Wednesday, September 20, 2017

You Scramble...And You Re-invent Yourself

     After the surgery and the new prosthesis...I was like.."What do I DO now?!?!"   At the time of my cancer diagnosis, my job of 10 years, at a computer firm, went belly-up. The company was proprietary with its mainframes and software when Microsoft came out with Windows and changed the world of computing...the company I was with was too slow to realize this. They couldn't adjust fast enough. They ended-up laying off nearly it's entire sales staff...all but 1 person!  They renamed it their Legacy Sales Dept...Legacy!..that's a good the legacy of the dinosaur!  Bye-Bye Job!  it was COBRA insurance time.  Not fun when you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease!  THEN, the house I was renting went up for sale..and the owner had a run-in with my roomie wasn't letting prospective buyers in with advanced notice...and so the owner booted us out!  Fortunately my sister had a rental place in Dana Point where my cat, Babs, and I could stay for as long as needed (not a bad place/town to be staying in!).  So, I stayed at the condo in Dana Point...I needed a place to hang my hat and have a safe place for Babs. My friend Roger lived in Long Beach..I'd stay with him a lot leading up to and during the rhinectomy-recovery time...but it wasn't a permanent place to live. On the up-side..and this was a huge mother got a letter from a company in the LA area saying they had "found money" in MY name (!) but they couldn't locate me!  Not surprising due to my moves and not really having a permanent address for over a year!  But, this firm found my mother, saying they'd help me get my money for a % for their time effort. Ha! So,  I got onto the State Controller website..and sure enough, there was a bunch of money in my name!  A BUNCH! (Hint: go onto your State Controller's website and look for "Found Money"--this is, money that might be in your name, but for whatever reason the bank, or credit card company..or even the IRS couldn't locate you to give you money that is rightfully yours!. Go and check and see if they have money in your name!!).  So, I applied for the money through the Controller's the company that sent me the letter..thanks, guys...but I can fill out the form myself and save the 10% fee!! (This would have amounted to hundreds of dollars for this firm..I bet they weren't too happy not hearing back from me!). Nice try! It took a year to finally get the money but once I had the money I had a nice little amount to live on to get me through recovery as my unemployment money had run out..and for some reason, which I can't recall,  I couldn't apply for SSD or whatever.  Three months after surgery I found an apartment in Long Beach--a 2 bedroom (I needed the room for all the stuff I had from the 4-bedroom house!), 2 full baths plus parking! Oh..and inside laundry, too! I grabbed it. Okay, the area wasn't so's still a dicey area...Bohemian, if you will...but it's still home to me.  And the price was AMAZING considering it was 5 blocks from the ocean!  It's still a good deal as the landlord has been slow in raising the rents to match current market values..thank you, Landlord!
     "What do I do now?!?!"  Once I had a roof over my head I could concentrate on my health and figuring out what to do. I KNEW I had to work. I took a seasonal job the following year with Williams-Sonoma.  It was a fun Christmas. I was very self-conscious of my prosthesis..but no-one seemed to know..or if they!  W-S treated their employees well....a free Wusthof chef's knife as a present! Plus, every so often a bag of stuff was given to us as we'd end a shift.  This would be if there were products that were approaching their "use by" date and so was pretty cool! I did that for 1 season at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa then the next holiday season I transferred to the Palos Verde Peninsula store...brand-new...was very nice. By this time I was firmly entrenched studying for my real estate license.  Probably the hardest exam I ever took!   That's a whole other story.  I didn't like it,. ugh. not at all. I liked the Broker and owners and all at Sandpiper Properties in Long Beach were's a GREAT office. If you need to buy or sell property..or looking to rent in Southern Calif, contact Sandpiper Properties in Long Beach, CA! I just was never comfortable hustling for clients. But the real estate crash of 2008 pretty much did me I went back to working retail at a Wal-Mart until I had my major car accident.  That pretty much sealed-the-deal for me working. The SSI judge agreed. After a court-process and a surgery (neck fusion) and shoulder therapy and still-having-chronic pain (oh yeah..every day!)  I decided ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH.
     "What do I do now?!?!"  I went back to doing what I love and what fills me the most with joy....SINGING.   ACTING, too. But primarily singing.  Starving artist??? You know it!  But I love it. But the thing is, I'm singing more and more and taking steps to increase my performances. I want to start a Swing/Dixieland-type band...not wanting to limit the type of music I'd be singing..but everything from Gay '90's to Dixieland to Swing with a splattering of Broadway and Crooning thrown in. Again..ya can't label it! More on this whole area in my next Blog.
     I keep Rising Above (the title of my CD and one-man show!).  I keep rising up like the Phoenix.  As "A Course In Miracles" teaches, paraphrasing here:  "When things fall apart, things fall together."  I may keep falling apart....but I keep getting back together, unlike Humpty Dumpty!
     "What do YOU do now?!?!"  You meditate.  You find new passions if the old ones have faded away. You set new goals and you start taking steps...maybe tiny steps, at first. Take one step a day.  There were days...and there still are days..where I can only get ONE thing done on my To-Do list..due to my mental state or physical state that day. It's a journey...a process.  It hurts at times. T.O.S. Take One Step. Take one item a day. In one year....that is 365 STEPS! 365 things crossed off your To-Do List!  That is a LOT!!!! Just do one thing a day! You will feel better mentally and physically. When you look back..even in a week..a will be AMAZED at what you have done!   I know the power of vegging out and laying on that sofa and not doing a damn thing.  So, get up..and do ONE THING EACH DAY! Then build on it until you can do 2, 3 4...maybe the whole list in ONE day!  J.D.I! "Just do it!" Just do ONE thing a day to start!  You will be amazed!
     As I type this, tonight starts Rosh Hashana for my Jewish friends. Happy New Year!  To me, it's the start of the holiday season.....3 months...a full quarter of holiday-ing. Autumn starts this coming Friday, my favorite time of year!  I've already started thinking of holiday cooking.  I even made a batch of my Apple Butter that is in my cookbook "Cookin' In the Kitchen With The Bagby's" that everyone seems to love....I should sell it! (Something for my To-do List!). My decorations for Fall are still boxed but will be "outed" by the weekend. To Order the cookbook:

      Have a great week! Have a great first week of Fall!

Monday, August 21, 2017

I Got My Noses...Now What??

Hi Everyone----It's been 3 weeks since my last post....Yes....I've been busy!  Which is great!  I had 9 performances I did last week!  9!  6 performances for a dra-medy I was in for an acting class/workshop at a semi-local college...2 choral performances with a newly formed choir, debuting at my Center For Spiritual Living..and the premiere of a cabaret/revue of a show based on the songs of Carole Bayer Sager that 2 friends of mine and I did for a local chapter of the women's philanthropic group, PEO.  Overall, 9 performances in 5 days!  Last Sunday, the 13th, I had 4 performances.  I felt like I was in vaudeville!  It took me until this past Thursday to recover....but I'm now chomping at the bit to get back to the Carole Bayer Sager show and more! Yeah..I'm still exhausted..but my need to perform has recovered.

So what does this prove?  Even after cancer and a car accident and being on's all a mindset.  Yes....I hibernated...and lost my energy source and even my mind for awhile (talk about depression!) but I tapped into those things I love to do..singing, mainly, and acting (be it professional, amateur or otherwise).  I get paid for the singing...not the acting..yet!  But I hope to change that as I have my first "professional" for an equity-contract musical later this's a goal of mine....and yes.."even at my age." That phrase is NUTZ!  EVEN AT MY AGE!  I love doing things "AT MY AGE" to just DO IT and have FUN and, yes, prove things to myself......and others!  DO IT! GO FOR IT!  DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  HAVE FUN!  TO HELL WITH EVERYONE ELSE!    Ha! In this day and age..those could all be hashtags!.....ya know?!?!? #I LOVETOSING!

     Do what you love to matter! You have the Power to do it.  I have the Power! USE IT! Harness that God-Spirit that dwells within you and GO FOR IT. We all have that Creative-Spirit and, yes, it's very scary..but tap into it and open new doors and new realms will appeqr before you that you never thought possible. I am still finding doors.  I'm still opening those scary doors that bring up a pit in my stomach, that make me cower, that make my crazy thought-process say "No, don't do it..take it easy!"...but I'm facing those fears...and saying YES to those aspects of my life I never ventured into prior!

After I got my prostheses and all..I hibernated but I needed to find a I went to work in retail. I DO LOVE working retail, crazy..but it's the people and the merchandise.  I went to work for Williams Sonoma for 2 years..mainly seasonal..but it was nearly full-time....South Coast Plaza for one season and Palos Verdes for another season. It was fun. And nobody knew I had a nose prosthesis...just me...and it DID hold me back from being more social..but working was just what I needed.  Plus I got some great cooking stuff...and WS is very liberal with giving freebies to its much fun!  As I worked for WS, a letter arrived at my mom's place saying I had $70,000 in "lost funds" in the State controller's vault...and they'd help me get it for a 10% fee! "No thanks, bucko"...I can get it myself..and I did!  It took nearly 18 months..but I got the money and it's what I lived on for over 3 years to get me back on feet after the cancer and a move back to Long Beach, CA. It was during this time I decided to go for my real estate license.  It wasn't a mistake but what a friggin pain. I finally realized this year...Yes, it took me THAT long to realize keeping my RE license wasn't in my best I let it expire.  I just hated it. I had no passion in doing that kind of work. It tore at my very core. Fini.  If I have a change-of-heart, I'll renew my license but for now..I'm having waaaay too much fun singing and acting! Don't do what you hate or dislike. It may bring you money..but is it worth it? really isn't. If it's your only income...ok, I don't advocate living on the street..but don't give into it...find something you love to do.  I'm still looking for other streams of income that I want to do.

Today is a very exciting anniversary date for me....August 20, 2015 my 1st CD was released!  It's called RISING ABOVE and it is basically a "cast album" of my one-man show by the same name.  It's songs I sang in my show about my cancer journey.  It's been called "inspiring" and "uplifting" and many have told me it's a favorite when driving!  Check it is the link to it: (I'm available for booking my one-man show, too!  Contact me if you are interested!).

Here is the gist of this blog, matter what happens to you in this thing called Life...if you can, do what you love. You will "find your audience" and your audience will find you.  I'm still learning this lesson.  I lost my nose....I could have hid under a rock...but I chose to keep singing and get out there and do what I love. Naysayers and trolls hell with what your heart tells you to do!  It's about YOU.....not "them!"

Love Ya All,

Friday, July 14, 2017

Into The Fire -- Part 2

     As we left our hero in the last blog......
     Steve had his rhinectomy and was recovering.  On St. Patrick's Day, 1999, up at UCLA Oral Surgery Department I got my dental implants for the t-bar posts so the new prosthesis could clip onto it.  The implants were inside the nasal base which had a wonderful "floor" created by using a skin graft from the rhinectomy surgery. The skin graft was almost as bad as, if not worse than, the rhinectomy surgery itself!  It was a nasty and painful recovery...and I had a big patch on my right thigh.  The doctors had determined that while I had had 32 radiation treatments at Hoag Memorial several years earlier, the bone was strong enough and not damaged by the radiation to support the implants.  Yay!  This was a blessing. The implants took a few months...maybe fully take to the bone and be secure enough for the posts to be attached and the prosthesis clipped to.  It seems like this whole prosthetic procedure took forever..I just wanted a nose that I didn't have to glue on!  It was worth the wait, believe me!
     In the meantime...after the implant surgery had taken place, Dr. Roumanis called me one day and asked if I would like to be part of an article being done on her for PEOPLE magazine!  I was her newest patient for a facial prosthetic..and had the best attitude, she said.  "Wow...PEOPLE magazine!" Arrangements were made and the reporter/interviewer came to my apartment in Long Beach to interview me one day. Then a photography session was set up a couple of weeks later.  One photo session was at the maxillofacial office at UCLA and the other session was at the house of my vocal coach in Hollywood I had used prior to the surgery--this was done to show that my life was moving on, even after such a radical surgery!  It seemed like months later, but in July of 1999 the article appeared!  "Hope Restored" was the name of the article about Dr, Roumanis and which feature myself and a lady who was her first patient at UCLA who had lost an eye and palate. It was quite an article...and talk show personalities Rick and Brian even mentioned me on their show the day after the magazine came out!  Wow!  I was a celebrity...for a few days!  The cover of the magazine was Cindy Crawford as she had just given birth to her son. Being part of the article was fun..but it also told my story with the rhinectomy and maxillofacial work..ready or not!
     In November of 1999..just in time for the holidays..I got my first 2 prostheses that could utilize the clips and t-bar....and NO glue!  What a gift that was for me!  I was still shy about going out into public quite a bit...but I really had no reason to people had no idea, by looking at me, what an ordeal I had been through!  Life-changing.  Life-saving.
     I wrote an article for a cancer group out of Philadelphia. I believe they published it on their website and AOL somehow got hold of the article by me, as well...and I had included my email address in the I started getting emails from people, literally, around the world who had either gone through a rhinectomy or had a family member or friend who had gone through such a surgery..or was getting ready to have the surgery.  While some of the subjects of the emails had passed on...many were still alive and I am still in touch with to this day.  One is a gentleman from Australia, Bruce, who I had the pleasure of meeting last year while he and his partner were on holiday here on the West Coast.  He's had his challenges, for sure, but he's doing well and working and enjoying this precious thing we all take for granted too easily. Another person I hear from, due to the article, is a lady from Scotland whose husband had the same cancer and surgery.  Sadly...he didn't make it much longer after his surgery.  I was devastated getting her email telling me this...she was upfront and honest.  This surgery-- and the repercussions, sunk in at that moment, realizing how it saved my might save others...but it might not save others.  The lady from Scotland, Eileen, and I are still friends..we have yet to meet..but we've talked by phone and are friends on Facebook.  Another man, John,  lives in Connecticut.  His wife, Pam, keeps in touch with me, updating me with his progress.  We send Christmas cards to each other and email photos.  It's developed into a very nice friendship...another shoulder if needed...and a friend.  I'm always happy to receive emails and all from those facing this challenge.  No one wants to lose a body part...especially a nose, but I'm here to talk, to listen, and to give my thoughts, etc.
     Backing up to my head-and-neck surgeon at UCLA...he told me during my initial exam with him, if I didn't have the surgery I could be dead within 6 years!  First, losing my eyesight to the cancer (basal cell, remember..this "simple to treat" cancer!), then the cancer could go up into my brain leaving me brain-dead...then...dead!  It seemed like a pretty clear-cut choice!  I was only 47 at the time...I saw myself living at least to I opted for the surgery!

     It's taken me awhile to re-adjust...socially it's been tough meeting people because I think they are looking at my nose...they are..but most can't pinpoint what's a bit odd.   Oh..and those glasses with the nose on them and a stache??  I grew a moustache to cover the flanges of the prosthesis and wore glasses to help cover...but after a bunch of years..I gave up the glasses as I felt I was hiding behind them (I wear contacts in my daily life) and I couldn't take them any I gave up the cosmetic glasses but I still have the stache..for now!  I don't care if they saw prosthesis lines on my's a prosthesis..I kinda wanted people to realize this was my battle-scar...and I won the battle..(knock-wood!)...and, here I am!  A song I sing in my one-man show, "RISING ABOVE," is called "Into the Fire" from the musical "The Scarlet Pimpernel"--listen to the tells of my battle.  It tells of any person's battle with cancer or any other challenge!  INTO THE FIRE!
    <Part 3.....Music and Spirituality>

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Into The Fire We Go -- Part 1

     It's been quite a week for 2 friends of mine.  Both got diagnoses no one wants to hear.  One got a colon cancer diagnosis and had immediate surgery.  Another friend had a re-occurring skin cancer on his skull bone hit in another area and the lab results show it to be even worse than 3 other cancers he has had.  Both friends are subscribe to a positive mindset.  One handles it with "#fuckcancer" and a kick-ass attitude post-surgery.  The other, by using affirmation and prayer that the cancer is localized and not metastasized until more tests are run this week to finalize a treatment path. Everyone handles cancer in their own way. is Part 1 of my Journey With Cancer.....
When my cancers started roughly 35 years ago, it was all basal cell carcinoma..."plain and simple." HA!  NO CANCER IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE!  I always was told basal cell is the easiest to treat and cure....again...HA! Tell that to the basal cell's I've had!  They don't listen very well!  As I recall, I had a couple of spots on my face frozen off before a spot appeared on the bridge of my nose that changed everything for me.  My then-dermatologist froze it was very painful and I thought the old-doc was applying his body-weight against my nose with that gauze pad balled-up and in that cryogenic solution. It felt like 60-seconds of frozen agony on my nose bridge.  When I went back for follow-up he said the area looked good.  But the area didn't heal. And when I went back the doctor wasn't there..he had RETIRED!  I guess he used what-ever energy he had in him on my nose...and I done did him in...he was gone to Florida!  SO, his replacement doctor referred me to another dermo in the same building.  It was a blessing I got her!
     This new doctor was very nice...well-thought-of in the dermo field. She took one look..and I think did a punch-biopsy...and referred me to ANOTHER dermo that was a specialist in the area of Mohs surgery.  That dermo became my dermo for the next 25+ years (until my new medicare insurance IPA decided, in their wisdom,  I needed to see a doctor closer to me and wouldn't refer me any longer to my wonderful dermo in Santa Ana, CA.).
     My "new" doc in Santa Ana, Greg Bartlow, was/is truly wonderful. He started on the nose....taking a level, getting clear margins, sew me up or cauterize...and send me on my way..months later..another basal on my nose....etc..this went on 8 times!  RE-curring..not Re-OCCURRING as each cancer removal had clear edges.  For a simple cancer, this little bugger was always aggressive! At one point he had to do a forehead flap on me as there was so much to remove in my nose!  That surgery was fairly nasty!  Ugh...Skin stitched up for a week from my forehead, "flapped" over to my nose and stitched in place to keep a blood supply going to my nose. Big old white bandages. I couldn't bend over for 2 weeks or so. was a success as far as the blood supply went..but months later..a new basal appeared.  Then Dr. B sent me to a tumor board at a local hospital. They all agreed on radiation.  SO I went to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach for 31 or 32 radiations treatments.  They did an excellent job blocking off the teeth and jaw as I had no bone loss...I wouldn't realize how GREAT a job they did until a few years later when I needed dental implants at UCLA! (More on this later!).   The radiation made me very tired and I ended up taking a month off from my job. The radiation did its job.....for 2 years.  UGH.. but the cancer re-curred!!  Even Dr B was floored!  So he sent me to UCI Medical Center (University of California in Irvine) where they were the first to recommend a rhinectomy--the removal of the nose! I literally RAN out of that hospital to my car not wanting hear anymore about the procedure and how I'd look!  The doctor at UCI told me, "Oh, we'll give you a pair of glasses after the surgery with a nose on it and a moustache and you wear that!" Oh those joke glasses you see at Halloween?!?  Like..Groucho Marx???  My!!  I bolted out of there..and somehow made it home.  I'm not a drinker, otherwise I think I'd hit the scotch (ok, I LOVE scotch but I seldom drink alone or at home!).  I was scared. I was pissed.  I was panic'd.  I had a roommate at the time..he tried to quel my fears.  My other best friend, Roger Gramling,  tried to give me an ear to talk to and comfort..but I head to face this head-on.
     I have always been a big believer in Easter medicine and alternative medicine in conjunction with Western medicine. I went to a Chinese medicine clinic in Anaheim. They started me on an accupuncture regimen for a few weeks and this VERY NASTY tea concoction that I would brew at home. It would stink up the whole house as I brewed it.  One time it set off the smoke detectors in the house and the firemen showed up!   The one fireman gave me his condolences upon smelling the nastiness of the herbs. Needless to say, the herbs and the acupuncture didn't do any good. The Chinese doctor admitted my cancer was too strong for the herbs.  It looked like Western medicine for me..and surgery.  I went to 4 cancer institutes....UCI, Scripps in La Jolla, Roswell Park in Buffalo, NY (they had an experimental treatment using blue light)...but by the time I got there, my cancer was too far down my nose and had opened a lesion in the tip of my nose..they had to refer me BACK to California....and UCLA Medical.  I did get to see Niagara Falls with a very good OLD friend of mine, Chris Merritt, who accompanied me on the trip. We had so much fun taking Maid of The Mist behind the Falls we went 2 days in a row. We also got up to see Toronto and had the best time gong up in the CBN Tower (I think it is, I keep calling it the CNN Tower and I know that isn't right!) and walking the streets and hitting some of the bars on our only night there.
     Back in Los Angeles I saw the specialist the Roswell Park Cancer Institute referred me to.  He referred me to another the head and neck division, I think, Dr. Eliot Abemayer.  Also, my soul-partner and best friend, Roger, had been watching PBS and saw a program on a doctor at UCLA who made facial prosthetics--noses (!), ears, eyes, etc...all very natural looking, using a system where the prosthesis was attached by glue. The clips would clip onto a cross-bar that would be surgically implanted with dental implants.  Again, no glue..very important to me. I asked the Head and Neck doctor about Dr. Roumanis in the Maxillofacial department.  I saw her in conjunction with Dr. Abemeyer.  I also saw an oral surgeon, Dr. Felsenfeld, who would do the implants later on.
    So. Dr. Roumanis and her team (kudos also to Dr. Kendra Schaeffer now in Philadelphia, I believe) worked in conjuntion with Dr. Abemayer during the surgery to make sure there was a base for the prosthesis and that I wouldn't have a tight upper lip.  I told them I sang and wanted to keep on singing..and a tight lip wouldn't cut it..but that also meant a very large skin graft site...ugh. I had had a skin graft done before by Dr. Bartlow..and it was painful and Nasty.  Capital N!
     My assistant minister, Doug Folgesong, now in Las Vegas, was there at the hospital along with Roger, for the surgery.  I was staying at Roger's place prior and after surgery (thanks to the house where I had lived in Tustin being sold..and my roomie and I were given the boot...ugh..everything happens at once, it seems!).  Anyway. the night before surgery, I looked in the mirror at Roger's place...had a good old self-to-self talk.  I remembering talking out loud to myself, saying, "Well, you've been a good nose.  You did me well.  You are a cute nose..but you have to go. It's only a nose."  And with that, I went to bed early and somehow slept even though we had to be at the hospital by 6am which is a good 1.5 hour drive even in the best of driving conditions!
     October 28, 1998.  The surgery was a success, so said the surgeon said. Of course, at UCLA being a training hospital tons of students in white lab coats come traipsing through-out looking and gawking and asking questions.  Very annoying. Ugh.  Oh well.  After I was settled in my room..hooked up to everything it seemed (but nothing like a heart surgery!)...and not being able to nasally breathe..of there was this bolster in my newly opened nasal space...think of the Alien attached to your nose cavity! It was HORRIBLE!  I had to wear that little fucker for 2 weeks!! (excuse my French..but it was a bastard to wear and not be able to don't realize how much you breathe through your nose until you can't breathe through it for any extended length of time..temporary nasal congestion is one thing..but this was another beast!).  Anyway. Rev. Doug and Roger come in. I am GROGGED OUT of my mind..but I could see and hear them.  Doug comes in and whispers to Roger "Oh God" as he saw me...if I could laugh then I would have gave me great confidence (Ha!) having minister utter those divine words upon seeing me! LOL!  I still laugh.  Roger and Doug were so supportive during those minutes and did their best to cheer me up..and I DO recall being in a fine mood...I was flying on I was REAL fine!!  Roger stayed on. Doug left.  I was in the hospital for 3 days.  The worst part of the surgery??  The skin graft!!! YEOW.  THAT WAS HORRIBLE! They even sent out a nurse..not so much for the rhinectomy...but for the skin make sure it was healing properly. I had to get these special bandages smothered in Vaseline to affix to the graft was nasty. But I healed.  And my nose-region healed. And I started trips back to UCLA a couple of times a week for months it seemed as the site healed. maxillofacial was keeping the area clean for me....getting the first of several prostheses ready for me..alas, the glue on kind until I healed well-enough for the oral surgeon, Dr. Felsenfeld, to put in the implants....that wasn't until St Patricks Day, 1999. I DO recall that date!
      The whole process of getting to where I got my FINAL clip-on prosthetic noses (they made me 3 that first time...which last about 5 years) took 14 months. It was the best Christmas present I could have hoped for!!
       I'll tell more in my next Blog, Part II.  Like, how I was featured in PEOPLE and all!  But I wanted to share a quote I love dearly.  It's in a book called "Illuminata" by motivational speaker and author Marianne Williamson. But the quote was sent to me today in an email..a heavenly I am including it here.  It is a great reminder of our Power that we have as individuals.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

~ Marianne Williamson

   Let your Light Shine!

Journey On!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My First Blog..A New Step.

     Happy Summer!  It's Tuesday, June 20....first day of summer according to some..and this is my first blog ever!  What I hope to do is create a world of friendly Survivor-ship--and that it's all Attitude.  My Attitude allowed me to survive and to keep on surviving!  Surviving head-and-neck cancer and a very rough surgery. Surviving a major car-accident that I walked away from but still had to have surgery and therapy for and the ongoing chronic pain....and, above all else....surviving Life!  Life as a singer with a cd and one-man shows and a few musicals under my belt--and still performing. Life as a cookbook author.
     I'm Spiritual. I don't consider my "religious" in the classic sense. I'm not an atheist as I believe in a Higher Power/God/Spirit/One/the Great I Am...what-ever you chose to call a Higher Source....I believe in that.  In this Life, at this point in it, I am a cat-caring, senior male.  Life is never clear-cut.  Heaven knows my Paths have been varied and many.  I get bored REAL easy.  I am probably ADS (Attention Deficit Syndrome)..Ha! kindergarten teacher back in Wichita, Ks once sent a note home to my folks saying I had "ants in my pants" and she put me in the winter coat closet one day!  That would never happen now! (would it??? I hope not!). LOL.  I still recall not feeling ashamed or embarassed....just....biding my time until I got out of there and could go outside and play!   I think I even looked through some coats to while-away the time...probably the time spent was just minutes in there..and I think I was even humming to pass the time!  Attitude! 😃
     I am but One Voice, aren't most blogs?  You may ask, why is the name of the blog "It's Only A Nose?" I looked in the mirror the night before my rhinectomy (I lost my nose to cancer!), I surveyed my soon-to-be removed-nose and said, outloud, "Hmmmm....It's Only A Nose!"  And I went to bed.
     I have been through so much in my'd think I'd give up.  But, oh no.....not me. Some say I'm inspiring.  Some say I am their hero. I laugh, sheepishly. Shucks, I don't know...I'm just a guy from Kansas...pushing through but enjoying Life. I eventually land on my feet after sliding on my butt.  But I get up, "dust myself off. Stick out my tongue at the people who scoff."  (You will find I quote song lyrics a LOT! Hell, I'm a singer..a connoiseur of the musical word).  Whoever heard of a singer WITHOUT A NOSE...who still sings/performs??  You just met one!  Attitude. Positive Attitude.
     Some days I may post a favorite recipe. song, movie.  Other days I plan to blog about my surviving cancer...everything leading up to it. I've had a "paper" posted on a national cancer site that has brought to me, by emails, many head-and-neck cancer survivors or their family members. Some have stayed on as email-friends.  Some have passed away....made their transition.  Life. Death. The Journey.

Enjoy the Journey! I do!

The pic was taken 7 years ago...before the car accident....I'll get more recent ones on here as we go along!