So, I’ve known about this tumor for quite some time and I’ve known that it was having a less than positive effect on my body BUT .. sometimes you just get tired of dealing with STUFF!!! After the 2nd round of breast cancer (what’s UP with that stuff anyway?), I made my mind up that I was done all the medical crap! Didn’t I deserve a break?
Round #1 came 4 years after the car wreck that changed my life permanently. Hell, I battled for two years to learn how to walk and talk again. I didn’t quit although it wasn’t for lack of several attempts. That accident left its mark on me physically and intellectually. As long as I’m being honest here, the resulting brain injury is one of the reasons I sweat before live performances instead of reveling in them. I can’t approach them with the wild abandon so many other artists do because always lurking in the back of mind is: “What if I forget the lyrics or miss my entry or xxx?” It takes away from that standing – residing – being in the moment and the music ceases to be a sanctuary!
At any rate .. Round #2 showed up about 6 years after that. While I don’t believe it ever really goes away, I could live with it being pushed so far back in my consciousness that it no longer existed. Uh .. yeah .. right up to the point about 4 years ago when it sent me a little reminder. I went and saw the best people I could see, got everyone’s opinion about what it was and what it was doing and then made my decision .. prudently watch!! It’s DCIS and I’m good with it just being there watching me while I watch it! (If you’d like to learn more about Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, check out: www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/dcis). By the time I’d reached that particular mindset, I just wasn’t ready for something else to deal with but I had learned to pay attention who I get my advice from and to get second opinions, right? RIGHT???
That paid off in 2012 when my back decided to explode. I researched the different options and types of doctors would be best and decided on a neurosurgeon who specialized in spinal “issues.” Some people told me it was overkill and an orthopedic surgeon would be just as good but I’m nothing if not stubborn about some things. Good thing .. once they got in there .. they found a small little bomb attached to my spinal cord that had to be ever so carefully removed. An orthopedic surgeon would have closed me up and sent me to a neurosurgeon for a second and more complex surgery. Universal messages come in many way .. personally .. I prefer these more subtle intuitive type messages BUT I’m too stubborn to get many of those types. Nope, I all too frequently need the old ball bat type! Sigh!!
Let’s just fast forward through 2013and I was back in the studio recording. Let’s face it .. I’m one of those singers who finds her passion in the studio. For me closing out the world, darkening the lights and stepping into the song is sheer heaven! I remember thinking how lucky I was to have survived so much through my entire life to still have an intact voice .. the least of which I survived was age!! Not exactly known as the singer’s best friend although it adds a patina to a solid voice .. like the shine on a well used brass bar rail. And, unless the singer is simply mouthing words and not touching something deeper, more emotional .. age brings experiences and that is heard as well. It’s true of all musicians whether singers or drummers or cellists … the patina of experiences!
My spirit is at its happiest and most alive when I'm making music .. whether it's live or recording .. singing IS my passion!! So .. I suspect many of you will understand why it was so damn easy to side-step any issue that had to do with my throat and why I’d sit in front of the doctors for the last number of years with fingers stuck firmly in ears and singing “la la la la lalalalala … I can’t heeear you!!!
Finally, I could “la la lalalala” no longer and had to listen to the facts and nothing but the facts! I absolutely LOVE this doctor! He’s human and he recognizes that I am as well. He’s got a off-beat sense of humor that allows him to endure mine. He actually got the jump on me on this one particular visit. His PA and one of the University students came in for the 1st round and apparently warned him that I was juuuuuust a little stressed and upset. He cracked the door open and threw a piece of paper into the exam room. When it didn’t spontaneously combust, he stepped in and suggested that I could remove the dagger from between his shoulders. We laughed and then he listened while I cried and admitted that I finally had been backed up into the corner of logical thinking inspite the waves of nauseating fear I was riding.
Bless his heart, his suggestion was to not run screaming into the surf waving my arms but to start with tests. Tests? Yeah, tests are good in a scary, stomach turning way! And, of course, who can resist the free but stylish footwear?
Okay .. I’ll be back in a couple days! I’d like to have you caught up before the .. ahem .. big day!!! Thanks for listening!!
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