Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Won't be quitting my day job, but it sure was fun!

While I was not blessed with my mother's gracefulness (or her pretty legs), I can at least keep a beat. So I am glad to report that I did not make a total fool of myself last weekend at our ballet recital.

I think I've mentioned my Thursday night jazz class before? It is something that I promised Emma and Leah I would do. All girls whose mothers take a class at the ballet studio are allowed to dance together in the special "Mother-Daughter" dance in the Spring recital. Emma and Leah really really wanted to dance in "Mother-Daughter", and they've asked me every year if we could do it. (I think they liked the idea of an extra costume.)

I couldn't imagine dancing in anything other than an aerobics class, and NEVER on stage in front of people I could possibly run into at my kids' school or the neighborhood pool.....but because I like to spoil my kids, and because I wasn't going to aerobics class anymore anyway, I signed up for the adult jazz class last summer. This was before I knew I had cancer (I was diagnosed just before class began in September). Thinking that I could possibly be a bed-ridden mess from chemo and whatever other treatment surprises were waiting for me, I prepared the girls in case I couldn't keep up with my dance class.....promised them I'd try my best but not to get their hopes up. There was always the next year.

Well, I had no idea how therapeutic this class would be! I looked forward to Thursdays, hardly missed a class. I even selected Friday as my chemo day so that I could have time to recover for Thursday's class. I missed one class because I was embarrassed about losing my hair (like PigPen in the Peanuts comic strip, I left a trail of hair as I walked across the room) and couldn't get in for my crewcut until Friday morning. I missed a few more classes after my surgery, but attended anyway, so I could videotape and not fall behind.

The women in class were so supportive, and they treated me like a normal person, not a chemo freak. They promised to catch my wig (and dust it off and toss it back) if it fell off during class, which thankfully it never did. They kept telling me how inspiring I was to them, which I thought was very sweet. I didn't feel very inspiring....just klutzy! They all asked about my progress and cheered me on. Eventually, they seemed to forget I had cancer. I'm not complaining! It was great to feel normal for an hour every Thursday.

My instructor, who owns the studio, was always so cheerful and upbeat. She has lost several family members to cancer, and I know she understood what we were going through. She was also Emma's and Leah's dance instructor, and was glad to report that the girls seemed unaffected by my cancer......other than Leah telling everyone "did you know my mommy is wearing a wig?" whenever I went to pick her up.

The big recital was last weekend. Emma and Leah danced beautifully in their classes in Act I. Our Mother-Daughter was the first dance in Act II and my jazz class was second-to-last. I had all of Act I to concentrate on my stage fright. I was so scared that first Mother-Daughter performance that I hardly smiled. Not to mention one of the moms and her 2 kids took our spot at the end of the number, so we had to run behind everyone and find a place to stand and pose. (As we left the stage, Emma told the mom "You took our spot!" and I told her I'd have to hipcheck her if she did it again the next performance...... unfortunately, I don't think she realized I was joking and I am pretty sure I made her feel bad. Oh well! She didn't do it again!)

I thoroughly enjoyed my jazz class number that night (even though I had a brief "LOOKITME!" moment when everyone's arms/hands pointed down and mine flew straight up.....something I never messed up during practice, and of course all these goofs were on the night the performance was being taped). I was both flawless and unafraid for both dances the next night! In fact, I was very disappointed when it was all over.

Those of you who know me are probably laughing now, because you know that in order to dance I need at least 2 glasses of wine (and even then it doesn't really qualify as dancing.....think "Elaine" on Seinfeld)! I swear, no alcohol or other performance-enhancing drugs were involved in either recital night.

I intend to dance again next year. Frances is 3 years old now and old enough to take ballet. So of course I can't quit now! We have another Mother-Daughter dance to work on.


  • At 6/20/07, 9:10 AM, Blogger Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said…

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I always love meeting new bloggers. This mother-daughter dance sounds so cool. I had my own dance studio while in high school and wish I would have had this great idea then. The photo is great... I'm sure you did a wonderful job.


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