My second post to this blog was entitled “Always Have Something to Look Forward To.” At the time I was thinking of something pleasant like a vacation, a Broadway Show or a visit with friends. Life is full of surprises because immediately after that posting, during a routine physical exam, my doctor discovered several large tumors in my abdomen. I was sent for an ultrasound which revealed three major growths & a host of smaller ones. The next step was an MRI which confirmed the results of the previous tests.
I was so wigged out, looking at the MRI j-pegs of these tumors (it looked like a fruit bowl with a small watermelon, oranges & a bunch of grapes) in my tummy, I went right out & bought some ridiculously expensive boots. Then I went home & cancelled all my out of town obligations & began applying large quantities of Belgian chocolate to my already distended midsection. True, I’d been feeling tired & cranky, my body was taking longer to recover from the usual demands of Diva-dom, but I ignored it. I thought “I’m gaining weight, funny, I’m still exercising & eating well. Maybe I’m pregnant!” Ah, but it was not to be. The Doctors gave me the verdict: I now had something really big to look forward to: Major Surgery.
SO instead of going home & blogging about Fabulous Living I’ve been on a futile hunt for alternatives to surgery. Several of my friends have experienced this same health scare & gave me suggestions. Thus began a several month sojourn during which my every waking moment was spent making appointments, getting tested, interviewing MD’s, arguing with MD’s who didn’t realize what an obsessive self-educator (smarty pants know it all) I truly am, getting poked, probed & generally appalled at the way women get treated.
See, I’ve been incredibly blessed with excellent health up until this point. I’ve had no health insurance (& thank God I’ve not needed it until now) so I just didn’t go to the Doctor. If I got flu, I have a wonderful Family medicine guy who understood my financial situation & charged me $25 for an office visit. I’d go get a physical every 5 years or so. I’ve been so focused on the music that I neglected myself. Sometimes you need a thump in the head as a reminder that life doesn’t wait. On Monday, January 25, I’m going to have the first hospital stay of my adult life. They’re predicting the surgery will last 6 hours & after about 6 weeks I can start feeling like my new self.
I’m very grateful for the support that has been shown to me by my husband, family, band mates, and the concerned friends and fans who have asked where I’ve been hiding. I’m sorry I haven’t said anything up until this point. I wasn’t sure what to say. Now, I’m asking people to please pray for me. I’ve never had surgery and I’m really scared.
The challenge is to look at this as another new adventure. I intend to beat this & come back stronger & better than I was before. I anticipate being back at work by late spring. We’re planning a big party to celebrate my full recovery sometime in May with tour dates to follow. Plans are also in the works for a new album, a cookbook, and ventures into film and theatre. The question is: will they let me wear just a little make-up into surgery?