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…And the adventure begins!

This morning Lisa and I are on our way to San Antonio.  Today is my very first round (with many more to come) of Chemo.  I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this.  I will say though that I’m looking forward to getting this whole thing started.

Today we’re going to CTRC (Cancer Therapy and Research Center) in San Antonio.  There they will put a drug called Gemcitabine into me.  The whole thing should only last about a hour (at most).  As soon as I’m done receiving the juice, then I’m going to meet with my surgeon who is going to remove the last of the tube remaining from my surgery.  That, I’m very excited about!!

One of the things I’m going to ask my surgeon and oncologist this morning is, can I have a drink?  I have not had a single drink since I originally got sick back before Christmas.  If you remember we originally thought that my liver was the problem.  As it turns out they didn’t even touch my liver during my surgery!

I’m not a big drinker, but occasionally I’d like to have a beer or a glass of wine.  Take last night for instance.  I was at the Theater last night working with the Cast of The Producers on some of their music.  It was a great rehearsal and the cast sounded terrific!  In addition I got some great news from Mary and Charlie Chapa.  I would have really like to have a beer or a glass of scotch last night to celebrate, but since I’ve never actually got the green light for that, I abstained.

Well, looking at the clock it’s time to get my shoes on and start heading to San Antonio.  Once again I’m reminded of Frank’s line (from Rocky Horror).  I want to walk into CTRC, hold my arm out and say, “Do your best inferior ones!!!!”


What a Week!!

Well Opening Weekend of the Full Monty at the Aurora Arts Theatre was a HUGE success!! It was one of the most AMAZING experiences of my LIFE! The show was fun to watch and even MORE fun to be in! Be sure to see it!

The Full Monty 

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $14; $12 for seniors, students, and military
Click here to order your tickets online or call 361.851.9700.

Book by Terrence McNally; Music & Lyrics by David Yazbek

Seeing how much their wives enjoy watching male strippers during their “Girls’ Night Out,” unemployed steelworkers in Buffalo, New York come up with a bold way to make some quick cash.  In the process, they find renewed self-esteem, the importance of friendship, and the ability to have fun.  There is great heart to The Full Monty, and the themes expressed about taking charge of one’s life and following one’s dreams are great lessons for  everyone.

Paul came for Opening Night and for the Sunday Matinee and just LOVED the show! He spent all day Saturday working on the score for The Producers. That is the next show coming to the Aurora and Paul is working very closely with the Director to ensure another fantastic Aurora Arts Production! He also attended the auditions for the show and got to give input on all the talented people who showed up for roles. One of those people was our daughter, trying out for her first musical! Paul said she did very well so here is hoping she scores a part and follows her momma onto the stage!

On the medical front we are all ready for chemo at CTRC in San Antonio to start on June 2nd. We met with the Radiation Oncologist last week to go over Paul’s radiation treatment regiment. Dr. Stewart and the staff at Spohn Cancer Center were wonderful. They went over what to expect, what the treatment will be like and the effects and how to deal with that. We will start Radiation at the end of June. We will go in for a “test run’ the week before. That’s when they will mark and position the targets for his body (he will receive tattoos!) and they make a mold around his body so he will be able to stay in the correct position while receiving the treatment. It’s very precise and they take a lot of care to ensure the radiation is going right where it needs to go.

People that receive radiation in the abdomen usually experience effects like nausea, vomiting, etc. which we were prepared for anyway. The biggest challenge for Paul will be fatigue. They gave us lots of literature and we had to watch a video, etc…..so when he starts we will be there 5 days a week. Usually we will be there only about 30 minutes. Once a week we meet with Dr. Stewart so that might take an hour….but that’s all. And it’s a 10-15 minute ride from the house…..easy peasy…..

So family and friends, that pretty much brings you up to date!

Settling Down Now……

WHEW! That was a wild ride!

For those that don’t know, I have NEVER been involved in theatre….other than being a huge fan……so this has been quite an experience so far! I am not a stranger to performing though….having been in bands and singing at church over the years…..but I am really “kicking it up a notch” by scoring the part of Jeanette Burmeister in The Full Monty.

I have to give a huge shout out to the wonderful, incredible Aurora Arts Theatre for welcoming me and my family with such open arms! Last summer my husband tripped over this new community theatre at the corner of Everhart and Holly. He walked in one day to see about booking it to have a concert for his flute quartet Absoflutely! and it changed our lives FOREVER!

Paul became a member of the House Band playing in “Cabaret”, “The Rocky Horror Show” and “Footloose”.  My mother was in town at the time and I loaded up Rachel and both Grandmas and we went to see Paul play in Cabaret. The show was incredible……and I was HOOKED!

Paul would come home after rehearsal and performances telling us what fun he was having….I teased him about his Russian girlfriend he was shuttling back and forth to rehearsals……I heard all about the Band Lounge and the incredible cast and I kept thinking to myself….


So I came with him one weekend and they put me to work! I took tickets, I worked the bathroom line, sold popcorn and beer and wine! I got to see Cabaret a few more times….just enough….leave her wanting more! And boy did the Aurora deliver! Next was “The Rocky Horror Show” and it was pretty much over for me…..

As a teen I went to see Rocky Horror at a midnight cinema in downtown Cincinnati…..one of my fondest memories being there with my best friends who I loved dearly and doing this completely CRAZY thing! Have you seen the show? Talk about a culture SHOCK! Here I was…sheltered little suburban girl….surrounded by dudes in DRAG! It was amazing!

I KNEW that was going to be one of the craziest things this town had ever seen so I became a “Professional Volunteer”. I wasn’t going to miss a minute of that nutty show and I was there every weekend…..then something strange happened…..the show has “shout outs” see…..audience participation is one of the BEST parts of the Rocky experience. The audience plays against the characters on stage…of course the goal is to do your best to get the actors to “break character” ……. and that’s where I really became “vested” in this experience…..

Being there every week I inadvertently became part of the show……people were telling me how hilarious some of my shout outs where and that was pretty much all I needed…..I became a woman on a mission……most of the shout outs are classics that have traveled with the show over the course of the last 30 or so years……you always yell ASSHOLE when they say “Brad” and you always yell SLUT when they say “Janet”……. that’s tradition……but there are a few places where you can throw in some new material and God…we were KILLING THEM! I would search the internet, try material on Paul, worked with several other crew members to get just the right line……all the while dressing up in crazy, slutty outfits……it was one of the most fun times of my LIFE!

I can’t even begin to express the love and affection we feel for the entire Chapa family. They are the heart and soul of this place……you come in and you feel at home….and it isn’t the decor…it’s because this building is filled with love.

“Footloose” was next and I was desperate to audition……but things got a little sideways at home and just felt I needed to spend time with my family. I have no regrets at all………that show…….*sigh*……..it was rough. Plagued with issues like multiple directors, stage managers, choreographers…….it just seemed like it was having difficulty “coming together” you know? But the cast was young, some inexperienced and it was a little shaky there for a while…..but by opening night it was pretty well pulled together and really had a very successful run…sold out almost every weekend!……despite a horribly designed set, awkward and clunky transitions…..we saw a round of double or triple laryngitis……lighting snafoos…..pieces of the set falling mid act (great save Bryan Davis!)…..and a character had to be replaced in the middle of the run for personal reasons…..our wonderful technical director lost his father……my husband was diagnosed with cancer……it was like this show was CURSED……

……and it ended with the tragic loss of our beloved leader Mr. Ed Chapa…….the man who started this theatre only the year before….named in honor of his mother Aurora……his life cut short at the young age of 55 by a brain aneurism…..

Of course the last show, scheduled for the next day, was canceled……..it was one of the most tragic things I had ever witnessed and the pain we all experienced is a thousand blog posts worth……

But we preservered….just the way Eddie would have wanted……and oh, he would be so PROUD of the current show “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. Eddie’s hands were all over this production and it is brilliant. The director is young and fresh, the actors are some of Corpus Christi’s BRIGHTEST stars and they deliver an incredible trip down the road of love, dating, marriage and children every weekend! the show only called for piano so Paul and I have been going every weekend to work the concession stand together.

Can I tell you what a blessing this has been to us? To go see these wonderful performers, be surrounded by people who love and care about us, and to laugh our asses off every weekend while we are dealing with his cancer diagnosis? I don’t even have the words……seriously….I get all choked up thinking about how much my husband loves this place and how much fun he has talking to patrons, getting a million hugs, talking music and watching this show week after week…..

……..things like this support our soul…….

So is it any wonder I HAD to audition for Full Monty? I mean, the show is LOADED with parts for women my age…..so of course Paul and I started researching……he ordered a copy of the script and we began searching the music online…..and that  just gets us going even more……then we got the soundtrack and it was all over from there…..I was falling in love with this show! But the timing…..I just wasn’t sure…..I mean, Paul’s surgery and treatment isn’t going to be a walk in the park……but we discussed it and prayed about it and just felt there probably wasn’t a more PERFECT time to do this…..

Talk about a fun distraction for us during one of the most stressful times of our LIFE! Can you imagine what his hospital stay is going to be like??!! We are going to be showing up with scripts and lines and music and scores and the sassy Jeanette Burmeister, out of retirement Broadway accompanist to the boys of The Full Monty! Oh good Lord….someone better call UTSA and warn them……

You know, the Lord provides in so many ways…..you just have to look for the blessings you have in your life….

I Love You…..

For all of our local Corpus Christi friends….we can’t allow another day to go by without sharing this with you! Many of you know Paul has spent time being in the “House Band” for the Aurora Arts Theatre. We got to be involved in Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show and Footloose and had an absolutely incredible time!!

Now through the end of April the Aurora is showing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and it’s a CAN’T MISS show! They only needed a piano this time around so Paul gets a break and is joining me in the concession stand!

He wants to go EVERY WEEKEND! ha ha ha! I have to tell you….we are having so much FUN! Of course we love the folks at the Aurora so much and this cast is just incredible! 4 of the areas BRIGHTEST STARS!

For those unfamiliar, I Love You….is a series of small skits put to music. think Saturday Night Live…..only FUNNY! (Did I just say that?? ) It’s all about dating and marriage and sex and children and growing old…..it’s a scream every time we go! It’s nice for Paul to spend time on this side of the stage and he is amazed at how much you actually see! (He is usually in the “band pit” so he misses a lot!) and of course, with “live theater baby”, it’s a different show every time!! This talented cast is really hitting their stride so come join us at the Aurora Arts Theatre for some serious laughs!

Running Thru May 1st ONLY! HURRY!

Friday nights 7:30 – Saturday nights 7:30 and Sunday Matinee at 2:30

Tickets $14 – Students, Seniors and Military only $12

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