Well, I can tell you that her talent doesn’t come from her formal education. She dropped out of that as soon as she could, so she didn’t have many people telling her what she couldn’t do or say, and trying to squeeze her onto some shape she couldn’t fit in, which she wouldn’t have done anyway — but her going her own way saved everyone a lot of hassle. But she was a voracious reader, and a discerning one. And she was always happily juiced up. She would have been outrageous if she weren’t so good natured. That’s what gets her through the tough ones like this. She’s a lot like her mother, come to think of it. As one of my sons said, “I’m not sure I could even be a fraction of that upbeat, but that’s her and I’m me.”

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The First Update

So listen, let me tell you how it started.
My surgeon is so good looking...doesn't speak English, doesn't care to. He knows anyone who wants to talk to him is already quadruple lingual or will run out to buy a Rosetta Stone just to ask him check out that suspicious freckle on their breast. I heard through the grapevine that he liked to crank up Pearl Jam and other heavy rock music when he was operating.

   I was fairly cheerful checking into Santas Marias de las Chapalitas. My memories of my last hospital visit just aren't that bad. All that really come to mind is drugs and lemon sherbet. I was definitely eating the day after my tongue surgery, as unlikely as that sounds. And the radiation wasn't pleasant, but you know, I got to hang out with all my friends everyday. Anyway, I didn't go into the hospital with any fear, I mean, shit just always seems to turn out all right for me.

I was already in the OR...the surgeon showed up last, after everyone else was in place, and I think he might have given the table I lay on a quick spin.That probably didnt really happen, but it gives you a sense of the guy, in his black scrubs and piratical head cover. Then, I kid you not, he leaned over me, got right in my face, whispered "escuche," and turned up Luis Migul singing "Sabor Ami" If I hadn't passed out at that moment from the anasthesia, I most certainly would have swooned away like Olive Oyl in a Popeye cartoon. That guy had my number, and no mistake.

 When I woke up, I felt fine,and everybody told me how great it went, so I drifted off peacefully and woke up cheerfully, full of morphine and that surgeon.
I guess things kind of took a turn for the real the next morning when I realized that I was immobilized from a cast....that weighs at least eight pounds, by the way... On my left hand and 17 IV lines in my right, and some highly distressing arrangement of hardware that ended in a line snaking out of my nose. I was later to find that the line would remain there for weeks. No sherbet for me. No water for me.
The lack of water made me so indignant that I may have tried to say " do you know who I am?" I just couldn't believe they meant it. But they did,not only no ice cream, but no effing water, and no matter how many ways I tried to get them to admit to a language barrier being the only problem, they didn't budge. I am now on my 6th day without brushing my teeth, or really any kind of decent hygiene, and it is a special kind of hell. I still don't really believe it.
  I will say the nurses at the hospital have sponge baths down to a science. They get right in there, and somehow washed my hair and changed the bed at the same time.  Bruno, I suspect will not be quite so adept.
  Obviously, the surgery turned out to be a much, much bigger ordeal than we were prepared for...I took a freaking eyebrow pencil and cute pajamas with me, thinking I'd have a bit of a spa getaway while I was in there, for the love of God.
         An eyebrow pencil!
that would have been a riot, trying to get some eyes on around the tubes.Believe me when I tell you, I didnt care who saw what, or what it  looked like when they saw it.

   It needs to be said that as miserable, overwhelmed, and frightened as I am, as bewildered about how to handle the nuts and bolts, now that there are at  two or three weeks of rigid discipline instead of the five days of taking it easy we planned on--I have to feel grateful that it was done, and that it was done when, how and by whom it was done. It was bad shit that they found, shit that wanted to kill me. And that rockstar surgeon was good at what he does.
  It has been impressed upon us that we don't get two chances at this being successful, that I have to be more compliant than I've ever been in my life. The stakes are high. So that means no sherbet.It means no water, no food, and no beloved friends to help me pass the time, because I mustn't talk, and how can I see you and not talk?
  But I know that you're there.


  1. The quote at the very top is so beautifully said and strikes so true. The same good natured high energy you share with others will get you through this too. I think you already must know that you're an inspiration to others, but just in case you have any doubt, I want to confirm it. Thanks for staying in touch with those of us in your universe. Yes, we're here!

  2. You are such an amazing and inspiring example of the power of intelligence and talent combined with good humor and an awesome wit! You rock, girlfriend! Hope you can feel the hugs and healing energy I'm sending your way. Metta - Janet

  3. Ed & I sending out our love,prayers and hope for the best in your battle. I do know you're a fighter and you just don't give up. So glad you have shared your story on this page.