Welcome ...

D-MoZone is the place to find out what’s new with pianist/composer/educator Diane Moser. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on music, health, gigs, fundraisers, random thoughts and all things D-Mo. And please keep sending your thoughts, good wishes and comments this way—they’re always needed and always appreciated.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inspiration from Randy Weston

Yesterday I was very fortunate to attend a talk given by the great jazz pianist Randy Weston-about his life and his music. Here are some of the things that he talked about.....when he was growing up, his parents generation felt it was very important to be "cultured"-so everyone either studied an musical instrument or went to art classes etc., went to hear music and to museums-all of that was a high priority-remember that Randy is in his 70's-and segregation was the rule while he was growing up. His parents also told him to "surround himself with the best minds".
Here are some other wonderful nuggets.....he equated "the blues" with an Egyptian word that meant "ancient memory"........."music is our first language"...."music is out spiritual langauge"..."music is a healing force"....and he said that we have to take music back into the community-get it out of the corporate world. That last one was ironic considering we were sitting in a room on the 5th floor of the ASCAP building ;-) A very inspiring experience! Thank you Elzy for including me!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Text of Steve Jobs' Commencement address (2005)

Hey everyone-it's been a long time since I've posted anything-and I'm working on a bunch of things for all of you-but today I ran across this in my inbox. Steve Jobs tells the story of his life in this commencement address to Stanford University. I found this to be very inspiring!
If you have been wondering how I'm feeling lately-the last part of his story really pretty much describes my life.
And interesting enough-the first part of his story is close to my story-I too am an adopted child.
Being adopted makes you are an outsider in society-but I've always found that to be a special gift. Because I was adopted, I developed a broader sense of humanity when I was very young. I told myself that I could choose anything that I wanted to be, since there were no constraints via family genes or expectations. So even though many of my so-called school chums were reminding me that I was different (i.e.-"you don't fit in")-I was off exploring ideas,philosophies, religions, cultures-creating who I wanted to be. It was and continues to be a very wonderful journey.
And, in case you're wondering right now-GIST is not familia-for the most part-there is a tiny , tiny percentage of cases where they have found GIST in family members. Dr Forte and I discussed that issue right at the beginning and will keep a watchful eye on Chad.

Text of Steve Jobs' Commencement address (2005)

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some back story on Gleevec

Here's an interesting interview with Brian Druker, the doctor who was instrumental in researching and testing Gleevec: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/science/03conv.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=gleevec&st=cse

Dr. Druker says, "I think I’m more perseverance than smarts. There’s a basketball player who says, 'Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.' Well, I work hard. I understood that this project was too good to give up on. My patients needed me to do something to help them. I did everything I could by getting them a drug I thought would work."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Diane still love us but … Part II

Diane is doing so great, it’s easy to forget how much she’s been through this year and overlook its ongoing impact. Hey, even she forgets, taking charge and jumping into the middle of things with her trademark enthusiasm.

At the start of this whole process, a friend urged Diane to practice saying no (ok, what she said was more colorful, but you get the picture). That’s still a work in progress. She really wants to be here for us, solve our problems, hold our hands through tough times and encourage us in our lives and endeavors. But the truth is she really must focus on her music and her health.

She’s still not 100 percent of her pre-surgery self. Diane’s daily chemo, Gleevec, has affected her memory and energy levels. She’s having problems concentrating and adjusting to all of the changes in her life. It’s really stressful for her to acknowledge that she cannot do as much as she wants. In fact, sometimes she doesn’t recognize her new limits until she crashes and burns.

One of my favorite examples of Diane’s giving personality: After two major surgeries, plugged into a zillion tubes and machines and barely able to speak, as soon as she saw me she said, “Yo, I have a great story idea for you!” That makes it hard to remember that she’s still recovering and can’t always play the role of therapist, advisor, helper, etc. She needs space to build her strength and take care of her many responsibilities.

So please think twice before picking up the phone for a gripe session or to ask for a favor. D-Mo’s sure to say yes, but it could end up costing more than we realize.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

update on Gist Walk

Unfortunately I won't be able to do the walk-I have to work that day-but I am planning on going to the dinner. If anyone would like to go with me-let me know.
Pictured in this photo: Tania Stutman, me, Elzy Kolb, Russ Vines. Tania is an amazing woman who is a GIST survivor of over 10 years now, and the one who started the GIST Cancer Research Fund. She was on the first Gleevec trials back in 1999. She started GIST CRF by going-literally-door to door-asking if people would donate money to research-all by herself.
Last year, GCRF raised $700,000 for research-that's a long ways from going door to door!
Elzy, Russ and I met with Tania to see what we could do about helping her with her organization.Tania explained to us, that the biggest hurdle is getting doctors to "look" for GIST. Many times, as was the case with Tania, patients are mis-diagnosed, and that happens because many doctors are unaware that GIST even exists! So our goal is to get the "word out" about GIST. A recent Wall Street Journal article about Gleevec stated that GIST is often times fatal within 15 months of diagnosis. I am an extremely lucky person to be alive, considering my tumor was probably growing inside of me for the past 3-5 years. And I am extremely lucky that the oncologist I went to (and still go to) , the amazing Dr. Forte, knew enough to look for GIST. By the time they figured out what was wrong-it was almost too late-but they got it just in time.

our big band performs this weekend

I just got back from our first rehearsal since January for our gig this weekend-Sunday Sept 20th 4:30 PM on the Lake George Jazz Festival-and we are all so excited!
It was a great rehearsal and a momentous occassion to say the least. The last time the band played-I wasn't with them-it was the benefit that they did for me. I could barely walk into the club that night. My lead trombonist and organizer of the benefit-Erick Storckman- reminded me tonight of his visit to me in the hospital on my second day after the second surgery. He told me how worried he was when he saw me that day-and how sick I was. Of course I barely remember any of this-I remember he was there-but not much more. We both mused about this tonight-and how it was amazing that we are back playing together again-and I am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to be alive and to have an an incredible amount of support from my son, my brother, my family, my friends and this amazing band-amazing people.
We did a lot of laughing tonight-lots of jokes going around-eating pizza-talking-playing the music-working out trouble spots-not too many of those actually.
This festival is a wonderful event for us and our return to the stage-and a new season.
Eight months ago, I wasn't sure if I would be around-at all. But here I am-with the help of all of you-and I thank you!

more health update

My oncologists ' assitant-Kelley-called me today. They took another look at my blood-my AST levels are fine-but I am still deficient in vitamin D-by quite a bit-so I will continue to take my 2,000 units of vitamin D everyday. Everything else looks very good.
Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal about Gleevec-the drug that I'm on. I have all of those side effects-with the puffy eyes/edema being the recent ones. I hope I don't get those blood vessels bursting that they talked about-or I'll have to start dressing like Moira the Vampire-ha!
I took a pilates class today-did about 1/3 of what they did-and left 15 minutes early so that I could swim. When they got to the lower abs-I had absolutely none-nada-it was like they didn't exist-bizarre. But I did well with the upper abs. I listen to my body-and when it hurts I stop-but I think this is good for me to do. Tomorrow-I try a gentle yoga class.
I started swimming in early July during my residnecy at the Virginia Center for the Arts-I have basically kept that up at several times a week. I also try to get several 2 mile walks in every week. Now I'm trying exercise classes-like pilates, or the gentle yoga class for strength. I've done yoga off and on for years-also Tai Chi-which I'll be going to on Friday.

saw my oncologist last week

Hey you guys,
Just updating.......my levels look good-except for my AST-which is a liver enzyme-so they are running the blood thru another test.
My blood pressure was great as well as my pulse.
I had a long talk with Dr. Forte about gene mutation testing-he is having the original pathologist check some things-we're specifically looking for what type of exon the gene mutation is. The gene mutation test that is available is not FDA approved-and my health insurance probably wouldn't cover it-and-regardless of what the test said-Dr. Forte said I will be on Gleevec for the rest of my life-unless of course we get some evidence that I can be taken off of the drug-or-I have to go to a much stronger drug. I brought in an article about gene mutation testing and showed him-he had heard of the test-and took me seriously-so he is asking the pathologist to take another look see-"we certainly have enough tissue"-Dr. Forte said laughingly-referring to the 17 lb tumor.
He also told me I was an A Typical patient-especially for being a musician. I asked him what he meant by that-he told me that no one comes in armed with info like I do, nor, can they even discuss things like gene mutations-exons, Kit protein etc. We talked for a very long time-looked at articles on the web-articles that he has been collecting etc. It was a good meeting.
In November-we do a cat scan to see if there are any tumors.
By the way-he said sitting in the sun for vitamin D is only for teenagers and younger-it doesn't work on adults.
And lastly-at the end of our meeting we talked about jazz-which we always do. He talked about the Jersey Jazz Society-I told him the head guy for that lives in Montclair and he never answers my emails-he told me to use his name-ha! So there ya go-Dr. Forte is keeping me healthy-and forwarding my career-bonus.
Thank you all for being "my team" and for all of the support you have given me-there is just no way I could have gone thru and continue to go thru any of this without you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

GIST walk, Oct. 4

Maybe we can get a group together to do the GIST walk. Looks like it's a beautiful setting, with a lake on one side of the park and the Hudson on the other. Congers is just north of Nyack, so it's not to far for people to travel from the city, New Jersey or Westchester. And the weather should be great early in October, with the leaves starting to turn. I'm into it!

I'll post more details as I learn them, and will check out anyplace nearby to have lunch afterward (always one of my first concerns: where/when do we eat?).

Anyone interested in walking, please post a comment and any questions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

more info on Walk-for-A Cure

I have more info on the walk-start time is 9:30 at Lake State Park, Congers, NY-here are the phone numbers to register 845 634 6060 and 845 634 1174-I'm calling this week to register and will post more info.

Tania - GCRF Emerges

Tania - GCRF Emerges
This is the story behind GCRF-Gist Cancer Research Fund-and the woman who started it-with the walk for a cure in Congers,NY.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GIST Walk 2009

GIST Walk 2009
This is a walk-for-the-cure for GIST on October 4th in Congers, NY at Lake State park. I don't have all the details-but I do plan on doing this. If you go to this site-you'll see many stories about living and dying with GIST-so heart breaking. I am absolutely incredibly lucky to be alive-that all of the cancer was encapsulated in the tumor-that they found it in time-that the surgeon got all of it out-that my blood work says "no cancer"-and to have the support of all of you. Today is my birthday-and trust me-this is THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
thank you so much
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photos from VCCA

Okay-so you're gonna say-what is this about..... I will tell you....this is the area in front of the studio barn, where we would go outside and eat lunch on the picnic tables-you can see a few artists out there eating. Just beyond that area is a parking area, and on the other side of the parking area is a meadow-where, while eating lunch-we saw a "teenager bear" one day, scampering across the meadow. A few of us yelled bear! bear!-and the bear stopped, stood up on it's haunches and raised it's paws way up in the air- as if to say either where? where? or maybe you got me! or better yet-humans! humans!-then it scampered off into the woods. A few days later, while hiking in the woods, 2 artists came across same bear-the artists slowly went backwards away from the bear-and when they were out of "bear sight" they tore out of there. We talked about that bear everyday.

This is the view from my bedroom in the fellows residence

This is a view of my studio from the northeast side.

I haven't had a chance to publish all of them yet-but here's a preview....the photo above is the road to the studio barn

mystery of the hair loss.....vitamin D

So I heard from my oncologist-it seems I am deficient in vitamin D-so now I'm taking 2000 IU's a day. I also found some biotin shampoo and conditioner that doesn't have a lot of chemicals in it-so I'm using that too. In talking with friends about this vitamin D business-I have found out that a vitamin D deficiency is the number one deficiency in the northeast. So if you're feeling fatigue, hair loss, memory loss and foggy brain, it's probably becuase you're not getting enough vitamin D-and don't forget-you have to take it with calcium in order for your body to absorb vitamin D. You could also sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day-unfortunately I can't-it's one of the big no-no's while taking Gleevec. However, I have been getting in the sun for 5 minutes here and there-and then ducking for cover-ha! I did hear from someone with GIST-on the Life Raft Support Facebook page-where I posted the hair loss problem-and she basically said all of the above-so maybe the hair loss is a lot more prevalent than my doc or Novartis knows....I'll be letting them know, you can bet on that. http://apps.facebook.com/causes/144710/27148611?m=6d54c0aa
You guys probably know this already-but in case you don't-the other new health tip I learned is for people with allergies, to eat local honey-it has to be within a 50 mile radius of where you live-and that should take care of your allergies.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

video from VCCA

This is a little video I did for Debbie Gallant and her hyperlocal news website Baristanet
I'm home now and will start posting photos and such from my residency at VCCA.....
stay tuned......

Friday, July 10, 2009

Update from Dmo in VA

Diane will be back from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts soon, but I recently received an update from her about her activities:

"So far I've just been doing solo piano sketches-and I'll flush them out when I get home for the big band. I was just thrilled that I finally got through this book called "Music of the Heavens" by Bruce Stephenson-which explains Kepler-but mostly explains how he arrived at all of his equations etc. All of the astro stuff goes right over my head-but I get the concept. Luckily, Bruce has the music part in the book. I also found a very cool article http://sscm-jscm.press.illinois.edu/v11/no1/pesic.html

I've only read a few pages of the Harmonice Mundi-even the Introduction is tough to get thru-ha!
But I think this project will be going on for some time.

Right now, I'm taking snippets of one of the sketches as a basis for a Soundpainting piece-that I'm doing on Saturday night-I'm getting the other artists involved-it's gonna be totally weird-but I'm really diggin' the process of this. Actually-the "musical portion" of Johannes K is very simple-very basic stuff-but when I put it together and into the context of the planets and their orbits-that's when it gets interesting.

For the next couple of days-I'm going back to transcribing some of the birdsong improvs that I didn't get a chance to dig into yet. Along with the Soundpainting on Saturday night-I'm giving a half hour solo piano concert-with 2 birdsongs-Amy Beaches' A hermit Thrush at Eve-and 2 of my older compositions-Myrtle Ave and For My Mother.

There was a reading tonight-really wonderful writers-Peter Ramos-poet, read a new poem and works from his book "Please Do Not Feed The Ghost" http://www.buffalostate.edu/library/rooftop/members/ramos.htm
and Pamela Durban-poet/short stories and novelist-read parts of her short story "Soon" which is in a collection of American Short Stories 1997, and I guess the new collection-Best American Short Stories of the 20th cent-edited by John Updike-I found a link for you http://english.unc.edu/faculty/durbanp.html
When she finished reading-everyone sort of "gasped" -it really did take their breath away.

A visual artist remarked to me after the readings-that one of the best things about coming to an artist colony is to hear/see everyone's work-it is very cool.

Friday night is an open studio tour for the visual artist-Sat I do my thing-another composer here is going to do a short thing-then we're having a big party because so many of us are leaving-and I announced that if the writers would read their work at the party-I would play piano with them-they're all really psyched about that."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alexander Technique

While in California last week-I had 3 unbelievable Alexander Technique sessions-which I think technically are called "lessons"-with the wonderful teacher and healer Eileen Troberman.

This is a description from the main website "The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a reeducation of the mind and body. The Alexander Technique is a method which helps a person discover a new balance in the body by releasing unnecessary tension. It can be applied to sitting, lying down, standing, walking, lifting, and other daily activities..." and here's the link http://alexandertechnique.com/at.htm
Eileen has her own website http://alexandertechniquesandiego.com/
Eileen helped me to relieve the stress from my surgeries and my hospital stay-and I am continuing to practice the lessons I learned from her. Here are some pictures that my friend, photographer and excellent foot reflexologist Grace took of one of my lessons with Eileen.
While Eileen was teaching me, there were times that I felt a great door had opened-and the tension that was released seemed almost "ancient"-in other words-tension from years ago as well as the surgeries. Then I felt lighter than a feather-just floating across the room.
Also, while working at the piano, the sound would change as the tension was released-and I didn't move my hands! It's all in the vibrations...;-)
That evening, Grace gave me a foot reflexology session-oh my, we discovered that there's still a lot of healing to be done, but Grace really got some energy moving through my legs and my abdomen.
The summer of healing continues...:-)
And one more thing-you'll notice from these pictures that I am loosing my hair at a very fast pace. I had a trim, and I'm using special shampoo, and taking vitamins but it's still falling out all over the place-so I'm just going with it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Great fundraiser ...

on Sunday at the church in Montclair. There was a nice turn out, which was especially gratifying since it was such a gorgeous day. The church was flooded with sunlight and good feeling, kind of like being outdoors but better.

I got there after 4, but in plenty of time to hear a lot of great music from the Mike Kaplan Nonet, birdsong duets by D-Mo and Mark Dresser, and Diane's quintet. It was such a pleasure to hear Diane playing so well, and see her looking so great.

I have to single out George Cables' solo piano. The music was so beautiful and seemed to flow from him so effortlessly, it touched me deeply. I can't begin to explain what it did to me emotionally -- and words are my business. I'm tearing up thinking about it.

Last week I saw one of the final performances of August Wilson's great play "Joe Turner's Come and Gone." The heart of the story is what happens to a person who loses his song. That passed through my mind while listening to George play. I was hearing someone totally in touch with his song. I'm deeply grateful.

More soon ...

Friday, June 12, 2009

videos of Tina Marsh

In July 2007, with the help of a grant from Meet The Composer, Tina Marsh was a guest composer with our big band. We performed her composition Milky Way Dreaming, with Tina singing and conducting. Luckily, we had 3 people shooting video of the band that night, Curt Fissel, Dennis Connors and Ryen Tetzloff. I few days ago I asked Ryen to edit the segment of Tina and the band, and he as just finished-and what a beautiful job he did! Because of the time limit on youtube, Ryen edited the segment into 3 videos which you can see on our myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/dianemoserscomposersbigband
The third video features Tina entirely-and is the most profound for this moment in time.
Please take a minute to listen to this amazing vocalist and composer, a beautiful woman, and a beautiful soul who had a profound affect on everyone that she met.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tina Marsh with String Quartet

Once again-this goes beyond versatility-this vocal work is pioneering. Not only that, but she has arranged her big band piece "Courage of the Butterfly" for string quartet and there is a beautiful film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YugS30QoRx8

more on Tina Marsh

I started looking for youtube videos on Tina, and I found this one-which I think speaks to her versatility and to the moment.....take a listen.........

Tina Marsh

For those of you that were at the double 50th Birthday celebration for me and Gradie Stone, you will remember another guest vocalist on that night-Tina Marsh.
Tina Marsh is pictured in this photo from my quintet concert at Caldwell College featuring Ben Williams, Scott Neumann, Rob Middleton, myself and Ken Filiano-taken just before we went on stage.
I'm writing about this because Tina is now in her last stages of fighting breast cancer-she is at home with hospice care-the fight is over. I will be writing more about her later, but for now, please circle her with light and love as she prepares to make her transition.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More music and friendship

Fundraising efforts for pianist Diane Moser to continue with special concert event Sunday afternoon, June 14 in Montclair, NJ

Composer, pianist and bandleader Diane Moser has been a leading light in jazz and new music in the New York-New Jersey Area for nearly 20 years. As a writer the Montclair, NJ resident has received acclaim for her compositions, including a prestigious composition grant by Chamber Music America and a fellowship with the MacDowell Artists Colony. As a pianist, she has appeared with numerous top-flight musicians, such as Charles McPherson, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemmingway among others, always lending her singular voice to the music. As a bandleader she has led numerous groups, most notably her Composer’s Big Band. Now she faces a new challenge, as she recovers from a rare form of cancer, in form of a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and faces tremendous medical costs. In April her Composers Big band held the first of several fundraisers to help defray her medical expenses. A special concert benefit involving members of her local community as well as artists of international stature will be held on Sunday afternoon, June 14 at the Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair, NJ from 2:00-6:00 PM. There will be live auctions and a host of other activities that day to raise funds for Diane Moser.

Performers will include legendary jazz pianist George Cables, Double Bass Virtuoso and new music titan Mark Dresser, as well as several stalwarts of the NY-NJ Jazz scene (see below for full list) Additionally, several of Diane’s piano students will perform as well. Such a wide range of performers reflects Moser’s gifts as a performer, composer, and educator-in all these guises she has shared her love and enthusiasm for music.

A Celebration and Fundraiser for Diane Moser

Sunday June 14 2:00-6:00 PM

Central Presbyterian Church

46 Park Street Montclair, NJ 07042

There is no admission, but donations are encouraged

Guest artists will include: George Cables, Mark Dresser, Anton and Nicki Denner, the Mike Kaplan Nonet, the Diane Moser Quintet, the Erick Storckman Septet, and piano students of Diane Moser

For information, call 201-259-5865

For directions to Central Presbyterian Church, visit www.centralpresbyterian.net/contacts.html or call (973) 744-5340

Donations to cover Diane Moser’s medical costs can also be made online at

http://d-mo-zone.blogspot.com/. Just click on the “Donate” button in upper right hand corner to start the process.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jin Shin Jyutsu

I thought you would like to know more about Jin Shin Jyutsu-so here is the link to their website.
Mark Dresser first introduced this to me-many years ago-and it is wonderful healing energy work, that you can do everyday. It's even more wonderful when you go for a session with a great practitioner-as I do.
Also the link for the tuning/healing forks http://www.soundhealingtools.com/index.php
My acupuncturist uses these forks in addition to the needles. I find them very comforting, and restful, they smooth out the rough edges.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

recent doctors visit

I saw my oncologist on Thursday-he did a double take when he was walking thru the waiting room and saw me sitting there-then he shouted out, pointing his finger at me-"you are a completely different person now"-wow-is that an understatement-ha!
Anyway-my blood work says everything is good so far-my blood pressure is good-I've gained some weight-but everyone seems to think it's a healthy gain (I think it's the iced lattes I was indulging in on a regular basis-not to mention some other goodies like donuts-uh oh!) So we've stopped that bad girl behavior-sort of-just not as frequent-a girl has to have a reward once in a while, right? ;-)
I've been on Gleevec for 2 weeks now-as of today-and until 2 days ago-I was side affect free-not any more-drats! The nausea has kicked in-and maybe some other stuff-but it's all very mangeable- so far. Also, I've noticed that my hair is falling out a little more than usual-we'll see-that actually started happening before the Gleevec-but now there's more-and my hair feels very thin.
I have dreams of smoking cigarettes-but I'm only dreaming-very strange dreams though.....I think there needs to be an added warning on the side of the cigarette packs-"these cigarettes will track you down and haunt you in your dreams if you dare to stop smoking"...or maybe it's still the residual affects of the anesthesia slowly leaving my body......mmmm........
I can tell you this though-I have been getting weekly treatments of acupuncture and tuning/healing forks-and I had a Jin Shin Jyustu session last night-and both are helping me tremendously-really helps to even out the energy and to unblock any energy that is stuck-it's great!

Monday, May 18, 2009

photos from the May12th San Diego Benefit Concert

These photos are from the wonderful photographer Grace Parsons.
Duncan Moore and Mark Dresser are pictured here-follow the link to my gallery and you can see the rest.

Photos from the May 11th Benefit Concert at Trumpets

Hey Everyone.....
Chris Drukker shot these wonderful photos of the band and guest composers.
Tom Colao, Ben Williams and Erick Storckman are pictured here-follow the link and you can see the rest.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

donating all of my clothes.......

For those of you who have seen me-you know that I'm about 40 lbs lighter now-which means none of my clothes fit me. I know that I could just drop these in the Red Cross box (we're talking about bags and bags of clothes-basically my entire wardrobe)-but I wanted to spread them around-send to your favorite organizations that desperately need clothes-maybe you know of someone who has the opposite problem than me-I exchanged clothes with a friend who gained weight and needed the size that I have(which is 18/20 and 22/24), and I needed the size that she used to be (which is 12/14). Maybe you know someone who needs a little help right now- I've got some really nice stuff. I also have shoes-shoes and more shoes-seems that when you loose that much weight-you go down in shoe size too-and of course coats and jackets. Let me know......

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reflections on the May 12th benefit Concert in San Diego

So as I was just slightly recovering-ever so slightly recovering from the night before-the next night was another benefit concert in San Diego.
First of all I gotta say-I am incredibly blessed to have so many friends who love me enough-to put an incredible amount of work into putting on a benefit concert for me-it is mind blowing!!!
Tuesday May 12th....9PM Montclair Time......6PM San Diego Time
The concert was schedule for 7 PM west coast time-but I knew that it was possible I would get a skype call from Mark Dresser at any time after 9PM-our time-because they were setting up at 6PM their time. At around 9:30 I got the call-and I was talking to and seeing Mark Dresser, Duncan Moore, the sound man and the stage at Dizzy's in San Diego. I had invited my friends Murray and Luzia to come over to watch this with me-so we had an audience of 3 ;-) How cool to be watching and listening to everything that was going on with the set up. As musicians arrived-Mark told them I was on the "laptop" and they should speak into the mic and look at the screen and they would see me. I could hear them-but they couldn't hear me so well-so I would listen to them and text back an answer. One by one, musicians and audience members came by and said hello-it was so far out!
The first group up was Mark Dresser, drummer Duncan Moore and saxophonist Trip Sprague.
They played a set of "free music" that was so beautiful, and interesting, and energetic-I just loved it.
The next group was led by guitarist Bob Boss, and included Duncan, bassist Gunner Biggs, and on trumpet-Mitch Manker-laying down some beautiful standards-and sweet bossas.
Next up was Yale Strom (violin) Elizabeth Schwartz (vocals) and Mark Dresser (bass) and later joined by Trip Sprague. They did what I call-"free klez"-klezmer music with open spaces to improvise. I've worked with Yale and Elizabeth for some time-and it is always a pleasure and always fun. They really "threw down" on the bulgar tune, Elizabeth's solo piece was breath taking and the ending "Payer" piece was so spiritually moving!
Ending the first set was Mark Dresser and Anthony Davis( piano). Mark and Anthony did a set of free improv that was incredibly beautiful and soulful-their motifs danced in and around each other-it was stunning.
During the break-I got to "chat" with more musicians and audience members-I think we were all goovin' on the technology-and how it was bringing us all together!
The second set was the band "ESP" led by pianist Lynn Willard, and included trumpeter Mitch Manker, saxophonist Bob Campbell, drummer Gary Nieves and the bass player-who I didn't know and only caught his first name-Dave. Hopefully someone will see this and tell me his last name. The band was smokin' and at one point in this set-Lynn played a section of some wonderful solo piano-it was great.
There were lots more musicians ready to play-but time ran out-and the venue said time to go home.
But I wanted to thank everyone who played-the music was so beautiful!
Thank you to everyone who came and made generous contributions-you are so kind-thank you.
Thank you to Mark and Duncan who put this together-you guys did a ton of organizing-thank you so much!
Thank you to George Vargas and Joshua White who wrote articles and got the word out!
And thank you to Dizzy's and to the sound man-whose name I didn't get-but hopefully I will-thank you for donating your space for this event.
Thank you Carol Del for holding it all together-you are Superwoman!!!
Some seriously good healing went on this evening-you have all helped me enormously-and I so appreciate it-thank you so much!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great Night in San Diego!

From Carol DelSignor:

Thanks to everyone who came out to Dizzy's in San Diego on May 12 to support Di-Mo. Diane was able to watch and listen to all the great music online. This was a big kick for her and those of us in the SD Di-Mo family of friends and fans who got to see her and chat with her online. Many thanks to all the great musicians who sat in and apologies to those who couldn't because of time constraints. One night was not enough! For those of you who were unable to make it, you can still participate in the benefit by clicking the PayPal button on this blog site. As we know, Diane has been making great progress, but the hospital and medication bills are starting to come in and she will need our support in the weeks and months to come.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Relections on the May 11th Benefit Concert at Trumpets

Wow-I am just totally blown away-and don't even know where to start but here goes!
Monday Night-May 11 Trumpets Jazz Club around 7:15...............
I walk inside the door-Natascha looks at me with that-we're already packed look-and indeed almost every seat was taken. Next thing I know-Rufus and Doris Reid are standing in front of me-giving me big hugs-and I am feeling so much love-and then I look around and Natascha is right-the "house" is nearly full-amazing. Then I look at the band assembling-getting situated-every one coming to me with their arms outstretched-oh my goodness-the flood of emotions for me and the out pouring of love and good vibes. I had missed my band so much-and it was incredible to see everyone-and the guest composers Russ Vines, Oliver Lake, Howard Johnson, Mike Kaplan,Bill Kirchner, Marcelino Feliciano on vocals and the subs in the band-Niki Denner, Matt King and Jim McNeely on piano-Tim Ferguson on bass, Joe Mosello, and Vinnie Citro on trumpet-just incredible!
Enrico asked me if I wanted a table, and I said I better do that, becuase I would need to sit down, but I also knew that I wanted to walk around and see everyone-which is exactly what I did.
The thing to bear in mind is that 2 months previously-I had my surgery-was in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks- 2 weeks of that being in isloation-came home-stayed home most of the time except for work-and this was the first time I had seen a lot of my band members and friends let alone be out in public and in a club-at night! Overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe what I was feeling.
The minute the band started to play-I knew the evening was going to be great! The band was totally smokin'-great energy-great vibes-great solos!
As I went around the room and talked to everyone, I was just amazed at not only how many people there were, but that there were people there from all different "walks of life"-and how cool that was! One of my friends told me that a mutual friend of ours said he saw a bunch of people that he knew-but didn't know that I knew them. This friend had come to the club at 8PM, and couldn't get, then came back at 9PM and still couldn't get in. Another friend said "everyone came out!"
I tried to talk to everyone-but I couldn't get to the folks at the bar-just too many people there. I did make it to the foyer of the club, and then outside-wow-the club set up tables and chairs in the parking lot for the folks that couldn't make it inside-and they had their own party going-it was great! I'm guessing that there were 250 people there-at least-I think the club seats around 150 or so.
At one point I saw musicians from the Cecils Big Band-which plays on Monday nights at Cecils Jazz Club. What I didn't know until the end of the night-was that they took up a collection at Cecils from the audience and the band members-and then brought it over. How incredibly generous! A lot of those musicians have subbed in our band over the years-and it was so wonderful to seem them there.
I saw many of our regular audience members-man-I have really missed talking to all of you-and it was so heart warming to see all of you there!
A big thank you to Chris Drukker who shot a lot of photos during the night-at some point I'll post them on our myspace page so you can see them.
A big , big thank you to Dennis "Dencon" Connors who shot video-all night-and "lit" the place-talk about working waaaaaaay over time. Dennis started coming to the big band from the very first gigs at Tierney's and has been documenting us-shooting photos and now video-for the past 12 years-just an incredible photographer, and has become a great friend too!!!
A big thank you to my friend Susan Brink who came down from Lake George, NY and ran a raffle-with the prize being a free night at the Clarion Hotel and a $50 gift certificate to Mario's Restaurant (both in the village of Lake Geroge)-during the Lake George Jazz Festival -which we are playing on-Sept 20.
Thank you to the Montclair Times-Joan Finn, The Star Ledger-Zan Stewart and Elzy Kolb for writing about this event-as well as WBGO -for making sure everyone knew about it.
A huge thank you to Natascha Radke Henke-who somehow commandeered the "door" and made sure that everyone was taken care of-unless of course there was no more room-which happened many times in the course of the evening.
Another huge thank you to Tom Colao, Ben Williams and Erick Storckman who put all of this together. Erick did a magnificent job of putting the music together (I handed it off to him only a few days before saying-"I'm not sure everything is in order"-so he had a big job there)-and in directing the band-just wonderful!
A really huge thank you to everyone who played in the band and of course to the guest composers-you all made an incredible night of music. I'm betting there are some "behind the scenes " stuff that I don't know about-so I'm going to say thank you to that too ;-).
I miss playing with all of you,I miss the comraderie, I miss Cifelli's jokes between tunes that only those of us within earshot can hear ;-),I miss our rehearsals filled with great music and pizza and the latest news on whaz up with everyone. I'm getting my strength back bit by bit, (with the help of Tom, Ron,Tim, Ken and Lou -thanks guys!)-so we'll all be playing together real soon.
Thank you to Trumpets Jazz Club for opening the club up on a night when they are regularly closed-and providing the staff-you guys worked really hard-thanks!
And a really, really HUGE THANK YOU to all who attended and gave so generously-you have no idea how much this has helped me-in so many ways. Your love and support is just so wonderful!
I tried to say hello and thank you to everyone-but if I didn't get to see you-it's probably becuase I couldn't get through all of the people-but please know that I saw you from afar and I really appreciated you coming. I'm going to do my best to repond to all of you who left notes for me-but it may take me a while-so please be patient with me.
I felt a HUGE dose of healing from all of you on Monday night-so big- that it will continue on for a long, long time-and I thank you for that with all of my heart-you are all so wonderful!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanks for the Fabulous Turnout Last Nite!

It was a wonderful evening of music @ Trumpet's last night, and it was so heartening to see such a great turnout for Diane. The club was packed to overflow capacity and had to turn away folks, as they couldn't get any more in the door (they were standing in the kitchen!). The party eventually extended into the parking lot, with Trumpets putting together chairs and tables and serving outside. It was fun to meet so many friends of Diane.

Kudos to Eric, Ben and Mike for getting it together, and for all the excellent guest artists on the stage as well as in the crowd.

And man, did the band swing! Oliver Lake, Howard Johnson, Jim McNeeley, and all the great composers left it all on the floor last night. And thanks for doing such a great job on my chart too!

A night well-deserved for Diane.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

correction-phone # for Trumpets

the train station is Walnut St
it's the Montclair/Boonton Line-NJ Transit

Saturday, May 9, 2009

oh yeah-one more thing.....

..... I haven't had a cigarette since March 10th and I intend on keeping it that way ;-)

I'm on drugs!

I am on the drug Gleevec now-this is the best drug for GIST. Technically, I'm taking this as a preventative measure and what I call a "clean-up" effort, to clean up any little cancer cells that were cut loose during the surgery. I believe this drug falls under the category of targeted molecular therapy, in other words it zooms in on the KIT+ protein and eradicates it (KIT+ is the protein that causes the cells to grow and divide abnormally). My oncologist's partner says that I will be on this drug for 6 months. They will monitor my progress thru blood tests, pet scans and ct scans.
From everything that I've been reading, I am extremely lucky to be alive. We caught the tumor and it's satelite tumors just in time (one was attaching itself to my stomach). My oncologist told me that I walked into the hospital in stage 4 cancer and walked out in stage 0. From what I read, taking this drug will drastically reduce the possiblity of a recurrence GIST.
Meanwhile, I am doing exercises to get my strength back, walking, going for acupuncture, eating healthy and giving thanks everyday to everyone who has helped me on this journey so far-you all have been so amazing and wonderful-thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5/12 San Diego Fundraiser Update

The guest performer list has been updated for the 5/12 San Diego fundraiser:
"An all-star line up perform a benefit for pianist Diane Moser including Charles McPherson, Daniel Jackson, Mark Dresser, ESP Quintet, Rob Thorsen, Dave Millard, Mitch Manker, Duncan Moore, Yale Strom, Tripp Sprague, Gunnar Biggs, & more "

7PM,Tue May 12
$20 cover
San Diego Wine & Culinary Center
Harbor Club Towers ground floor
2nd & J Street

Friday, May 1, 2009

the latest

The latest is that I'm not very happy with the way my doctor and his office are handling things-so I need to get some issues cleared up-and some questions answered about Gleevec.

However-in the meantime-I thought I would share a hospital funny with you.......
At some point in my hospital stay, I had an echocardiogram-my first one ever-and I thought it was pretty cool-the sound it made. So when the cardiologist came in after wards-I asked him if I could get the "music" from that echocardiogram. Obviously he looked at me with a funny look on his face (by the way-I think he looks like Peter Sellers and my oncologist thinks he looks like Stanley Tucci)-so I told him I was a composer, and I was wondering if they could burn a cd with the sounds from my echocarigram test-becuase I wanted to use it in a composition. He thought that was brilliant. I have to give it up to him-he really tried to get one for me-but alas-no cd.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


So this is totally off the subject-but Michelle Hatcher's school-Raphael Hernandez in North Newark, is looking for a muralist to create and work with the kids on site (I believe it's K-8)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Insurance lags in covering cancer-care pills ...

The New York Times published a front-page article yesterday on the great progress made in treating cancer with pills rather than intravenous chemotherapy. Unfortunately, insurance companies haven't kept up and most of the financial burden for the chemo pills falls on the patient.

The drug D-Mo is most likely to take, Gleevec, is among the examples provided. The article says that Gleevec has helped turn gastrointestinal stromal tumors, like Diane had, and other types of cancer into "manageable diseases for many patients." Another Times article, published when Gleevec was approved in 2001, says: ''This is the first effective therapy for GIST, a cancer that always has been completely resistant to chemotherapy and radiation..."

It's great to hear that the treatment is so effective. But the costs are staggering and in some cases the treatment can go on for years.

Yesterday's Times also had a sidebar about how doctors are dealing with the costs, and a chart showing the wholesale price of the top 10 chemo pills (click on link "Now in pill form").

Interesting stuff. It's comforting to hear that the meds work, though the prices are breath-taking. The wholesale price for a month of Gleevec is $3,600.

Let's hope that Obama and Congress are able to make a difference in health-care coverage SOON!

In the meantime, maybe we can start a petition or a letter to our representatives asking them to support improved health-care coverage. Does anyone have any ideas/experience about doing something like that? It would be great to have a sign-up sheet at the benefit concerts.

Look out ...

Diane's behind the wheel again! She's staying in the right dimension and going slow.

Another big step forward this week, D-mo's teaching. She's not back up to the full load yet -- she's getting her toe in the water a bit and respecting her energy level. Of course, low energy for Diane is full speed ahead for most of us. But she's paying attention to how she feels and taking it one day at a time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fund-raiser at Trumpets, May 11

I predict a good time will be had by all!

The Composers Big Band performs a benefit concert for its leader, Diane Moser, at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair NJ on May 11

April 11, 2009
For immediate release
Contact: Ben Williams’s 201.259.5865

Composer, pianist and bandleader Diane Moser has been a leading light in jazz and new music in the New York-New Jersey Area for nearly 20 years. As a writer, she has received acclaim for her compositions, including a prestigious grant by Chamber Music America and a fellowship with the MacDowell Artists Colony. As a pianist, she has appeared with numerous top-flight musicians, such as Charles McPherson, Mark Dresser, and Gerry Hemmingway among others, always lending her singular voice to the music. As a bandleader she has led numerous groups, most notably her Composers Big Band (see below).

Now she faces a new challenge, as she recovers from a rare form of cancer, in form of a gastrointestinal stromal tumor or GIST. Moser has always been the first to help out artists who need help in paying onerous medical expenses. Now her big band gets to return the favor, with a special benefit concert on May 11 at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. The performance will reflect the many sides of Diane Moser, most notably the joy that is a trademark of her music and life

Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band is a17-piece big band formed for the purpose of developing and presenting new music for large ensembles. Presenting monthly concerts since January 1997, the CBB features the music of its resident composers along with guest composers and performers. The range of the featured artists collaborating with the band has been astonishing: Jim McNeely, Oliver Lake, Howard Johnson, Sy Johnson, Matt Wilson, Jackie Cain and Mark Dresser are but of few of the dozens to share the stage with the group. This breadth reflects the musical attitude of Diane Moser, whom the New York Times called “unfazable booster for improvised music.”

A Celebration and Fundraiser for Diane Moser, featuring her Composers Big Band
Monday, May 11th - 7:30 PM
Trumpets Jazz Club
6 Depot Sq. Montclair, NJ 07042
Cover charge $10, donations encouraged!
Guest artists will include: Jim McNeely, Howard Johnson, Nicki Denner, Oliver Lake, Mike Kaplan, Russ Vines and others

Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday-Sueyoung and I drove through Branch Brook Park (Newark/Bloomfield) to look at the Cherry Blossoms-they were magnificent! If you live in the area-go and check them out. I'm betting that Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are in bloom-has anyone been there this week? I don't know about the Bronx Botanical Gardens-maybe someone can fill me in. The blossoms aren't out for very long-so if you get a chance to take a moment and check them out-do it-they're beautiful.

I've snapped back in.......

Yes-it's true-I'm pretty much back into "real time" now. I get that funny, weird time feel once in a while-then I know it's time to stop whatever it is I'm doing and chill out. So Elzy was right-I was doing a little too much. However, my activities over the last 3 days have actually given me more energy-ha-there is no stopping "Mo-on-the-go!" (that's what my brother calls me).
No, but seriously, I promise to NOT do too much-and to stop when I feel like I'm going into a different dimension, and to put my feet up and chill. I'm still limited by the amount of time I can stand or walk or sit-so I can't do too much. And then there's the "I'm out of breath thing" that seems to happen when I do too much-so I have plenty of "alarms" that will go off if I push it too hard.
I'm going back to work today-the New School, teaching in my studio, and my organist job at Allwood Community Church. Everyone is aware that if I can't handle it-I'll have to stop-but I think I'll be okay-hey-a girls' gotta try.
Meanwhile-I still can't drive for at least another 2 weeks-I'll honor that-don't want any car crashes-that would be bad.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

which dimiension am I in now?

Yesterday was a very eye opening experience-and begged the question-which dimension am I in now? I ventured with my son and his friend Zay Zay, to our favorite diner-Six brothers on RT 46-for breakfast. Walking from the parking lot to the diner was the furthest I had walked-and it was my first time in a restaurant since going into the hospital. I actually ate a lot-not my usual little bird portions-and it was wonderful to be with my son and his friend. But after a while-I noticed that I felt everything was moving a little faster than I could focus on-so I told Chad we needed to go home. At home I acutally practiced for an hour-whoo hoo-a record so far! I took a nap, then my friend Miki came and picked me up-we went to Starbucks (again-a long walk from the parking lot for me-but I did it) and we went to Andersen Park and sat for a while. That's when I noticed the time thing again-but it's not so much about actual "speed"-it's more of a sense that I'm in a different dimension than what's going on around me. Then Miki took me to my acupuncturist, Monica, who also gave me a healing/tuning fork treatment. Again-the time thing-but this time it was felt even deeper. I told Monica that when she put that last needle in-everything starting vibrating and whirling around pretty fast. Had it gone faster I would have asked her to take out the needles-becuase I was really just trying hold on there. Afterwards-I felt at peace-and that my various levels of vibrations were vibrating more at the same level than when I first walked into the room. Monica brought me home-and once again the time thing-I'm watching the cars wizz by-they seemed to be going so fast-I had to stop looking at them.
I talked with a few people yeseterday and today who confirmed my "other dimension" feelings-which of course made me feel better-becuase it's a little scary to experience this.
Now I'm cool-I don't know what dimension I'm currently in-but I really don't care now-it's where I am at the moment-I seem to be able to function (no driving of course ;-)-and now that it's not so scary to me- it's nice to feel everything at a slower speed for a change.

Friday, April 10, 2009

my feets.....

So I pulled back on the "sugar" I was eating-natural and not natural-and guess what-my symptoms scaled way way back. My feet are no longer cold-I still have some numbness-but not near what it was before. Interesting, right? Cari gave me some exercises to do-and I know that helped a lot for circulation-plus I wore 3 pairs of socks for a day-not doing that now.
In a few hours I'm getting an acupuncture treatment, a healing/tuning fork treatment-and an Edgar Cayce treatment that has to do with castor oil packets.
Now I think we're down to the level of detoxing all of those powerful drugs out of my body.
I'm still fuzzy headed at times-but it's getting better. My reaction time-like what my brain is telling my hand to do is getting better-but it's still sluggish at times-especially while I'm trying to play some fast be-bop lines on the piano-augh!!!
Now I know why they told me not to drive for 4 weeks-it's not the incision-it's the fact that my brain probably won't register that red light that I just went thru-ha!! (Don't worry-I'm not driving ;-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

numb/cold/ ankles/feet

Hey Everyone,
Has anyone dealt with numbness and coldness from the ankles down to the toes?
Cari and I think it may be a little neuropathy of some sort. Last night I put my feet in a tub of warm water, then I massaged them for an hour or so. I got the warmth back-but today they're cold again-but not as bad. The numbness is on the top side-from the ankles to the toes. I've tripled up on my socks, and when I sit I keep my feet elevated-and I'm doing little exercises/isometrics etc (all of this is courtesy of Cari's brilliant mind-but we're not sure what's really going on). I'm watching what I eat more closely now-could be something there-especially all the "goodies" I've been getting-which are very yummy-but I can't eat right now.
I'm going for some detox acupuncture on Friday.
Overall-my feet are less numb and cold than they were yesterday and the day before.
I'll call one of my docs if I'm not feeling any improvment after Friday.
Other than that-I feel pretty good-the incision pulls a lot when I stand up etc., but I know that will lessen with time and healing. I'm still taking afternoon naps...especailly today....not sure what that was about...but it was a long one!
The sun has finally come out-so I think I'll go outside and walk around the backyard for a few minutes.

Monday, April 6, 2009


This last week has been a series of transformations-daily-and really wonderful friends coming to visit,cooking, dropping off food,bringing music, sending flowers, bringing flowers, cleaning, doing laundry-you all are so wonderful-I would not be able to do any of this without you-thank you so much!
So I've been home for 8 days now. Moving around is getting easier-it's still a challenge-but I am definitely moving more. I walked for 10 minutes yesterday-outside in the back and front yards-and the driveway. I was pretty sore at the end of that 10 minutes-and last night-but I'm fine this morning. I'm able to play the piano for a little longer each day-so that's good. The hardest part is trying to sit up (straight back etc-like how I'm constantly doing to my students-I need them to do it to me now-ha!). I'm hoping it will stop raining today for 10 minutes so I can get outside and move a little.
A really huge THANK YOU to Bob Dowling-who came by on Friday and fixed my "a" that had a broken hammer-yipppee-it's singing again-thank you Bobert!
Sat outside a lot yesterday with Scott and Norene Neumann and Matt Haviland-what a gorgeous day it was. Keep Scott and Norene and their daughter Eve in your thoughts-they're traveling to Vietnam on Sunday to bring home their son Robby Q-which we are all very excited about! We want safe travels to and from for them and that everything goes smoothly.
Sueyoung and Daniel came by for a quick visit-as did Marilyn Mohr and Rob Middleton-it was a great day to have so many friends drop by.
The day before, Miki Hatcher, Rebecca Harris, Josie and John Curry came for a visit-and we were talking about film and medieval art and fiction writing and music-it was great to have such stimulating converstion!
Murray has been dropping by almost everyday with yummy food-and so has Jean-who was cooking alot for me and Chad last week and goes to the store to get me last minute stuff that I forget about-thanks guys!!!!!
This week I'll be diving back into the research on Gleevac etc. I go back to the oncologist on April 20th-which may be my start date-or close to it for taking the drug.
The furthest I can go is the end of my driveway-ha! So I truly love people to visit, and it would be wonderful to play some music.
Also, right now my cell phone seems to be having reception problems-so if you want to call- my land line is probably best 973.783.9501
Oh yes-one more thing-my cousin Marilyn's cancer has come back-and I would love for all of you to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She has 30 rounds of radiation coming up very soon-let's hope that takes care of that!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

slow and steady........

Okay-forget Popeye! Thanks to everyone who wrote to me and reminded me to slow down and take it one pot and one day at a time. It's so true. What would I do without you guys!

Friday, April 3, 2009

What would Popeye do?

So my question for today is-what would Popeye do? I seem to have a very limited amount of strength..yikes! I tried to pick up 3 cooking pots at one time-they took me right down to the floor-very spooky-never had that happen before. Practicing is coming along-I'm very stiff and it hurts on all levels-but I'm pushing thru up to a point.
I never had to figure out the strength question before-maybe a couple of times in my early youth (of course back then I'm sure the recovery time was half a minute...), giving birth to Chad (I was happy to just hang out as a new mother so it didn't bother me-except for the nasty infection I got right afterwards-but that didn't last too long).
Anybody have any ideas on how I can get this process going?
(yes-I have lots of chicken soup that is very delicious).
I also want to take a minute and tell all of you-how wonderful you are! Reading this blog is what really gives me strength! Thank you so much!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Every day a little more of the fog clears"

That's D-Mo's description of her progress. As you might expect, she says she's mending more quickly mentally and spiritually than physically. She's trying to walk a bit more around the house and yard, but still wears out very quickly and is very aware of her incision.

Today's good weather lured Diane outside. She and Chad went on a quest for pulled pork, brought it home and sat in the yard all afternoon enjoying the food and sunshine. Her taste is getting back to normal -- it took about a week, just like she'd predicted. Practically everything still tastes too salty, but D-Mo can eat a greater variety of foods every day.

BTW, music lovers, every time Diane heard someone at the hospital refer to "the tower of drugs," she thought of the Hughie Lewis hit "The Power of Love." So she's had that tune in her mind for a while. Can a big band chart be far behind?!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Diane goes for a ride

The latest from DMo this AM:

"I'm wiped out. I need a lot of sleep right now. I'm trying to get caught up with "my stuff " in the am-after that-I gotta rest and sleep. Phone calls are good-I just can't talk for very long.

After visiting the surgeon Chad took me for a ride-that was so great-it was beautiful yesterday-and he took me to a Stewarts Root beer Stand-with car hops!!!! I had a gigantic root beer float-ate all of it! We ordered...kielbasa sandwich, 3 perogies, 1 chili dog, 1 plain dog, french fries, onion rings and 1 large root beer. We brought all that stuff home-I had 1 bite of everything-Chad ate all the rest. Then we both slept-and I think Chad went into a food coma-he's still sleeping!"

Diane is making her follow up rounds with the surgeon and others, she needs to start the Gleevac soon.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Resting at home

Diane went home Sat evening, and is resting and adjusting to home life. Chad brought her some waffles, which tasted very spicy to her new taste buds.

We're all glad she's out of the hospital, and heading for her next stage of recovery.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

There's no place like home

As of 1 p.m., Diane was still being prepped for release. They took out the sutures and most of the remaining tubes this morning. There are a few more things to do, including plenty of paperwork and doctors' instructions on what's next. Once that's all through, Cari will take her home and get her settled.

We don't know how soon D-Mo will see the blog for the first time, but keep your comments and good vibrations coming. She won't be ready for visitors for a week or so, and she'll gradually catch up on voicemails and emails.

We're looking forward to posting the next update, once we hear she's home safe and sound.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Free at last?

Today is Diane's first day without antibiotics. She passed "all their f-ing tests" yesterday, her white blood cell count is normal and if she stays fever-free overnight they're going to release her in the morning. Woohoo!

Her taste is still off: most foods taste chalky or too salty or have no flavor at all. Raisins and carrot cake taste spicy, "The frosting was fine, but the cake was so spicy I thought I was on fire." D-Mo is going to wait about a week to see if her over-/under-sensitivity resolves before taking any medical steps.

She doesn't have any instructions from her doctor yet, but but expects "my life will be totally different." For one thing, Diane will be shopping for new clothes. Her tumor officially weighed in at 17 pounds, plus she lost additional weight by not eating for two weeks. Wait till you see her high cheekbones! She's also kicked her smoking jones. And once all the tubes are out, she's looking forward to "zipping around like Zippy the Pinhead."

Diane says, "I'm very happy. I wanna go home and wanna get back to my life." She won't be ready for visitors for a week or two, as she wants to get settled in, catch up on paperwork and figure out what she needs to do and what she's able to do.

We'll continue to use this space for updates and will shout out if D-Mo needs any help.

Today is Chad's birthday, he's working today, DJ-ing tonight, and looking forward to seeing his mom in a more relaxed setting than the hospital. Diane's release will be a nice gift!

Thursday's Update

Diane is close to getting sprung from the hospital. Her various doctors are trying to agree on when to pull her "tower of drugs", but there's a real good chance she can get sent home this weekend. She underwent another CAT scan last night to make sure everything's tight, she should hear today.

Diane has a question for the blog: Her sense of taste is wacky, nothing tastes like it should, and she wants to know if others have had the same issue after hospitalization. Folks we know have had a period of adjustment after not eating for a long time.

Maybe it's just the hospital food.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A welcome phone call

Diane called this morning, first time since pre-hospital. She sounded really upbeat and had a lot of good news. She's having her first solid food today and if that goes well she'll be able to go home on Friday. She'll also get unplugged from the "tower of drugs" this afternoon.

Yesterday, "I had farina, yogurt and some crappy custard -- I couldn't eat it! And I had imitation Jell-O. I need the real thing!" I bet she'd rather have margaritas with her fellow pool rats.

D-Mo's blood pressure has been fluctuating and her cardiologist is on the case. Diane says, "It goes up or down due to emotion more than anything." It spikes if she's "pissed off -- if, say, a jerky nurse comes in." Fortunately, Diane gets along with practically everyone who crosses her path, though there is an exception or two.

She'll see her main doctor, Dr. Forte, in a month or so, "and start dealing with the cancer stuff."

D sends her best to everyone and says thanks for all the good wishes. She'll be reaching out more and more as she grows stronger and feels better.

A message from Mike Lee and Rebecca Harris-Lee for families of students

Dear Students of Diane Moser:

As most of you know Diane does not get paid for teaching when she is not

teaching - there are no sick days! Please join us in insisting that the

lessons missed during her medical leave need not be made up. Any good

employer would continue to pay through this medical leave and she is much

more than an employee to us. She treats our child as her own family and as

such we plan to pay her in full for lessons in May with no deduction for

lessons missed in April. Please reply to this post with an "I will" so that

she knows to bill you in full for May.

- Mike Lee & Rebecca Harris-Lee

West Coast fundraiser for DMo 5/12

If you're near San Diego (and even if you're not) on May 12th, Friends of Diane are putting together a benefit concert to help defray her ongoing costs in battling her cancer. Carol sent the details of the event:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
8:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: Dizzy's - Where Music Matters Most
San Diego Wine & Culinary Center - 2nd and J Street
San Diego, CA

Musicians include Mark Dresser,
Yale Strom, Elizabeth Schwartz, Duncan Moore, Daniel Jackson, Charles MacPherson, Dave Millard - more to come

As other events progress, we'll keep everyone posted.

Diane continues to improve

Yesterday she was the most active we've seen since the surgery. She's slowly getting back to normal (her version of normal), and her white blood cell count is heading down to normal levels.

She's on a modified liquid diet, with hot cereals, juice and ice cream. She's anxious to get out, and hopes to be off the tubes within a couple of days. A Saturday break out is definitely possible.

She's really happy about the outpouring of support and advice, and especially the book and Jello recommendations!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great news!

Diane passed her test today with flying colors, and is now eating her Jello. Her leakage has totally stopped, so now she can have broth, Jello,and clear juice today, and ice cream and blended soups tomorrow. Yogurt is not far behind.

She's asking for Jello recipes, as it will be awhile before she can start in on solid foods (it's been two weeks since she ate anything!)

Diane can have visitors, but it may be a good idea to call first, to make sure she's not going to be in the middle of something. She still has to be hooked up to the tubes for a couple of days, and they're weaning her off her various meds. She'll have the drainage tube removed soon, too. But if all goes well, she'll be on her way home Friday or Saturday.

BTW: On the short-term disability front, the New School is coming through with their disability plan, and she's getting it all lined up. Thanks for all of the excellent advice and assistance.

Onward and upward!

Testing, testing

D-Mo is having tests today to determine what's up with the fluid leakage. Depending on the results, she may be heading home on Friday. Keep those healing thoughts focused her way. I'll check in with Cari later today and see if she has an update.

With all the surgery, procedures, meds, etc., that she's been through, Diane is still Diane. Friday morning she was gazing out the window watching the snow fall, while listening to Bill Evans on her iPod and playing along on her keyboard (I believe it was "Spring is Here").

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday night and all is well

Diane is in a top floor room with a nice view, no roommate so far. Though she's in a regular room now, visitors still have to put on gowns and gloves. She's alert and in good spirits. She's lost weight, her face looks thin but her color is good. She's still getting nutrition by drip -- no food or drink so far. That may change on Monday, depending on her test results. D-Mo's looking forward to enjoying barbecue, ambrosia and a few nice fruity tropical cocktails in the future.

D-Mo's not having much pain, she's not hitting the drip for meds very often. She's getting some physical therapy, which includes walking around to build her strength. She spends part of the day sitting up in a chair. Diane definitely has more energy in the past few days, but still tires easily.

Her oncologist, Dr. Forte, was Dizzy's doctor, and Anita, one of her nurses remembers Dizzy well.

If you've read any funny books lately, D could use some recommendations. She's not into anything too heavy right now. We suggested books by Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey. Any other ideas?

She's happy to hear about all of your calls, comments and emails, and says thanks for the good wishes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Night Lights

Diane was moved to a regular room last night, and now has a double room to herself for the time being. The tests that were scheduled for today have been put off until Sunday or Monday, primarily because they want to see how much the leakage will stop on it's own before they decide what to do next. It seems like the leak is slowing down, so hopefully when the test is performed the results will indicate that she is healing well enough on her own to ward off any more procedures.

She has a telephone, but still is very weak and is asking not to receive a lot of calls just yet. But she's having a good time entertaining the staff with the foldy piano, which attracts a lot of attention when she plays.

DMo gives a big shout out to Pam Sabrin and the New School gang for all the support and encouragement!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday night: wherein Diane gets a folding piano and moves to a regular room

I dropped in to the hospital this PM to deliver the Yamano Hand ROll Piano to Diane (thanks Nick and Christine! Getting the piano is a whole separate story) and found her sitting up in a chair and chatty. Her vitals are looking good, and they're moving her out of the Progressive Care Unit into a regular room tonight, which is a very good thing.

They have some more fun tests scheduled for her tomorrow AM, primarily to check on the healing progress of the leak in her abdomen, but it appears, for now at least, to be heading in the right direction.

I relayed all of the good wishes everyone has been sending her, and she wants everybody to know how deeply touched she is by all of the good feelings. She's reading and listening to her iPod, and the staff (and Cari) are eagerly awaiting a piano opus for tomorrow. Maybe something to accompany all the beeping of the various vital sign monitors?

Vibration society

Here's a baristanet.com item about D-Mo:


Let me know if you see any other links, Diane is going to get a kick out of seeing these.

Keep the good thoughts coming

News and a request from Cari:

Please keep sending Diane those healing prayers and vibrations. The "leak" in her intestinal tract has been located and medical measures taken to help it to close on its own. She needs lots of healing light imagined to a small portion of her stomach. If the "leak" does not close on its own by friday, another surgical procedure will be required to close it.

Keep up all the wonderful support and kindness.

With love and gratitude,
cari keith

A couple other things:

Some of you have asked if Diane has medical insurance. Yes, she does, thanks to her job at the New School.

Also, it looks like we've found a roll-up keyboard. By some fabulous coincidence, the seller lives in Englewood. Russ hopes to pick it up later today and drop it off at the hospital. I can imagine the sound of that wonderful D-Mo laugh when she sees it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wed nite update

I just spoke to Chad, and he says they think they've located the source of the leakage, and the docs feel that it should heal in a couple of days. That's great news, and opens the possibility that Diane could leave the hospital this Saturday. We're all crossing our fingers.

Thursday update: I also should mention that they've had her up and walking around the bed, to help her start to get her strength back. Go DMO!

Immediate family only ...

... for visiting Diane, according to Andy's call to the hospital (see comments previous post). Hopefully she'll be up for it soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday night late edition

D-Mo is continuing on the road to recovery. She had quite a bit of fluid removed yesterday and a drainage tube inserted. She will stay in the special care unit at least until they get the results from the next round of tests, which they're doing on Friday. And no ice or anything else by mouth till the fluid situation is resolved.

Diane is getting nutrition through a drip. She was able to sit in a chair for part of the day today, first time she's been out of bed in a week. Cari will set up a physical therapy consultation, that should help to stave off loss of muscle mass from inactivity.

This is the longest D-Mo has ever gone without touching a piano. We're trying to find a roll-up keyboard for her. They're available on the Web, but we're hoping to track one down in Manhattan and get it to her in the next day or two. Has anyone seen one on 48th Street or elsewhere in New York?

Thanks for the tips on dealing with filing for disability. A hospital social worker is supposed to talk to Diane tomorrow.

Cari predicts Diane will be in the hospital for at least another week. Cari thinks D-Mo will be ready for visitors soon. She's not talking a lot, and visitors to the special care unit have to put on a mask, gown and gloves, but she's getting to where she could use a little company.

Keep those good thoughts heading her way!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Got short-term disability filing chops?

Anyone have any experience with filing for short-term disability? Cari says now is the time to start the paperwork, since "we would have access to the doctors in the hospital for the required medical signatures, etc." She believes Diane will qualify because of the long recovery she's facing.

If you have any tips for filing or know anything about the process, please post to the comments section and I'll get in touch. Thanks!

Today D-Mo is having a procedure to remove some fluid, but it sounds relatively minor and noninvasive compared with last week.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Late Sunday afternoon ...

Sounds like Diane is making progress. She's still resting a lot, but is talking more and looking forward to getting up and moving around. She's scheduled to have some tests, including a CAT scan. Depending on the results, she may move back to a regular room tomorrow and have ginger ale and Jell-O added to her diet. Can chicken soup be far behind?

Keep visualizing her surrounded by music.

Diane's improving

Via Chad on Saturday, Diane has improved considerably over Friday. Her blood pressure is good, pulse is back down to a decent level, and the fever she had has abated. They're allowing her to have ice, which is the first time they are allowing her to have anything by mouth. She loves the ice chips, and always asks for more. She's also more communicative than before, and is frequently awake.

Chad has been a real trouper throughout this, and is spending 99% of his time at the hospital. He's become an expert at reading the monitors that show her vital signs, and feeding her ice chips.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A message from Cari

Besides being a friend of Diane's, Cari Keith is a nurse and the minister of the church where Diane has played for the past few years and where she rehearses her band. Cari knows six ways to ask doctors the same question till she gets an answer. She understands what they say and can explain it in plain language. She's been really, really helpful to Diane, going to the consultations and appointments leading up to the surgery. She's been spending time at the hospital every day, advocating for Diane and hanging with Chad.

Yesterday Cari suggested a way to help Diane. Here it is in her own words:

It has been documented that a variety of musical vibrations are physically, as well as psychologically healing. The universe itself 'vibrates' with sound and I believe, along with others, that this sound is healing and is found everywhere. Please ask all of Diane's musician friends to visually surround her with the healing vibrations of the universe, their voices, their instuments.

With peace and gratitude,
cari keith

Friday, March 13, 2009

A long road to recovery

I spent some time today talking with Chad and Cari, Diane's friend and minister who is also a nurse. Diane's going to be in the hospital for at least another week and may need as much as two months of recovery after that.

Here's how I understand it: The tumor was quite large and had been there for quite a while, so it was almost like a separate ecosystem that Diane's body was used to maintaining. Now that it's gone, it's going to take her body a while to figure out what's what.

Diane took quite a beating this week, with major surgery on Tuesday, and a second procedure on Wednesday to remove excess fluid that was building up. She had general anesthesia both times, which is tough on the system.

As of Friday night, she is in a hospital unit that is an improvement over intensive care but more restricted than a regular hospital room. She spends most of her time sleeping and healing.

Chad is spending most of the day at the hospital.

Please keep sending healing thoughts, prayers and positive energy for both Diane and Chad.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friends of Diane Moser Fund

Carol Del Signore has established a fund to help out with Diane's expenses.

As Carol points out, although Diane has health insurance, she is still going to face huge bills for co-payments, procedures and medications that her insurance will not cover, not to mention her loss of income while she is recovering from surgery. Whatever you can contribute to the Friends of Diane Moser Fund will help ease her financial stress and contribute to our dear friend's speedy recovery.

To donate to this Paypal account, click on the "Donate" icon on the upper right corner of the screen. Thanks, Carol, great idea!

Diane's mending

Chad says Diane is moving from ICU to a regular room this afternoon. Her blood pressure and other vitals are good. She's sleeping a lot, "she's in and out," according to Chad. But when she's awake, she's her usual optimistic self.

Diane's starting to get hungry, "When are they gonna let me eat?!" That sounds like a good sign to me. No word on how soon they're gonna break down and let her have some Jell-O.

Chad sounded upbeat and optimistic.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday news

We talked to Chad a couple of times today, and Diane is doing well, and her blood pressure is stable and normal at this time.

One issue she's having is fluid drainage, and she had to undergo surgery again today to remove about several liters of fluid that had built up. Owing to large size of the tumor it's going to take awhile for her system to stabilize, and hopefully this will slow down quickly. They removed the fluid and she's still in ICU this evening, but stable.

We'll talk to Kari, Diane's nurse friend and get a more detailed skinny on the developments, but for now, Diane is responsive and cheered by all the good vibes going her way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good news ...

Just got a message from Chad. Diane's out of surgery. Chad was waiting to see her, he says she's gonna be just fine. Hope to have more to tell you soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

DMo heading in tomorrow

Diane is having her surgery tomorrow AM at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and should be out of the OR by the early PM, but will have to cool her heels there for a few days to recupe. Diane will be attended to by the accomplished Dr. Ibrahim M. Ibrahim during the procedure.

Englewood Hospital is an institution that is no stranger to hipness, hosting the Dizzy Gillespie Cancer Institute. You can also read about an award given to the amazing Dr. Forte (yes, that's his name), last October (pdf format), and the excellent work done by the Jazz Foundation of America, in caring for over hundreds of jazz musicians.

So now the Hospital has achieved a greater level of hipness, with the entrance of DMo!

We all wish her great success and a speedy recovery!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Diane still loves us but ...

She has a ton of stuff to do before she goes in the hospital on Tuesday. She'll need quiet time once she gets home. So it's not a great idea to call her for a while, and who knows when she'll get around to responding to emails.

Diane has touched so many of our lives in so many positive ways. We all want to be here for her and help out if we can. For now, that means giving her some space to focus on her recovery.