Sunday, June 17, 2012

Posted on June 18, 2012. Filed under: Cancer | Tags: , , , |

Fathers Day. I can’t believe my dad has been dead for 12 years! I still think about him every day. I’m glad he died with nothing left unsaid between us.
But today is for fathers who breath. So we hustled off to Christy and Tony’s for a Father’s Day brunch. My ex/their dad was there. We picked up Veronica and Brendon on the way. She also picked up a summertime ball for the kids—and her—to play with. Christy gave Scott a very nice card. At Christy’s request, Veronica stopped at the Jewel for bagels. After breakfast, Anthony, Alyssa, Veronica and Brendon headed for the park. Christy and I strolled along with the hobbling dogs whose hips cause them to walk like drunkards. Their tails are still wagging though—and the enthusiasm with which they pee on trees demonstrates that they still have a passion for living. Scott and Tony stayed back and managed to fix the front doorknob.

In the 90-degree heat, the kick ball game was short-lived. Anthony stumbled off the field holding his belly and complaining that he felt like throwing up. The promise was fulfilled with an outpouring of blue all over the ground. Christy asked what he’d eaten. Had he swallowed his blue bubble gum? Red-faced and sweating, Anthony answered “maybe” following a preliminary denial. I’m sure the heat and running didn’t help. Tony was called to pick up the boy, while the rest of us walked back to the house.

In the afternoon, I tackled the disability forms and caught up with bills etc. It wasn’t easy. I would so have preferred to sit by the beach. In time. I also planned to go to the Mill and read, so I needed the time to get things done.

I thought I brought two Father’s Day poems with me to the Mill, but there was only one. Oh well. I read “Daddy’s Gay—and I Don’t Mean Happy.” It seemed to have gone over well. Marc asked me to share a dad story. I told the audience that Dad had recorded his life on audio tapes from 1979 to 2000 when he died. he was in the hospital with emphysema and waiting for the Y2K to cause worldwide chaos. After the anticlimactic event, there wasn’t a lot to justify his suffering. He was gone seven days later. The 10000 hours of audio tapes were donated to the Kinsey Institute. Billy Lombcardo also performed his traditional Father’s Day set with a few new pieces. Check him out http://www.billylombardo.com/. Wonderful.
Everyone asks how I feel. Every Friday is increasingly exhausting. After two days of no chemo, I feel pretty good by Sunday night…perfect timing.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Posted on June 14, 2012. Filed under: Cancer | Tags: , , , |

What better way to start a Sunday than with friends who I don’t get to see too often and a diner omelet?! I drove to Oak Park, a half-way point and spent most of the time yapping about health updates. Geez I guess I’m becoming one of those old people who talk about their ailments! With a hot pink scarf on my head, I attracted the attention of a woman who stopped at our table and gave me a gave me a thumbs up along with acknowledgement that she was also a breast cancer survivor. Even though I’m currently dealing with leukemia, I took the comment in the spirit it was intended. Besides, I’ve ridden that boat as well. 

From there I went home and did a few chores before gathering some poems for the Green Mill. After all, it gives me something to talk about other than treatment trivia. Dick and Connie, back from Florida, were also going to be there. By his request, I read “Empty Nest.”  Veronica stopped in for the featured poet. Tonight, it was Taylor Mali, who is a great performer and equally shameless promoter. Tonight one highlight was that a woman who I met about 18 months ago reappeared with short hair. I didn’t recognize her, but she explained that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer a few days before we’d met. I had shared my story and reassured her which had meant a lot to her. I was pleased that I could help and tonight she helped me.

After the show, once again, there was an entourage at the Mexican restaurant. There was Mark and Ron from EM Press, Dick and Connie, Susan and a couple other people whose names escape me.  I returned home by midnight and felt great. Also happy to have hit the stage again. I have so many poems in mind. I must start writing them down again.

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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..

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