The Alarm Clock

When I was little, there was no kind, blissful way to wake.

Instead, there was an alarm clock.  The kind that you would wind, set the time of awakening… and at the appointed time, it would ring. RING.

Eventually the alarm clock gave way to the radio clock. That device caused me to sleep in, and risk a late entrance to chapel, where Mr. Hiller, ever-present, would shoot me a dour look.

Eventually, the radio clock was replaced by smart phones. Now, I get a purr of a vibration, or soft Ein Klein Nacht Musik.  Ah, technology.

Ah, if only life were so simple.

I had tea with a friend last week. Her brow furrowed; she exclaimed to me that I had not “been Anne for a very long time.”

She was right. If only she knew what I have been keeping to myself.

I’ve had a wake up call. Not the dulcet tones of Mozart, nor the simple vibration beneath my aching shoulder. A loud ring. A cacophony… and one that has ruled my life for the past 4 months.

During pre-production for ITF, my lymph nodes began to ache. It was not a sharp pain, but a deep throbbing one. One that whispered something is wrong, something is wrong.

This during the most challenging pre-prod, in both career and emotion, in my life.

Ever the pioneer woman (I hail from the Plain states), I persevered. I did not let it stop me… and yet at night, I would hear that whisper. Over and over. The ensuing night sweats, the light-headedness did nothing to help over-talk those moments. And so, I made an appointment with my doctor for the 5th of September.

On the 31st of August, my husband lost his job. Benefits, null. Unless we could pay close to 1k a month for Cobra, which was an impossibility.

I wandered, as if in a fog, through September. There was a discernible lump in my right breast. I didn’t know what to do… and I went primal. Have you ever had a dog or a cat who thinks it is up? They bury themselves. I did, too. I defended my cave; I had to. It was all I had.

Finally, we were able to make an appointment for me at a low-cost clinic. The mass was confirmed; tests were ordered up. It would be another four weeks.

Tuesday, I went in for tests. Anyone who has had a mammogram will nod. Gents, imagine your testicles being fondled by a stranger, placed in between two glass plates which compress them into the thickness of a Portobello mushroom. Yes, it’s that fun.

I went through mammo, then ultrasound. After the latter, the technician felt that the doctor needed to come in again and poke and prod around. She was very efficient, a German woman. No nonsense. She said she would let me know soon.

All good. I dress. I leave… and within minutes after a meal, I begin to have the most horrific chest pains in my life. A deep plunging spike near my left breast. Pain. It subsides. It comes back, a little stronger. It subsides. It returns, like fucking Voldemort… the ER beckons, and I find myself thrown down onto a gurney, strapped, things plugged on top of and in me, people calling out and yelling… I’m in shock… they run an EKG, more blood drawn, chest X-rays…

Hours later, the doctor appears. He’s, well… lovely. He feels that my EKG looks good. I have elevated C-reactives, but nothing to be too concerned about. Am I under stress? I look at D… and begin to cry. I tell him, well, my husband lost his job. I’m finishing post on a project and have to complete another if it kills me. Oh, yes. There is this breast cancer thing…

…he looks sad. And sweet. And tells me not to worry. And tells me that everything will be ok. Can he call on the results from the tests? I tell him where they were taken. No, he can’t. He sighs… and wonders why people just can’t have universal health care. He decides to look at my blood results again, and will have an answer soon.

And soon, a nurse comes in. “He must like you,” she says. “You get the good stuff.” She administers a nice shot and hands over a prescription. And yes, within minutes, nothing seems that big. I can deal with post for ITF. TLAU will happen. My clients will pay me soon, even though nothing has come. Everything is hunky-dory and filled with rainbows and unicorns. And Gollum. Home again, and comfort food for dinner and a long night’s sleep.

More tests. A follow-up next week. A call – cancer seems to not be the villain, though a follow-up is wanted, but that’s kind of d’oh moment.

My alarm clock has gone off. I will only work on what I love. I have no time to waste on other things.

I wish you to you the same. Work on what you love.

Now, go write.

HRH, Princess Scribe

About princessscribe

Screenwriter. Creator of things. I love tacos. "Midlife on Fire" Volumes 1 & 2 now available at
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4 Responses to The Alarm Clock

  1. Melody Lopez says:

    sometimes I never fall asleep just so I won’t miss the wake up call
    and yet, I do only work on the things I love and juggle too much…and a lot of things are almost done…but I’m happy… isn’t that all that matters?
    Hope the same for you…


  2. DonB says:

    Hello Princess,
    I will take your advice, I am one of those who have…well I don’t know if it is a curse or blessing, hundreds of ideas running through my mind. One idea always leads to another.


  3. Ramzy Sweis says:

    I have a condition that affects 1 in 10: tinnitus. My cranial sacral therapist says express yourself. I’ve been a comedian ever since. See for yourself: 560k hits! #28 nominated by Funnyordie.


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