Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The realization that I really almost died this year; that I really could have DIED: it just hit me.

I read an article about James Franco a few months ago. He said that as a kid... or it was his mom saying it... as a kid he was afraid to die because he said he had too many things to do. I'm feeling that way. "One always dies too soon- or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up." At some point we have no choice; we either randomly die or we get ill & find out we are dying soon. I never thought about death as something that came by surprise when you were totally content. No wonder people fear death: it's truly scary to consider that it's basically beyond our control when or how we die. I'm afraid to plan my life out; to get happy or to get busy because if I died tomorrow I wouldn't be satisfied that I had lived a good life or that I'd been successful. I need more time to get things done and be the person I always wanted to be. For some reason I've always thought I was guaranteed tomorrow; that my life needed to come to some cathartic conclusion to end, like in movies. But it could end at any moment. How do people live each day knowing this?

Saturday, October 16, 2010



This is not my vagina

My pubic hair is brown. I look down as I sit on the toilet and I think ‘whose vagina is this?’ it’s attached to my body but it is not mine. Mine had red hair on it. And when it was nearly bald it still had some red hair and I got used to it. But now it’s not mine and I don’t like it. The hair is straight and soft, not like it should be. And brown. It’s ugly. I’m embarrassed by it. I fear that someone will see it and laugh. I’m a red head and my pubic hair is brown and the hair on my head is blonde. I feel like someone stole my identity and left the unwanted pieces of theirs for me to have to deal with. This is not my vagina and I’d rather have none than this one.

October Lows

I’ve been back in school a month. I thought it would be different. I wanted to distance myself to some extent but had no need because it seems that everyone has distanced themselves from me. Already there is silly drama and unfounded rumors. I’m happier directing my show and more excited to be designing costumes than I am for most of the classes. I feel like some classes are very good and some are okay, but could be more challenging or more interesting. I feel lost, but I am trying to forge ahead. I feel almost more alone amongst these people at school than I did when I was confined in my Brooklyn apartment wanting to die. So, that said, I sort of still want to die. I feel as if everyone resents me for living; maybe it would have been easier on them all if I’d just died from cancer so they could fain grief and then forget I ever existed. It’s the teachers I feel more connected to; maybe because I’m closer in age to them, or closer in maturity. For so long I was impressed with the 20 year olds who were so kind to me and so mature, but it seems the summer stole their maturity and their kindness. Maybe that three month break was too much. I needed it, but do feel it was a loss and wish that I could have kept studying acting during that time. I am angry at myself for not reading more and feel that now is my chance to create a change in my life. I am trying to discover how to do that. I need to break focus on certain distractions and really dig into what I love in life. I said I would do this when school was about to start, but the surgery and finality of it, my new blonde hair, and the resurgence of drama at school have all weighed on me and become cause for more depression. I know I am not exactly who I used to be. Some days I am very upbeat and energetic; enthusiastic and focused, and other days I am melancholy and disappointed. I don’t know if I want to be with actors more or cancer survivors… I feel I have no real place. With actors I feel I can discuss theatre and the art of realism and I feel comfortable because I know it, but most of the kids at school don’t care to talk about it. They seem more inclined to talk about themselves. I guess I can understand that since I was young once too, but even some of the older actors seem too focused on themselves and not on the work or the craft. None of them really understand what I’ve gone through and I think it hurts more knowing they no longer know who I am yet think they do; no one else really sees how I’ve changed. But when I talk with other cancer survivors sometimes it gets depressing as well; they talk about the people who’ve died and the metastases they’ve had, and they discuss the hard times that I would like to forget about. I don’t know why my life has been harder than other people’s lives, or why I’ve had so much suffering and pain. There’s no clear answer to that. I just want to be happy and to be working at what I love. There’s no other reason for me to live than acting. I can’t afford to doubt my talent, but I was severely beaten down this summer by chemo, and I’m having trouble really getting myself back up to where I was before. Maybe if these kids saw what I’d gone through or maybe if they cared more… I don’t know. I can’t expect anything more from people than what they are capable of giving. It’s up to me to ensure my future by working hard and not getting distracted by my thoughts. My mom said, six months before she died, that all she wanted was five more good years. I was mad she’d said it at the time because I knew she could have had more than five, and she should have been thinking twenty. Now I understand what she was saying. Five years isn’t that long, but if it’s good maybe it’s worth it. And there is no cure for cancer—well none so readily available and proven—but to have five more really good years would be nice. I’d prefer twenty or even fifty, but I’ll take five. It’s all they have for survival rates at this point and if I make them great maybe it’s worth it. Getting cancer was no choice of mine, but what I’m learning from having it is my choice. It hurts to be alone, but if this is what I’m getting, if things like loneliness are not going to change for me, then I’ll accept that and I’ll find my way around it. I feel like shit so often, I dream daily of truly feeling good and being a good person. I’m not sure what direction that will take me in my life—however long it will be—, but that is my aim…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Fear is ever-present. It’s inside me just waiting to remind me that it’s there. Like a monster in the closet. And just when I think I’m safe; just when I think I’ll be okay; it jumps out and reminds me it’s there. It tells me it’s not leaving. It tells me I could be sick again; that I could die at any moment. I want to tell the fear that it cannot hurt me, because fear itself cannot cause us harm. But I know that what it’s reminding me of can hurt me: cancer, chemo, all of it. Every moment of every minute of every hour of every day I am on the verge of tears and all I want is someone to be there to catch me as I fall, or to help me not fall. Because I’m scared. And this isn’t fear like the kind you get when that monster jumps out of the closet. This fear is internal and invisible. And if I ignore it I may die.

The twisted part is that I went through so much already that I thought I wouldn’t be afraid of anything anymore but I am. And it sucks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Me on TV

This aired on Saturday, October 2nd.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The play has already begun to develop. I'm so glad! I won't be posting pieces of it though. It will be revealed when done & work-shopped at that point.
xxo M

Some Things

Some things are so small, like paper cuts, but we get so worked up over them and stress ourselves out. Something I’ve been learning lately is that things in life change continually. Who I see daily now may be so drastically different in five years; my life may be so drastically different in five years. We can plan and plan for things but planning can only go so far when random chance is involved. I try now to consider the weight or the gravity of something and react accordingly. A paper cut might result in an “Oh fuck!” but then I put a band aid on it and move on. I don’t necessarily need to announce to the world I have a paper cut, and none of my Facebook friends will send me condolences for it. On the other hand, there are things like deaths and cancer that can cause deeper reactions. When my mom died I went to look at her body and I just stared. It was shock on top of shock. I was so surprised she looked the same as she had the day before; she just wasn’t making that awful breathing noise anymore. She was peaceful. I don’t know what I had expected, like, that she would instantly turn into a skeleton when she died or that she’d be stiff… I don’t know: I was surprised, but somewhat pleasantly, despite the circumstance. After that I lay on her bed and cried. When I heard Louis died I cried immediately. I think that one came as more of surprise because I thought he had longer and I thought he’d wait for me to be there, whereas I knew my mom was going when she did. I think some part of me died when I lost him; I was just recovering and coming to grips with losing my mom and then I lost Lou and it was as if I had been hit with a two by four just as I was getting up from being hit by a baseball bat a few hundred times.

So, I recovered, I have been coping and I have been making my life better. I tried; I accepted these changes that came. I reacted accordingly. I lost my mom and my cat and I was devastated but I got through it. I lost my boyfriend and then my best friend as well, but not to death, so the reaction was much smaller, but greater than that of a paper cut. Then I got cancer and I fell to my knees and screamed a lot. Dealing with this has been harder than dealing with my mom or Lou’s deaths because this is me being sick and I have to fight; I have to feel it daily. And I have fought- hard. I feel justified in all I do and I feel like I’m more loved and more confident in ways I hadn’t known existed. I was already pretty confident, but this is a little different. It’s funny: someone told me about six months ago that having cancer would make me a better person and a better actor. At the time I knew he was right but I wasn’t seeing it or feeling it until right at this moment. It’s also made me a happier person. And a better director! We can’t really control things that happen in life, especially the big ones, but we can control how we react to those things. Like a parent wishing for their kids to stay young and innocent; they have no control over a child growing up. The best thing to do is to enjoy every moment; soak into it and absorb all you can from it. Life is difficult and complicated and it can hurt a lot, so no matter what life gives me I will bask in the moment and laugh at the paper cuts.