So what up with dat? I'm 48 years old, in pretty good shape... (with "abs of steel" says my chiropractor. God bless you Laurie. Oh if you (the universal ye) ever need a terrific chiropractor let me know. The only trouble is is that she's in Washington Heights. But she's worth every mile and the hideous amount of Bridge traffic. I love her.) All right, so I'm in pretty good shape and not all that long ago, I was dubbed by someone as the most well-preserved chick in NYC. (God, do I eat that shit up. Or rather, I used to.)
What turned me into Captain Pike (if you don't know, please google him yourself), was a cascading series of events. Individually, perhaps not life changing, but together, a nightmare.
Okay (deep breath- wait a minute, that's actually pretty funny in a cold, dark way), in late fall 2006, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease (Lymphoma) the best cancer a girl could ever ask for. Ridiculously treatable. All pretesting showed a body in perfect condition and ready to go. Hey my boy Mario Lemieux had Hodgkin's. He's doing just fine. So I begin chemo, buzz off my nice long hair, and begin what was to be six months (two treatments per month) of chemo. Then all done.
After one treatment (ONE!!! Woohoo, am I home free or what?) there is no longer any evidence of cancer. I react weirdly to the chemo...but who doesn't...??? and The Fifth Element while stoned is simply incredible. I'll do Milla myself; she's so hot. And weed eats up nausea instantly. That's what I call a miracle drug.
Well, during the second week after chemo, I'm feeling much more normal, so I work out, blah, blah, blah. Then I get a fever, late February, early March. I had been given my order: if I have a fever over 100 degrees, call doc, anytime day of night. This went on for several days. Chip (mein husband) left for a business trip. "Honey, what could possibly happen in a couple of days?" says I. So he left. Doc calls late. Fever hasn't gone down. He said "I don't like the sound of this. Meet me in the emergency room at 10 a.m." Okay. I expect IV antibiotics as I was promised.
I go, tell the triage nurse lymphoma, fever...get to the head of the line. Fuck open sesame. "Lymphoma, fever" gets you instant gratification. Trust me, I know. And we all love instant gratification, don't we? (Well I do.) I meet the doctor, give my girlfriend my phone. And the next thing I know, it's May. Yeah, I went in March 7 and became aware in May. (Sounds like a line from Tommy.) Seems I had a perfect storm of events...weird reactions to chemo drugs, pneumonia, fever such that my little lungs threw their hands up in despair (well they would have if they had them) and said, this is too fucking much! And those damned lungs hardened up so bad, I was on a ventilator for 8 weeks in medically-induced coma. I was supposed to die, because people who get this just don't live. My husband MADE me live. He made the doctors MAKE me live.
That's why I'm on disability with 24% lung function and there is no treatment for my condition. NOTHING. I think that's been the toughest thing to take. You get sick. then you get better. I had never heard, you're sick and we got nuthin'. Sorry.
Anyway, I'm on oxygen 24/7. I can't walk any further that the bathroom. Even with extra oxygen, I'm still out of breath. So it's the buddha or the wheelchair. I pretty much choose buddha and the couch.
But, since I can't do anything else, I've become a writing freak. I never said it was "good" writing, but it's writing nonetheless. My major opus has been a family history, and I think may end up being at least a good deal of the focus on this blog. But today, I just had to set the scene for what is. I just wish I could do it with fewer words.
So my next task, is to get a book published. It is called Since When and about my ancestors. Ha! Just to get an agent, you have to go through a ridiculous obstacle course. Fuck, if your margins aren't exactly as they want them, throw the whole damned proposal out. Do you think it gets any easier with publishers? They have you jumping through the same sorts of hoops. Now I can get margins right, but what about the query letter, the synopsis (sell! sell! sell!), the outline (who knew this was such a SINGULAR thing?) But what better things do I have to do? I'll tell you all about the book. If it piques any interest, I'll tell you more. We'll see if this piques anyone's interest. Period.
Hello, good night,' til we meet again