Updated: Mar 5
Wed 26 Feb 2020
I was feeling great on Wednesday the day of my post-op appointment with Dr Dedekind, I put on some makeup and had relatively no pain in my arm from the surgery. I wondered if it was because I took 2x300 mg Gabapentin when I was actually supposed to take one. I freaked out last night when I realised this and ran to the bathroom and tried to make myself throw up, clearly I'm a terrible bulimic, it was an epic fail.
the good news is I didn't die. Hooray! and on the upside, I was pain-free from it.
I found an awesome wig for R285! I mean that's unheard of! From where?
The Golden Acre, of course (where all the African women buy their weaves)! I saw some amazing human hair wigs there that were really well Priced at R1500 - R2500.
It made me think why all the religious Jewish gals haven't caught on to these deals yet? I mean what Jew doesn't love a deal? I sure do!
Maybe they just haven't ventured into these unchartered territories like my mom and I do. She literally went to every single African hair shop in the centre of town looking for wigs for me one day, and then took me back to show me her favourites.
Here is my steal of a deal!
We were driving back home and I got an enquiry to play at a birthday party in Bantry Bay on Saturday, I was really excited. Being pain-free that day, I said I was available. After a few back and forths and negotiating, the deal was done and I was to play from 7 pm till Midnight, I didn't know if my arm was gonna make it (pain wise) for 5 hrs, but It had to happen! If there is a will, there is a way! (my school motto, thanks Herzliya!)
The 2 days before I prepped for the gig, rehearsed some songs and was excited to perform.
I was also so consumed with writing, designing and finishing this blog that I worked on, it from Thursday evening 9 pm - 5 am the next morning. I find it fascinating how I can be so hyper focused and so in the zone when I am creating, that I will lose track of hours, I'll forget to eat or drink and don't even try talking to me as I probably won't hear what you are saying when I'm the zone. Yet in my day to day life I'm very ADD, I'm constantly asking, " have u seen my...?" "where did I leave my...?"
Once I came home from a musical tour in Tokyo and had some per diems saved R10000 to be exact in a brown paper envelope. I made sure to hide it in a very safe place.
about 2 weeks went by and I thought I better go exchange the cash while the exchange rate was good. If I tell you I searched my studio apartment high and low for 3 hours. It was gone, obviously someone had to have stolen it, so I replayed all the visitors I had, had in my apartment since I came back. thinking the worst. I sat Shiva on my kitchen floor on the phone to my mother almost in tears. I felt like the world's biggest schmuck. A voice inside my head told me to look in the bottom medicine drawer where I was sitting, there it was nestled in a tiny space between the inside of the drawer and a plastic container filled with medication. Oh my God was I elated with joy ! It honestly felt like I had won the lottery!
Sat 29 Jan 2020
Today was a great day. My sound guy, (sadly not Rob, who is in London) came to help me take my gear downstairs and to the gig, as I can't carry anything heavy due to my 2 surgeries. As we walked downstairs to the parking lot I said to him, " you can put the decks in my car and I'll just drive and follow you there" and then I realised that my car hasn't been parked at home for a month, and I wasn't allowed to drive. It's funny how your brain just goes into autopilot, into your usual routine forgetting for a moment so much has happened.
Soundcheck went smoothly and I came home to get all dolled up to head back to start the gig at 7 pm. My mom came over to help blowdry my hair as I couldn't lift my right arm above my shoulder yet. I realised I hadn't done my hair since New Years Eve, it looked beautiful, thick and healthy. I felt emotional and very sad that the chemo would be stripping me of it soon. I found the one dress in my closet that would work as it had rouging on the top and my one breast was much more noticeably expanded than the other. But I thought of a brilliant way to even them out. I bought a silicone sticky bra from Forever New and just stuck on the right side to my right breast. it worked like a charm. I put my makeup on and I felt back to Dani. I hadn't seen the most aesthetically presented version of myself in 2 months. I felt great.
The house was beautiful with epic ocean views and it was so good to be out of my apartment! The woman who booked me for the event was so divine. She told me how she had so many male DJ's submissions for the event but remembered me from one of my gigs I played at Macau restaurant a while back and thought I would be the perfect act for her celebration. I told her how truly grateful I was for the gig, as I was starting Chemo on Tuesday. She told me, that both her mother and two of her best friends (one of them age 29) have survived breast cancer and came out even better and stronger on the other side. She was happy that she had picked me to perform and believed that she met me for a reason.
I eased into the night with some buddha bar worldly sunset vibes, it was a 5 hr gig So I needed to pace myself. I hadn't danced and performed since my NYE gig (when I had my own Breasts) and even though I felt like me, I could feel the hard expanders in my chest as I danced and I felt the discomfort in my arm, but I tried to ignore these sensations because I was here, performing, doing what I love! What a gift from the universe, right before I am about to start Chemo.
By the end of the night, my arm was in a lot of pain, I probably overdid it but I needed this. The gig was a huge success!
I Will Survive!
1 March 2020
I had the most wonderful gig last night and received so many compliments from the hosts of the party but I couldn't sleep. Now that the excitement of that high had worn off, I was left with the fear of the unknown that lay ahead. I took two Tramacet and a Gabapentin during my 5 hr gig as my healing arm from surgery was really sore, 2 Dopaquels (used as a sleeping pill and anti-anxiety and usually knocks me out) and another gabapentin (which I am convinced now has the opposite effect on me, instead of making me drowsy it keeps me awake. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest, and hear the thoughts racing in my mind. I also struggled to find a comfortable position and every time I moved my arm would pull and hurt, or the rocks in my chest would be uncomfortable, or my back would get sore. Ahhh the Joys! The more I couldn't sleep, the more anxious I became as the thoughts in my head swirled and swam around like sharks waiting to attack. I couldn't take it anymore, so at 6 am I took another Dormanoct which thankfully knocked me out by 6.30 am and I woke up at 16:30 pm. I felt rather drugged out as I struggled to find my balance when I got out of bed, but after a cup of tea, I was alright. Unfortunately, the feelings from last night were not washed away by the pills and my 10-hour sleep, they were festering under the surface and erupted like a volcano as my waterworks began.
1 and half days left till Chemo, and I was riddled with fear.
I realise, that I can logically talk to myself in my head about the situation, tell myself to put it into perspective etc. Today my heart took over and I just wanted to cry, I was scared, especially after feeling well and healthy last night performing and loving every second of it, as time just flew by. What messes with you psychologically, is usually when you are feeling sick, you get treatment to make you feel better. This is the opposite, I feel healthy now, and I have to go for chemo which will cause me to feel sick, weak and look like a cancer patient even though I'm cancer free.(Although who knows maybe with my high drug tolerance it won't hit me as badly?) Yes, my head knows it's for a preventative measure, ghostbusting any cancer cells right out of me to decrease my chance of reoccurrence. What's more important my hair or my life? But my heart feels sore today, cause it's SHIT and SCARY. AC aka The Red Devil is no joke, my mouth might taste like metal for the duration of it, foods might not taste the same, I could lose my appetite completely. I could be wiped out and not able to get out of bed for a week and be exhausted all the time. I'll lose my hair, eyelashes, brows (thank goodness I had Microblading done.) I have to be careful not to get mouth ulcers, or any cuts, especially on my hands and arms to prevent lymphodema, stay away from big groups of people, to prevent germs as my immune system will be so weak.
Basically in a nutshell, I could be a frail weed with no appetite for life that has to preferably be in isolation ( I mean u might as well give me the Corona Virus! lol )
It's the complete opposite of who I am, a bright sunflower with the largest appetite for life and such a social being. I feel pissed off that I have to go through this shit!
The tears kept coming, my heart was tired of hiding behind my strong-willed mind, it needed a break to breathe, to let go, to feel.
Then my head chimed in ... "it's only temporary. Last week when u didn't know if your lymph nodes and liver was clear you were excited to have chemo, to blast cancer out of you, remember it is here to help you, in the long run, it is not the enemy."
I spoke to Rob in London, who assured me this too shall pass and it's only hair and that I will still be me and beautiful without it. I guess I just had to get to that point. to be stripped of my breasts, my hair, not judge my body thinking this isn't right or I need to lose a few kgs and just look at myself in front of the mirror and say I love you for you are, in your entirety, I love you unconditionally. How many of us do you think can actually do that? if you can, I applaud you, for that is ultimately the greatest lesson we are put on this earth to learn.
This is forcing me to abandon the old me, who was so highly critical and hard on myself, that if I didn't think my performance was perfect I would be upset with myself, or pissed off at the shit sound on the night, instead of focusing on the other 90 percent part that was great. The people loved it etc. But no, It could have been better! so? Maybe It could have, but did it matter? was it worth making myself miserable over? I gave the best of what I could in that moment. I'm telling you the perils of being an artist... Even Barbra Streisand will never leave the stage thinking "Wow that was a great show tonight!" she says, she always leaves the stage thinking "this wasn't right and that could have been better and I need to improve that" Let me tell you, I've seen her show and she is SENSATIONAL!!! positively perfect!
So last night I changed my behaviour which was a huge step in the right direction. Usually, I stress out before a gig (being a perfectionist) but this time I didn't.
I went to the Gig excited, with the sole purpose of having fun!
Do you know what the client told me? "You are simply amazing, everyone Loved the Music including my father(the Birthday Boy) Who complains about everything! You have such incredible energy and so much soul and it shines through" Well it doesn't get much better than that!
This is why I was given this opportunity, to show me that there is another way to be, a better and kinder way of treating myself. I am so thankful for this lesson.
Thankfully the day ended on a good note, as my brother picked me up for a sunset walk and went to our favourite Greek restaurant Mykonos for dinner I was starving as we only sat down to eat at 8 pm and hadn't eaten since my gig last night, to be fair I did sleep till 16:30. I devoured that meal it was absolutely divine! spanakopita, Greek salad, calamari, tzatziki, grilled chicken fillets and lightly toasted pita, I was in heaven. After we went for the most decadently delicious Ice cream at Moro gelato, Vanilla and Salted Caramel. What a party on my tastebuds. Happiness was Happening. I thought while I have an appetite for food I am going to eat all the foods that brings me joy.
tomorrow is another day,
I Thank God for this life!
Love & Health