Friday, October 09, 2015

OPEN APOLOGY TO TIG NOTARO and everyone I personally talked into going to see her show at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham

I was wrong.

I was wrong when I told you who Tig was. Well, part of what I told you was wrong.

I told you she was in Reno 911 which ran from 2003-2010. It was not her. I bring this up because last night, after her show, Ken and I went to a reception in Tig’s honor to support PP, and I pulled a classic Tig-Taylor. Not Swift, Dayne.

Hello, I said. “I love all of your work.” (I should have been more specific.)

“Oh really? What have you seen?” she challenged me with a sly grin.

I started my list. “Reno 911, Sarah Silverman” was all I could remember in that star struck moment.

She looked at me. “I was never in Reno 911.” She looked like I was just making shit up that I was a fan of her work.

It was not Tig.  

It was her.

And the fact that I had never seen Tig do stand up before I had seen her on TV seemed to surprise her too. Not my fault. I had two kids under ten before she started on TV.

In my defense, a few things.

First of all, Tig WAS in the Sarah Silverman Program, and she DID wear a uniform that made her look like an officer. And she appeared (according to IMDB)in nine episodes from 2007-2009. See here, an easy confusion. Don’t they look alike?

Sort of?

Second of all, during that time, remember I had two children under the age of ten and a growing brain tumor in my head which was removed shortly thereafter, apparently scrambling my memories.

No matter.

Tig was wonderful in every show I did see her act in, The Sarah Silverman Program, Dog Bites Man, In The Motherhood and Transparent. I had never seen her standup show until recently, first on YouTube, This American Life and then her Netflix streaming documentary, Tig.

Her stand up show was equally wonderful last night. She has a marvelous way of telling a story that could be boring if told by someone else, and her timing is so impeccable, it’s hysterical. And she listens and responds to the audience. Sometimes comforting, sometimes correcting behavior.

Thank you Tig. I know you are just a person. And a whole lot of us just got to hang out with you last night.

And if you are reading this and you know Tig, please express my sincere apology to her.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015

I know, me…me…me… is the five year anniversary that Norman and I parted ways.

This past summer, on June 10, 2014, I celebrated the 5 year anniversary of my diagnosis, the day I was first introduced to my acoustic neuroma.  Norman.  That moment is a perfect memory.  It was as if my world froze in its place, and I felt like I was drowning in quicksand.  Since then, life has been a whirlwind.  From diagnosis to surgery was 8 months.  (Interestingly—or ironically—I only knew Ken for 8 months before we were engaged.)  I guess I prefer fast paced life!

Today, I’m celebrating February 10, 2010.   

At the beginning of 2015, when I started thinking about this date, I was 30lbs heavier than the day I was wheeled into surgery, thanks to my aging metabolism.  At the beginning of the year, I committed to doing some sort of cardio at least 30 minutes every day and I’ve been pretty honest about doing that! (Now I’m only 10 lbs heavier….I’ll take that small success….)  

So many amazing things have happened in the past five years….high school and college graduations.   The Army.  A book.  A new career.  Chicago. Hawaii.  Elections.  Board work.  A heart attack (Ken’s, not mine.)  Anniversaries.  Bat Mitzvahs. Weddings.  New babies.  Videos.  Theatre productions.  Music recitals.  Too many funerals. I joined the board of the ANA a year ago.

I’m feeling great.  I have my two year follow up scheduled for March 12. 

On April 10 of this year, I’ll be getting on a plane headed to Shanghai, where I will be representing the ANA at the 7th Annual Acoustic Neuroma Conference. Every month since my surgery, I connect with at least one newly diagnosed AN patient.  Every month, I get to pay it forward.  This is what I believe.…It could be worse.  It’s not cancer.  Someone I love might get sick.  And die.  Or just surprise me and die. (see above)

I’m grateful to you for reading this and sticking with me. 

I’m still here. And I really appreciate you for being here too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

They are calling our row

I lost yet another friend this week. To cancer.

Her name is Beth. She was a massage therapist in her career. But she was more than that. A sister. A daughter. An aunt, a cousin. She was everyone's friend, and she fed stray kittens.

Our relationship was short, about five years.

After I was diagnosed with my brain tumor, she contacted me.

"I hear you are looking for people to walk with you. I'll walk with you."

Honestly, when she first contacted me, I could not even see her face in my head. Our paths had crossed briefly and intermittently when Ken and I were attending the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.

But there she was.

So we went for a walk. And then we went for another one. And then, after a while, she offered to gift me a massage. Ten days before I had my surgery, we both imagined Norman shrinking from the size and consistency of a walnut, to the size of an almond.

After my surgery, I rarely saw her. She was not part of the regular group that visited me.

A few years after my surgery, I found myself with an extra ticket to the Motherlode concert at WWU. I put it out on Facebook that I had an extra ticket, and we got to sit together. I think that was probably the last time I communicated with her until after Ken's heart attack.

I only heard she was sick right after he got out of the hospital, and she was VERY sick by that time. And she had been sick for a while. Cancer. Stage 4. Just a little time left.

I never knew a thing about it.

I saw her three times after the day I found out she was sick. Once, I brought a sandwich to her at her house. She tried to pay for it. I told her, “next time, you pay.”

I called her to make plans again. Sadly, things had progressed very quickly, and four weeks after that sandwich, she was on her way to Hospice.

I entered her room, there was quiet singing. I walked up to her bed, took her hand, got close to her and said, “I brought you a sandwich, it's your turn to pay.” Her eyes opened wide, and when she saw me, she smiled. Her lungs were so filled with fluid, she hardly had any breath to talk. I had time to kiss her hand, say thank you and goodbye.