The C-Word – Part 24: Getting fringey.

Well folks, my colonoscopy was perfect and my surgeon/proctologist (never thought I’d be using the term “my proctologist”, lol) is very happy! I had my follow-up CT scan which also showed no signs of anything aside from those pesky little polyps in my lung which I STILL think were from Covid, but my oncologist wants to keep an eye on them just to make sure. So, unfortunately, my chemo port stays in for the time being. “Just in case”. Darn it!

My iron levels are FINALLY building up after my severe post-surgery anemia, my blood pressure is back to normal and all-in-all, I’m feeling great. I have more energy every day! My abdominal muscles are still healing from the last surgery however, and I’ve realized just how much I need to be aware of my digestion to keep gas pressure from distending my scar tissue. Thank goodness for the old box of Traditional Medicinals’ Eater’s Digest tea I had! Works great.

I wanted to mention a couple of other resources which have helped me immensely this past year. The meditation app, Insight Timer has been my solace each and every morning, as well as some nights when I can’t sleep and during my hospital stays and chemo treatments. I’ve done so much energy and chakra clearing work with this app through guided meditations, sound baths and music with healing frequencies. And is the platform where after years of denying yoga in my life, I finally found a yoga teacher with whom I resonate (Jackie Casal-Mahrou) so I was able to start my yoga practice at the start of this healing journey. I literally could not have done all that I have in my healing journey without these two resources.

But in the ongoing human comedy that is my physical form, I’ve now managed to fracture my fourth metacarpal in my left hand! It was a silly performance accident: I slipped and fell and thought I’d merely sprained my ring finger, but after over a week and still experiencing swelling and pain, I decided to go to the doctor, just to make sure. I really thought it was just me healing slowly due to everything my body had been through, but nope! I really fractured that bone! And it’s slightly displaced, meaning the upper half of the bone is slightly to one side and the lower part is slightly to the other. So I’m waiting for my appointment with an osteopathic surgeon to find out how to proceed. Just hoping that I won’t need a cast AND praying I can get my rings off before the appointment so they won’t cut them off!

My handmade hospital “johnny”.

In preparation for my upcoming show, The C-Word, for the Vancouver Fringe Festival, I needed to make a hospital gown or “johnny” as my husband calls them. It’s my main costume for most of the show, and I need it to function in some specific ways, plus be a bit of a “burlesque” version of a hospital gown, with some surprises! I had the idea to make it in the same colour palette of my promo for the show, so was seeking a light turquoise cotton fabric with some sort of a pattern that would mimic a hospital gown style. I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled upon fabric of that colour with little yellow butterflies embroidered all over it. My mom has appeared to me as a yellow butterfly ever since her funeral. And my cancer journey is intrinsically wrapped up with my memories of her and her journey, so this fabric was destined for me.

Yellow butterflies for Mom

I made pasties to match, with fishing-line spinners in them so I won’t have to work as hard twirling at the end of a one-hour solo show. The tassels were harvested from part of my Rolls Royce “Spirit of Ecstasy” costume from my second-time competing for the world title of Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque (yes, that’s the full title) in Las Vegas. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!

Show spinners!

Otherwise, I’ve just been working hard on my Fringe Fest show, which has been harder than I thought. Writing down everything I’d experienced over the past year and shaping it onto a show was one thing, but now, having to go back and re-read and re-experience everything as I rehearse has been rough. I hadn’t anticipated that. I often find myself avoiding doing the memorizing work on the text of my show and focusing instead on the costumes and props and rehearsing the musical numbers instead. It’s all still very raw to have to re-live the dark times. It’s hard to disassociate where I am now with the experience as a whole. Re-reading certain sections can still trigger anxiety in me, which I’m diligently working through.

My show schedule has now been confirmed and tickets will be available within the next day or so at I’m also co-hosting the “Fringe For All” event on Sept. 7th!

The C-Word, with dates & times!

I’m confident that I’ll be more than ready when the time comes. After all, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge, and I’m a consummate professional, and a bit of a perfectionist, which can be a challenge in itself! I hope you’ll join me next month if you’re able! I believe there is also a LIVESTREAM option from the show on Monday the 12th at Leap Creative Studios. More info on that as it becomes available! If not, I’m happy you’ve joined me on this ongoing journey and I hope to have more positive news to continue to share with you all. Until then, get outside and hug a tree! And I hope you’re enjoying all the beautiful moments this world is offering you.

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