Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Dance, Dance, Dance

Got out of bed an hour earlier. Got into work an hour earlier. I even had time to stop for a cup of coffee before jumping on the 405 (yet another yellow bracelet sighting outside the bakery).

Read email, sat through conference call, fixed ColdFusion code, outlined Kids Corner re-design... next thing I knew it was 12:30pm, time to head for the bunker and BillyBob. The line for flu shots snaked around the block outside 4950 Sunset. Parked the car, checked-in at reception, and took the elevator down, down.

The whole thing, as promised, took only 5 minutes. A lot of buzzing and clattering as the huge metal arm rotated counter-clockwise around my head. I was able to keep my left eye open under the mask, and from the reflection on the machine I caught the green beams projected on my face for a few seconds. "You did great. See you tomorrow."

I headed back downtown to pick up my mail from the loft, and to liberate my saute pan and a bottle of white wine. Not to drink, but to cook with. I'm burnt out on take-out and restaurant food. So tonight I'll be cooking up a storm. I've been craving this chicken with artichokes and red peppers dish I haven't made in a loooong time. Very spicy.

Sort mail, pay bills, yoga, cook, eat, wash dishes, read, and finally sleep. Then tomorrow: work, radiation, buy groceries, yoga, cook, eat, wash dishes, read, and sleep. Next day, repeat. Before I know it, it will be December.

"Dance," he said. "It'stheonlyway. Wishwecouldexplainthingsbetter. Butwetoldyouallwecould. Dance. Don'tthink. Dance. Danceyourbest, likeyourlifedependedonit. Yougottadance."

-from "Dance Dance Dance" by Haruki Murakami


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Laura!

This is Susan, the daughter-in-law of Rafael and Bibiana Esguerra. You've passed surgery marvelously and this cobalt tratment just drives you crazy. Somehow naming the different machines "Galactica", "BillyBob" makes the treatment exciting, fatastic...but still the process is awful. Does it help you any if you knew that some people pray for you and love you?

I don't know,...I like the way you write. Have you considered writing a book?

October 19, 2004 2:26 AM  
Blogger clowny said...

Of course it helps to know that people are wishing me well. Thank you.

The actual treatments aren't awful. Annoying is as far as I'd go because they're in the middle of the day and the mouthpiece makes my jaw ache after a while. I believe a lot of my anxiety is anticipating the worst. But in my case that applies to everything in life.

A book? If I ever developed a writing style that could remain consistent for more than four paragraphs I would consider it. Blogs are probably my best medium for now because 1) I'm impatient 2) I have a short attention span, and 3) instant gratification takes too long.

October 19, 2004 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has days when they are down, worn out, health anxiety and just not feeling all that happy.

That's OK, you need to have days like this, otherwise how would you know when you are happy. You need to have something to contrast your happiness with. What is black without white?

Even though you know that sadness (health anxiety) is a part of life, let's try to make it a small part of life.

With that said, here are a few tips to help you feel better when you are feeling down in the dumps. They are easy to do, easy to practice every day and they work!

1. Stand up straight, sit up straight. When your body is in alignment your energy can flow and when your energy is flowing freely, you can flow.

2. Smile! Yes, just smile. Easy to do and effective.

3. Repeat positive affirmations. Things like "I feel good", "Positive energy flows through my body", "I see the good in all".

4. Listen to some music that you like. It doesn't have to be anything specific, just something you enjoy. Certain types of music work better than others, but experiment and see what works for you. Studies have shown that Classical music and new age music work best.

5. Take some time out for yourself, relax and read a book, do something for yourself.

6. Meditate. Meditation is an excellent habit to develop. It will serve you in all that you do. If you are one who has a hard time sitting still, then try some special meditation CDs that coax your brain into the meditative state. Just search for "Meditation music" on Google or Yahoo and explore.

Our outside work is simply a reflection of our inside world. Remember there is no reality just your perception of it. Use this truth to your advantage. Whenever you are sad, realize that it is all in your mind and you do have the power to change your perception.

These tips will lift you up when you are down, but don't just use them when you are sad or health anxiety . Try and practice them everyday, make them a habit. You will be surprised at how these simple exercises will keep the rainy days away.

On a final note, if you are in a deep depression that you can't seem to shake, please go see a doctor. This is your life and don't take any chances. health anxiety

October 25, 2005 2:58 AM  

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