Cocooning

It has been three months since my diagnosis. I met the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. My insurance was tripping because I got three second opinions until I found someone who put me at ease and is proficient at his craft. Yo, I gotta be comfortable with the person cutting on me!

Having waited this long, the surgeon blew me away when he said I’d likely have to wait another three months before he’d have an open slot in his schedule. He told me that prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer, so another three months wouldn’t hurt, plus he’d fit me in if a cancellation came up. In the meantime, he prescribed a medicine that will aid in slowing the growth of the cancer cells. I also have a friend who is hooking me up with some Rick Simpson oil, which is a cannabis based remedy for cancer. It alledgely kills cancer cells! I won’t replace my surgical plans with RSO, but I’m cool with trying a natural remedy that has a good reputation among it’s users.

A friend of mine noticed that I tend to draw inward whenever I’m going through a crisis. Few people know me that well, but since the diagnosis, they are amazed at the bravery I exude through these times. Trust me, there are moments when I read information about post-op recovery and procedures and timelines, and my mood gets dim. The temporary discomfort, inconvenience and possible lingering side effects are unavoidable realities that I have to take into consideration. I’m so glad that I have talked to men who have gone through the procedure, and in each case they said they were fine. The surgeon put me up on his stats for past post-surgical performance on his patients and my anxiety levels went down, down, down, so I can’t help but think of a positive outcome for myself!

Thank God for my sons, too. The best time of my life is watching them have the best time of their lives. Take Brian. He’s my quiet genius. Coming up, I coached him in video games while building his confidence at the same time. “Always be aware of your surroundings,” I’d tell him in first person shooters. “Keep dying, keep trying. Can’t be no crybaby over no video games. It’s just a game. It’s supposed to be fun!” Dying over and over again isn’t a pleasant experience, insightfulIy reasoned, but I get vicariously absorbed into his world, being a product of the video game generation. Evan is the loud genius playing with a Tesla coil, finding science experiments online to do in the kitchen, or eagerly drawing maps of the Metro routes using colored pencils to denote each line, then using his announcer voice to call out all the stops on the lines after finishing his masterpiece. I did similar things as a kid, but I’d get in trouble for mixing vinegar and baking soda to make a volcano. It’s the ultimate guy fest every weekend.

The mad professor at play.

I’ve been blessed to be able to see different parts of the world in the past couple of years, and my appetite for more travel has been whetted, but right now my solace is in the words that I write and time with my sons. The familiarity of family is my buoy in this sea of uncertainty. Even in moments of crisis, I thank God for being in a position to support and love my boys to the fullest, so I’ve been pretty low profile since August. And though I’ve been silent, it’s because I’ve been running deep. Things are happening while I’m grappling with this plight, but I’m resurfacing soon and breaking out of this cocoon.

By Loupy D

Lawrence Evan Dotson was born in Los Angeles, California. He decided early in life that he wanted to tell stories. He was a character who could entertain his two older sisters by staging his own version of a church radio broadcast that they would listen to on Sunday nights. His desire to perform followed him through grade school, and in his senior year of high school, a UCLA professor scouted and urged Lawrence to major in theater. Lawrence felt convicted to follow in the footsteps of his father, so instead of declaring Theater Arts as a freshman, he went in undeclared to sit out for a spot in the highly competitive Engineering Department. It only took one calculus class to convince Lawrence that Theater Arts was his calling and that he was going to achieve his goal of being recognized for his talents. While attending UCLA, he combined his interests in art and music and was one of the founders of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival. He was on the Student Committee for the Arts, which put on the Jazz at the Wadsworth Series in conjunction with KKGO FM. Lawrence became more aware of social justice issues affecting the African American community on campus and became active in organizations that promoted positive change. He collaborated with students from other majors and formed the African Theater Collective, which promoted and produced plays from the African Diaspora. That action inspired a performance protest demanding the hiring of more black professors in the Theater Department, and tenure for longtime Professor, Dr. Beverly J. Robinson. The performance was based upon the subject matter that Dr. Robinson taught: the procession of the Black Theater experience in America as depicted through the development of the African slave from the plantations, to the pulpit, to the stage. Blessed with a wealth of knowledge and a rich experience from the University, Lawrence graduated and landed a job as an actor with University Express, an outreach program managed by a former student of Dr. Robinson. The troupe performed plays at Middle and High Schools that stressed the importance of continuing education. The job allowed him enough time to go on auditions, but after a year Lawrence burnt out on the acting treadmill. He met an editor for an underground Hip Hop magazine called No Sellout in 1991. Lawrence had his first article published in the second issue, an interview with L.A. DJ Michael Mixxin Moor. Lawrence began writing under “Loupy D”, coined from a childhood nickname. He wrote articles, reviews and commentary, and conducted interviews with some of Hip Hop’s top entertainers like The Notorious BIG, Wu Tang Clan, Erykah Badu and many others until 2003. In 2015, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing, after submitting a draft of a memoir based on his experiences growing up in post-Civil Rights Era Los Angeles. He's published an academic article, “Persona in Progression: A Look At Creative Nonfiction Literature In Civil Rights and Rap,” in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. He also served a brief stint as the music editor for the online writing journal Drunk Monkeys. In between writing stints, Lawrence has and continues to be an avid amateur photographer and independent film professional. He will be releasing books and videos of his work over time, just as soon as he figures out how to balance work life with the life of single parenting two sons.

2 comments

  1. My man. You know my prayers are with you, your recovery and of course, your boys. I’ll be checking in on ya 👊🏾🙏🏾

    Like

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