Out, Out, Damn Cancer!

The hospital just called and told me I have to arrive at 6:00 am on Monday to prepare for surgery. And that Surgery begins at 8:00 am. Suddenly this all is becoming REAL!!! Yikes!

So Early Monday morning it’s SHOWTIME! And I will be taking on the most challenging role of my lifetime. One that requires me to dig deep down and re-discover my Stanislavski method acting training that I learned in the late 1960’s where subtext and sensory imagery took my mind to other places so that I could draw upon all the courageous women who walked upon the stage before me. I need to use them now as my guides and my muses to become strong enough to endure this new role I must face.

When I was younger the part I always wanted to play was Lady Macbeth. I was told back in the days when I was still acting, that because I gave off a “virtuous” or “righteous” vibe, I was more suited for such roles as Juliet, Cordelia, or Ophelia etc. I was young and exuded way too much innocence to play the wicked Lady Macbeth. Sigh…

So sadly, I never got to jump into her murderous skin on stage. For years I thought that was the role of a lifetime and I missed it. Now I know there is a more difficult and important role that I must play. However, in the Lady’s defense,I never really saw her as evil per say, but rather easily corrupted and unscrupulous when the play begins…And yet Shakespeare’s character moved me to tears as well. (Especially the way Judy Dentch played her.)

I always thought my version of Lady M would transform her into goodness as she slowly descended into madness. In my mind, I would often see her represented as if she were walking down a grand staircase and by the time her character finally reached the bottom, she would have totally redeemed her soul and found virtue once again.( BTW, At fifty, I think I would have played an excellent Lady Macbeth and could have pulled her off to perfection. I am not quite sure why I am suddenly thinking about a role I always wanted to play but never had an opportunity to audition for. Perhaps, because her character was brave, even though she was dastardly. I just found her brilliantly written and never got to play her… oh well.

On Monday I want to draw from all the brave women written down in books, or in plays, and mostly in real life that I have met…. I want to capture their energy when I get to the hospital and go under the knife.

I have no idea what condition I will be in when I wake up. The Last time the cancer was too large and too plentiful to be removed. This time I am hoping my doctor can remove it all and that chemo shrunk all the tumors enough so that he can get them out of my body. That is why Lady Macbeth came to mind. She said… “Out out damn spot.” For me It is “Out Out, damn cancer!!!!!”

And so I am going to go on Monday and try to conjure up method acting skills from long ago when I used to transport myself to different places in my head when I was a young actress. Back then I donned my soft ballet slippers that would delicately glide across the stage and often I’d be wearing a long gown as I turned myself into someone else. Whether it was the fair Juliet, the pleading Cordelia, a tragic Ophelia, or a comedic character mimicking Judy Holiday, and even the extraordinary young Anne Frank, being dragged off by Nazis yet still believing that mankind was basically good.

Before I took my first step on stage I believed in myself enough to BECOME that character. On Monday I have to believe that I am strong enough to handle whatever happens. And so my costume this time will be a green hospital gown, not the soft flowing medieval garb a beautiful maiden might wear. And my hair won’t be braided and set with pearls or ribbons, I will be bald. But in my mind I will be playing the role of survivor. I got nervous each time I went on stage but the applause abated my butterflies. This time whatever they inject me will ease my nerves I suppose.

I must tell myself what always got me to take that first step through the curtain… “ YOU CAN DO THIS, LESLEY! YOU CAN DO THIS!”

34 thoughts on “Out, Out, Damn Cancer!

  1. Dear Lesley, I think WP disconnected me from your blog??? I have not heard on your battle with cancer and have been praying that you have beaten it back!!
    Sending you Love, Big Bear Hugs and Positive energy, My Dear!!
    xoxo
    😘💕🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lesley,

    Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a swift and total recovery!! We will believe that you will vanquish this cancer!!
    Sending you Love and Hugs from all of us who care about you!!!
    xoxo
    Chuck
    💖🌹🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Kathy! I’m still healing from surgery and now getting physical therapy to help with recovery. Next week I begin chemo again and I admit I’m dreading that. Chemo is brutal. I had a difficult time with it prior to surgery. But, I told my family I’d go the distance… so chemo it is. It will be a challenging few months ahead but I trust my doctor and will follow his instructions as I move forward. I appreciate your well wishes. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Lesley, I’ve seen you respond to comments on LA’s blogs and many times agreed with what you said but haven’t visited here before. You “liked” a comment I made so I came to check your site. I am happy to see you are still here and am sorry to hear about your struggles. Sending you lots of positive vibes and get well wishes. Janet

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you Lance. I survived surgery and am recovering. It’s challenging but I am alive and that’s worth shouting about. I now have 6 interesting scars which will take time to heal. My doctor removed ALL the visible cancer and so I resume chemo in two weeks to make sure nothing microscopic survived. After 3 or 4 chemo sessions hopefully I will be in remission. One day at a time… My body hurts but it feels good to be on line again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having gone in for (non-cancer) surgery myself, I think method-acting MacBeth in the hospital gown is an excellent way to do it. Isn’t it called an operating theater?

    I’ll pray for you, Lady Lesley.

    And I agree about villains. The staircase analogy was perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lesley, your beautiful smile is wonderful to see. I am sending you strength and encouragement to face this next challenge.
    YOU CAN DO THIS LESLEY, AND YOU WILL BE BRAVE AND STRONG!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Barbara

    Lesley, sending love and light and praying for a positive report when you are done. You are brave and strong. If I was cancer, I would turn and run far away from this powerful woman who won’t take any more s–t!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you so much, RUTH! What a lovely thing to say. I’m so glad we met all those years ago and immediately connected. Two like minded teachers who helped so many students reach their potential. Thank you for helping me reach mine. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Lesley, what a magnificent post. I am applauding your admirable attitude – and writing – from up here in the North. You will be in my thoughts on Monday. I’ll be ready with a standing ovation!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jane. I could use a standing ovation for sure. That will help as I lean on my son when I check into the hospital. Knowing I’ve got applause waiting for me will give me courage! Thank you! ❤️😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for asking Jane. I’m healing nicely from surgery. In a week I start chemo again and after 3 or 4 sessions hopefully I will be in remission.while I still have a long road ahead I am very hopeful.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, that is very good to hear. It’s not an easy journey, is it. But you’re getting closer and closer to taking your celebratory bow. You have lots of friends in the blogosphere rooting for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I must say how much I admire you during this battle! You are strong and have a wonderful circle of love around you! If I had a daughter, I would have loved her to have been like you! 🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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