October 21, 1996 cont...
Feeling of being special-intense experience no one else around me has-attention and elaborate experiences being prepared by doctors-Wagon Train episode about sacrifice of Aztec maiden
Pap test and symptoms - worry about also having cervical cancer
Second biopsy-they say I have good tolerance of pain-mention CD-ROM on breast cancer to doctor-he says he'd like to help-as he takes a core of tissue he says "It's just you and me"
Comfort at having parents around but distraction from the purity of my own perceptions-will I be able to work on projects during treatment-still jealous of my time but very grateful that they are willing to help me-worry about the toll on them and sorry to disrupt the life they enjoy in Prescott
Patriarchal issues about doctor's mastery
Support group-expected narrative about choices for treatment-only one even had chemotherapy-I feel my issues are different-testimonial format-facing mastectomy-I say I don't care-friends who have piercing and body modifications-ideas about a new performance persona-maybe I won't have reconstruction or get a wig when my hair falls out-Bob Flanagan Amy Elliott thesis about breast cancer art-facing death vs. positive attitude-Hannah Wilke-Marjorie says it's already a life art project-prejudices about disease-will people shun me-advocacy about it being treatable
Women's disease vs. men's - prostate cancer or AIDS
Animations of molecules, visualization imagery, survivor testimonials, medical information, journal on CD-ROM-everyone at meeting thinks it's a great idea-realize I can get more support for this than any other art project I've done-had been at creative impasse-privileged access to a very hot issue being given to me Yvonne Rainer's new film-her influence on my work Alternative medicine vs. Western medicine issues-women blaming themselves for getting sick denying anger, etc
Did I know unconsciously? the virtual death collages based on near death experiences-art as a harbinger of life-Manny Torres
Dealing with it through denial - talk with Bill Burke about his friend's death from AIDS
Marjorie asks "What is cancer?" I don't know is it me or not me?-Cancer and computers-is it a problem with information being organized correctly? Mutations? Bad genes that give the cancer cells permission to multiply when they should be inhibiting them instead?
Last acid trip in which I was receiving messages about environmental toxicity, as though from my cells, and advice to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
Ellen talking about Gregory Bateson dying of cancer and doing private experiments about biofeedback and the mind body problem along the lines of his prior research Political issues about insurance-HMOs refusing patients expensive procedures-I just narrowly signed up for insurance in time-having excellent medical care here at UCI versus staying in Miami or it having been detected there-the heavy hand of fate and circumstance-capitalism and HMOs as investments turning a profit for shareholders Calls from students in Miami-melodrama of Camille role-being showered with kindness-people telling me how much I mean to them-relationship with my sister closer-she's the first one I call-consequences of not having significant other
Lack of identification with my body-interest in sex-my issues are about wanting to live (especially now that I finally have a good job after so many years of struggle) and continue my work-it's strange to have my life change so completely so quickly-never feeling like I can let a day go by without working, but here I am with no goals, free to do whatever I want
Doctor in Miami not following up on mammogram-my lack of knowledge about the disease-family history-took information about having lumpy breasts as reassurance not warning-lump ill-defined-30% of breast cancers don't show up on mammogram-most are discovered by women themselves
Joining subculture around breast cancer and medical profession Speaking during panel discussion-anticipation of future public role feel powerful-want to educate people about self-exams Having to undergo a treatment that will make me sicker than I feel now-the paradoxicality of it-I remember that Barbara was killed by her treatments not by the disease
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