Friday, April 4, 2014

Retracing my steps

On an early spring day 11 years ago, my good friend Donna and I went to New York to spend a day with my mother and attend a production in the Encores series at New York's City Center.

We walked through Central Park on this beautiful day. Yet there was a cloud over my head. I was waiting to get results from a repeat of a suspicious blood test in which all my counts were low. The doctor hadn't hinted at a diagnosis. But, probably because I had been unusually tired, I was afraid I had leukemia.

I kept saying, "I can't possibly have leukemia."

Well, of course, I did.

I was admitted to the hospital on April 9, 2003, for my first round of chemotherapy.

My mood is totally different as I prepare to go with Donna tomorrow to see a show at the same place in the same series. Encores brings back old American musicals for five days in which the actors perform book in hand. Some of these productions have gone on to Broadway.

We're seeing "The Most Happy Fella," the Frank Loesser musical first performed in 1956. In his review in today's New York Times, Ben Brantley called it the perfect play for ushering in the spring thaw, saying, "'The Most Happy Fella is all about spring as a state of both mind and body, about when people find themselves stepping with unaccustomed alacrity, and the possibility looms that there really might be new life in the frozen ground."

Instead of worrying like a did the last time I went, I expect to be humming.

But Donna beware: I can't keep a tune.

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