Hey Isadore. I think we'd better bust this joint.

ISADORE: Shhhhhh. I'm busy here.

ALEX: No, listen to me. We are not long for this world if we stay here. I got a bad feeling about this house.

ISADORE: Oh man. Can't you just relax for one hour, 'fraidy rat? Me and Allison here are watchin' Jon Stewart and Colbert, for God's sake? Best things on the tube since Beevis and Butthead went off the air.

ALEX: You ever see Rachael Maddow? Now that broad is hot.

ISADORE: Hey, She's a lesbo, man.

ALEX: Cannot be.

ISADORE: She is. And she's out. Says it all over the papers. The New York Times, no less.

ALEX: Told you not to read the New York Times. It's trash. Left wing balderdash.

ISADORE: What the hell does that mean?

ALEX: How many times have I told you that maybe you should occasionally pick up a dictionary, bonehead?

ISADORE: Are you crazy? I can't even drag one of those refrigerators off the shelf. They weigh a ton. And they call that a book? And will you please just shut your trap 'cause I'm watchin' some high class entertainment here.

ALEX: Nope. Not Rachael Maddow. Not a hot one like that. Just cannot be.

ALLISON: Hey, Izzy, Alex, could the two of you possibly shut your pie holes up for once? Is that like possible?

ALEX: Oh, now there's some nice lady like talk. I think Allison here has just outed herself.

ISADORE: Come to think of it, when was the last time you were on a date, Ms. Allison with the biggest hooters on the planet.

ALLISON: Very funny, Mr. Isadore, with the smallest...


ALEX: Shhhhhh. You Dumbos are gonna wake Trish and that is just what we do not need right now.

ISADORE: You kiddin'? Those pills she takes can knock her out for a week. You ever see how many pills that chick can take? She's got a virtual pharmacy in her bathroom.

ALEX: Could you guys listen to me for one second here, please? This gal is onto to us. Hear that? ON TO US! By election day we are all dead rats, thrown into the garbage with all the rest of the phony ballots, trust me.

ISADORE: Nah. Impossible. This here is a peace and love chick. Haven't you seen the peace signs all over her house? Everywhere. They are everywhere, man. Like it's 1965 or something. Sickening. Like she's Janis Joplin only with no hair. Plus she's for Obama and Biden plus she's got Buddhas all over the front yard and the back and I'm tellin' you this gal is not killin' a creature on this planet. Not even an ant. One of those kind.

ALEX: Oh yeah? Well what and who did I see whilst you two were sleeping all cozy in her cookie drawer last week? Huh? Huh?!

ALEX: Oh wow, we sure left a lot of droppins' in that drawer, didn't we Allison?

ALLISON: Thousands, huh Isadore?

ISADORE: More like millions! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

ALLISON: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

ALEX: Okay, so you guys laugh while Rome is burning, which I have no idea what that means but let me show you something.

ISADORE: Before Colbert is over?

ALEX: Yes, before Colbert is over if you know what's good for you. Follow me.


ALEX: You two ever been in THIS drawer before?

ISADORE: I was goin' in tomorrow.

ALEX: Well, I suggest you take a look right now or there may not be a tomorrow!

ALLISON: You are so dramatic, Alex. So dramatic.




ALLISON: I can't believe it. Why would she do this to us? She loves peace and she loves love. Plus I like her house soooooo much. Did you see her moisturizers? And serums? They are heaven in a bottle. She has everything a girl could want. And she can't share? Why would she do this to innocent little..."

ALEX: Rats. We're rats Allison. Look at us. You'd need an ocean of moisturizer to look presentable to the human race.

ALLISON: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I knew it. They hate me. The entire human race hates me. Because I'm ugly. And rough. Once, just once couldn't somebody, anybody...exfoliate me? Oh, the life of a rat is such a sad and lonely road, isn't it Isadore?

ISADORE: Can I please just finish watching Colbert?"

ALEX: Gather your things and let's get out before dawn."

ALLISON: We have no things.

ISADORE: Maybe this Trish gal will come back as a rat and then she'll see how tough life can really be.

ALLISON: I'm ugly, aren't I? Just plain ugly. Viggo Mortenson would never give me a second look. Never.

ALEX: Aw Allison. You are the most beautiful rat I ever encountered.

ALLISON: Really?


ALEX AND ISADORE: Sure. Absolutely. Rat extraordinaire.

ALEX: Look at that long completely creepy tail. Gotta love it.



ISADORE: With a great TV.

ALEX: Hey, you know where we're never been? Mar Vista.

ISADORE: I hear they got big houses there. And it's right near Costco. Where they get those gigantic sacks of food. And I'm talkin' gigantic.

ALEX: And they got triple sized jars of lotion, Allison.

ALLISON: Really? Loads and loads of lotion? Well then, it's On to Mar Vista for me!

ALLISON, ALEX AND ISADORE: Weeeeeee're off to see Mar Vista
The prettiest city on earth.
Because, because, because, because...................................


TRISH: Did I just hear singing? Oh my God, these pills are driving me crazy.


TRISH: Hi, it's me...Hey, could you please give me a ride to Costco tomorrow? I don't know, just had a feeling I'd like to go. Get some giant bags of something................................

Monday, October 13, 2008

Asleep At The Squeal

I think it was twenty, no maybe thirty mice that came into my bedroom after I had taken my critical trial pills that knock me out completely and these little critters carried me out to the backyard like a Mrs. Gulliver or possibly a Mrs. Travels and they left me there...LEFT ME sleep it off, meaning the pills... And I woke up as the sun rose on my face and slowly I opened my eyes and it took me a moment to realize just where I was but it took longer than that to understand how I had gotten there. Gracie, the dog, was licking my toes and looking up at me as if to say, "Girl, you are a mess. You have got to start taking care of yourself." This from my stinky but lovely little dog and I walked into the house then into my bedroom and was shocked to find the entire bed covered with mouse droppings and little chewed corners and I put two and two together and realized that everything that's gone on in my life in the last week has been rodent related. And you wonder why I haven't been blogging. Who can blog with creatures running from one end of the room to another while you're trying to write? IS THIS ANYWAY TO LIVE? Well, I guess it's one way. Not a way that I would have chosen. No sirree. What I would have chosen would have been to be signing my new novel in Barnes and Nobel in New York City and having actual food, maybe some fish and asparagus and potatoes at some nice restaurant with my book agent and a few friends and maybe stopping for a hot dog at a little stand in the village on my way to see some underground jazz because I can eat anything I want and I do and at the jazz club I'm going to have at least two margaritas and a whole lot of chips and...........

But actually I am plagued by mice AND these pills I am taking are sucking the daylight out of me. Meaning, I can't seem to stay awake. However, I had a thought that if I took the pills at night maybe I would sleep at night like a normal person and then could be awake in the daytime LIKE A NORMAL PERSON! So I ran this by my doctor and he said fine but he'd have to run it by the company. THE COMPANY? Oh, that's right. I am a guinea pig. I always forget that. And I am ruled by the company. If the company wants me to hop on one foot, I will hop on one foot. I am but a number. In fact my pills are called XL880. Not Little Buddy or Rachael La Mode but XL880. Sound like science fiction to you? Am I living on The Enterprise or what? Where am I? Mice carrying me around the house. Pills making me sleep. And this is going to cure me? I don't even know who The Company consist of. What if Dick Cheney owns The Company? THEN WHAT? Because where has that guy been for the last year? And then will Sarah Palin own it? OHMYGOD. I would have to take orders from Sarah Palin? All right, this is way too much. I really think it's getting close that time when I rip off all the damn pain patches, throw out all the pain pills, pack up a little suitcase and get myself to some peaceful place, maybe Carpinteria and just run around until I drop. To hell with The Company. they don't care about ME. It's for the greater good. So I sleep for eight weeks and get woken up by a rodent kissing me on the lips. Not the Disney movie I grew up with. But, hey, it's all interesting.

OH HELL, IT SUCKS. THIS WHOLE MOUSE PILL THING SUCKS THERE IS NO WAY AROUND IT. Oh sure, tell me my hair is coming in so quickly and looks so full even though it's only a quarter inch from my scalp. Come on, tell me how good I look with no meat on my bones. Hey, you know what I really want you to tell me..........THAT IT ALL SUCKS and I got dealt a pretty bad hand.

But first I'd like you to teach me how to play poker. So I can know what a bad hand really means. Always wondered that. Dealt a bad hand. Oh, I'm just rambling. Because, honestly, with the son that I have, I know I was dealt the best of hands. Come rodents come, eat me alive. Drop your droppings everywhere. You can't hurt me. I have something that means more to me than any stupid pillow case or missing potato chips.

Ah. I feel better now. Sometimes you have to run around in a little crazy circle like a dog before you can land in that "just right" spot. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Of Mice and Me

What the hell happened to my sweet little life? Okay, I have cancer, I can't eat or drink almost anything. I CAN'T DRINK! (I just had to repeat that one.) Can't swim. Can't go out at night unless I carry my IV with me. WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT? And now...NOW...Now I have either one tiny mouse or a family of tiny mice moving in and taking over my house. Right now, right at this moment, one of these mice, (if there is more than one) is fast asleep between my screen and my window right above my pillow. He's tucked in the corner and I was staring at him and he woke up just long enough to yawn and give me what looked to be a WINK. Kid you not. And I have to admit...He was pretty damn cute.

HOWEVER...The other day I opened the linen closet and out came a huge pile of mouse poop and a completely chewed up pillow case. Must have been very cozy in there. Now here's the thing...If it's only one mouse why should I wreck his life? Why not let him live and poop where he wants and chew up a few things and get cozy. He's not really hurting anyone and those cute little ears...But somehow it seems wrong and a little scary if there is a whole family of mice taking over my household because then the poop possibilities seem a bit frightening and the mouse brigade could chew my entire house up until everything in it is in tatters and some things, like my yard, already look a crazy old lady with a million cats lives here because I haven't been very good at taking care of things this past year. Someone said maybe the mice will make me a beautiful ball gown like Cinderella or one of those Disney princesses but even in my weakened state I knew that was not going to happen. Especially since all that these mice seem to do is sleep and chew and poop. Not the dress making type. Just my luck. So now I have to make the decision...To kill or not to kill. Honestly, I don't think I can do it...Kill those cute little things. It's like shooting a moose from a helicopter. Hmmmm, who is it that does that? Just read about her somewhere. Oh right, the next possible Vice President of the United States who can't even name a newspaper she reads. Now how did i get onto that topic. Oh right, to me shooting a moose from a helicopter seems like such an unfair disadvantage to the poor moose. Doesn't stand a chance. If you're going to kill an animal it does seem like you should at least give it a chance to save themselves like run away or fly away, depending on what type of creature it is. Just like with mice. They don't have much of a chance. Who can resist cheese? If someone put a giant piece of gouda in my yard I wouldn't even notice the big silver pipe holding it down and I'd walk over and take a big bite of that gouda without even going to get a cracker and in a moment...SQUASH...I'd be a goner.

Okay. I've decided. The mice/mouse shall live...For the time being. However, if I wake up one morning covered in creatures I'm going to give this decision some more thought. My decisions used to be much more simple...And fun. Like, what should we have for dinner? That was a fun decision. Had nothing to do with death. Except possibly for the dead fish I might have cooked that night. Didn't put a lot of thought into that. Probably should have.

Now I'm thinking about that moose again. Must be the debate tonight. Maybe the mouse would like to watch it with me. Maybe we could be a little makeshift family. Me and my mice. We could all get cozy. Chew on my blankets.

Hmmmm. I wonder if they're Republicans? And no, that would not make a difference whether I kill them or not. You have to trust me on that.

All this talk of killing has exhausted me. Peace and love.

Unless, of course, there is just way too much poop. Then to hell with it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Pill Makes You Larger...

Well, here I am again after a fun filled week in Rio. I would like to thank Andy for completely lying about my computer being down. I just wanted to keep up the lame story that I was sick and lost my hair and had to feed through a tube. I just knew it would be so much more interesting to write about a serious illness than to write about my real life which is traveling around the world with Brad and Angeline and buying shoes in Italy and going to fashion shows in Paris and....................

Oh please. Who am I kidding. Last week when my computer was down was just one big sucky week. Andy was telling the truth because he cannot tell a lie. Sort of a George Washington type. In fact, Andy should be president. Anyone, actually except............Okay, no politics right now. Sort of makes me even sicker than I am already. So here's what happened. Saturday might I was feeling really good and I was strutting across the living room, tra le tra la and my feeding tube which comes out from my intestine (hope you're not eating dinner) caught on a chair and CAME OUT! So I had a nice bloody hole in my stomach and luckily Michael was here and we rushed to the ER where the doctor took one look at it and said, "I have no idea what to do." So he thought and he thought and finally decided he would put in a temporary. He went to look for something, anything, and came back with a tube all right. But it was a slightly thicker tube than the one that had been in there since March. Put in, by the way, by a surgeon. Dr. Kuchenbecker, remember him? Anyway, WITHOUT ANESTHETIC, he pushed and pushed this thicker tube into my stomach until he thought it was in the right place then sent me for X-Rays to make sure it was okay. Then he sent me home. It seemed to work but boy was it sore.
Then Monday morning I was talking to my friend Carol in Carpinteria and I looked down and saw that the temporary tube HAD FALLEN OUT. So, with Karen driving it was back to the ER where I stayed all day, with no food mind you, and finally at around six a Dr. Deutch put in an almost permanant tube. A really permanant tube would have to be put in by surgery but this one seems to work just fine. But I got weighed this morning and I lost two pounds and I thought HOW COME I COULDN'T LOSE WEIGHT THAT FAST WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL! If I wanted to get into a pair of jeans that were a little tight I would have to start months before to lose just one pound. Maybe it was thousand island dressing, I don't know. But just one day in the ER without food and I was two pounds down.
So that's what I was doing while my computer was down and out. And I was taking my clinical trial pills and yelling at my tumor to get the hell out of my body so maybe between the two of us we can shrink this thing down to nothingness.
Ah, what a life. Can't really say that it isn't interesting and it certainly is not what I expected but it is what it is. Tubes, pills. And the best part...Friends.

Here's one thing I'm looking forward to...Obama debating himself. Ms. Palin had a preacher rid her of witchcraft. I kid you not. It's on video. Maybe that's what we need to heal the economy and end the war. A little witchcraft. I think it might be smarter to have a dialogue but what do I know. I'm just a pill popping sick person trying to get better.

Go Ask Alice. I Think She'll Know.....................................

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's nice to see Andy's back .... especially after seeing his front...

Hi, Soodik-fans. Andy Parks here again. Don't Panic! Trish is okay ... but either her computer or her ISP ("internet service provider" for the anagrammatically challenged) isn't working as it should, making it impossible for her to blog. So she's asked me to post a message letting everyone know that she'll be right back after this brief interruption. In the meantime....
Many years ago Trish was working on a crossword puzzle, and she was absolutely stumped by a word... phonetically, the word was "thoosly".... "Thoosly", she thought, "What the hell is 'thoosly'?". The word, of course, was "thusly".... but her brain had given the "u" the long vowel sound... as in "confusion". She found this very amusing (there's that long "u" again), and later was to name a dog (from a litter provided by the Parks' family's Louise) Thusly... spelled with a line over the "u" to indicate the long vowel sound. Thusly was a fine dog, with a broken tail, who once caught a fish... unassisted by rod or reel.
That's all for now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Year of the Pig

All right. I have done it. Thanks to the driving expertise of Karen and Gretchen, I have been to UCLA twice today and I have taken...DRUMROLL PLEASE...The Experimental Pills! And that is pills with an S because I have to take four a day. I threw up after I swallowed them this morning because I believe I ingested them too quickly. But I did it. And just like that, I felt good, really good and just like that the cancer was gone and I ran to the great UCLA pool and I swam a mile and when I got out of the pool my hair was down to my shoulders and it was this groovy stripey kind of color with blondes and browns all mixed together and out of nowhere this very intelligent and sweet looking man walked over to me with an oversized towel and dried me off and led me to the locker room where I changed into just the cutest sized 4 dress with a really darling sweater to match and we walked over to the Village for lunch because I was starving and he told me that he had just been made leader of the Rangers in Yosemite where he was going to work during the summers and the rest of the year he would live in New York City where he worked with needy children and he wanted to know If I would like to live half the year in the mountains and the other half in New York where I could write my novel or my play or whatever and if I'd like I could help out with the kids and it took me two tenths of a second to say yes so we ran over to Dr. Wainberg's office where he gave me a quick scan and said yes, the cancer was all gone and he wished me luck and we hopped into Abe's darling hybird (that's his name, Abe. Abraham, really.) and we drove back to my house where a moving van was gathering up all the stuff I wanted to keep and sending the rest to a storage unit owned by someone I used to know and we drove to Carpinteria where I jumped into the ocean and ran on the sand while Abe drew the sunset in pen and ink and we went back to my house and Abe grilled us some dinner and I ate every bite and then we decided to drive straight to Yosemite so we could stare at the stars. And that we did. And the air was crisp and clean and I slept like a baby and when I woke up near dawn I called Will and told him the good news and he was thrilled and we hung up and Abe brought me some tea and I watched the sunrise and thought of the year I had been through and how lucky I was to be just where I was at that moment and how funny life is where you can be down one moment and up the next...If you're one of the lucky ones.

And I am breathing now. Deep breaths. And it feels good. And Abe is here. Somewhere. And I am so excited to drive around for the next eight weeks because I'm not sure where I'm going but I have no fear and Abe is with me and sometimes you ARE in the right place at the right time. Like when I gave birth. Perfect place. Perfect time. I think I'm in the right place again. It feels good. Maybe tomorrow I'll make a big sandwich. Maybe these pills are magic pills. Maybe I'm not a guinea pig after all. Or if I am, maybe I'm the Queen of the guinea pigs. Look, the sun is coming up while the moon is going down. My kind of day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Comfortable Chairs

Ah, the land of the sick. I am sitting in one of those barcaloungers they seem to provide for you in every room where they have IVs. I'm at UCLA (this was written yesterday) and they are drawing blood (yuck, my least favorite procedure) and they are going to give me an injection that's supposed to make my heart beat very fast and then one hour later they draw more blood.

Sound like fun to you? Isn't this how you'd really like to spend your Monday afternoon?

I brought a book. Philip Roth. Everyman. It's about mortality. Sounds appropriate, don't you think?

And speaking of mortality...

Trying to put that positive spin on this completely unbelievable situation, I decided to come up with reasons why it might not be so bad to leave the planet a little earlier than planned. Hey, I'm just trying to come up with some comforting thoughts that might help me through all of this...just in case. So here goes...

Traffic - I would never have to be stuck on the 405 again. (Oh my gosh, is that really the first reason I can come up with that makes death worth while? That is pathetic. Traffic is no reason to die. Please don't mention that to anyone or they might just shoot me for being a pointless, useless human being.)

People. Yes, I love most people but there are some whom I would have to classify as annoying. Go through my blog and you'll notice a few of them. Or there are the kind who look at you like you're dead already or are going to be any minute now. I hate that. Or they talk to you on the phone like you're deaf because they figure that you're sick so that means all of your bodily functions are falling apart and that must include your hearing.

Waiting Rooms. In the last year I have sat in way too many waiting rooms with way too many old people. Rarely is there someone younger than I am. And thank goodness for that, on one level. But that makes me feel like I am definitely in the wrong room because a/ I'm not old yet and b/ I cannot be sick like these people. I'm a healthy gal. Everyone always used to comment on how healthy I was because I ate pounds of broccoli and no red meat and no crap at all and I exercised and are you kidding me I end up in rooms full of very sick old people? This cannot be. And I want out of these rooms because sometimes these rooms just bum me out. Especially after all this time. Remember, I thought 2008 was going to be a banner year? Well, what the hell happened? I seem to be back to where I started from only more so. About to start an experimental drug. You realize that an experiment means they have run out of tested drugs that worked on thousands of people but obviously not on me so I became a little guinea pig running around the little (really gigantic) UCLA cage while they take my blood over and over and do other odd things to me that make me feel woozy and a whole bunch of faceless doctors and drug companies are looking down into my little cage to see if I'm going to fall over after I take their experimental pills or if I'm going to run around and put another ball into a hole so I can get another piece of cheese. For this I should go on living?

Yes. Yes, I suppose I should. I'm lucky I live in an age when they have clinical trials. And I guess if you are thinking about people's lives and how they turn out and if they're interesting, there is something interesting about becoming a guinea pig in your middle years. Now how many people can say that is what they decided to do after their career dried up due to ageism. They didn't go live in Europe, they didn't travel to exotic countries, they didn't teach, they decided to become...A GUINEA PIG. Interesting choice. Probably a really stupid choice. Come on, I'd much rather be in an exotic country. Guinea pig...Exotic country...Exotic country...Guinea pig...Who knows, maybe I'll still end up in Japan. A guinea pig in an exotic country. Not a bad way to end up.

Well, I guess my list of reasons to leave the earth leaves something to be desired. Traffic and annoying people. Not enough. So I'm screwed. There really are no good reasons to leave. Except you have to. You have no choice. Oh wait, there is the election. If it goes a certain way that may be the perfect time to get out of here. Some people talk about moving to Canada. Why not go where no man has gone before? After this election, if it goes the way of the beauty queen, that might not be such a bad idea.

But I am certainly hanging around long enough to vote. And then we shall see. Hey, maybe this experiment will work. Now wouldn't that be totally fab. That's where my mind is going. Yes, I am going to get that piece of cheese. Why not? I'm due for some good news.

Thursday I take my first pill. Should be interesting...........................................

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jealously, Envy and Wrinkles

"Hi. How are you? Yeah, I know. I miss you, too. Oh please, you don't want to hear about me. Too boring. Tell me about you. What's going on in your life? How are the boys?"

I listen. I listen. I can tell that my face is turning red.

"You're kidding? He loves college, has a great roommate, great classes, the perfect girlfriend and he's just...Completely great. How fantastic!! And what about the other one?"

I listen. I listen. But I have curled my toes so tightly in my sneakers that they are cramping up and I can't seem to straighten them out. AND THEY HURT.

But I keep listening.

"He's never been happier? Oh, that's wonderful. Loves his new job. Working with terrific people over seas. He just loves everything about it. He made exactly the right choice. Isn't that a relief for you? And how's your teaching? I know how hard that can be."

I listen. I listen. I feel like I'm going to throw up so I pull over one of those pink buckets I have lying all around me. But I don't really have to throw up. I WANT to throw up. For the first time I actually want to because maybe that will make sense to me.

"Aha. So teaching is fabulous this year. All and all it's just one hell of a great year. Cool. That is very cool. You deserve it."

I look over at the pink bucket before I ask my next question. I just know vomiting would make everything clearer to me. But it's not happening.

"So tell me about your husband. PERFECT. He's having a perfect year! Oh that is so fantastic. Me? Oh, I'm fine. Really fine. But, oh look, it's getting late. I'd better go. Bye."

I'd better go because otherwise I'm going to beat myself over the head with my pink bucket. No vomit. No throwing up. Just me sitting here with my bucket realizing that I am now defining myself by my sickness and if everything feels even slightly normal than suddenly am I not only NOT a sick person at the moment, I am a nothing person because what have I been doing for the past year except being sick? I can't do my work which is teaching and running this great tutoring program but I can write but what I'm writing essentially is my diary, my blog. Not a play. Not a novel. Not a short story. I'm scribbling. I'm writing nonsense. And people around me are having lives and enjoying them and going to the movies and finishing great works of art and beginning great works of art and I have just been BEING SICK which is boring and nothingness. Not even BEING and nothingness. A lump. I have turned into a lump on a couch. A lump on a couch who is so full of envy for anyone who is having a happy productive life I could scream.

I'm not even going to write about the wrinkles printed out in the title. They are forming as I write this so you can imagine...

But I've got to get over this. It's a waste of time and time is truly of the essense here. My first thought for getting rid of this envy and jealousy is to stop talking or writing to everyone I know. That I way I will never hear good news because good news seems to set off this undesireable emotion. I could move to some city where nobody knows me and I wouldn't know them and I would never ask them about themselves so I'd be safe from envy. Maybe some city where nobody really does anything except go to the 7-11 or the laundremat. Hmmm, this is beginning to sound very comforting.

But wait. Come on. Who am I kidding? I'm bigger than that. I have not lived this long to turn out petty and pathetic and worried that other people's happiness has anything to do with mine. COME ON. I have had plenty of happiness in my life.

Did I say HAD? Had happpiness? That's not good. That assumes that from now on there will be no more happiness. That I have had it already. Why should I assume that? Where is it written?

Now I have to throw up. Excuse me........................................

Ahhhhh. I feel better already. Yes. That is who I am right now. That is what I'm doing. And a damn good job I do in this vomiting business, if I do say so myself. To hell with the O Henry prize for short fiction. Look at what I am doing and how quickly I recover and watch the long brisk walks I take even when my eyes are all blurry and...

Dammitt! How come your life is going well and mine isn't? Huh? Huh? Anyone have an answer to that one? Oh I know. BECAUSE IT JUST IS.

And that is just about the best answer I'm going to get because bad luck and good luck cannot be explained. It just is. But the other answer is JUST DO. A lump is not the way to go. A lump is not who I am. Whatever it is I'm complaining about I can deal with. JUST DO. Do it. What am I waiting for?

Okay, here goes. No more lollygagging around. I'm going to DO it...Yes I am............................ Just as soon as I can uncurl my toes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Mother Thanks You, My Father Thanks You and I...

Those, by the way, are the words of George M. Cohan or James Cagney, however you want to imagine it. But I would like thank all you kind people out there who took time to search around for some sort of Japanese connection in case my only choice was the clinical trial in Japan. I have my fingers crossed and any other good luck motion I can think of that the UCLA trial works, even just a teeny weeny bit and I won't have to use all the Japanese information you have sent me but I know it's there if I need it and that is comforting and also so cool that you would do that for me. Thank you.

I think the actual taking of the pill starts in two weeks. There are a bunch of possible side effects, most of which do not happen. But the two that seem to occur over and over are high blood pressure and serious fatigue. Why can't side effects ever be good? Or fun. Like you have bursts of energy and you can jog for miles and you're ecstatically happy all day and incredibly creative. They can't come up with a pill that does that? Why does the pill always have to ruin your liver or blur your vision? Or make your blood pressure go up so you have to take ANOTHER pill to bring it down. I am a living pharmacy here with all the pills I have in my bathroom. And all I used to take were vitamins to help me live forever. Oh, the irony of it all.

I was thinking about the term, "fighting for your life". I think that's what I'm supposed to be doing. But I don't feel like I'm fighting enough. In fact, I don't feel like I'm fighting at all. I guess you could say that just getting up in the morning is a little fight since most mornings I feel so gloomy and slightly afraid to face the day but then I do it...I get out of bed and I get dressed and get my exercise and I carry on as if...As if all is well and is going to be well. But I don't know. I don't know what is going to happen. And there are those of you that are thinking that no one knows what's going to happen, you could have been in the twin towers in 2001 and you certainly would not have seen that coming. I think the problem with my situation is that I am face to face with a fifty/fifty situation and it is impossible to ignore that one half of the outcome is REALLY HORRIBLE. I mean, we all know what's coming at the end of this life but it's somehow different when you're just going along. Like you go along naturally and you get older and then you're sixty and then seventy and you keep going and you know it won't last forever but somewhere in your mind you sort of feel maybe it WILL last forever because you feel good and your doctor checkups are all positive so why shouldn't you just go on like this ad infinitum? (Did I just say what I meant to say? Sounds good anyway.) So I have decided that I have to actually FIGHT for my life and I'm not sure what that entails but I'm going to figure it out and put on my gloves and my thinking cap and do everything I can think of to keep the enemy at bay.

But what if I get fatigued? See, that's where they've got you. They can get you tired so you can't fight. That's one of their clever weapons. Except maybe with your mind. Yeah. Who says we're talking about actually throwing punches. Maybe it IS just mind over matter. I have been told by many that that works. Hey, at this point I am open to everything. Dream it away, that's what I'll do. Or just dream happy and not let it's nasty little negativity penetrate my soul. Like it does now...Sometimes.

Okay, it's a battle between me and him. (Can't possibly be a her. Of course watching the Republican nominee for vice president maybe a her is not so far fetched. And I apologize to all my Republican friends but I've got to tell you that your gun toting hockey mom vice president is pretty darn scary.)

So I'm going to rest now and I'm going to fight. It's a Ghandi sort of thing. Passive resistence. A moment of silence for the enemy.

And just watch him disappear...................................

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Trial of the Century

Well, actually I'm exaggerting. This is not the trial of the century. It is certainly not the OJ trial. It's my little clinical trial that I have just signed on to. Yes, I signed the papers even before I read them because he said I could change my mind after I read them so I might as well sign while I'm there in the office. That's what Dr. Wainberg suggested and being just an airhead follower...I signed. Then I came home and read what was about to happen. Eeegad. Is there no way out of here that's pretty? Does it always have to have words in it like rash or kidney damage or difficulty performing tasks? And then to add insult to you know what it adds that it cannot be guaranteed that any of these symtoms will go away...Ever.

HOWEVER...something good might happen like the tumor might respond to the untested drug and shrink a bit or not grow anymore so there you have your choice. A choice between bad things might happen or something good might happen and also the ever popular NOTHING will happen.

Hey, I'm excited about this trial, what do you think? I do thing that doing something is better than doing nothing. Which is always an option. But here is one of the scary things that was in the papers he gave me...I am doing this trial and am a good candidate for it because all of the other treatments I have done were unsuccessful. How's that for a reason to be accepted? And here's something interesting...There are only about eight people doing this at UCLA. There are other people around the country but only about eight are here. Maybe we could be friends. Trial friends. Like twelve not angry friends locked in a room together trying to decide the outcome of our lives. "I'm going to live. No, I'm going to live. Yes, you're going to live." And on and on.

And here's the thing...I am going to live. I'm going to fight this thing to the bitter yet calm and peaceful end. Dr. Wainberg had a nice smile. He didn't look like he was running the Last Stop Saloon. Made me feel comfortable. He's a young man. Already a good bedside manner even though I wasn't lying on a bed I was sitting in a chair. A good chair side manner. Positive. That's what I've got to be. Positive. It is, as far as I can tell, the only way to get through this. But it is not easy when you know there are really only two options.

I'm opting for the first one. Maybe you could opt with me...................................

Must run out now. But I've got more to say.................Believe me............................

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And He Speaks

It's hard to tell when you're watching these conventions whether people are making unbelievably brilliant speeches or if you are such a party supporter that anything they say is going to sound like magic to your ears because you already agree with them. I'm having fun watching Hillary and Michelle and Joe and even Bill but you know if I watch John and his crowd it's going to make me angry and cringe and boo and hiss at the screen but I really should listen with an open mind, as I would hope all the Republicans would do when they watch what's going on this week. But you know they are booing and hissing and saying what a crock the whole thing is and what are their platforms anyway and that is not a bad question. For me, one of the main things that gets me excited about the Democratic possibilities is the fact that our country is in real trouble on a number of key issues and I think there is a way out through possible diplomacy that we most likely will not see from the other side. The idea of actually speaking with the Iranians as if some of them were just regular old human beings who possibly feel the same way we do about nucleur war and weapons and such does not seem to occur to most Republicans, as far as I can tell by the reading that I've done. I could be wrong. There are moderate Conservatives. I don't think Mr. McCain is one at this point. Seems like he's gone over to the other side. But Iran is only part of the problem we are dealing with. I don't know, Obama could turn out to be just like all the rest but isn't it worth a try to see if a guy from a very different backround than most politicians might have some new thoughts and new ways of approaching problems. I do think it was a shame that in one year we had a woman and an African American running at the same time because in both cases that would be such a big change to have either of those truly qualified people in the White House. Will Hillary run again? I hope so. She certainly seems to have the energy to do it. So tonight Obama speaks and I hope it's one of those rip roaring speeches that gives you goose bumps and makes you feel that there are possibilities out there that we haven't even tought of yet. I hope he changes some minds. And I hope people aren't scared of newness and can get interested in the thought of a room full of not just white men running our government. Come on, you've got to be sick of all those white guys in suits by now all looking alike all sounding alike.
There's so much more I want to write but, of course, the cable men have just arrived to fix my cable because I'm not a satellite gal and I'm having some problems and right now I just want to watch Mr. Obama tonight bring the house down. These cable guys look very confident with all their little gadgets. I'm thinking maybe they should speak tonight. I'll bet they'd have some interesting things to say. I'd like to ask them who they're for but it seems too nosey. I wonder what they think of me sitting on the couch attached to my IV. Do I look like a sick person? And old student. Do they know I'm bald, although I must say my hair is growing back and now seems to have that Joan of Arc look or that woman in the play Wit. Oh, I hate it when I look like her. She looks so....Cancerish. KD Lange. I guess that's the look I'm going for. Actually, when I think about it, my hair looks a bit like Obama's. And that's perfect for tonight.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Terms Of A Deer in the Headlights

Onward, I suppose. On Monday I am to call Dr. Zev Wainberg at UCLA who is in charge of a clinical trial that has been going on for about a year with good results. Sounds promising, eh? Of course, one, meaning me, has to qualify to be a part of this trial and I think from what Dr. Shaum tells me that I AM qualified. This would mean I would not do the trial in Japan although I think I should keep all of my options open since the one in Japan sounds even more promising, from what friends have read. I went online once to check out some things dealing with what I've got and that was a very BAAAAD idea. Because if you go on you will find out all kind of good things and then a whole bunch of very bad and scary things and it seems like you should not fill your brain, which is already messed up, with nasty scary things. Like you have twenty eight seconds to live. Then your whole world just becomes like a Twilight Zone episode. But actually, now that I think if my life as that it somehow seems a lot more fun and then I get to write the ending and maybe it could be, if it's Twilight Zone, that I turn out to be the only healthy person living on earth and in my body is the cure for everyone else's problems so I become the person in the world that everyone needs to see so my house is never empty because people are always coming over for the antidote and the need to talk to me........................

Alright, that was becoming too insane. What was I talking about? The other difficult part with the brain anxiety I'm having is the inability to focus for very long on one thought. That might be because I don't want to focus on one thought. Maybe it's too scary. So I've got to let my brain travel all over the place until it lands somewhere that seems safe for a moment. Like the Twilight Zone. Ahhhhh. I feel safe already. Thank you Mr. Serling.

And I'm glancing up and watching the Olympics as I write this and I'm wondering how so many gorgeous women end up playing volleyball? They are not all tall so it's not that. But these are knockout women. Brazilian and American. Beauties, all of them. I liked volleyball in high school and at camp but I was never very good at it. I think I needed glasses long before I got them which was pretty late in my life. But I always had a hard time with games with balls. I could never see the damn ball until it was just about hitting my nose. And I wasn't a bad athlete in things like swimming so I have to believe I needed glasses. Of course, longer legs would have helped with volleyball, too. Longer legs would have helped with a lot of things. I actually thought that when I was around ten that I might end up being tall because for a moment I was one of the tallest girls in my class. That was, I must repeat...FOR A MOMENT. No longer. Maybe like thirty seconds. Plus I should have just looked at my mother and grandmother who stood, oh, around four feet eleven...With heels. And I would have known my fate. Luckily I was able to fight the extremely round gene that made one look like a walking refrigerator. And now with just half a stomach I never have to think about the refrigerator look again. So there are many things to be thankful for. However, would I trade health for a forty four inch waste? Your damn right I would. I would look like a dark grey Hummer with awful hair if I could have my health back.

Now wait a minute, Trish, think carefully. You're wearing a size two right now. Wouldn't most women just die to be like that even for a moment. Aha, the key word is die. Would they die to be thin? Nope. Although think about Kanye West's mom. She did die to look thinner. I'm sure she would rather have her life back now and forget about her notion of no waist and boobs. Oh, the choices we have...Sometimes.

I hope I have some choices. I'm going to start doing more mind/body work. Deep down I think that maybe, just maybe I can make some choices that might seem impossible to make just by thinking hard enough. But I've really got to concentrate. Find a quiet spot and go to it everyday and just work that mind. Some people really believe in this and I will no longer poo poo any methods as long as one person says..."You know...This works." Who am I to judge?

Onward. Forward. Another day. I saw the ocean. It was beautiful. I bought some honeydew. I'm breathing.

And I'm going to get tomorrow. Those are all good things. Here is what I am going to make my mind do...................That Fat Lady is never...EVER...going to sing in my presence. No sirrreee.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Later

Just a short note to Vicki from the comments. Please put your e-mail address on the comments and I'll get back to you about the oncologist. And to everyone else putting feelers out there, thank you and I love you all.

The drug, by the way, is called S1. (And that's a one.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are You Sitting Down?

Okay all you people out there...Friends, people I don't know, people who really just want to know about Robert DeNiro, people I knew when I was a wee one, people I have kissed, people whom I ran away from...

All you people...Listen up.

I finally saw Dr. Shaum today and one of the possibilities of getting out of this mess is something called a Clinical Trial. They do these things all over the world. Try things out on us patient guinea pigs and three quarters of the time these things actually work and voila you are once again healthy for long periods of time and then they do another trial and you continue on that healthy path and you continue on until finally it might actually be your time to scoot on out of here but you got to live for a while and maybe swim and do the things that you once loved.

Well, one of these trials uses a drug called S1. It's a wonderful drug for just what I have. Only one little glitch with S1...It's illegal in America and can only be obtained in Japan. Aha. Why this is so I have no idea but there you have it. So yes, I could maybe get on a plane and spend my time in Japan which might be interesting but could be a bit lonely since I'll still have my IV with the me and I won't really be able to go out at night so the next best thing would be to find someone somewhere who had some sort of connection in Japan and maybe knew a doctor there who could send me the drug and doesn't this sound like a very exciting short story with a possible happy ending.

Now, don't feel badly if you don't have a Japanese connection because there are other trials that are more local like UCLA for instance. But just in case you know someone in Japan just put it on the comments and I shall follow through.

Dr. Shaum said she would make a whole bunch of calls in the next couple of days and we should be able to move on by next week. That sounds good to me. And she told me that often chemo affects your brain waves which it certainly has mine because they are not the waves of the old Trish, that is for sure. So we're working on that so maybe by Thanksgiving I can feel like myself, whomever she may be.

I'm exhausted. This was a long day. Just go to sleep and think "Japan" tonight and if anything pops up let me know. S1.

I'm going to try and swim soon. I'll tell you how. Can it be that things are looking up? Is that possible? Here's a good thing. I gained five pounds. And that is a very good thing. Must rest know. I'm not used to good news, no matter how small it might be.

I'll be waiting your reply................................Sayonara..........................

Monday, August 18, 2008

Through The Muddle

Friends. Friends are dragging me through my muddle. Through the mess that used to be my brain. This weekend Keith picked me up and dragged me and my IV into his car and drove me to Carpinteria and Karen dragged me back home a couple days later. I'm feeling like there is a Zombie quality about me these days as friends do their best to act like I'm their normal friend, Trish, who used to laugh and swim and lick Foster's Freeze and plan fun things to do on the weekend. Maybe it's just me feeling funny from the inside and no one can really tell that the Trish of old is falling off her skateboard these days and can't seem to find her usual center balance. I tried to act normal in Carpinteria. Even ate a couple bites of bok choy. That seemed pretty normal. Took a couple of walks on the beach. Actually talked while I walked. Not an easy feat for someone losing their balance. Someone not sure just whom exactly they are right at this moment.

But this could be a big week.

This morning I went to see Dr. Sandler. He's a psychiatrist who deals in medications. I could not believe that I actually drove to Century city at 8:30 in the morning but I did it, blurry eyes and all. I told him my story. He agreed that it did seem like the medication I am on is affecting my power to think clearly. And he really thinks I should be swimming. I loved him for saying that. Jumping into a pool sounds so right to me but I'm not doing that now because of the patches. I see Dr. Shaum on Wednesday and I must talk to her about the patches and do I still need as many as I'm taking and what about the pool? And then she will tell me what treatment we're going to try next. Radiation? Some pill. Anything is fine with me as long as we're treating. I'm falling apart here and since I haven't been able to move forward since she left on her vacation I seem to have fallen deeper and deeper into this dark hole I'm in at the moment.

"YES, IT'S VERY DARK DOWN HERE............."

A wonderful man died the other day. Leon. Myrna's father. His time had come. I really liked Leon. A lot. He made me soup. We talked. We joked. He was a really good person and I, along with many others, will miss him dearly. I won't be able to go to Leon's service because it is at the same time as my appointment with Dr. Shaum and I can't seem to change it to a better time but I will be there in spirit. And as I have found out since my dad died four years ago, these guys are with you forever, popping up at strange times, sometimes just to say hello, sometimes just to make you laugh or think about an interesting moment you had together. Eaating soup. Borscht. My favorite. Life is cool that way. It all stays alive in your brain.

And speaking of my brain...I want it back! And I am aiming in that direction as I try to wein myself from these evil patches. Walking around impersonating someone else is exhausting. It was much easier just being me. Even if things weren't going so well I at least knew I was me and my brain and my body could figure out how to deal with things together and it wasn't that difficult. Like someone leaves you after 24 years of marriage so you figure out what to do with that information. You write, you swim, you talk to your friends...You deal. but when your brain isn't part of your body you have no idea what to do so you wake up in a state of complete anxiety and fear and you wake up very slowly and you try and figure out how to get dressed and if you should get dressed at all and you realize you can't swallow vitamins anymore or take Sam-E which always helped with the tiny bits of anxiety one might get on a tough day and worst of all you can't exercise and you lay in bed not knowing who you are and what is going to get you up and out and into the world where you're supposed to be. With all the other people getting on with their day.

I guess it was good I finally went to Carpinteria. It wasn't what I thought it would be because I'm not who I am...Yet. I will be her...Trish. I will be her again, won't I? She's in here, I just know that.

I caught a glimpse of the beach that I love. A glimpse. I know there's more. I'm going to go back when I can feel it all...The air, the sand, the people.................Me. Go back when I can feel me again. If you find me before I find me...............Would you let me know where I've gone.

I must get by with a little help from my friends.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do Not Look At Me That Way

There are some people who have that look of "bad things are happening" on their faces and they don't know they're looking at you like that because they can't help it. They just walk into the room and with their face they're shouting, "OY, YOU LOOK SO LOUSY AND YOU MUST FEEL EVEN WORSE AND MAYBE THIS IS THE LAST TIME I'M GOING TO SEE YOU BECAUSE YOU LOOK LIKE SHIT, YOUNG LADY. OH, YOU POOR THING!

And, of course, I want to chase these people out of my house immediately and tell them to lighten up and everything is going to be okay or at least it is for this moment so let me enjoy it, you asshole with the bummer face. I am trying to think positively, YOU KNOW?! That's how you get through these times. I'm not going to the dark place. What good does that do? And I just read all about my type of cancer and you know what? I don't have any of the side effects they talk about. Plus, I can eat. I'm eating peanut butter for goodness sake and it's going down like...buttah. I can swallow. And from the stuff on the internet I've been reading I'm not supposed to be able to swallow. I eat pasta. Little bits, mind you. But I eat it. A bit of fish. Some no sugar ice cream. It all goes down. Isn't that a good sign? Shouldn't I be happy about that? Yes! I should be happy and I am trying to be happy and I even jumped up and down to show off my happiness and I'm not throwing up and I feel like I'm getting better in some way.

So when a person with the face of wo or whoa or however you spell it walks in and lays down that look I just don't pay attention to it. Because I just ain't going to that place, thank you very much. Here's where I'm going......................To Carpinteria...............Tomorrow my friends are picking me up and taking me there for a couple of nights just to feel some different air and see the ocean and maybe put some new thoughts into my head because these old thoughts are getting mighty stale and boring and I want to have at least two days in a row where I laugh and feel like the Trish who used to laugh and didn't worry about tomorrow and didn't have people looking at Trish in such a way that it made her want to slit her wrists.

Oh no, that's an awful way to go. I do not want to slit my wrists or slit anything really. The thing is I don't want to go AT ALL, right now anyway. there are things to do, people to see. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration but no.............There are things I want to do and I feel up to doing them and dammit please leave me alone you stinkin' tumor and just shrink up and get out of here so I don't have to think about you anymore or deal with you. But actually, I do have to deal with it and that's why I'm waiting to talk to Dr. Shaum on Wednesday because she's the one who is going to tell me how to deal. What we do next. And, of course, I'm scared about that. What IS next? Radiation? Some kind of pill. I just know there is something out there. I know it. But I have to wait until Wednesday to find out the answer.


You know what I'm going to do right now. I'm going to put on a record and I'm going to dance. James Taylor maybe. As usual. I am going to dance. It's time I danced. Here I go. And don't you dare look at me with that devil in your eye face because I am dancing now and it feels good and I am going to dance all the way to the park and you can't stop me.

I feel good. Thank you James. Sweet Baby James. Yes. Thank you.................................................

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh, Those Spiritual Dudes

I am still dealing with anxiety and fear on the highest level. I do believe so much has to do with my medication. I have to believe that because I have never felt this way before in my life except maybe when the man formerly known as my husband left me. But I don't think death entered into the picture then. Just the fear of being left alone in my middle and old age. That didn't sound like much fun to me. But compared to this fear I'm dealing with of not knowing what is next in my race to cure my disease, being alone does not sound all that bad. There are ways of dealing with being alone...Like inviting a friend over to watch the Olympics or even calling a friend on the phone to gossip. Dealing with the disease is a whole different ball game. And here's one way I've been trying to keep my mind from going crazy...I've been talking to a couple people who have some connection to a higher power. I certainly don't. Haven't been to Temple since I was in high school. My son had a Zen Bar Mitzvah that was held in a Mexican Restaurant in Santa Monica and it was the perfect off beat ritual for him. After all, he's only half Jewish and I'm such a lapsed Jew it didn't seem right to put him through years of Hebrew School so I found this wonderful Zen Rabbi named Rabbi Don Singer and he was just the perfect guy to take Will through the paces. It was fun, it was interesting, it was all and all a great day.

So last week out of the blue Rabbi Singer called me. He knew what was up with me...Heard it through the grapevine and he only lives three doors from my house so he came over and we talked for about an hour and a half. He is the most calming person. Just sitting still and breathing with him made me feel better. And he wants to read a book with me by someone named Rabbi Judah Lowe of Prague who lived in the 1600's. Sounds good to me. And just the fact that he called when I am going through this dreadful time seemed so right to me. Somebody out there likes me. I was beginning to think that somebody out there hates me because nothing good has happened for quite a while and when a good thing happens it always seems that a bad thing is lurking right around the corner just waiting to bite me once again.

The next spiritual person I saw was a wonderful woman named Rev. Judith Meyer. I caught her right in the middle of her retiring from running the Universalist Unitarian Church in Santa Monica. My Friend Gretchen and her husband are members there. I like that church. I've gone there for Christmas Eve a few times because it's very friendly and peaceful and seems to respect all religions. I went there when 9/11 happened. It was very comforting. So I talked to Judith and she told me that she had suffered from panic as a child so she understood my anxiety. I liked talking with her. It was calming. Just like Rabbi Singer but in a different way.

And why, you might ask, am I going to these people now? Is it because I'm afraid to die? Is that's what is happening? You know, I'm not really sure. I'm just sort of looking for answers and help. Help to get me out of this state. I am not used to waking up in fear. My life is so different than it was just two short years ago. Sometimes I think that people used to live short lives compared to what they live now. Now dying in your nineties is not unusual. But only a few short decades ago living to fifty was pretty good. Well, I'm beyond fifty now and I've had a pretty good life so shouldn't I just accept that and enjoy each day as it happens?

OF COURSE I SHOULD DO THAT BUT IT IS SO DAMN HARD! I want to be one of those people who get to live into their nineties. And maybe I will be. But I am at a standstill right now. Not sure what is happening and it's frightening me so much all I want to do is lie down and have someone hold me tight enough that they make me almost explode. No one has said anything to me about death, by the way. It's all in my mind right now. The last thing they told me was that everything looked pretty damn good except for this one little tumor. So they can't shrink this little thing, for God's sake? Come on. It's 2008. There must be something they can do. I'm ready for it. In fact, I'm looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I'm going to breath deeply and I'm going to talk to people closer a higher power than I am and maybe they can relax me and find me a peaceful place in my soul where I can rest for a few minutes. I need a rest. I need to know what my new life is all about. I don't like limboland very much. Too much uncertainty.

I think it's time for a Graham Cracker. See how much better I'm feeling now. Couldn't eat a Graham Cracker last week. Things are looking up. Graham Crackers and ativan. I believe that might be the perfect combination...........................

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here's The Thing

So I am waiting here for my doctor to return to let me know what is the next step in this ongoing treatment that seems endless. How frustrating is that? I feel like I am healing from the chemo (it's been a couple of weeks since I've had any) but the last thing I heard before Dr. Shaum said "I'm going on summer vacation. See you in three weeks..." was..."A tiny tumor at the bottom of your esophagus is not responding to the chemo so we've got to do some radiation or some pills or some...Whoops, got to go catch my plane..." And there I was like totally anxious and left in limbo and I'm still like that. So I'm dealing with my anxiety and it seems to be better and I'm eating peanut butter which is yummy and good for me and I'm walking and talking and writing and here's the thing about writing...

Of course, I try and think of ways to take my blog and turn it into something else like a novel or a TV show or just another silly blog book that only the actual author thinks is interesting or important. And then I started to realize, who the hell wants another book or play about someone with cancer?! Or AIDS? I mean maybe if it has a really happy ending and not only does our hero get better and live to be one hundred but she meets the most wonderful person, probably a man but it's 2008 so who knows and he or she adores our hero and he/she has a million dollars and he/she gives most of it to charity because he/she is a perfect person. Well, then maybe we have an Oprah book but truthfully it's actually a bullshit book because perfect things like this never happen (do they?) so I feel that I've got to keep whatever I write...REAL. Gotta keep it real. Keepin' it real, as they say. So I was thinking that I would not write a word about what has been going on for the last year because the real truth is such a downer unless I turn it into, say, science fiction. Yea, that's the ticket. Science fiction will cure everything. Like lalala I'm going along and out of the blue a little gal in upper Slobovia comes up with THE CURE for cancer...every cancer that one can ever imagine and poof...everyone is better, including me! Oh I love it already. And I'm going to give this gal from Slobovia a very interesting life like she started out being an opera singer and one night her highest note broke a glass that lodged in her throat and formed a mirror that reflected back from her bathroom mirror and just completely removed her cancer.

Okay, that was an insane idea. You can tell I've got a bit of writer's block going on here. But we'll pull out...Me and my block. And I'll get the story. Until then I've got to sit here and eat my peanut butter and wait to hear about my next treatment. Tuesday I have my vitamin C drip and I'm looking forward to that. Meantime, I'm thinking of getting another tattoo. Maybe a few. Anything to pass the time until someone can tell me what the hell I'm going to do next.

Hey, maybe if I stick to science fiction I can come up with a new religion like Mr. Hubbard did. Wow, when I think about it there are so many possibilities when one really sits down to think about it. Start a religion, that's a good one. Worship furniture, maybe. Or peanut butter. Oh, the possibilities.

Do you think I'm been spending too much time alone. I'm a social gal. I need a network of people. I need my virginia Avenue kids.

What I need is help.

My son and my nephew were here this week. It was heaven. Life is good. I've just got to keep reminding myself of that. Story or no story. It's the real thing that's heaven. And that happens everyday if you just open your eyes.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Reluctant Addict

Dr. Wong, my acupuncturist, told me that the pain patches I am wearing are ten times stronger than morphine. Okay, I knew they were strong but I never quite equated them with morphine even though I knew they were in the same catagory and it really struck me when he told me this and I thought NO WONDER I am emotional a lot of the time. I'm an addict! I not only wear these patches, I take pills to up the usefullness of the patches and we're talking about a person who hadn't even taken aspirin in thirty years, for pete's sake. So I now have the mind of an addict and that's why when I sit down to write these blogs I am writing from a different part of my brain. Not the light hearted funny part that always looked at the world with wit and irony but the person who looks at the world like The Man with the Golden Arm. (That's a book and movie about an addict, by the way. I believe it starred Frank Sinatra.) Remember that guy, I think his name was James Frey...Or something like that...Anyway, Oprah picked his book about addiction as her Oprah pick and when she found out he made the whole thing up she humiliated him on national television by saying he was a liar and a fraud. Well, I'M MORE OF AN ADDICT THAN HE WAS so maybe I should write something that Oprah will pick as her book of the month because I am an addict. A real one. And I could write about anything as long as I talk about being an addict. How about the housewife addict. The woman with cancer addict. The middle aged ex actress who slept with Robert DeNiro. (Remember him?)

I seem to be getting carried away but you kow, I want to NOT be an addict. I would really like to know what I'm feeling when I'm not using. Would I feel as weird as I feel right now? I think these patches are why I wake up feeling a bit unsteady. After all, I have 175 milligrams of morphine shooting into my system all day long. Isn't that a lot? There must be some kind of natural pain reliever with no side affects that I could take. Got to look into that.

Which reminds me that tomorrow I am going to a new kind of doctor recommended to me by the oncologist who took care of me last week in the hospital. This doctor believes in the miracle of vitamin C. And other supplements. And the oncologist told me I would feel so much better after going to see this new guy. As you know, I was already taking vitamin drips from another doctor but what the hell, I'll try this new one and compare and see what I feel. I remember at the vitamin drip place I used to go to there was a woman there who swore by the drips and were sure they were why she was still alive and had been for quite a long time. Now this woman took very long drips. Like four hours longs. Hey I'd take a drip for twenty four hours if I knew it was going to keep me alive for a few years.

And here's where I should mention that I DO think they are going to get this little bugger of a tumor. It's not that everything suddenly came to a crashing halt. It was just me and my addled brain that went to that place when the tumor reared it's ugly head. I think I mentioned that nothing has spread anywhere else and my liver is perfectly clean and my vital signs are perfect and I am a strong girl so there is no reason to think that they can't keep this tumor at bay. Magic Johnson has been living for years because they keep coming up with new treatments. So I want what he has even though he has AIDS and I don't but there must be some equivilant and I'm going to find it.

Oy, am I tired of talking about my problems. I used to have this life. It was interesting. I worked with these wonderful kids. I laughed a lot. Oh haha.

Actually, I am laughing now but not for a great reason. I happen to be wearing my Florence Henderson wig. That's why I'm laughing. It's the cheap one. The Brady Bunch wig. Will sort of named it for me. It does this little flip on the ends. Doesn't look like who I really am at all but I sort of like it. It's silly and ridiculous and makes me want to make pancakes and tuna casserole but you feel like you're going to live forever if you're Florence Henderson and so will the entire Brady Bunch. They never got cancer. They got chicken pox and miss the prom and I like those problems a lot better than my problems. Mr. Brady would never leave Mrs. Brady for another woman. There's just too much to do at home. There's the garage to clean up and the front door latch to tighten. Who has time for an affair. The kids are always having some kind of mini crisis.

So I'm just going to stay Mrs. Brady for a while. It's very comforting. Unless, of course, Mrs. Brady is really an addict. Maybe that's why she's so calm. Well, I'm just going to wear her hair and cook up some hash browns and I think everything is just going to be A OK.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another Life

My brother in law...Or I suppose I should refer to him as my EX brother in law...Although maybe I should just call him my brother because he does feel like a brother to me and Ex and all that sounds just too formal...
So...My bro said something to me that I have thought about for the last couple of days and that is that I no longer think of myself as the Trish whom I used to be...The healthy Trish. The one people said would live forever because I took such good care of myself and swam and ate well and ran around with boundless energy and a smile on my face and really enjoyed my life, although I did complain but what's life without a little whining. I am not that Trish anymore. I'm loaded with poison and I'm trying to heal from that onslaught and sadly, I realized just today that I can't swim. You know why? The damn stupid pain patch I'm wearing. I can't get the thing wet or it won't work. Now I'm trying to work out some plan where the day I change the patch I take off the old one and take a forty minute swim then shower and put another patch on immediately. That might work. It would only be every three days because that's when I change the patch, but it would be something. But it wasn't just the notion that I could dive into a pool or the ocean at any time and have myself one of the joys of my life...a swim. When I realized this I could not let it get me down because why add something else to the negative side of the column. So I just accepted it and started working on how to make it happen even every once in a while.

So I am this new Trish with health issues that are not going away as easily as I thought they would and I am a new Trish who wakes up with a bit of anxiety everyday that scares me because I used to wake up all ready to face the day with positive joy and I'd pack up my gym bag and when I came back from that swim or that yoga I would feel like a new person and my arms were strong and I'd hug the dog and talk to my family and life was sweet and the way I thought it should be.

But it is such a different life now that I hardly recognize it.

Now here's the thing...We all know we are going to die but most of the time it seems very surreal because in your minds it is very far away, this death thing, so why even bother dwelling on it. But when you are face to face with it, it gives you a bit of an anxiety rush that starts in your throat and makes your hands sort of shake and keeps your mind on high alert so you can't just go through the day enjoying the good parts. In fact, sometimes you can't even find the good parts because you're so shaken up by the anxiety.

But maybe this new Trish will have new stuff to bring into the world and maybe the old Trish was getting sort of complacent and honestly boring. Because how boring is a happy life. Let's say, as a writer, isn't it more interesting to write a bit about the dark side? Otherwise you are writing a Jackie Collins novel or an Elizabeth Berg novel, although you can't fault her too much because she does have quite a large output and she never runs out of things to say and sometimes they are a bit, and I do say a bit, profound. In a tiny way. But with my new life with the dark side eclipsing the lighter side, won't that be a more interesting way of looking at things?

Can you write an entire novel on complete high anxiety? With your hands shaking and the world collapsing around you as you write and you are not quite sure what the ending is going to be even though you want it to turn out happy though your beating heart sort of holds you back from truly believing that is possible?

No, dammit, you can write you own ending. You can sit here at your computer and write whatever it is you want to write. And there it will be on paper. Just as you want it. You know, I feel better already. Because I am in charge. Tomorrow morning I will not wake up with anxiety. Because that is what I am going to choose to write. I am going to wake up raring to go. A good day. That's what I'm going to have. A calm good day. With a happy ending. Because I made it that way. That's the way the new Trish thinks. I think I like her. She's tough. She knows what she wants. She accepts what was handed to her. A big fat bummer, that what was handed to her. But hey, BRING IT ON! New Trish can take it.

I am sitting under the fan right now. The breeze is cooling me off. I can turn it down or I can turn it up. I'm in charge. It's just about a couple of buttons. I'm staring at my choices. And here is what is cool about that.

I actually have a choice. Ahhhhhh. How comforting.


Pleasant dreams..................................

Saturday, August 2, 2008

She's Alive...ALIVE!!

Greetings from my home after just an oh so wonderful vacation in HELL. Sorry you couldn't join me but I believe it's a very popular spot and tickets and accommodations are hard to come by. Want to hear about my trip? Okay, check this out...

I was going along just so happy to get to my last chemo and go on to healing because it's been a looooong year since I started doing chemo and I am telling you I was so ready to move on because I was so sick and just getting sicker. Well, two weeks before the end Dr. Shaum tells me in her very calm voice that Houston, we are having a problem. Seems like a tumor marker was elevated way beyond what it should be. Let's say it was at a six last week, well, this week it was around thirty five. And that is no exaggeration! So she checked it again and it had gone up even a bit more so the decision was to stop the chemo before the end because it was not working on this one particular tumor. The same one that started this whole thing. Meanwhile, I was so sick from the chemo that I was taking pain pills all day long and got to such a painful place that all I could do was sleep. At one point I slept for five days in a row. Could not get up. I don't know how I did it but somehow, with a little help from those friends of mine I got to Dr. Shaum's office and she checked me into the hospital where I slept for another day until the pain meds kicked in and I finally started to feel like a human again. And everything seemed to be on track except I started thinking about this tumor that would not let go and for the first time during this whole ordeal I started to have a panic attack. In the hospital. And I can tell you how it started. A doctor whom I love and trust and looked at me in such a frightening way that I read her face as saying..."Oh, poor Trish, poor, poor Trish. This could be it. The end. It's over. She's a goner."

Now mind you, she never said this. She actually told me that the cat scan they did the day before looked pretty damn good because all the vital organs were clean and untouched and only that damn little tumor was the problem. But I read her face as nothing but grim and negative and I was a goner. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking and next thing I knew they were putting ativan through an IV into my veins and in a minute I was relaxed. So Dr. Shaum had to immediately go off on her three week summer vacation and said we would decide what treatment to try when she returned, all suntan and RELAXED and happy and of course I hated her for a few seconds because how come I wasn't on a vacation with my family and getting tan and swimming and why did I have to have anxiety for three weeks and worry about my future and WHY IS THIS STILL HAPPENING TO ME and of course there is not answer to this question...It just IS. That's the way things go.

I forgot to mention that before the hospital stay the other thing I was doing aside from sleeping was throwing up. Six or seven times a day. It was endless. It was awful. It was exhausting. I was so unhappy. And dare I say, lonely. There are a lot of things you can do with friends but throwing up is not one of them. You throw up alone.

But I'm happy to say that that seems to be over now. I have stopped chemo and I am feeling so much better. No more throwing up. My energy seems to be coming back. So nah nah nah while Dr. Shaum is away in Hawaii or Mexico or anywhere I will be healing just here in my neighborhood and maybe it's not so glamourous but I won't be vomiting and I might even, dare I say it, swim.

Now here's the thing. I still have some panic. I'm a little scared. But I am not going to let this thing get me. It's 2008. They come up with new stuff everyday and I am willing to try any new experiment they might throw at me plus I'm going to do those vitamin drips and I'm going to do my acupuncture and I am going to zap this little sucker from all sides because I want to be here to watch my son grow old and older and I want to be here to move to my own house and I want to be here to have dinner with friends. Hey, Dennis made me a martini tonight!! A MARTINI. Small, yes. But it was vodka,, which I haven't had for a year and it went down nice and smooth and I relaxed and I laughed and damn is that not what we're supposed to do if we're lucky, which I feel that I am? We're supposed to have dinner and drinks with our friends. I repeat, if we're lucky. I am not unaware of how lucky I am, believe me. On my worst days I know I have more than most people in the world.

So that's where I've been. Not sure where I'm going but it's going to be another adventure and I'm ready to fight and I'm going to win dammit and I am not going to vacation in Hell again because it was not a good deal and the accommodations sucked.

And you know what else...My hair is going to grow back. Won't that be a trip.

You know how it is with vacations...You've got to lie down to recover from so much fun. That's what I'm going to do right now. Nice to see you. Hey, maybe we could take a cruise sometime. Think they take IV's on board? I promise I won't throw up. Good night.