Zion National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoover Dam

Tony Award winner Pattti LuPone

Lynn and I watched the revival of Gypsy last month. Since I saw Patti Lupone in the 2005 Sweeney Todd revival, I've been a big fan. If I could go back in time, I'd love to see her Evita. But her Mama Rose is even more stunning, electrifying, and heart-breaking. My heart skipped a beat when the announcer said at the start of the show that "Patti LuPone has hurt her foot". I might even have let out a gasp of horror. Then he continued: "And she will be wearing Isotoners." We all breathed a sigh of relief.

We got to catch a glimpse of her again at the stagedoor last Saturday after we watched Equus. She was as gracious as ever. Definitely a class act.

crowd outside stage door
crowd across the street
I wasn't sure how I would like the story of a troubled stable hand who blinded 6 horses. But I had to see the Equus revival simply because Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is making his Broadway debut. And what a stunning debut! I've always thought Mr. Radcliffe is a smart, handsome, funny young man. After seeing Peter Shaffer's Tony Award-winning play, I'm convinced his controversial decision to play Alan Strang has been a wise one. Apart from the initial thrill of seeing him walk onstage, I got so involved in the plot that I immediately forgot I was watching Harry Potter's alter-ego. I felt like a proud mother seeing her son all grown up, proving his acting mettle and taking the Great White Way by storm. Even the much-ballyhooed nude scene had lost its titillation factor because at that point, I was so drawn into the plight of this poor boy. Mr. Radcliffe's performance moved me and my sisters to tears.

And let's not forget his HP co-star, Richard Griffiths in a triumphant return to Broadway. He reprises his West End role as Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist trying to help the disturbed teen. He is forced to confront his own problems and question his life, his profession. Mr. Griffiths and Daniel are onstage the whole time. It was wonderful to see the chemistry and mutual respect between these two co-stars.

Equus is one of the most intense, thought-provoking, disturbing theatre experiences I've ever had. The playwright managed to make it funny at various times. To me, it is less about the stableboy's sexual attraction to horses and more about religion and the hypocrisy surrounding it, the all-too-human search for a power higher than ourselves, our search for purpose and passion in our own lives.

And although we didn't get to see the cast at the stagedoor (you can see how huge the crowd was), it was still a wonderful evening at the theatre. I saw the back of Richard Griffiths' head when he entered the car (Thank goodness I already have his photo and autograph from when he did The History Boys.) We just forlornly waved at Dan's car as he drove away.

3 powerful words. My breast surgeon called this morning to tell me last week's biopsy results. It's not cancer. I knew it. I will never get cancer again. Still getting the fibroadenoma removed though. Just for my own peace of mind.

When I was at Hope Lodge, there was one day when the activities coordinator made me attend their Look Good, Feel Better session that day. I joked that perhaps I looked that bad that someone had to say something. Turned out there was supposed to be a Channel 4 news crew that day to film the session so of course they wanted a good turn-out. (They ended up rescheduling so I DIDN'T have my NYC television debut *sigh*)

Since I know next to nothing about make-up I felt like the worst student in class. It turned out to be a fun afternoon anyway, lots of freebies, laughter, camaraderie and a sense of belonging. One good tip I got that day was from this Dame Judi Dench sound-alike and look-alike. She recommended satin pillowcases to protect your head and hair while you're in treatment and after. It even seems to minimize hair loss and makes it more comfortable to sleep, especially with an incision on your head.

Luxurious bed linens can probably be a metaphor for what we should keep in our lives. We should always take time to treat ourselves, pursue pleasurable activities and spoil ourselves. Without guilt.

I finished Lance Armstrong's book, and not without some tears shed. It was a relief to find out that other people have had the same thoughts and emotions that I've had during and after diagnosis. For instance, how the recovery and survivorship can be harder than the actual treatment. During treatment, at least you're focused on getting better and actually doing something about it. After treatment and you're lying in bed at night alone with your thoughts, one is faced with the uncertainty, doubt, and fear that the cancer will be back. You just pray that your Hope, Belief in God and Yourself will be stronger than any fear, and that fear ultimately has no power over you.

What dog breed are you? I'm a Labrador Retriever! Find out at Dogster.com

Your family is what makes you tick, and you never "flea" from an opportunity to hang out with the whole gang. A family picnic complete with hot dogs, deviled eggs and a refreshing swim in the lake is hard for you to stray from. Your sparky temperament and dogged intelligence mean you are not only a blast to hang out with, but great to work with as well. Your close pals appreciate your patience and forgiveness, knowing you'd rather let sleeping dogs lie than dwell on the mishaps of the past. Your dashing good looks may one day lead to a modelling career, if only you can tame the unfortunate clumsiness that sometimes causes you to go flailing from the catwalk.

Thanks for this Cecile!

During my hospitalization, I felt so much love and support from everyone I knew. When it was all over, it seemed almost anticlimactic. Everyone moves on and gets on with their lives. But every now and then I get an uplifting card, email or text message, phone call that makes my day. The other day, Pinky sent me Lance Armstrong's book It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life because she said he had such good spirit, much like me.

Even better, today I got a package from Pinky's friend Grace, who Lynn and I met during our 2006 Spain trip. She sent me polvoron and Chippy from CA because Pinky told her that I like Chippy. Chippy and Coca-Cola used to fulfill my munchie cravings specially while watching TV/DVDs. (I've mostly given up drinking Coke so I can be healthier.) But every now and then, I still indulge in a bag of Chippy. Gracias Grace!

I'm currently reading Christiane Northrup's book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing. A lot of stuff on energy medicine, the mind-body, etc. She quoted Dr. Barbara Joseph's to-do list for healing:

  • Be gentle with myself.
  • Love myself.
  • Be kind to myself.
  • Take care of myself.
  • Ask for what I need.
  • Say no to what I don't want.
  • Nourish yourself well.


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