Dorinda D.

Dorinda D.
Orlando, Florida, United States
May 20
I teach writing at several universities. My two daughters are seven and 18. I adore my children, have trouble raising them, and you will read more about them than you care to. I am a professional cancer survivor. There is a lot more that I don't know than I do know.


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JULY 23, 2010 10:26AM

Escaping From the Rabbit Hole

Rate: 17 Flag

I was doing just fine until I saw the moving van in front of a neighborhood house while walking Buddy last night.  Hard to get to sleep last night.

Tyler is off for a 10-day visit with her father.  She is excited about going to the beach house and running down to the beach to see sand crabs hide in holes every day.  She wants to spend time with her older sister.  I understand that and miss her sister as well.

Tyler is currently my main distraction and reason for being.  I have been recuperating quietly from surgery during the day while she is at day camp so I have energy to fully be with her in the mornings and late afternoon/evenings.   Spend most of my time teaching online or working on writing of some sort.  I am flirting with getting the cancer memoir pulled together from many dozens of blog posts.  Several very good published writer friends from OS have encouraged me to do this and suggested this might be a good time to be working on it.

 Tyler and I have had a good time together the last few weeks and she has been lovely helpful little girl.  The past few days she has wanted to look like mommy so she goes to school wearing reading glasses she does not need.

I had planned ahead to deal with the long stretch here without even the dog because Buddy goes with Tyler.  He is her constant companion whether she is at mommy’s house or any one of daddy’s houses.  Buddy tends to recuperate quietly during the day as well because he spends most evenings being dressed up in a variety of outfits (i.e. mummy created from mommy’s left over bandage supplies or a banana Halloween costume that matched Tyler’s monkey costume) while Tyler has him pulling her on his leash around the house while she wears roller skates. Sometimes Tyler is dressed as the monkey, sometimes as a chicken, and sometimes as Wonder Woman complete with a shield and sword from Caesar’s Palace in Vegas.  Buddy hates water and sits fearfully in the corner of the bathroom when Tyler takes a bath each night where she blows bubbles with a large assortment of bubble wands and eats popsicles.   She ends her bath Japanese style with a shower because “mommy I want to feel the rain on my face.”

I will miss them both.

The plans.

Tonight I am to see Ron White perform.  I hope.  He is the George Jones of comedy infamous for either not showing up for a show or showing up less than sober.  I got tickets for the later show because if I have the nerve I will try to talk to him when he sees fans after the last show.  I probably won’t because my fascination and admiration of the work of good comedians’ makes me tongue-tied and whatever I say comes out stupid.  As in all I could say to Ralphie May when he was shaking my hand and a foot away was “you are a genius and you made me cry.” That was helpful.  This from a woman who had no problem walking up to John Hiatt and talking to him for a very long time like we were old friends just a few months ago when played in Orlando.  I am all skinny now so I can wear one of my sexy little dresses that now fit very well.  That might give me confidence of some sort.

My best friend from Miami will be up this weekend to keep me company. She last saw me folded up in a hospital bed doped on morphine looking like death warmed over and wants reassurance that was not a permanent condition.  Perhaps we will get to see Inception.  I hear that movie simulates experiences much like being on morphine.  I used to see Pepe Le Pew skulking around the hospital room and making faces behind the nurses when they came in to take care of me.  Luckily I left him at the hospital along with the morphine drip.

Next week will be a serious work week prepping for three courses in the Fall.  People mistakenly think that teachers take the summer off.  Not so.  It will take 30 hours or so of tedious but necessary class prep and curriculum design for upper level/graduate classes in technical writing, first year rhet/comp classes, and a first year introduction to literature class.  I make Gant charts of paper due dates and set aside grading, lecture prep, and administrative paperwork sessions.  My calendar will be full of tasks Monday through Saturday that will take nine hours a day to complete.  I love my job but it is time intensive and requires serious intellectual engagement much of those nine hours.   It is a million times better than making french fries at McDonald's but can be very tiring.  It is hard to take about 180 people of various ages and experiences from A in late August to Z in mid-December.  The whole enterprise can seem overwhelming for students and me. That is why I get it all organized and know day by day what needs to be done.   Once the semester starts I just concentrate on the day in question and refuse to worry about the next day until it happens.  If I could learn to view my personal life in the way I view my professional life I would do much better.  When I am working I tend to appear smart and look like I know what I’m doing.  When I am not working not so much.

I will miss Tyler but will take advantage of this week of being sans child to go out to hear the blues at a jazz club with new friends, see a play at the alternative theatre in Orlando, and perhaps indulge some former students who want me to get out and hear the up and coming band fronted by one of those former students.  The former students do not seem to care that I am older and want me to get OUT.  Thus if you see me at Back Booth or The Social where I am 20 years older than other people – yeah I know I am out of place and it will look like someone brought his or her mom.

So I had the week all planned to avoid getting sad.  Then Buddy and I are walking down the street and run into a moving truck with New Jersey plastered on the side in huge letters.   If I had not seen the truck I would not have had to go down the rabbit hole of sadness I avoid at all cost.  Before being diagnosed with cancer again and the inevitable toll it took on my romantic life I was supposed to be in New Jersey today at a family wedding playing the fish out of water scene from every romantic comedy ever made.  Southern fried academic a few years older than the romantic lead meets the family/friends from way back in South Jersey.   I had plans to avoid some of that by escaping on public transportation for part of a day to hang out at MOMA and recoup in the Jackson Pollock room in NYC.  However statistics indicate men are 250 times more likely to leave women going through cancer treatment than the other way around.   No sh* Sherlock.  This is my second time at this rodeo and that horse had bucked me off before.  I keep getting up and back on the horses again eventually.  Tired of getting bruised up that way.

The only way out of that rabbit hole is to keep on going.  The first step is to see Ron White this evening and to look damn good when I do it.


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Ron's a lucky man and from where he stands, your the hawt girl in the front row who might consider talking with him after the show. Sounds like you got your sexy back. Have fun!
Some juicy post cancer projects and work described here. Cuz, that's what it is, post cancer. You had it. Now you're cancer free. Part of post cancer is the abyss/rabbit hole, bien sur. It's also the Pollock room, and chatting up John Hiatt (yes, I'm jealousing!), and diligent course prep, and sexy dresses. I like to think that post cancer makes one better at all this. Your memoir sounds awesome....go for it!
The memoir, including your two experiences at losing those men, will ring true to so many. Please pursue this.

Hiatt hugged me too. Jealous away ;0)
~I just concentrate on the day in question and refuse to worry about the next day until it happens.~

I love it when you offer these pearls of wisdom! And Rom White is your first step.

And "eff" NJ. I had one of those, once; wasn't worth the effort. Better to know now than later.
I certainly hope you do work on that book as you tell it all so well. The good, the bad and the ugly. And F certainly deserve something better. Have fun this week!!!!
Go and have a great time. Hang on to every moment and forget about the past. You've earned it.
Lea's right. Many will see themselves in your memoir. Now go rock Ron's world.

"You know, it is possible to be too attractive. " -- Pepe Le Pew.
Please write a cancer memoir. I think that would be wonderful.

As for tonight, wearing a sexy dress always makes me feel better. And one of my personal philosophies is, "The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else." Not necessarily the smartest idea ever, but has worked for me a time or two.
I hope I have the chance one day to read a memoir written by you....
Admire the truth that you always manage to write between the lines and add my encouragement to keep writing -- this will be a book. Sometimes it is okay to visit the hole -- the trick is not to stay in it -- and you seem to have the spirit that will pull you out.
Thanks for the nice comments. I cannot say F NJ since I don't express love often and do so sincerely when I do. I have written about being sad but there is no one on the planet who has heard me say anything bad about him and there won't be in the future. I just wish things had turned out differently.