Friday, July 13, 2007


It's Friday the 13th. Tonight we open Steel Magnolias to a full house at the Palace. On Friday the 13th. Some people call that unlucky, but I was born on Friday, August 13th and David proposed to me on Friday, December 13th. I happen to like the date.

But it is interesting cosmically that I should be opening this particular show on Friday the 13th. In this show I am playing Shelby, a woman dying of disease and determined to live anyway. This at the same moment in time that my health is in such a questionable state.

This week all the signs and symptoms of illness I have been experiencing converged and made themselves known. My mom took me to the ER on Tuesday because I was short of breath for no reason. She is an RN and knew that was not normal and shouldn't be ignored. Turns out my chronic cough is not allergies as I and my doctor kept assuming, and all the allergy meds in the world can't fix it. Instead, the x-ray and CT scan show that I have pneumonia and some kind of mass or growth in my right lung. Monday morning I go in for a bronchoscopy - where they go in with a camera to look around and get a biopsy. The hope is they will be able to figure out what it is before I have surgery to remove it. Things are pretty obstructed, though and they may not be able to get a biopsy. In that case, I will simply have to have surgery without knowing what it is.

So here is to hoping that they can get a successful biopsy and it turns out to be something cool, like my twin sister, and not something less cool like the big C.

But tonight we open Steel Magnolias. We already have an amazing actor learning my part so they will be covered if I have to have surgery right away, or if I simply become too out of breath to go on. As it is, I feel like an invalid. I feel as if I ran around the block after wrestling my son through a diaper change. Be nice if they can fix this and give me full breath again.

Heh, I just have to laugh now at all the shit I got during Robin Hood about projecting and being heard over the kids. I would just like it to be known that I did the best I could given that half of my right lung is obstructed! So there. And I am grateful to be mic'd in Steel Magnolias so I don't have to waste energy on being heard.

The cast is wonderful. They have cough drops placed all over the set for me. Last night, I was about to have a coughing fit and Jan handed me a cough drop. I didn't even try to hide it, simply made it common place. And it sure helped me get through. Just eased the terrible tickle in my chest and I was easily able to talk without sounding like I had something in my mouth. Hopefully tonight will go as well. I am getting that opening night excitement now and am pleased that nothing can dim the performer in me. Yeah, I am possibly very ill and unsure of what the next few weeks will bring, but goddammit, I am an actor. And tonight the show goes on.

3 comments:

Jooley Ann said...

You're in our thoughts and prayers, Marsha. Much love your way! And have a fantastic opening night!!

The Holmes said...

Hey Marsha, I'm not even sure what to say. I'm wishing and hoping all the best for all of you. Break a leg, yo!

Fire Berry said...

You rule.

J