Piano World Home Page
Posted By: Monica K. Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 08:59 PM
Hello loyal PW friends,

I usually try to keep my forum life separate from my personal life, but that is not possible right now. I have probably never mentioned that I have a rare disease called achalasia, an autoimmune disorder in which the esophagus no longer works properly. One of the many unfortunate aspects of this disease is that it places you at greater risk for esophageal cancer. Over the past couple of months I have experienced increased difficulty in swallowing, and after a round of numerous tests that involved putting me inside virtually every large machine housed in our university hospital, my doctors have confirmed that I have esophageal cancer. That's bad news, but it could be worse. The CT scan suggests that there has been no metastasis, only a few "questionable" lymph nodes that my doctors assure me could be nothing. So there is reason for optimism that the cancer can be successfully treated. The standard treatment regimen is rather grueling, though, consisting of esophagectomy, chemo, and radiation. So I think I can safely say that the next few months are not going to be particularly fun in the Monica K. household. frown Because I have no way of predicting when or how long I am going to be out of commission (they haven't decided yet whether to do surgery first or chemo first to shrink the tumor, which is measuring a rather scary 10 cm long), or whether I'm going to be feeling okay on any particular day, I have regretfully decided that I need to step down from administering the AB Forum quarterly recitals for the indefinite future.

Hence my request for help: Can we get a volunteer or two to take over? It would probably be best if someone were willing to commit to administering it for several cycles; as the others here who have administered recitals can vouch, there's somewhat of a steep learning curve at the beginning. Once you get the hang of it, the time commitment is not great; I usually can get the recital up in less than an hour. The first few times took much longer. Even if I am not available for training or trouble-shooting, there are numerous people on the forum who are familiar with what's involved who can help.

In the mean time, piano continues to remain a source of solace and inspiration for me. I just started learning an Einaudi piece from his new album. I hope I will be able to submit it to an upcoming recital. smile

--Monica
Posted By: AnthonyPaulO Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 09:12 PM
Originally Posted by Monica K.
Hello loyal PW friends,

I usually try to keep my forum life separate from my personal life, but that is not possible right now. I have probably never mentioned that I have a rare disease called achalasia, an autoimmune disorder in which the esophagus no longer works properly. One of the many unfortunate aspects of this disease is that it places you at greater risk for esophageal cancer. Over the past couple of months I have experienced increased difficulty in swallowing, and after a round of numerous tests that involved putting me inside virtually every large machine housed in our university hospital, my doctors have confirmed that I have esophageal cancer. That's bad news, but it could be worse. The CT scan suggests that there has been no metastasis, only a few "questionable" lymph nodes that my doctors assure me could be nothing. So there is reason for optimism that the cancer can be successfully treated. The standard treatment regimen is rather grueling, though, consisting of esophagectomy, chemo, and radiation. So I think I can safely say that the next few months are not going to be particularly fun in the Monica K. household. frown Because I have no way of predicting when or how long I am going to be out of commission (they haven't decided yet whether to do surgery first or chemo first to shrink the tumor, which is measuring a rather scary 10 cm long), or whether I'm going to be feeling okay on any particular day, I have regretfully decided that I need to step down from administering the AB Forum quarterly recitals for the indefinite future.

Hence my request for help: Can we get a volunteer or two to take over? It would probably be best if someone were willing to commit to administering it for several cycles; as the others here who have administered recitals can vouch, there's somewhat of a steep learning curve at the beginning. Once you get the hang of it, the time commitment is not great; I usually can get the recital up in less than an hour. The first few times took much longer. Even if I am not available for training or trouble-shooting, there are numerous people on the forum who are familiar with what's involved who can help.

In the mean time, piano continues to remain a source of solace and inspiration for me. I just started learning an Einaudi piece from his new album. I hope I will be able to submit it to an upcoming recital. smile

--Monica


Wow Monica.. I'm so very sorry to hear this, I really wish you the best and a quick recovery!
Posted By: JimF Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 09:58 PM
Monica,

Let me be the first to thank you for all that you have contributed here on PW over the years and to wish you the very best throughout your treatment and recovery. I'm sure someone will step up to the plate knowing full well that you will be back with us at the very first opportunity.

Take good care,

Jim
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 10:21 PM
I wish you all the best throughout your treatment .
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 10:23 PM
Best wishes, Monica! You are a wonderful asset to the PW community.
Posted By: dumka1 Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 10:28 PM
Monica, so sorry to hear this... Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I'm sure everybody on this forum will be sending good thoughts your way!
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 10:48 PM
Monica,

I really wish the best for you and your family. I hope the you feel well over the coming days and weeks and the treatments don't get you down and that you will be back to full health very soon.

You're messages and performances of Einaudi have made me re-evaluate Einaudi. I'm certain you will get many volunteers to take over your Quarterly Einaudi recitals for you while you are coming back to health.
Posted By: Stubbie Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 11:07 PM
Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Monica. You did a favor (regarding a score) for me when I first came on PW that is still fresh in my mind. Thank you.
Posted By: NobleHouse Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 11:11 PM
Prayers for you and your family!
Posted By: cmb13 Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 11:18 PM
So sorry to hear of this terrible turn, Monica. Thankfully, the outlook is a lot better when it hasn't spread. I'm sure you're in good hands at the university hospital, and I wish you all the best of luck in your treatment! Keep your playlist handy...music always makes me feel better!
1
Posted By: currawong Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/19/19 11:48 PM
Monica, my very best wishes for a successful treatment and speedy recovery. Even though I just lurk here on the AB forum I know you are such a valued member. Thinking of you.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 12:38 AM
Thank you for what you do here at PW. I wish you a speedy and healthy recovery.
Posted By: Sam S Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 12:41 AM
So sorry to hear that Monica. Wishing you the best! I'll send you a PM about the recitals...

Sam
Posted By: Medved1 Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 02:03 AM
Sending wishes for everything to work out. It sounds like you are in good hands. I hope your doctors and your piano help you get through this soon and positively!
Posted By: PianogrlNW Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 02:13 AM
I’m so sorry Monica and I hope for the best possible outcome. My BIL had esophageal cancer and has been cancer free now for 8 years. I would like to help with the quarterly recitals if you can use my assistance.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 02:23 AM
Monica,
I had no idea that you were dealing with any such thing over these years. So sorry to hear of it, but glad at least that the findings are relatively limited, which of course gives greater hope. Wishing you the best in these coming times!!!
Posted By: BruceD Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 04:50 AM
Monica:

My thoughts are with you as you face this frightening challenge. May those close to you and your music help you as you rise to meet the future. Hurry back; your work here will be missed until you are able to return.

Regards,
Posted By: keystring Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 05:00 AM
Monica, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I wish you a speedy and good recovery. I am sure the volunteers will be forthcoming and you need not worry about that. The important thing is the return of your health, and of you here. smile
Posted By: Pover Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 06:31 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about this, Monica. I wish you a speedy recovery, and keep your spirit strong!
Posted By: Animisha Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 06:58 AM
Monica, I am so sorry to hear this and I hope that you can find strenght and acceptance during the times to come.
Posted By: meaculpa Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 09:16 AM
Sorry to read about your bad news Monica , I hope all the treatment goes well for you and wish you a speedy recovery.
Posted By: barbaram Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 09:21 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this news Monica. I hope the treatment goes very well and that you have good care and support around you. Hope we get to listen to many more beautiful Monica K performances in the future. Sending very best wishes and positive thoughts your way.
Posted By: WiseBuff Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 09:44 AM
Monica, first thank you for all you have meant to and done for PW and this forum. Your voice online is supportive and inspirational and has always meant a lot to me. I'm so sorry to hear that you are facing the trauma of cancer and I know from experience that it is scary. I'm so glad that you have support and music as well as medical expertise to deal with the tumors. My prayers are for your peace and for your healing.
Posted By: mr_super-hunky Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 11:47 AM
So sorry to hear of this news Monica. Of course you have mine as well as everyone's support behind you as no one deserves it more. In an odd twist to things, we possibly may be sharing this journey together as a large tumor was recently discovered in my throat along with the similar swelling and difficulty swallowing! The results of the biopsy are not back yet as well as more tests are required to determine what is wrong and what treatment plan to take.

In any event, we are both very determined people who will somehow find a way to get through this. I have no doubts you will overcome this setback and be back to the healthy Monica we have all come to love over the years.

Nobody is rooting for you louder and stronger than I am.
Posted By: petebfrance Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 11:49 AM
..best wishes for a speedy recovery.

regards
Pete
Posted By: zillybug Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 12:44 PM
I am so sorry to hear this. Thank you for all you have done for Piano World and best wishes and prayers for recovery .
Posted By: Morodiene Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 12:57 PM
Monica and Mr Super-hunky: My prayers are with you as you go through this ordeal. Please keep doing music as much as you can and don't isolate yourself from loved ones and from here - all that time sitting in doctor's waiting rooms can be put to good use and keep your spirits up! smile

I hope you both have a speedy and full recovery.
Posted By: sinophilia Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 01:12 PM
This is bad news indeed, but it's good that they caught it so early! There are very powerful treatments now and I'm sure you will be free from disease very soon. Take care of yourself and don't worry about anything else!
Posted By: RosemaryGirl Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 01:17 PM
I'm very sorry to hear about this, Monica.
I wish for you to heal promptly without too much suffering on the way.

And I hope your test results are better than feared, mr_super-hunky.

All the best.
Posted By: Monica K. Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 01:54 PM
I always knew we had a cosmic connection, super-hunky! laugh Only I am sorry that in this particular case the connection is not a good one. Please let me know what your tests show, and maybe I can help you with some resources/info that I've dug up.

I appreciate greatly everybody's good wishes. Sam S. was the first to volunteer to take on the recital for a while; outo and PianogrlNW have also volunteered to help. Unless there is a huge outcry to the contrary, shall we say that Sam does it for a while and will ask for relief from outo and PianogrlNW as needed?
Posted By: jotur Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 02:31 PM
I am so sorry, Monica. We go back 12 years now (!!) and you've been valuable to me in this journey. I wish you and your family the best and all the support you need. Hope to see you back here as often as you can make, and I hope the best wishes from PW let you know how much you are cared for.

And Super-Hunky - you, too, all the above. You have often made me laugh and your great ideas here for recitals and threads and sharing pictures have made this the community it is. So you, too, stick around - and for a long time.

Thoughts for both of you.
Posted By: Serge88 Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 02:52 PM
Good luck Monica, I wish you a successful recovery. I'm a little bit late but I offer my help for the recital.
Posted By: Peyton Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 04:03 PM
Monica.... you have been a real pal to all of us here on the forum. The recital won't be the same without your administration but I totally understand your decision. You need to put your energies and thoughts elsewhere. Meanwhile.... THANK YOU for all you have done and my thoughts are with you.
Posted By: Peyton Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 04:07 PM
SH... my thoughts are with you as well. I hate hearing news like this with friends I care about. You both are exceptional people and I know you will stay strong, overcome, and continue to enrich our lives here on the forum.


Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
So sorry to hear of this news Monica. Of course you have mine as well as everyone's support behind you as no one deserves it more. In an odd twist to things, we possibly may be sharing this journey together as a large tumor was recently discovered in my throat along with the similar swelling and difficulty swallowing! The results of the biopsy are not back yet as well as more tests are required to determine what is wrong and what treatment plan to take.

In any event, we are both very determined people who will somehow find a way to get through this. I have no doubts you will overcome this setback and be back to the healthy Monica we have all come to love over the years.

Nobody is rooting for you louder and stronger than I am.

Posted By: dynamobt Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 07:09 PM
Praying for you, Monica. I hope the cancer treatments are successful and that you recover well. Thank you for all you do for us on ABF.

And prayers for you too, Mr. Super-hunky. I hope for good test results and successful treatment.
Posted By: Ralphiano Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 07:58 PM
I'm very, very sad to hear of your troubles, Monica. I hope all goes well for you, and that you are able to get this behind you as soon as possible.

I hope the same for you, Mr. SuperHunky.


Thanks to those who so quickly volunteered to shoulder Monica's recital administrator burdens. What a great community!
Posted By: nancyde Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 08:15 PM
Certainly not the best news. Modern medicine is amazing and wishing you a complete recovery.
Posted By: MarieJ Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 08:40 PM
I didn't check Piano World yesterday - and this is the last piece of news I wanted to hear when I turned on the computer this morning.

Monica, you've been my inspiration for years (since I first came across that amazing ABF Einaudi thread). My thoughts and wishes for a speedy return to full health will certainly be with you every day.

I'm not the most computer-literate member of this forum (I'm even older than Sam! smile ) but the Recitals have become such an important part of my piano journey that I'd love to help and support in any way that I can. Please let me know what I can do.

And Mr Super-hunky, you were also a regular in the Einaudi thread, so I feel as if you're another old friend. My very best wishes to you too. The waiting will possibly be the hardest part, so I hope that you and Monica can fill the time profitably on those keys.


Posted By: johnstaf Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 09:18 PM
Sending best wishes. Wish there was something else I could say...
Posted By: jdw Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 09:28 PM
Sorry to hear you're going through this--sending good wishes along with everyone else's.
Posted By: dcupright Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 09:52 PM
Prayers for you coming right down the road in Shelbyville. I am a 2 time cancer survivor and I hope and pray you will fully recover.
Posted By: Ted Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/20/19 11:10 PM
Sincere wishes for successful treatment and complete recovery, Monica.
Posted By: Piano2138 Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/21/19 02:29 AM
I am so sorry to hear this Monica. I wish all the best to you and your family, successful treatment and quick recovery. Thank you for everything you have done for this forum and the recitals.
Posted By: jazzyprof Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/21/19 05:44 AM
Monica, you represent all that is good about the Piano World community. I feel as if I've known you for 14 years so I am saddened by the news of this health challenge you're facing. I pray for healing mercies.

And prayers and best wishes for you too Mr. Super-Hunky. You are another pillar of the PW community.
Posted By: Piano*Dad Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/22/19 08:24 PM
Monica, You are my oldest friend at PW. Whenever people need help, you're there. Whenever "things" need to get done, you're doing them.

You've got a lot of folks rooting for you as you face this challenge.
Posted By: MeganR Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/23/19 03:00 PM
I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this, my very best thoughts are with you with wishes for a speedy recovery.
Posted By: dobro Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/23/19 05:53 PM
I look forward to a fast recovery and your opinions here at PW Monica.
Posted By: piRround Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/23/19 11:33 PM
I’m sure Sam will do you proud! Best of luck to you and Mr. SH. I hope we see you both back here very soon.
Posted By: mom3gram Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/24/19 12:04 AM
I'm so sorry, Monica, that you are going through this. I hope your docs make the right decisions and that everything goes well. I will pray for you, and hope you feel well enough to continue playing your beautiful music.
Posted By: Sibylle Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/24/19 09:07 AM
I haven't been on the forums for a while, and return to see this... I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through, Monica! I hope you'll make a speedy recovery. It sounds like you're in expert hands with your doctors, and no metastases is definitely good news at this point.

Looks like you're going to need a lot of rest with the gruelling (but necessary) treatment ahead, so I'm glad there are people who'll take over the quarterly recitals for the time being. Thank you to those who volunteered!
Posted By: earlofmar Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/26/19 12:36 PM
So sorry to hear this news Monika. I wish you a speedy treatment, recovery, and eventual return to PW where you belong.
Posted By: Triryche Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/26/19 03:27 PM
I have not been frequenting the forums much lately.

So sorry to hear this, prayers to you and your family as well as mr Super hunky and family.
Posted By: Handyman Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 03/27/19 11:13 AM
Monica & Hunky - very sorry to hear the news - best wishes for a speedy recovery for both of you "pillars" of PW...

On the theory that if laughter is the best medicine then music must be the second best, and a combo of both might be perfect , I offer the following (hopefully to cheer everyone up just a little):



Crazy Life
Posted By: casinitaly Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 04/08/19 08:25 PM
Monica, and Mr. Super-Hunky, I haven't been on the forum recently and I was shocked to find out about your health problems.

You're both such long-standing, treasured participants here, I feel like I know you somewhat, though we have never (yet!) met.

I wish you both all the very very best for speedy and full recoveries.
Posted By: BB Player Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 04/08/19 08:38 PM
Monica and Mr S-H,

Wishing you both fast and lasting healing. You've both been a strong presence here for a very long time so please do keep all of your many friends here updated on your progress as often as you can.

If there is such a thing as "healing vibes" you can both be assured lots of them are heading your way!
Posted By: pathguy Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 04/09/19 01:01 PM
Just wanted to add my well-wishes to both Monica and Super-Hunky! You both add so much to this forum and help make it the great place that it is. We are ALL rooting for you!!!! 3hearts
🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 Prayers on speedy recovery for Monica, and Super-Hunky that you have good news.
Posted By: Copper Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 06/03/19 07:01 PM
Monica - I just now heard this news, sorry to be so late with my best wishes for your recovery. You know I think you are terrific and I hope you are feeling better soon.
Posted By: Retsacnal Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 06/04/19 06:23 PM
Monica & MSH, both of my parents had esophageal cancer. I've met many survivors of it. I'm a cancer survivor myself (although a different type). Hang in there! smile
Posted By: Jeff Clef Re: Bad news, and a request for help - 09/07/19 01:15 AM
Wow. Monica. Already.
Thanks for your graciousness; allowing me to be there for you, in my no doubt very peculiar way. What will your daughter make of our letters! I don't know why I expected it to be longer; your preparation was perfect. I knew how desperately sick you were and how awful you felt. Well, no. Two lies. How could I know what a thing like that feels to someone like you. Your communications were very honest, but also very measured. Now that you have gone on, your last note reveals that you were a master hand at communicating in a tone as secure as any code. Thanks for this very gentle touch. It is a triumph, of a sort, that you were able to be so very delicate, when your illness was being anything but, toward you, yourself.

How could I know anything about it? I still think of you as alive. I still hope actively.

You know, my doggies have broken this trail before you. I have learned better than to try to hold on to them, though I may have longed to. It is no business of mine to detain even the most willing of souls. But, it is also no business of mine to cease to love. I hope dearly indeed that my blessings will follow you all, wherever they may be a help.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums