Sunday, May 18, 2008

Little Victories, Little Demons

I played almost the full Mirror Image show yesterday standing up. It was originally my intention to sit for the show so as to protect my stomach pain, but my stomach felt fine, so with the exception of one slow ballad where I took a break because my back was hurting, I stood and 'rocked out' the whole time (at least as much as I could).

Little victories.

It was a beautiful day, really hot, but thankfully we had a tent covering the stage. For not having rehearsed in a month, and with my mind perhaps a bit elsewhere, and with with our singer Lisa just five days off major shoulder surgery and wearing a massive sling, we did okay. We even had one solid jam at the end of a song where our drummer Billy and I really seemed to be locked in and almost telepathically varying the rhythm behind Brad's violin solos. It was very gratifying to hit a groove like that.

Sadly, I fear that will be my last Mirror Image show for quite a while -- I mean, based on Lisa's and my condition, we should rename the band 'The 4077th' or something, but we're stuck with Mirror Image, like it or not. But while Lisa will heal relatively quickly, I'm in for a bigger battle. But I will be on stage with those guys again, I know it.

This resolve is, I'm sorry to say, not unwavering. I have received countless messages of support from all of you lauding my incredible outlook, and I continue to have faith and confidence in what's ahead for me, because let's face it: as Ghostbuster Peter Venkman told the scared administrator in the haunted library, "We don't even know what you have yet." This is true. Tuesday's the big day and until then, it's mostly worthless speculation.

But that doesn't mean there aren't demons. And yesterday was my first day. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe it was because I was alone for a while after the gig. Maybe it was because my band members noted that my face is thinner (I have lost a bit of weight, yes). Maybe it was because I stupidly looked on the internet at some stuff regarding the type of cancer that the doc is guessing (key word there, guessing) it might be.

I dunno what it was, frankly. But the reality was that the demons crept in. The negative thoughts swirled. The confidence wavered. The last few days prior to that I have felt like a gunslinger, glint in his eye, ready to take on all comers, ready to get hooked up to whatever machines or IVs necessary, and to spend days in agony, going through untold pain, to get this unwelcome bastard invader out of my body.

I'm still ready for that, but yesterday I allowed the negative to creep in. And I realize that it's silly, and worthless -- but I also realize that I'm human, and it will happen. Nobody can stay as positively resolute as I have been. There's a limit to exactly how brave a face you can put on, how much you can stride around like you're in full control. The fact is, I'm not in full control here -- there's a lot out of my hands and the most I can do is respond with every possible bit of my energy and positive outlook once I'm given my roadmap. But even the best prizefighters get knocked down, and that's what happened yesterday for a while.

Chris showed up later in the evening, we went to dinner and had a great talk, and I mellowed out a bit. Got a decent night's sleep with the help of some Xanax and this morning I'm expecting Marj, Jeff, Barry, Hugh and maybe a few others to come over for brunch, and this afternoon I hope to kick it with Andrew and Blair and their families in the afternoon sun at Blair's great house on a hill in Oakland. The weather has been phenomenal and it will be a great way to close out the weekend.

The support and emails continue to flow and I feel the energy from all of it -- literally, all of it, believe me. It means more to me than anyone will ever know. Please keep it coming. We're all on this road together -- I'm the main player in this particular show, but each and every one of you has a part to play and it's an extremely meaningful part. There are no bit roles here, there are no walk-ons, there are no two-second Hitchcock cameos. You might take on those 'extras' roles in other people's stage plays, but not mine -- I need you here with me, in mind and in spirit, as I step into a whole new world of discovery and come out the other side. Each piece of support you give to me, whether it's by a call or email, or even a positive thought or prayer, is a little victory and it helps drive away those nagging little demons.

I'm off to get ready for the day. As always, I love you all and will continue to keep you posted as we approach the time for complete diagnosis and treatment. Have a great Sunday.



Lisa said...

You rocked yesterday and we're with you all the way!

Amy said...

Bravo, D! I wish I could have been there to see the show. It was great to hear your voice yesterday and I can tell the warrior is in there. Feeling scared is OK because, effin' eh, it's scary!
Thank you for showing all of us how to enjoy the silver linings when the skies look gloomy.
Loved the Ghostbusters reference.
Sending the secret handshake,
ms. bartlett

Lisa said...

Love the MASH reference!

Pat Bush said...

D, I know you are going to kick this thing. I know it, you know it, we all know it. Here's to gettin on with some serious ass kicking. We're here for you my brother. See you soon. Pat