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.

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?!