Surviving

Hi all,

First of all, let me tell you that I AM FINE. Up here in Washington Heights at the top end of Manhattan, we barely got hit by Hurricane Sandy at all. We never lost power or anything, besides a flickering light or two, and shotty cell service (which remains).
Getting around remains a major hassle, as trains aren’t running up at my stop, nor are they running at all below 39th St. It’s hellish down there, and really, really tragic. Beyond comprehension, the damage that has been caused. Jersey got it very rough too. The house where I spent all summer with the most amazing people doing the most amazing show barely survived. The caretaker’s cottage is gone, and the damage to the house is immense.

Again, though, I’m well and everyone here continues to truck on. I have no work again till Monday, so I’ve been baking. A lot.

To non sequitor, here’s a post from my best friend, L, who has (finally) started an amazing blog about her journey with cancer. I think she’s amazing. Check it:

http://go-tee-ay.tumblr.com/post/34706128778/an-inconvenient-blog

An Inconvenient Blog

An Inconvenient Blog. 10/20For many months I have been battling both blog and cancer. I don’t know which came first—the idea to have a blog or the cancer—-but the cancer just made it worse. “Oh you should write this down. Oh, you should document this. Oh, you should write a play about this! A movie about this!” (these are hypothetical quotes that more likely than not have been projected on myself by myself so please don’t go scurrying through your memory wondering if you told me to write a blog….though I’m pretty sure there are some who did).

One night I sat down and wrote it. A funny, witty story about the trauma of a not-broken-toe. It was to be a blog about everyday things…with cancer. Through a “cancer-lens” if you will. Now, I want to be clear—-when I say “with cancer” I really mean “with chemo” or, “on chemo”. I am very lucky and am in remission and have been since January. But just for the record, with cancer life was great! I had jobs! I was dating! I was at the beginning of a very exciting life and career! Then chemo came along and seriously crashed the party—-brought it right into the Sloane Kettering Pediatric Cancer Wing. (68th and York….9th Floor….elevators M and B depending on which side you’re going to). I didn’t get to do much that day I may have broken my toe but I would at least write a blog! (finally). And so I went on tumblr and I picked the design and dedicated myself to my first entry.

I don’t remember the details now. The essence of it was really the ridiculousness that this toe caused. It’s a stupid injury and you feel like a jerk when you do it. I just stubbed it. And it throbbed and kept me up all night (ah, now I’m remembering!) and I thought how funny it was that my maybe broken toe was causing so much stress when I’ve been getting 10 months of intense chemotherapy, plus a lung surgery and various procedures here and there (the feeding tube comes to mind).

But here…here was some real work to be done; my body had a break and my mind was lucid.
Productivity!* Creativity! * Wittiness! Oh, it was all coming together so nicely! (Productivity and creativity are antonyms to chemotherapy). Ok save! Ok load! Load? Save? REFRESH? doom.

I have long resisted the internet and my illness. I have long resisted literature on the subject. At first I didn’t want to be consumed by it—-I didn’t want it to “define” me I’d say. I thought that by reading some amazing book about cancer I was then in trouble of “THE DEFINITIVE”—-you have cancer, you read cancer, YOU ARE CANCER! But, a very helpful book was Gilda Radner’s ‘There’s Always Something’. And I do save Souleika Jaouad’s NYTimes blogs on my computer—-read the one on guilt——-and in the past few weeks, listening to Tig Natarro’s ‘Live’ (Louie CK website. Do it.).

I don’t know and don’t really believe that Ms. Radner, Ms. Jaouad or Ms. Natarro were TRYING to do anything with their work. They needed to tell that story no matter what and had an instinct that in some place, in the present or the future, there would be comfort in it. Or maybe they didn’t even have that. Maybe we are just humans (just! ha!) who need to talk about what the fuck is happening to them.

All I can do is tell what I know and in doing so I accept that that is my story—not my whole story but part of it and presently, while going through chemo—all of my experiences are going to have a certain chemo-tinge.

So there it is. I’m out. I had cancer. I am in remission. I get chemo. It’s about time—-we’re coming up on a year soon!

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2 thoughts on “Surviving

  1. You know…I can’t really think of anything to say with words but I am sitting here in awe with a huge heart and I am just so happy that you share YOU. I think that is what blogging is all about.
    I’m-a go check out “Live” now.
    So glad you are safe up there.

    Bake your little heart out.

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