Room 5113

Well.. here I sit… it’s been 3 days as of now… 3 days of chemo called Carmustine…who knows? I have had so many different cocktails and this one was a mild blend of harshness with a whimsy of metal flavor….. ahh yes….a frightening bouquet !!! Tomorrow is another cocktail ( i am told this one will be the tequila of cocktails…) hold on! And requires a day off!!! I have bend walking a lot and they actually have a small gym here so i am catching up on months and months of treadmill abuse….Internet is sketchy so I am writing fast… Zoe is up north having a ball with Linda… eating crab!!! I am very jealous!!!! This will be a shorty as I will be sky ping with my girl in a minute… just leave it at… I am feeling very good… waiting for the other chemo shoe to drop as it were… I expect some nausea… but looking forward to my new birthday Feb. 5 !!!!! Born again!!! New stem cells!!!! nighty night… till next time this internet works…cb

I’m Baaaaccckkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!

Dear previous followers of my journey… Yes… it was over 2 years ago… well 2 years later( almost to the day) It returned. I feared it was back… knew the symptoms… was touring and working very hard… and feeling the “old feeling”… not a good thing. Made it through 4 nights( 2 shows a night) at the Blue Note in NYC… dragging off the stage and sitting very still between shows. Got back home and sure enough… this time Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma…and very aggressive. Lump in my neck and groin. It was showing this time…Immediately began aggressive chemo( 3 days in the hospital for solid chemo.. 2 weeks out then back)I was moved to City Of Hope in Duarte for this journey. And a new Dr. specializing in Stem Cell Transplant.. Dr. Nadamannee( Nade for short)
So… as of today I am CLEAN… hairless…( I mean Yul Brenner style this time!)…I enter the hospital this coming tuesday to begin the transplant process which includes 6 solid days of yup… more chemo…( one wonders how much of that goo can the body take.?.) a day off… then a “new birthday” as they call it. Feb. 5 is my new birthday!!! I am using my own stem cells… which is the best way to do it they say…then I stay in the hospital another few weeks to prevent infection and basically am treated like a newborn…
Guess I will finally get hooked into some of these cable shows everyone is watching…and work on new music and read… and keep moving( they have yoga..meditation and gym ) ahhhh yes… here we go… so… I would say welcome back to my blog… though I did not plan on this repeat!!!! This is the very happy ending this time.. all for now folks… will continue on when i go in.. much love and big thanks to my angels going through this with me… you know who you are… I am blessed..cb

ok….I am a bit overdue! 10 Months later????

Dearest friends and supporters…

I seemed to have stopped blogging right after I was diagnosed with … NO cancer on March 6 2012… I want to catch up and catch up with myself and all my dear ones who kept me afloat. I DID lose my hair… It is now a curly bush perched atop my head rooster style! I tried wigs for a time… very hot and didn’t allow my skull to breathe!!! I finished my Chemo in June of 2012… went back to work in July with my group. And yes… back to Europe!!! where all this came to a very nasty head the November before! It’s strange how all I went through seems a lifetime ago… and yet I am just now beginning to face all the deep emotional aspects of this experience.
I am…embracing me…feeling for me.. and being proud of me… and just acknowledging i did it! I cannot tell you how crazy I went after all the Chemo was over!!! THEN the shit hit the very large fan… Lashing out… mostly at my sweet … unprotected daughter. Zoe was truly faced with something a normal teenager should never have to deal with. But many do… The happy ending is… she is doing very well and has a great support system… and I have found a Life Coach to walk me through the left overs of my emotional roller coaster! I am sharing this end of the ride for me… and for anyone else wondering why … after you have gone through cancer and 12 Chemo treatments and a serve blood clot and oh yea…. Cataracts surgery!!! ( Chemo weakened my eyes in a very shocking fast way)…and diagnosed cancer free after 4 treatments… why oh why was I so angry? So … un grateful??? So alone? Well… more and more is being revealed every day my friends… I am back on stage… full of life force and finding my inner peace. A lifelong journey. But one I may not have ventured upon had I not been introduced to Hodgkins Lymphoma. I get blood tests every 4 months. A very intense day… but so far … the best day of my life! Next blood tests are May. I want to continue writing as this is an ongoing journey. At lease till I find myself on the inner road to recovery. More to come …
must try and sleep now… On the road!
huge hugs and great love to all my dear friends… you may or may not read these…. I will post on FB…
Goodnight all and we shall keep chatting…
cb

Grace, Love and Support….oh,and a Miracle…

Another Chemo day begins…my dear friend Barb( soon to be Hauser) drives me way out to Encino, during morning rush!OY! I always need a ride as I get a bit loopy after. Maybe all the gooey toxic cancer killers surging through my system? yea… OK, I knew I was going to get an update on my PTscan from saturday. About half way through my treatment the charming Dr. Chang walks over to me. First, I was in the dog house… ran out of 1 mg. Coumadiin.. so I was taking less than I needed…getting a bit cocky with my blood thinner since my clot has been melted down! OK… I will get another prescription… sorry! Then he just sat next to me and said… the PTscan…….( uneasy pause)….,,
it’s gone! I just looked at him… what? It’s gone…. all gone! My cancer is gone. 4 treatments? with 8 to go????huh? My heart opens up… my eyes fill up … my life is anew…. what? it’s gone? really? I have now created a group weep! Two other wonderful women sitting near, also wired up, begin to cry with me… One has breast cancer and is fashionably sporting a great wig and beret…the other lung cancer which has spread to her liver…wearing a great wig…both of these gorgeous ladies are crying for my happiness. My happiness? They are struggling. I am not. My life has changed so abruptly, so deeply , so permanently. I will always be in the Club… with honor. I now am more prayerful than ever…. Guess this is what happens. I honestly feel God has given me more than one chance at life. Two at least! Do overs! I have been smiling ever since… even when Zoe and I have our “moments” haha!!!
OK… now to the real stuff. My deep ,deep thanks to every one of you who did get me through this strange journey. I did not do this alone. By no means! You , and all your prayers, good thoughts, love and prayer shawls…My sis in law, Deanna, my friend Debbie, my dear dear Linda. without you… I am sure this would not have been possible, my dear Zoe, who actually created her own way of coping by creating a Tumblr blog made for the families (mostly teenage kids)of cancer patients. She blew me away with this. F*ck Cancer…. it is amazing! All my close dear friends from the north, my partners in music Janis, Tim and Alan…and Margaret who has been singing in my place. You all have been working overtime! I am so blessed by all the rest of those I do not personally know as well. All around the world! It is overwhelming.
This is the hard part. Accepting . I now believe I can . And I feel the love from inside me! Coming out at warp speed!
Still doing chemo, but next week it’s Dr. talk time to see just how much more I will do. Hey, I will and do take orders very well! But I will let you know just “what the what” is going to happen.Had the “Chemo blush” all day today. Hope to sleep tonight… could barely sleep last night…I am graced with health. Please know this is number one . All else will not exist without health. I know this now…and for God’s sake I hope you all have good coverage!!!!!! I do! Thank you God…..
And endless thanks to all of you.
happy, healthy, ready to take it on!!!!
cb

progress report!!!The Biggest Winner!!!

Hello out there!!!

Well, I am on my way to get a progress report via PTscan. I have had 4 treatments…hair is very ,very thin and otherwise only an ongoing taste of metal in my mouth! Fifth Chemo this tuesday, almost half way there!!! I need to catch up but it feels weird doing this first thing in the morning. My outbursts are less and less. My dear Zoe has to withstand them. But, as she is the most amazing daughter in the world, she knows what these are all about. Mostly frustration, fear and just plain…”I am pissed!” Bills are piling up to an amazing amount. But, hey I do what I can! Of course while all this is becoming more and more real I am forced to look for a less expensive place to live. I usually love doing the real estate dance… I am not as up for this as I would like to be. So directly after the scan, which is, by the way , immensely relaxing! I just lay under heated blankies and try to not move. Easier than one would think, for me anyway! haha! Then go directly to meet my dear friend who is a real estate agent to see a 4 plex in Studio City. Not as elegant as it sounds…I miss my group. They are slammin’ it in Jakarta and I am sitting in my TV room with what appears to be a dead TV…How will I survive? But all in all I am doing good. Like I said, the hair is slowly yet evenly coming out. I know there is a good cry around the corner over this. Come on! We’re girls!!!We LOVE our hair. And somehow this makes it more and more real. I even rarely say cancer… (notice the lower case)… I just can’t give it a capital! Sorry. So, tomorrow is a very nice brunch for my girl. She is almost 17 and has lived many lives already.I am very blessed to have such an intelligent young lady for a daughter. She is struggling more than I am through all this. As well as my marriage separation. Oh yes! This came right before the diagnosis. So… quite a wild ride. Just when I thought i could NEVER live through cancer??? here I am! With all the bells and whistles.
Well, off i go to Encino to my restful “tubular” morning! Wish me luck. I feel the Chemo is working. Gained all my weight back and have a voracious appetite! No worries, no biggest looser in my future! I seem to feel like … (you know what’s coming!)…The BIGGEST WINNER!!!!!
Om, peace, amen…..
cb

4 down…8 to go!!!!!

Hello my Dear Ones,
I figure we are dear friends by now, if we weren’t already! This journey is a personal one but as I share more and more of myself it is clear how many of you out there have gone through this particular ride or have known someone who has. It is strangely almost common! The big C. Funny, I don’t use the word very much. I usually say Hodgkins Lymphoma! It rolls off the tongue in an almost lovely way! Exotic! even…
So, I have sailed through 4 two and a half hour chemo treatments.Rather unscathed so far. I am at the blush stage! I have a rosy glow the day after the treatment. No makeup necessary! And yes, I am radioactive! What shall I do with my superhuman powers? Use them for good or evil? I am feeling quite good considering all that is being pumped into me. a bit tired but so far, this treatment, no nausea! Well, ask me tomorrow…but all the healing coming my way via prayers and incredible loving thoughts from so many of you I believe is getting me through this! I really believe it! I now have not one, but two prayer shawls. My sister in law knit one, and Debbie,my dear friend from high school days sent me hers. Both are full of amazing energy and healing miracles I am certain of that. Who could ask of anything more? I am so grateful. I say this a lot in the course of a day. A lot! I am also logged onto a wonderful meditation site every morning. Deepok Chopra Meditations. Wonderful way to begin the day.
Sat next to Betty yesterday! She was very chatty during her treatment . She has a rare kind of Cancer which has no cure. She has been in and out of the hospital with various harsh reactions to some of the medication. Through it all she has raised 6 kids alone and is an inspiration. Happy, laughing and beautiful. Lost her hair in the first 4 treatments. No big deal! I enjoyed her spirit so much. Hope I see her again. Different ladies almost every time. All members of The Club.
Well, still have all my hair. I can run my hands through and a few strands come out but nothing too unnerving yet. Gotta make use of these scarves and cute hats!!!
Here I sit surrounded by my two cats.They know what’s shakin’ and are giving me their full and loving support.
I tell you, I am feeling very good. No dramatic stories of crazy reactions . The blood clot has disappeared ! No more shots, just pills. I am doing great. Almost feeling guilty for sitting at home while my group is out there working so hard, but, truly, I cannot tour while doing this. If we virtually toured, now that I could do! Soon… very soon!
Well, this blog was quite uneventful but full of good news and tons of gratitude.
my love and thanks to you dear peeps!
cb

HAIR TODAY….GONE TOMORROW!!!!

ok… this evening I feel normal! The nausea lingered a bit longer this week…hmmmmm…my blood clot has gone down, but I am still getting shots through next week. Ouch! In the stomach!! Why? ok… enough complaining. Even though I am walking the walk down the avenue I have been gently handed,( I did not exactly Mapquest this one.. God did.) haha!!!, I am realizing those around me, my loved ones, actually may have a harder time dealing with my Cancer than I do! True. They can’t do anything and are stuck with a yearning to help and yet how? Just being there for me is all and is enough. And is love. I am so lucky and blessed I have such dear wonderful friends. So blessed.So, a deep, heartfelt thank you for being my friend.
Ok…so, I am wearing my usual black sweater… I looked down and saw hair… all over my sweater? Oh….I see, it is happening! Here we go! Well, I do have a good supply of hats and scarves. I shall become the Diane Keaton of jazz!!!HATS!!!!!Bring it on!!!
I am consuming mass quantities of Wheat Germ Extract, Adrenals, Antibiotics and Coumadin as well as bi-weekly IV of either Vitamin C, or metals or Immune cocktail.Not too bad. Yummy!
So, hair? I am NOT my hair, but I am curious how it grows back…perhaps curly? Always wanted curly hair! That would be neat! Time will tell.
All is good. I am good. I am in a state of grace, calmness, solitude,thoughtfulness,and ready to move forward with my voice and my music. I sing in the car now! Never did before… maybe I am just checking if it’s still intact! ha!! It is. whew!!!
Time for a delicious Vitabath and my classical radio station. Goodnight all dear souls out there. I love you and thank you for just being there. I feel you.
cb

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN….

Good morning dear ones!
Sorry I am absent so much of the time. Waiting for inspiration and information to share I guess.
Well, I am now in single digits in chemo left. Number 3 completed yesterday. 9 to go!!! But with a slight snafu…thinking I had a swollen gland ,come to find out I have a blood clot in my neck….yikes. So here I sit through the weekend with a hot pad on my neck and loaded up on blood thinner and antibiotics! Whoopee!!!! Life is giving me all kinds of lessons regarding trust, patience and gratitude.
i am surrounded by love and light. My sister in law knitted me a prayer shawl. It was actually saturated in prayers as she knit it. I curled up in it during chemo and shall continue to. Ah…. good vibes surround me! Thank you Deanna. Still have a headful of hair, not too thrilled with the root situation though… I was actually told by my Onchologist that one of the causes of Lymphoma is …. ready ladies??? HAIR DYE! So much for my natural red head look! yes, it’s true…not a natural “sun kissed” redhead. Well, I am in good company! namely one Lucille Ball!!!!WHAAAAAA!!!!!!
So here I am awaiting my daily shot( just can’t do it myself) by a nurse for blood thinner. OY! I gotta say, I love my new HD TV!!! (Thanks again Linda) it has changed my housebound life. Well, I am not exactly housebound by any means, just makes television more palatable! ha! I find myself quiet a good deal of the time. Unless I am hanging with people. I am tending to stay more quiet and am attracted to like minded people to be with. High energy types need not apply right now. Thank you…
I think between chemo treatments, after the few days I feel shitty, i am beginning a few new projects and have a number of wonderful support teams by my side.
My moods are balanced and pretty much good. I feel alone sometimes but I guess that is normal. Grateful most of the time and sleeping the rest of the time. I love you and embrace you with all my heart. And I will write more often.
love and light and lots of color!!!!!
cb

Restless as a willow in a…or WHY ME?

Ok,ok…I have taken a break.I think I have been stunned a bit… Most of you are much more eloquent than I!!!But ah to Hell with it… this is my journey and you can read it or not…But thank you all for your support and funny, touching and beautiful comments. Every day with Cancer is a new adventure in coping, crying, laughing and expecting the unexpected.After my last Chemo, I had a blush which lasted most of the day! Crazy! Then the next two were on and off nausea. I must say, not too bad. No hurling! Still… not a hair has left my scalp yet. I kind of pull on it as I brush to test the roots, and nope, not yet. I just found out a very dear friend I lost touch with for a few years went through Chemo for Breast Cancer. Tiny , small, world! She said she cried when her hair literally flew off her head. I know it will be devastating. Ah well… I have been collecting scarves and cute hats. I have had moments of just plain anger lately. Guess it’s ok to feel the feelings.Just not dwell and set up housekeeping there! ha! So…catching up on way too much TV. It pretty much sucks but I have a wonderful new flat screen to watch the suck shows on! Upside! My old cat Belle has taken to sleeping right next to me every night. She is touching my arm as I write this. I am very moved by the old girl. Until she begins to snore! Yes. Snore. Do cats snore? Well yea….she’s helping me heal. I love this aspect of animals. She is doing something magical and mystical. I just know it.( I must blog more often. I got stuck i guess)…I love the quiet retreat of my beautiful bedroom. I have created a sanctuary. The self help is kicking in. A Vitabath, candles and Gregorian Chants. magnificent..Third Chemo next wednesday. I hate that my normal tuesday is now wednesday! I wont’t see the regulars. Maybe make some new bald friends though…actually only a few have scarves on. Other women have full heads of hair. Who knows? My Dr. keeps warning me of the accumulation as I do more and more Chemo. Do I want to know? Hmmmmmm…NO! I want to create my own experience. Power of suggestion is too easy to get sucked into. Ok… no more what if’s for me! AH HA…on that note, bedtime and a run tomorrow… yea, Pico is forcing me to run a bit! He is my little Yoda Chaweenie!!! And no, I don’t know much on the Cello…I do know how to pop the strings off by tuning it wrong! baby steps………….
love and sweet dreams.

LIFE…in the slow lane!

Good evening chums,

And the trek is slow…. a true test of ones patience.( I would be the “ones”) ha!!!Hey, I can’t and won’t complain. I have felt great! I mean really like i felt oh… a couple months ago,almost normal old cb, ready to get up on stage with my cohorts and belt out Birdland… but wait…. ahhh, maybe not that ready! But… hey, i am only getting my second of twelve treatments this tuesday, so slow down there girl! Since they are spread out to every other week, it is a slow groove. Broken up by alkaline drip! Yes, that’s what i said. Sounds like a job for Jiffy Lube but it is true. Evidently, Cancer cannot function and do it’s dirty work with a lot of Alkaline surrounding it! Now, how to pass the time…..Hobby? uh, well I have my Cello sitting there waiting for me to try to tune it again just to have me pop the strings by tuning it an octave too high….again….why do i hear the notes so high? Hmmmm maybe because i am a soprano? …anywho…catching up on movies like crazy. I guess i am catching up on my life which is something i kind of detoured around for many years. This is precious , good, personal discovery time. Slightly interrupted by chemotherapy…..a gift… a very odd, in-my-face gift ,HA!!!!! but truly a gift.

Sigh……breathe…….sigh……Thank you God.

love you all

cb