When last we left our heroine she was relaxing and reflecting under a canopy of unchanged leaves in the Berkshire foothills.
Many weeks have passed since then and we wanted to bring you up to date on her progress. I say right up front that this blog is all about Marin’s last few weeks dealing with side affects of Healing Therapy (aka Chemo Therapy) for her ovarian cancer, bowel resection and in general getting back into the swing of things.
We traveled back to NYC for the memorial of our dear Roger Rees on September 21st. It was a splendid and emotional remembrance of a wonderful man and artist.
(Rog, Marin and myself only last October)
It was a particularly charged memorial as the New Amsterdam theatre, home to Disney’s Aladdin, was packed with friends and fans. It was also the first time Marin was out in public after we shared the news of her medical issues.
It might sound like an understatement to state, but I believe in the essence of words and detest hyperbole, that the theatre community was and remains absolutely wonderful in their support and love of both of us. Thousands of people have been writing on Facebook, Tweeting, writing letters (snail mail even), sending emails, cards, gifts… it has been stunning.
On the 23rd of September Marin received a port to receive the remaining doses of her Healing Therapy. Her veins had finally been tapped out and weren’t providing ample access for the nurses. This is a typical procedure. Marin’s oncologist was actually surprised that she had gone so many weeks taking the treatments intravenously. So this was not a surprise or a setback.
A port is inserted under the skin at the top of ones chest and gives direct access to your blood stream by going directly into a large vein.
A more vain person than Marin might have a difficult time with this but as she and I have both acknowledged, this port is a beautiful thing. This small devise makes it immeasurably easier to draw blood, give medication, IVs and administer the chemo drugs and by this access, her life is being saved. The miracles of modern science.
So this visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering was anticipated with a more jovial spirit than the surgery and that return visit for the infection.
(pre-op I didn’t have to wear that cap but who could resist?)
That same afternoon as she had her port placed she had HT 15. In her HT room, as in most of the rooms, were many potted plants, this one had this beautiful pot. One of my favorite musicals too. A lovely reminder of the secret beauty that lies just beyond the gate and all we have to do is look for it.
We headed back upstate for a quick weekend getaway before I started rehearsals for Chicago on Broadway. Oh yeah, I’m playing Billy Flynn until Jan. 10th at the Ambassador Theatre. Come see me! (and whoever is playing whichever role on any given week.)
The day after I began rehearsals I started my four show stint at Feinstein’s/54Below. A very full weekend to be sure. The show Romantic Notions was a huge success even our friend at the NYTimes liked it. There’ll be more about that in another blog as I’m going into the studio to record it.
I finished on Monday night at 54Below, all the while rehearsing Chicago during the days, and on Tuesday night Marin and I did our first short concert/gala appearance, since surgery, at the Boat House in Central Park. It was a quick 20 minute set and although a little tired, Marin did extremely well.
Things were going pretty damn swimmingly. We were hitting all of the “marks” that we had made for ourselves, all was going according to plan. A couple of lunches for Marin with a friend on Sunday and one on Monday… then Monday night October 12th…
I had rehearsed for Chicago during the day and was getting ready to enter stage for a Grammy committee performance of song excerpts from The Visit when Marin and I spoke on the phone just as I was going on. She was in the most excruciating pain she has ever been in her life. I wasn’t panicked but definitely on high alert and had another, “the show must go on” moment. Fortunately “the show” was only one song for me and I dashed out of there.
I took her to the urgent care at MSK again and this time it was a bowel obstruction caused by Marin’s uber healthy eating and the scar tissue that had formed from the bowel resection surgery. Not an uncommon issue but definitely not planned or expected.
No worries though, we didn’t have anything going on like a put-in for Chicago the next afternoon before I went on for the first time in the role…
I left the hospital around 12:30 AM and Marin had to stay overnight for observation but was home the next evening at the same time that she began showing symptoms the day before. 24 hours and all of that had happened. It seemed like a whirlwind to us and, in fact, her doctor said that that was the fastest and shortest stay she’s ever experienced anyone having with a bowel obstruction, usually it takes four days minimum.
So, litereally, Marin ain’t taking no shit! She’s determined to get better and get through any and everything that is thrown her way.
A side bar, and maybe not as tastefully humorous as some may expect from me (so start lowering your expectations) in addition to going on a low-fiber diet (irony anyone?) to deal with any future bowel obstructions, a friend introduced us to the Squatty Potty.
Never heard of it? This explains all you need to know. Squatty Potty Unicorn Poop video.
Since all this shit happened… or didn’t happen (constipation anticipation is a bitch) things have been moving forward quite nicely.
Marin’s dear friend, director and playwright James Lapine, was honored with the George Abbott Award for lifetime achievement. James asked that she sing if she were able. So she sang the song that introduced her to James and Steve Sondheim and began her career, “Not a Day Goes By”.
She was also asked by Bernadette Peters to sing for an evening that the Drama League was having to honor her. Years ago we all sang, at the Hollywood Bowl, for one of Sondheim’s birthdays. Marin sang “Buddy’s Eyes” from Follies and Bernadette said it was one of her favorite performances. So Bernadette asked that Marin sing it for her evening and who can say no to honoring such a star of the music theatre and wonderful woman to boot?
(photo: Richard Termine)
Marin would like to thank her friends who have accompanied her to Healing Treatments over the last months Helen Brooks, Martin Moran, Barbara Marineau, John Scherer, Scott Burkell, Valerie Wright, Lynn Ahrens, Becky Baker and me.
She has four more HT left and as of three weeks ago Marin’s CA-125 number, which is the blood test for cancer, was at 42 and the normal range is 0 – 35. She started in May with a CA-125 of 1,100 so as you can see she is going in the right direction and almost back to a normal number.
Hopefully soon we’ll know more about remission status. Your continued prayers, meditations, white light, good thoughts etc… are embraced with all the love with which they are sent.
The trees at the house have changed their color and we are transitioning yet again into a new season. Here’s to many beautiful autumns ahead for all of us.
PS. Marin and I will be performing for Bay Area Cabaret at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, CA on Dec. 13th. It’s the show we put together earlier this year that has many of the songs for which we are “known”.
Marin will be returning on New Years Eve to Feinstein’s/54Below with her show Make Your Own Kind of Music with an additional holiday/New Year’s throwback section. This will mark Marin’s solo comeback and if you can come out, do. It’s a 7PM show. You can come to mid-town and get your New Year celebration on in big nightclub style!
If you happen to be in the Czech Republic Feb. 2 – 5 2016 we’ll be singing with Keith Lockhart and the Prague Philharmonic. Czech our website later for specific venues. (I said to lower your expectations.)