Wednesday, May 07, 2008

one hour at a time

One Hour at a time

Today has been five days home from the hospital. Being at home post surgery is really great. I am so happy to sleep in my warm flannel sheets at night and have my own fireplace to snuggle in front of. I was even able to stick my foot in the ocean water the other day. The sand beneath my toes was divine! I am juicing daily and eating delicately. Four to five bites per meal is all I can handle. I take little walks and try to do at least one excursion a day to the store or the bank or the post office. I walk very slowly and take my time so sometimes people get impatient with me and scurry past me, grumbling. I just smile at them and send them blessings. I used to be that person scurrying past slow people and grumbling. Boy, its different when you are the slow one! I am learning patience from the universe - Patience with my own body and its slow, deliberate healing process; Patience with myself and with those around me. I have always been a most impatient girl, wanting everything now and not being able to wait. The impatience has served me well because I got things done myself because I was too impatient to wait for someone else to do them. But now with my body challenged in so many ways, being unable to bend over, open and close windows in my house, or do some of the simplest things like empty the trash, I am learning patience. I will get this lesson right.

My ex husband Thomas is building me a beautiful patio out in my back yard so I will be able to sit on a lounge chair soon and sun my scar in privacy. I am so grateful for every day alive. I am so happy to be here at home again and to see the friends and family I love and gaze into their sweet faces. I know I didn’t let on how scared I was before the surgery. I am very optimistic by nature, always turning lemons into lemonade Every once in awhile though, a big dark cloud of doubt would park over me and I would allow myself the darkest thoughts: “what if I don’t see my kids again? What if I cant kiss their sweet cheeks or see them marry or have children of their own? What if I cant sing again after this is over?” I am so glad that I am still here and that the universe still has some use for me in this life. I feel honored and blessed for every day I am here. The day I went int surgery though, I was surprisingly tranquil. I felt certain that I would be fine. I knew there were hundreds of glimmers of light for me all over the world. You kept me alive in there.

I can sing a little and have been playing guitar and trying, just for me. My voice has a very sweet, vulnerability about it. Its very different from the powerhouse voice I have learned to command and control. I may record a few songs this way just so I can remember what it was like to be so weak and fragile. It has a funny vibrato when I sing that reminds me of Kitty Wells.

The healing process is very slow but I am taking it one hour at a time, one day at a time. I have enough energy to make one or two phone calls per day. I have enough energy for three to ten emails a day. One minute I will be laughing and sitting in the sun on my terrace, and the next I will be in my bed crying in pain with the shades drawn. I really cant predict from one moment to the next how I will feel. My body just needs time and rest to get back to its prior strength. I know it will get there. I have 154 stitches in my abdomen and 48 staples. I call it my car hood because its in the shape of a big round upside down happy face smile. If I get a belly button piercing, that will be my car hood ornament. I have to laugh at it. It really looks like Frankenstein. I am glad I posed nude when I was younger and my belly was chubby but perfect. Playboy Magazine wont be a knockin’ anytime soon! Now my big, scarred belly is a bonafide war badge. I have been through a war and back again and my body looks like that and feels it. I will get the staples out on Monday. I have lost a lot of weight but its hard to tell how much because my abdomen area is still very swollen and distended with fluids. Day by day, I regain a bit more strength. Now I can stand some of the time and make my carrot juice, I don’t have to sit the whole time. Day by day, hour by hour, one inch of progress at a time - restoring and renewing me to my former strength . But I will never be the same after this experience. I can never go back to pre cancer, because this kind of neuroendocrine tumor really has no cure other than surgery. They are fairly certain that they removed all of mine and we will review the pathology report next week and find out what it says. Like so many cancer patients, I will always have to be diligent that it doesnt return. I will be on certain medications for the rest of my life. I have been taught how fragile my body is, yet how strong it is too. I know I will be okay.

I want to thank again Bob Corritore and Kim Danielson for the great benefit they did at the rhythm room in phoenix. Also a shout out to thank Lorna Hamilton and Sooty for the benefit they did at O Connells in San Diego. Gina Sicilia and Bob Margolin just did a wonderful benefit this past weekend in Hoboken, New Jersey and Carlos Guitarlos and Desiree Martinez who organized the great benefit at Perqs at Huntington Beach; Thank YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. You are keeping me and my family alive now and I appreciate it more than words can say... I am just starting now to write my handwritten thank yous to many of you. It takes me a lot of time to get even one done. Please be patient with me as I am learning to be patient with myself.

In stitches in Oceanside,



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