Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Am The Wig Man (Koo Koo Ka Choo)

First of all, I am still working on becoming wireless (and of course tubeless but that's a separate issue) and I haven't written as much lately as I'd wanted to because I've been sort of brain dead at times and honestly sometimes I couldn't quite make it into my study. You see my day consists of getting up, which takes much longer than it used to although I have to say that after a couple of weeks of nourishing up with these cans of "food" I feel like I have more energy than say, a month ago. But anyway, I get up, walk around a bit and feed Gracie the dog and then I take a walk with a friend and maybe go to the market, just to feel like a normal person, and I buy paper products as I've told you before and then I come home and feed on the couch and read the paper and a book and the day goes by, the day goes by, my my how the day goes by. And then suddenly it's night time and I watch In Treatment, which has now finished it's run and for those who were hooked, were you not pleased as punch that he had a panic attack that knocked him on his ass!! And then it's bed time where I sleep like a log until the day starts all over again.

However...Monday things will change. It will be my first day of second round chemo. Am I a bit freaked out? YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! I already throw up and I am already tired and we know chemo just makes all of that worse so YES, THIS IS GOING TO BE A MAJOR BUMMER and I was so looking forward to this year and it never really got off the ground now did it? If you read back I've had two good days so far this year. TWO. Oh yes, I am grateful for those days. Oh yes, I am doing a dance of gratitude right now. BUT COULD SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK HERE!

Hmmmm. Someone. And just who might that someone be, can you tell me that? And, of course, the answer is...NO ONE. There is no one who can help me because it's all random and it's all good luck and bad luck and happy days and sad days and just plain old days and to stop myself from spewing I will now tell you about something good that is probably going to happen soon...

I was told that after a couple of chemos, I should be able to eat. Not much. But something. Little bits. A tiny piece of cheese. Some apple. Food. I will be able to eat food. I am very excited about that. Very excited. My apple and Havarti are waiting for me in the other room. Oh happy day.

My friend took me to the wig man that other day. Wasn't sure I would make it because I hadn't been unhooked from my food machine for more than two hours but we did it. And it was worth every minute without sustainance. It was great. His "salon" was in a little old California bungalow type place on Westwood Blvd. You walk in and there is a tiny room with a television playing on the floor and a lovely Asian woman watching it and working on some hair thing. I believe she was his wife. The whole place was covered in hair and wigs and pictures on the wall of old fashioned beauty salons and ladies with very big hair and it was pretty much a mess. A beautiful mess. I loved it. And the guy comes out and he's a little guy with grey hair wearing a grey sweatshirt also covered with hair and he leads me into his backroom which has a salon chair set up in front of a small mirror and he tells me that when he was nineteen he was in a rock and roll band and he worked as a hairdresser to make money and the rock and roll died but he continued doing hair only now it's only wigs. And he sort of liked me and we laughed about the sixties and he measured my head and I have to say it was sort of fun in a freaky sort of way since I was there because I am about to go BALD and that is rather horrifying but I like that this guy is making me a wig and you know, I think he's going to do a really good job. And I don't know if I mentioned this but I have a "perscription" for my wig so insurance can cover some of it and on the perscription it says...cranial prosthetic.......................Of course with that description I picture having leg on my head but whatever.....................

Actually, life is pretty good even when it's bad. Please, I'm looking out at trees and I'm not worried about insurance and I am a lucky human being on so many levels.

BUT I AM PISSED OFF and I can't wait to feel normal again and wait, I think I hear my Havarti calling. Or maybe that's a squirrel.

On to Round Two.......................................

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Finally, some good news. Some news I can relate to, some news that makes me feel that everything is going to be just fine...

I drove myself to the market a couple of days ago and that was a trip onto itself because I'm on these pain pills and in the house they're just fine but out in the world they really make you feel a bit paranoid and I think I must have looked very odd because everyone was staring at me or probably that was just the paranoid part but anyway...I was in Pavillions getting things that were made out of paper since I can't eat right now and I glanced down at the magazines and there was the good old Weekly World News with the headline...WORLD TO END 5-15-08...And I felt so relieved that I wouldn't have to do chemo after that...That thank goodness there was going to be an end to all of this and the end was actually in sight! Oh happy day. So I drove back home and took out my purchase of paper towels and toilet paper and I felt pretty damn good about my future.

Except...I saw Arlen Spector on Jon Stewart and I realized that in a month or so I would look just like him. When he had cancer and lost his hair and all that. That was rather depressing. Although he's a guy who looks extremely frightening even when he HAS hair so I'm thinking that maybe I'll look more like Natalie Portman or maybe Natalie Portman's mother. Natalie shaved her head for a silly movie but when you've got a face like that and you're young I think being bald is not as intimidating as when you spend half your time trying to hide your fine lines and wrinkles under your bangs.

You know that show In Treatment that I mentioned a while back...Well, according to the ratings not many people are watching it and according to MY ratings I think I KNOW everyone who's watching it. Like, all of my friends. You people. I'm telling you, watching people with problems that are not your own is such a comfort. That's not your therapist, that's not your husband, that's not your daughter and thank goodness for that. And you've got to love the fact that the therapist is a complete mess because don't you think that's always true? Well, not always but my room mate for one semester in college was a young woman whose parent's were both therapists and boy was she fucked up. I met them once. The therapist couple. They actually introduced me to Bob Dylan. The records, not the man. They were like really depressing beatnik type people. Wore black all the time. Listened to Dylan all the time. Had pictures of Freud all over their house. They were very pale and their house was very pale and their daughter was very pale and she left college after a semester. I think it was the acid that did her in. I remember she took acid and couldn't stop talking about her father and it completely freaked her out so she left school to deal with that. I heard years later that SHE TOO became a therapist. Are we surprised? I just hope she didn't have any kids.

So I believe I'm starting chemo on Friday. I'll find out for sure today or tomorrow. I am not going into this as healthy as I was last time and that's a little scary but I am looking forward to shrinking this stuff so I can eat a little. Haven't had even cheesecake in a very long time. Luckily, I am not hungry because of the tube food. I'm thinking that I'm going to wear a yellow sweater to brighten things up a bit but as far as the pants go, forget it. Nothing hangs right anymore because of the ass absence. I am hoping to have a wireless laptop soon I can write more often, even when I'm hooked up to the IV.

Maybe I won't actually be bald when the world ends. That would be nice. Hmmm, I forgot to read HOW the world was going to end. I did see a picture of a gigantic dinosaur type monster next to the headline but that must have been part of another article because that would be way too silly so I know it will be something much more plausible that finishes off mankind. Like being attacked by aliens or maybe the sun is getting too close. Yea, that's probably it. I think I'm feeling a bit warm already...............................

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Resurrection of Who?

I wrote a blog yesterday and I pushed a button and poof...The blog disappeared into cyberspace, never to be seen again. I think that blog sucked anyway. I was having kind of a strange day. People seemed very edgy to me yesterday and the day before. Kind of like they wanted to yell and scream and choke me to death. And I bring my IV into my study now while I write so I can keep getting food and yesterday the IV suddenly looked like an alien to me and I felt like she was watching me write so I had to turn her around to face the wall and I think she got insulted and do you think I'm taking too many pain pills and I'm losing my mind? Actually, I'm taking less pills since I have this patch but I don't know. Poof. It was all gone and I thought I heard my IV chuckling so I just let the blog go and the two of us went into the living room and watched an episode of In Treatment. Ever seen that show? It's about upper middle class people in therapy who are very fucked up and you just want to slap them and say, "Get over yourself!" but the acting is terrific and Gabriel Bryne is very handsome and the best part about is...Those aren't MY problems. Thanks goodness for that.

One thing I remember writing about yesterday was Mr. Obama's speech. If you haven't heard or read it...Google it. It's pretty damn brilliant and so forward thinking and not stuck in a world that no longer exists. That's why I think that he's probably the right person for the job...Because he's a person of the future. He sees things very differently than people from an older generation. I don't know if he can get past his fiery, angry preacher but I think Mr. Obama would be very exciting to have as a President. How many times do we have to have those Middle East Peace Talks until we finally realize..."Hmmmm. This isn't working, is it?" Maybe we need a new approach to things. And I'm not sure but I don't think that approach should be blowing up the Middle East and starting all over again.

So I'm talking to a friend this morning and I asked if we could do something on Sunday and she said that there was this Resurrection she had to celebrate and I said like a moron..."Who's resurrection?" Okay, I admit that lately my life has been a pretty selfish one. Me me me. It's been all about me. I do forget other people's birthdays and I apologize. But to forget who's (or is that whose?) resurrection it is means I have to get out of myself and remember that there is a world going on outside of my house and that world does not concern me except for the fact that I am this little meat body walking around this small piece of planet trying to figure out what it's all about.

I am thinking that when I go bald I might have people sign my head...Like a cast. Or maybe I'll have an artist friend draw on some hair. Or maybe I'll glue some licorice twirls up there that look like bright red and black dreadlocks and then I'll always have something to munch on even when I'm stuck in traffic.

Or maybe I'll just wear a hat.

I miss human beings!! Right now, this part of the journey is just sitting in my house pumping food into my system so I no longer get my vitamin drip and I don't get to see Cedric and the crazy vitamin gang and I don't have to go to the grocery store because I can't eat by mouth right now so it's just me and this alien IV and my computer. And my dog, of course. But we all get along. Don't we gang? Don't we?

Wish me luck. I'm going to try and print out what I've written so I am now clicking on the button and here goes................................

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Walk Down Mammary Lane

Okay, now I have noticed that both my ass AND my boobs are almost entirely gone. And next my hair!! So what the hell am I, then? A hairless, boobless, assless woman? Does that sound attractive to you? I actually think the man formerly known as my husband left just in the nick of time. And while I was obsessing on my loss of feminine body parts I started wondering...What if I was with a man right now, what would he have to lose to make me leave HIM? His penis? If he lost his penis would I leave? And beyond that, what actually makes him a man? Not hair. Bald men are very masculine and handsome. Boobs? Well, I suppose if he developed man boobs that might be a problem. His deep voice? What if he had throat cancer and suddenly talked like Marilyn Monroe? Would that be a turnoff? Or would that be just thrilling? And am I losing my mind in some insidious way and should I have my computer taken away from me before I write something that I might regret someday soon?

On my good days, in my good moments, I actually get a bit excited about tomorrow. Tomorrow meaning the future. This feeling could, of course, be brought on by my pain patch but I will take whatever excitement I can feel at this point. In fact, I have a whole case of pain patches and I wonder what I would feel like if I stuck all of them on my arm...Just for one night...I mean, that might be just too much happiness. More than I could stand. But would that be a bad thing? Too much happiness? Can you even imagine that? And here's where my mind always goes when I think of too much happiness....To heaven. That's where it goes. And what that's all about anyway because I have these conversations ever so often with my friends about heaven and everyone has a strong feeling about what is going to happen to all of us after we die. Oh, you want to ruin a party? Just tell them you don't believe in an afterlife. Puts a stop to any fun someone might be having almost immediately.

"More martinis please and can someone get this crazy heathen woman away from me right now!"

But just the fact that I can imagine a day when I can teach again and write something and possibly sell something puts me at such an advantage and I realize how lucky I am compared to most people that there is no way I can sit in my living room feeling sorry for myself just because I have cancer and some mini emotional earquakes hit me last year and yet I can contemplate a future with light in it and jokes and smiles and maybe a new pair of pants so how the hell lucky am I?

That's all I'm thinking about today. And also about turkey meatloaf. I can't seem to eat by mouth these days but I think about the things I might be eating if I could. An orange. A grapefruit. Maybe I'll check out the food channel. Is it me or does Rachel Ray look a lot like SpongeBob Squarepants?

Must go and plug myself in now. Maybe there is some really cool outfit I can come up with for a hairless, boobless, assless woman. A floor length hoodie, perhaps? A tent? Maybe just a ticket to somewhere else. Like Siberia.

But tomorrow is going to be exciting. I can feel it. And that's why I'm lucky.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Death by Kenny G


Actually, I'm not in St. Johns. I'm at home. All cozy and nestled by my computer. (Nestled? Is that a word? Weren't they nestled all snug in their beds? Have YOU ever been nestled?)

So?...........What's shakin' bacon? How the hell have you been? I'm so worried about you. Haven't heard from you in a week or so. Are you alive? Have you moved to the South of France? Do you not want to talk to me anymore? What's going on?

Welllllllllllllllllll, it's me and my BF, the feeding tube, here to tell you that we've just returned from almost a week in the hospital getting some hydration and nutrition. I think by the time my feeding friend was reattached I was already so depleted that there was no way I could give myself enough food and water anymore no matter how much I tried to sink into the tube. So I had myself checked in last weekend and I'm feeling a bit stronger and I actually gained two pounds and I'm hoping to gain at least eight more before I start the balding chemo. And I now have a pain patch plus I'm taking pain pills and I'm feeling a bit like Richard Pryor must have felt most of the time although my pain is great enough to make me feel actually almost normal instead of the high one gets when they take the pills and don't really have any pain.

Things I Learned in the Hospital................

If you are going to be near a nurse's station, make sure they don't play soft rock on the radio ALL DAY LONG because that kind of music sort of makes you want to swallow the entire bottle of pills because it doesn't quite put you to sleep it just sort of lulls you into thinking everything is just so relaxed and fine and no one should ever have an individual thought and we should just smile and give up on everything and just lie in our beds and eat jello. Anyway, that's sort of how Kenny G makes me feel.

A hospital chaplain came into my room. She was a nun. The Sisters of Leavenworth. (I kid you not.) She was very prim and friendly and wanted to know my spiritual path until I told her I was a Jew and she became very frazzled and nervously looked me up on her sheet of patients and said I had listed myself as non denominational. I think I smiled demonically because she looked scared when I said that I was born a Jew and will be one until I die but I liked to think of myself as being part of all religions in the world. And until we all thought of ourselves as ONE we would continue to have the same problems over and over.

She left quickly and said she would refer me to the hospital Rabbi. He came just as I was checking out and he too seemed to have a demonic look. He'd probably just run into the Chaplain.

Another reason to take the entire bottle of pills...Daytime television.

Another reason...Nighttime television. Okay, Anderson Cooper is supposed to be news, right? Well, not really but he hit a new low when after the Spitzer reveal he had on for at least twenty minutes a man dubbed The King of All Pimps. Oh my God, this guy was so self confident and self important and he had spent two years in prison for running a prostitution ring and he talked as the expert he was about prostitutes and "You get what you pay for..." and he was proud to announce that he now had a dating service for high class New Yorkers!! You know the Spitzer story is over when the only person you can find to interview is a Jewish pimp who thinks Jeremy Pivan would be the perfect actor to play him in a movie.

Actually, Jeremy Pivan is a great idea.

I realized that the reason Geraldine Ferraro could run for Vice President is because she's actually a man. How different it would be if Geraldine and Hillary had really long rock and roll hair and it hung in their faces when they gave speeches and it was all tossled and full of product when they walked to the helicopters and imagine if Bill ran his fingers through Hillary's long hair when they were at a state dinner. I mean, what is with this hair like a man thing? And, conversely, what if Bill had a cut like Bon Jovi? Probably not a good look for him as I watch his nose get longer and longer. Must be the Pinnochio curse.

And what about our President dancing on the White House porch? The pills, please...........

Must party down now. After all, it is Saturday night. Maybe I'll switch on The Wave and have myself a shot of Kefir. Gee gosh golly, life is sometimes just a little too exciting, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Bitch Is Back

Okay, you know when The Roadrunner or Bugs Bunny are being chased and they run and they run until they get to the end of a very high cliff and they keep running until they find themselves with nothing beneath them because suddenly there is no more cliff but they continue running, treading nothing but air...And they hold up a sign that says something like "Goodbye Cruel World" and then they wave bye bye and drop thousands of miles back down to earth? You know that scene? And we laugh and we laugh because we know what's going to happen and the anticipation is so damn funny. Well, I am treading air right now and I can tell you, it is not so funny and it's completely exhausting. I can feel that guy in the black robe from The Seventh Seal following me and I am determined to lead him in a direction other than the end of the cliff but sometimes you get so tired running in circles that you just want to lie down and let the guy in the robe pick you up and get it over with. Because we all know he wins in the end. Embraces every one of us.

But let's look on the bright side, shall we? Maybe the guy in the robe will get distracted and bother someone else for a while. I am sick of it, you hear me? Sicksicksick of feeling sick. Just spent two days in the hospital getting my best friend reinserted and here she is and we just had about two ounces of Gatorade because that is supposed to be good for me...What?!!...But now I have two pains going on at the same time. Not just one...Two. My cancer AND the tube.

But the bright side, the bright side. Must keep aiming towards the bright side. The recovery nurse, a very nice fellow named David, told me all about nursing poor Anna Nichole Smith. I'm trying to come out of the anesthesia and I hear this guy telling me all about Anna Nichole and I think, gee, I died and landed in the tabloid death area? How did that happen? And then I thought maybe they read my blog and saw the Robert DeNiro stuff and temporarily put me there but soon they'll find out it's not much fodder for anything and they'll dump me in the "just plain regular people" area. But then I woke up as I was being wheeled down the hall into the new wing of St. Johns Hospital. Very pretty. One wall in my room was lavender. I like that. And then there was the Cross. The pretty and tasteful Cross of Jesus. Hello Jesus. My name's Trish. I'm a Jew just like you. And I wondered if he had been to the tabloid section of Heaven? Does he know Anna Nichole? And I probably should let the man in the robe take me now if my only shallow thought upon coming out of anesthesia is about a tabloid superstar. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!

So I'm lying in the hospital bed and the doctor says I can have some clear liquids so a sweet but not so bright man brings me a tray and puts it on one of those tables that can just slide across your bed because one side is open and the other side is a curved bar that goes down to the floor and is attached to the wheels. (Take a moment to picture that...) Sweet not so bright man pushes the side with the curved bar into the bed, and of course it won't budge. Over and over he pushes and it just keeps hitting the bed. I smile and try to tell him to turn the table around to the open side and he smiles back at me and keeps shoving the bar into the bed. SLAMSLAMSLAM. He keeps trying and he thinks the table is broken and my stitches are hurting a bit from all this shoving and I'm wondering...Do these things only happen to me? And if so, why? And if not, who are these other people and when can I meet them and I hope not just in the heaven for people who have peculiar things happen to them on a daily basis. So this guy finally gave up and got another table that worked.

And now I am home and it's a minute to minute battle between me and my pain but please people. Do not freak out. It's just pain. I have pills and I have warm clothes and the sun is out and I'm thinking of pouring whiskey down my tube because if I can have Gatorade then why the hell not whiskey. And tomorrow is another day and you've got to know that that gives me absolutely NO HOPE because remember I was counting on 2008 to be a much better year?

A bird just flew by my window and his tweet sounded like a cell phone.

I need to lie down. Somewhere where I can't see the edge of that cliff. Yabba Dabba Doo.............