Feel your blood! Feel your heart! Feel your life!

Well hello there,

There’s a lot I can say about the past month. A couple of illnesses (of the smaller ilk, but things she didn’t used to get), an infection on her face from the hot tub (yeah, everything you ever suspected about a hotel hot tub) and some joint pains from the cyclosporin…

But, none of that matters. All that does matter is that one Ronald J. Paquette (I have no idea if J is his middle name but it just sounds right) just pronounced that she was not an actively sick person anymore. He says she can ski. Or boogie board. Or fly. And he means it! That man has saved us. And so humble, he seems surprised we will follow him to Cedars. The Man. The Guy. Paquette. Thank you.
So, what kind of good news are we talking about? Well, I’m not a miracle person. I can’t honestly say the words, “This is a miracle.” But I can type, say and feel… this has been miraculous.
Lisa was sent to the ER on September 18th. We met Paquette for the first tim on September 20th. This is four months almost to the day. Four months and….
Platelets: 109,000 <—- 70k a month ago – above the contact sport threshold
White Blood Count: 4.59 <—— double a month ago
Hemoglobin: 11.00 <—– fucking 11 people!!!
ANC: 2.7 <—- that was .6 a month ago!
We did it! She did it! Kicking Aplastic Anemia’s ass all over Westwood.
It was hard saying goodbye to everyone at UCLA. Very emotional for Lisa. What an amazing group of people. The nurses… always the nurses.  Felt like a distinct end of a horrible, and terribly delineated, period in our lives. There’s no question, working an illness like this is a full contact sport (without touching anyone ’cause they might bleed to death). You have to work the system, find your allies, and push for your needs. We had it worked out at UCLA. It’s going to be a big thing switching to a new place, and as morbid as it sounds, we’ll never have been the one they weren’t sure was going to make it at Cedars. That bonds you with your staff. They take pride in watching someone like Lisa go from nothing, to life. At Cedars we’ll just be middle of the road blood-drawers. It’s okay. We’ll take it.
I’ll tell you one story about the past month.
On September 18th tickets to Patti Smith went on sale. She was doing the entire Horses album live. This is one of Lisa’s most seminal albums. Her most beloved artist. She was out of her mind to see it, and had set an alarm and sat at her computer as tickets went on sale. She got on right away, got amazing seats and pressed BUY. The site froze. The ball started spinning. While she sat and watched the phone rang. It was cousin Brian. He told her to get to the ER immediately. Something was horribly wrong with her blood.
Lisa left the ball spinning and our life changed completely.
The first thing I did when Lisa checked into the hospital was buy her a good paid of Bose headphones, and she disappeared into her music for the days she had treatments. Most especially, Patti Smith and Horses.
You know what’s coming next. Horse serum which is what ran through her veins as she went through four days of chemo. And still, Horses pulsing in her ears.
When she got out of the hospital, life seemed so bleak. She was just hanging on. Circling the drain. Then one day she went on StubHub and bought even better tickets (and way more expensive) to the Horses tour for January 8th. It was her goal to get there. I didn’t think there was any way under any circumstances that she would be going to a concert in January. She was determined, but had already figured out how I could drop her off, and she could sit in the lobby on her way to the seats. And she’d wear a mask if she needed to. But she was going.
You know where we were on January 8th:

Image 3


And Lisa wasn’t wearin’ no stinkin’ mask. Just a lot of life and joy:
Image 2
At one point Patti told everyone to put their hands in the air… and then she said:
Image 1
“Feel your blood! Feel your heart! Feel your life!”
And we did as the lady told us:
We felt it. Our Blood. Our Heart. Our Life.
The ball isn’t spinning anymore.
Thanks for going on the journey with us. We love you guys all.
Chris, Lisa, Theo and Patti



10 thoughts on “Feel your blood! Feel your heart! Feel your life!

  1. Wow. I have tears in my eyes! I’m SO FREAKIN HAPPY!!! Thank you. My day is MADE. GO LISA!!!! Please tell Dr AMAZING he has a BIG fan in MT, who has joined the tribe of his many fans!


  2. The joy of reading this brings tears to my eyes. You are indeed blessed! Sending love and hugs and smooches and prayers and huge thanks to whatever super power you believe in. For me, I believe it’s time to press the next selection on the Patti CD.


  3. I am doing the watusi with both of you (and Patti) in joy, relief and gratitude for this amazing coda. You did so much more than persevere. It’s weird to thank you for taking us on this journey which we all would have preferred to avoid, yet your response to it and writing made it worthwhile.
    “You know how to pony like boney maroney” (How many times do you get to say that and mean it?!)
    Big Love,


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