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, 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.