We just got the news from Dr Mascarenhas: Pablo's left tumor has FAVORABLE HISTOLOGY!
Our prayers, intentions, wishes, hopes, dreams...the whole EFFIN' ball of fire that is you + us + everyone we know has resulted in the best news ever: it's favorable.
I have no more words to say about it...except: Thank you. Gratitude. Acceptance. Breath. Space. Relief. Love. Those are words that come up for me as I write this.
One last bit of news is that Pablo's right kidney will be removed tomorrow. Yes, it's another surgery, which STINKS, but with the backdrop of a favorable histology on the left, we are not worried about it for one minute.
Why does it have to come out? The short, plain English version is that the Chicago pathologist Dr Elizabeth Pearlman saw enough questionable stuff in the slides to determine that it presents a very real cancer danger. With the left kidney getting a thumbs up from her, there is no need to play risky business with the right kidney. Pablo can live and love for a long time on the amount of left kidney that remains.
That's all the news I'm going to give you today.
What lies below is a bit of a fun story, a fireside chat where I relate some pretty far-flung stuff to the news of the day. I hope you enjoy it....
While we are all feeling good, I want to relate a true and fun story that happened at my birthday party a/k/a the night of Pablo's Wilms' Tumor diagnosis—something that relates to today's amazing news.
So, here goes....
While the party was in full swing, Jo Ann took Pablo to CHLA Emergency Room. It's only four blocks from Malo, the restaurant where the party was taking place. The plan was for me to hang for another 30 minutes, get the singing and cupcake eating out of the way, and meet up with them in the ER. The last conversation I had before leaving was with my friends Butch and Beth. They'd just put their little girl down for the night and had arrived a bit later than everyone else, and were checking out the tacos and chips and all that. Peter, Justin, Hrishi and a few other people were sitting with us, and somehow we got to talking about funny stories from the recording studio.
The focus on this topic got sharper when Butch told us the story of the Smashing Pumpkins song 'Today,' which he produced. Tightening the focus even more, he specifically told us the story of the first 12 seconds of the song—the infectious, career-defining guitar riff that anyone under 50 with a set of ears knows well. The punchline is that it took them two full days in the studio to record the tiny, eight-note guitar riff at the top of the song. Everyone sat around Butch that night savoring his every word. It was fun to hear his story—a bit of a birthday present in itself.
As his story built and built I couldn't get enough of it. I also couldn't stop noticing how I wanted to get the hell outta Malo and join Pablo and Jo Ann at CHLA. At that moment, I was sure Pablo had some minor stomach thing. Looking back, I now know why I had that itch. It wasn't a backed-up slice of pizza in his large intestine. That said, it never crossed my mind that I'd be at CHLA so much that the security guards hand me a sticky pass without asking where I'm going.
To bring this story to today: As I walked to the lobby to meet Drs Mascarenhas and Stein to talk about the Pablo Plan, the lyrics of 'Today' played over and over in my head. That song, and its mechanically simple, uplifting, riveting message was there in my head, ready to serve as a soothing soundtrack to the best news I will EVER hear in my life. The opening line, 'Today's the greatest day,' ran over and over in my head. Nothing else mattered.
This is not some cliched summer blockbuster music cue for me. This is deep s**t. Music matters so much to me that I filter everything through songs. I believe what my favorite bands are talking about. It's real to me. It better be—I make a living off of this phenomenon.
Anyway, I don't care if you think I'm corny. You listen to this song, and read these lyrics and tell me if it all doesn't fit Pablo, hand in glove! I have provided the video and the lyrics below for your own personal test.
SMASHING PUMPKINS 'Today'
Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow
Tomorrow's much too long
I burn my eyes out
Before I get out
I wanted more
Than life could ever grant
Bored by the chore
Of saving face
Today is the greatest
Day I have ever known
Can't wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I'll tear my heart out
Before I get out
Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
I've tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained
My belly stings
The greatest day
That I have ever known