Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tanya Writes About Astrocytoma Glioma and Turk Is Toast

This blog was initially inspired by romance heroes, when I published my book Midnight Bride last year. But it quickly evolved into a blogspot honoring real-life heroes, people in my life kicking cancer in the ass. Including my precious husband, my personal hero, who celebrates one year remission on April 8.

Here's someone else dear to me, who's literally kicking ASS-trocytoma glioma. It's an ugly brain tumor she named "Turk" that struck her a few months ago. Since them, surgery, chemo and radiation are working, but Turk is still taking his ugly toll, and more is needed to fight this vile brain cancer.

My daughter's sorority sister Jackie, of the gorgeous smile and lovelier spirit. They've gone from Rush week and invites and winter formal and spring breaks on a cruise ship to post-grads living at the beach in Hermosa to young career women. They visited Australia together.

Then Turk reared his ugly head.

Jackie spent this last weekend with my daughter, and some of the conversation was heartbreakingly poignant. "Don't you ever worry about wrinkles. Embrace getting old," she said. "I might not get to."

And I feel myself flush with shame. Here I worry that the L'Oreal lip plumper isn't working.

To help kill Turk and his buddies afflicting other people, I ask you to help support Jackie's "Turk is Toast" team, raising funds in San Francisco on May 2, 2009, in a walk sponsored by the National Brain tumor Society (NBTS).

Turk is Toast!

T.C. came upon us during a rainy weekend....we thought it was a hernia. Jackie's Turk came upon her during a normal day at the office.

No one can know. But every knowing person can care. Find it in your heart to help.

Thanks, and hugs.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tanya Writes About Being Good to Your Dogs

Ditsy Tanya's Almanac #7

Get a lot of sleep, a lot of exercise. Eat real good. Say your prayers. And be good to your dogs. --Mickey Rourke on how to survive hard times.

Well, I'm getting back to the blog. I hope to get a digital copy of my x-ray so you can see the screws, and until then, I'll save pontificating on convalescence for another day.

But actually, my podiatry problem is the reason for this almanac. I found Mickey Rourke's comment in a magazine the nurse gave me to read while I waited.

Right now, this is an homage to dogs. Since I'm a chick-lit, romantic comedy kind of girl --throw in the occasional Western-- I admit I'm not really a Mickey Rourke fan. But after reading that comment, this guy holds my heart in his hands.


I never had one until my hero got me a Border collie at the pound. We were newlyweds in our early twenties who had managed to buy a house. A brand new one, in a pretty little tract surrounded by lettuce fields. And a house needs a dog.

Well, the fields are gone now, and so is that precious little black and white pup. Romping with her at the Rainbow Bridge is the brown poodle Teddi my dad gave me shortly before his death in a car accident when our son was four months old.

After that, we had the Oreo Cookie. A yellow Lab and two black ones. With Tawny (yellow) the head dog, in the middle with a black on each side while we walked, it was both Cookie and Chariot Race with three hundred pounds of Labrador gaining inertia.

When Tawn died at 12 1/2 from sudden cancer, five years ago, I fell to the floor in grief. Anytime I saw Vincent on Lost, I broke down. But with two still at home, the grief ebbed. Then last summer, my Marl left us. Too quick. Again, cancer. Inexorable, inoperable. When I called the vet to arrange her last visit, I broke down in sobs, and my Marley ran to comfort me.

My hero had gotten her for me when our daughter, the youngest, left for college so I wouldn't be all alone during those stretches he spent all over the state fighting wildfires.

The third, our boy Seau, we adopted when he was about five. I wanted to change that ridiculous name, but our kids are Trojans and they refused. Big Seau fit into the fam like he was triplet to the other two.

And along the way we got two grandpup little girl English bulldogs, and a host of niece-pup mini-dachsies. There's a Corgi in there somewhere now, too.

But our big boy is failing. He's pushing 13 and the hip displasia has taken a dreadful toll. We know he deserves dignity and compassion, so we know it's coming upon us, that easing him over the Rainbow Bridge.

So I say my prayers...and am better to him than ever.

In fact, I'm going to hobble downstairs right now to give him a hug. And send off another little prayer.

Make that a big prayer. Nice and loud.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tanya Writes About Chief Joseph and his Journey

...at my publisher blog http://twrpcactusrose.blogspot.com

Go check it out. I'm still very under the weather so wanted to point you to something actually inspiring and not whiney.

I will fight no more forever.
Heinmot Tooyalakat*
October 5, 1877

* Also known as Chief Joseph. His Nez Perce name translates to "Thunder Rolling in the Mountains."

Listen for him.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tanya Writes About Spurs

Oh, I wish I was writing about cowboy spurs. I don't actually like the concept of something sharp and icky smacking into a neat horse's flank...but they are a part of Western culture. And that's where I set my books.

These spurs aren't meant for walking...they're hooked all around my right big toe! Now, I don't know about you. But I never gave my big toes much thought until one of them hurt bad and began to impede my regular life. What a lot of trouble a bad big toe can be!

I saw a podiatrist just before our dream trip (New England) which, as you know, was just before the nightmare--my hero's bout with testicular cancer. Now it's time to fix that bastard so I can dance at our daughter's wedding.

Dr. N says I can't do anything for ten days but read and watch TV...and computerize if I'm able. So I don't know when I'll be Back to the Blog.

I'm hoping like crazy to be able to get a proposal off to my wonderful editor, at least make the downtime worthwhile.

And my hero tells me with a big hug, now it's my turn to take care of you.

Sigh. What a guy.