How Brigid's doing

How am I? Okay. The longer days are cheering me up, but my surgeries have affected my executive function (i.e. my ability to get anything done). 

A few updates: I had breast cancer. It has come to my attention that not everyone knew this. Sorry!

I've got 2-3 more surgeries to go before my breast reconstruction is complete. These multiple surgeries were because my plastic surgeon didn't listen to me when I told him there was an infection. He said it was "fine," and then I went another week before I saw him again. The next week he filled my expander, and then I said, "I swear it's infected, could you please check?" He finally aspirated some fluid, and then sent me immediately to the OR for an emergency surgery to clear out a big abscess and cut off a bunch of dying skin and remove the tissue expander and sew me up flat. 

I'm trying to let it go, but I'm pretty angry that I didn't have a chance to, like, try antibiotics first

I'm also frustrated that it's added seven months to my treatment plan, and I just want to get back to being a great parent and artist.

All that anesthesia is giving me brainfog. 

Reading is impossible; thank goodness for audiobooks. I can't even read an easy romance (Hello, Bridgerton books!) without doing that thing where your brain realizes it's read an entire page without any content digestion. (I swear it's not just me reading the sex scenes on repeat.) I had about a month in January where my brain was finally starting to feel good again -- hence, when I got really into art/watercolors/drawing, but bam! that fourth surgery did me in. I feel like I have jello in my head again.

I got my first COVID vaccine last week, which has changed my mental health completely. I don't plan on playing gigs in bars or anything, but I did actually set foot in a store yesterday (Paul's Fruit Market!) for the first time in a year. Life will never be the same as it was March 1 of last year, but I do see a future where I might have adventures again.

I had some bloodwork taken today. I have oncology appointment next week. I have pre-op for my mid-March surgery on Friday. Basically, it's typically cancer-life: a bunch of waiting around and then five doctors' appointments in a week. 

In this-is-getting-old-news, I'm stressed about finances again, mainly because I still can't work like I want to. Our health insurance has changed, so we have to meet a third out-of-pocket within a year. Then this weekend we had a huge sewage backup in our basement -- a repair that will require taking out yet another mortgage. I'm growing pretty tired of spending five figures on things that I don't get to ... enjoy?, and I would really like to take out a mortgage and take the whole family to Egypt or something. Maybe I need to just spend some money on something frivolous to balance it out. 

My big priority this year, though, is to get my health back on track. I went from averaging 15,000 steps a day to being unable to walk up a flight of stairs without my fitness wrist band asking if I'm okay. Just last week I got the okay to start strengthening exercises -- but not with weights: with water bottles. I'm not to lift over 2 pounds yet. 

Still, I can see the light, if I can just get motivated enough to reach for it.

As far as art goes, I'm going to:

  • PLAN ANOTHER TOUR! I'm going to tour my house again. And I'm going to livestream it to YouTube & Facebook. 

  • Finish a music video already!!! It's for the same song I've been trying to release for six months, but I keep running into problems with the music video. I don't even want to be in the video at this point, but you also cannot release a song in 2021 unless there's a video for it. Well, you can, but you might as well be writing a note on a post-it and throwing it into a lake because the algorithm just doesn't work for you unless you've got a video. Ugh, can someone help me? Joe M, can I hire you? Are you reading this? Valerie, can you do some ballet to a song and let Joe film it? I don't know how to project manage my own stuff. Argh. 

  • Release new music: one song a month, maybe? I'm sitting on mixed and mastered songs, but I don't have a plan to release it all because I just don't understand the proper steps anymore. 

  • Do a few more home portraits. I got backed up with doing these for friends, and, while I do love doing them, I realized I need to start charging for them. If you'd like me to draw your house, lemme know.
New way to support:
I've got an Amazon storefront up where I have affiliate links to products that I use in music and art. A really easy thing you can do is click over and look at my products. Sometimes I get some pennies for just a click. I'm trying to line up a zillion small income streams until I can start gigging again.

Other ways to support:
Venmo. Paypal. Join my Patreon (I'm trying to get to 150 supporters!). Follow me on Spotify: this one is free and is a HUGE help. Subscribe to my YouTube channel (also free and also a huge help!)


  1. In case you don't have a clue who I am. My maiden name was Bensenhaver. My dad is still living on Village Dr. I am five years out from a lumpectomy for a 3+ centimeter lump. I didn't have a mastectomy because my cousin, a breast surgeon, advised me it was not necessary. Chemo reduced the size to just over 1 centimeter when it was removed. Radiation for 35 days straight was pretty easy. It's the after that I think might be killing me. Being much older than you I hope your recovery is much easier. No doctor accepted that my exhaustion was from treatment more than a year later. My brain fog remains. Well, maybe it's dementia, who knows? I don't expect to ever be the same but at my age staying the same changes daily. Your sons are precious and obviously geniuses! I have two beautiful granddaughters who are 3 and 6. We may have to do some matchmaking in the future. I so hope things turn around for the good very soon. Honestly, the sewer backup sounds the absolute worst!