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Not. Remember that?

T guitar by S Diteman July 2011My first bone marrow biopsy took place in last room down the hall at the local hospitals’ somber cancer clinic. I had been officially diagnosed by telephone the previous Friday afternoon. Monday morning was the soonest we could meet with the doctor. My blood ran cold all weekend waiting for the empty lobby room of Dr. Jan.

We had our awful meeting, I felt so sorry for her. She seemed like a very nice woman in her late 30’s, who felt really badly about having to explain this new diagnosis to me. I wasn’t helping matters. I think I may have bordered on argumentative when she intimated how long people with my disease usually live which- even if it had been 50 years (which it very clearly was not)- it STILL wouldn’t have been long enough, because nobody wants to be told a definite DATE, a time of year, which year, in which decade. At least, I don’t. I like the whole thing about “you never know.”

It is not as if it’s not functioning. It is. I wake up and brush my teeth and wash myself and dress myself and feed myself and I when I drive the car I stay between the lines. So, as far as functioning in the universally basic drink and pee sort of way I’m not worried a bit.

Still, my head is all fucked up. And since we’re on a subject that is by its own crippling definition going to sound confused, irrational, crass, vulgar, sentimental and just generally uh, fucked up, I would like to ask that you do me the favor of relieving my already delicate voice of reason and apply (like a glimmering coat of lip gloss) your best judgment to these broken words from my pouting mouth and if you feel, at this moment, that you cannot continue to listen to what I am trying so desperately to say here – is please, let’s not continue this relationship unless you agree to like me when we’re done.

That is unreasonable I know. But see, I just got through saying my head was fucked up. Did you think I was kidding? I was. Not. Remember that? If you remember the days of Not, that tells me something. How old are you? Don’t answer that. It’s none of my business is it? Although, it would sure help us establish a few things. Like whether or not you typed your college essays on a typewriter or not. Do you remember the day that Kennedy was shot? I don’t. So that says something. It says that while you can tell me about the day that Kennedy was shot and (assuming I am not too distracted by the constant stream of chatter in my own head), I can hear your story and comprehend what went down. But you’ll know (and won’t I too?), that I can’t relate. Now if you remember the day Elvis died, now we’re talking. That is right up my alley.


Big Bold Cherries

Big bold cherries

And rocks in the road

A whole heart embracing

All that it won’t know

Abandoned but lovely

a matter of fact

she’ll take what she gets

and not give it back

it could be worse, couldn’t it

put those pants on

send love to the genius who you know is gone



B7          C             B7          C

B7          C             B7          C

G            Am         G            E7

G            D            Dm         G

One night in-spite of

A temperamental low

She shines


Can someone play this for me?  Deb, Teisha’s Mom



Notes From My Road Less Traveled

Notes from my road less traveled

How are you doing? Have you been wondering the same of me?  What Teisha at Raymond Sthappened to that Realtor I used to know?  I’m writing from my road less traveled, from a life full of changes and new experiences and challenges.  I’ve been thinking about writing to you for sometime.

Leaving my real estate career after so many years was scary.  And it stayed scary for a pretty long time.  Every morning I woke up wondering what I had done, what I was doing and what was I was going to do.  I have heard it said making a big change in your life is like “jumping off a cliff.”  For me it’s more like swimming in the ocean.  The waves are constant, the tide is too, storms come and pass.  If you roll with it, if you don’t panic, you ride along.  If you fight it, you sink.  These days I’m riding the waves.

I’m doing what musicians do.  I’m playing music.  I’m writing songs.  I’m even playing a little bit of guitar.  I’m making records.

I love what I’m doing very much.  Aren’t I lucky?  I am.  I’m lucky I own a home.

Ten years ago this year I bought my first home.  It was the single most empowering choice I may have ever made.   I had just graduated from college.  Soon after I became a Realtor.  I believe in home ownership because of the way it has influenced my life.

I’ve lived in my current home for seven years.  It was a mess when I bought it and has required loads of work.  Buy a fixer and see who your friends really are while testing the bonds of family!

Everyone who helped me feels a sense of pride when they come here.  It’s our house in many ways.

When I decided I had to be a musician or else it was some of the equity in my home that allowed me to dedicate myself to my dreams.  I can’t think of a more remarkable gift.   Or another kind of investment that you can have holidays in.  I take care of it and it takes care of me.

Since officially taking my leave from being a Realtor I have had many occasions to talk with people about real estate.  I’ve offered council to friends who’ve called lending my perspective to their decision making process.  Bossing them around when necessary, all for the greater good of course!  I always feel great when I have a chance to talk shop.  Especially now, that I’m more secure in my decision to be a musician and more comfortable with my life.  Real estate is a part of me whether I’m selling it or not.

A close friend recently asked very nicely if I would help with an investment.  Last weekend I even looked at a house with another close friend whose thinking of buying a second property.  It really is like riding a bike.  Helping her made me feel good.

I think of myself as being insightful and fair as well as creative and clear with answers to real estate questions.  I know that my knowledge of the field is a valuable resource.  I want to share that resource again with you.  While I have no plans to start up my real estate career, I am excited to dabble.  I’m volunteering myself to you.

So, if you have a question, I want you to know you can call me.  Or email me.  I’d love to hear from you.  I’ll do my best to help.  (or call her mom and she’ll put you in touch with Dave, Tanner, Ronda, Julee, Mo, or Molly all Realtors inspired and mentored by Teisha).


Teisha on ladder


This Too Shall Pass

I woke up this morning to a blue sky and a sour mind. My life is so different than it was “supposed” to be. I feel like a failure, I’ve spent so many years thinking about and navigating the ups and downs of a diagnosis and then treatment and then the side effects of treatment while bearing a true positive outlook. I’ve taken all kind of drugs with the hope of not only feeling better but also of not succumbing to some infection taking advantage of the “compromised immune system” which is mine to have and hold. I’ve spent so much time waiting for some sort of resolution while trying to remember that “it could be worse,” without dismissing that this, however good in so many way, is really, really fucking hard. What was I thinking? Why is this happening to me? What is going to happen next? Will I win or lose? Am I strong enough for this? Is even writing these thoughts down on paper this morning a sign of weakness?

My newspaper (the guide to not taking your own life too seriously) wasn’t on the porch this morning. This is not the first time this has happened and it makes me wonder, is someone taking the paper after it’s been delivered? Is the delivery guy having a bad day? I climbed back into bed and nestled up to my laptop and called The Oregonian who confirmed they would send another paper today. I’ll be waiting.

I found myself with a face full of tears this morning and it crossed my mind that I may have forgotten to take my nighttime meds and when I checked I saw that I had and I wondered about taking pills to feel better and if that means that the feelings you have while on medication are real feelings?

So much of my time and energy has been spent, on and on, in an effort to not feel bad. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I want to be a stand-up person because then maybe I will deserve to be saved from the fate of this taxing disease. On my bed this morning despite the blue sky and faithful support of friends and family and the kind eyes of those two dogs and my sincere belief in what I will call this morning “a higher power”, “God” and a “Saving grace,” I am swollen with exhausted tears. Remember to take your pills. This too shall pass.

Written 2/27/2011



Is It Health Food?

Today is labor day, 2011. I spent two night last week in the hospital after they found from blood tests that I had no phosphorous in my system. I am home and feeling much better. Foods high in phosphorous include nuts, dairy (ice cream), potatoes and who knows what else. My ability to taste has changed and is not like most normal people, my new normal includes a love of different textures and different temperatures. A big bowl of ice cream with nuts offers creamy, cool crunchiness. Is it health food? It is if you’re low on phosphorous, which happily, I am not.

ohsuseptember 006


A Gift to Myself

8/4/2010  This is Teisha sending an email to finally and officially announce the existence of a blog written by me and available for you to read anytime you’d like, or not at all.

This blog is a gift to me, having a place to explain, express and examine my life as it moves ahead curling this way and that around the unexpected circumstances of my sometimes wary but wonderful life.

In the midst of regular day-to-day living, coupled with a quirky and unrelenting share of laughs and more than a few expressions felt in the nature of “Oh, Jesus, Mary and Joseph.” I write this blog as way to navigate this current cancer highway with my look at this matter of fact, it is what it is life experience.

The posts in this blog will not be in any sort of chronological order. Each will have a date in the title to indicate when it was originally written. Working has been a genuinely gratifying experience. My highest hope today is to add a new post to the site on a weekly basis, probably on Wednesdays, don’t ask me why.

In addition to offering up some of the perspective gained from life from cancer-camp-ground-zero there will also be words about the other parts of my life including; an intense affection for people and places and dogs and music and houses and music and books and food and fun. I mentioned music twice, on purpose I suppose.

You receive this today because I consider you a known entity of support and humor and hopefulness; as a friend, family member or someone I am glad to know. While my goal is to give myself a way to write about life, in order to cope with some of what is hard to believe, the process of writing whether it is of interest to anyone else or not, is cathartic.

My thanks to my mom for her unwavering, unconditional love, for all of my family, my step dad and friends and fellow cancer survivors and musicians and Realtors and early middle-aged persons and kids and elderly folks who show me  what it means to be loved and to love life. Thanks also to my Nurses, Doctors, Ex-boyfriends, Dentist, Veterinarians, Chefs, Writers, Teachers, Massage therapists and my ever loving dogs. Here we go!


Here’s To Life’s Lessons

For better or for worse, for me, having a plan helps. I know my life is on the line. Some moments wash over me and I ask for Mercy. This morning after asking for Mercy came the impulse to open the book I started reading today and it left me feeling hopeful. Excited even. Capable at least.

Here’s to life lessons and learning and creativity and science, and friends and sunshine and babies and dogs and avocado and music and photographs and tissue paper and guitar pics and slippers and grapes and wish lists and high hopes and songs and flowers and trains and planes and automobiles and sand and water and soap and glasses and healthy cells and laughs and jokes and wind chimes and the robust sense of smell coming from the street.

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