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.