Four months and four days will mark the anniversary of my life-changing event – the day I broke my neck, was diagnosed with cancer, and learned to live in spite of it. A great deal of this time has been spent alone, as I have a monthly “date” – prophylactic chemo treatment each month, which unwomans me. I’m straight in bed for a week… and I’ve learned to discover something special with each treatment span. I’m courting this girl named Anne. Don’t say anything, but I think I like her. Just wish she could have made meds work around Valentine’s Day… goal for next year, as a second year has been added to the treatment.
There was a time when I didn’t want to know Anne; I did not like her and so, these feelings are very special. thank the Universe for my dear friends, for they are so open, so honest, so funny, and so real. I love my friends; I stir them together, and from this combination comes the most beautiful of soups.
During, the past nine months, I have spent a great deal of time on massive medications, intended to bolster me, soothe the pain of a broken spine, and bone damage from that silly myeloma. In a move that still makes my my pain management team scratch their heads and smile, I’ve cut my pain meds in more than half. I’m ingesting two-third less than what I was… life is good. Except when the side effects of radiation and chemo hit, in a particular form, which I have dubbed “The Coming of the Gremlins.”
I will write about these critters, though not now. I’m still too close to the action. Sometimes at night, I’ve tuned into FB and sat in the shadows – late night gossip war when you see the Indie Film dragons raise their collective heads. It’s hard; first time I tuned into one such session, I wanted to reply in some brief homage to West Wing and the Lymon Lemons. Cooler heads prevailed, and I shut the fuck up, and watch people congratulate themselves at the expense of others. It’s a free country, its beautiful that people can express what they want – and yet, it’s a double-edged sword.
We all make mistakes – I’ve certainly made mine, I’m sure I will make more. I am also sure that I will improve. Because I want to. Every day I hear from screenwriters who feel isolated and alone. But, with modern technology, they are not! They can find places of serious discussion (I’ll be holding one soon) about their craft, and work available. But these production companies, these producers… they’ll never find you, if you do not find them first.
If I could teach you one thing, it’s this: You’re not alone. You are surrounded by the same. You are enough. It doesn’t take a broken neck, or a diagnosis of incurable cancer to learn this. Look at you. Look at the promise of you, of all you wish to accomplish. You are beautiful. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with self-respect, and do your homework. Don’t screw others. There is no such thing as an overnight success, and no one made it alone. This is teamwork. Gather your tools of discovery. Swing that flashlight. Ask questions. Find your team. Build it. Sometimes, you’ll make a mistake. That’s okay, That’s human. Learn from it and move on.
Now, go write.
HRH – Princess Scribe
P.S. – What’s your dream team?