How I’m Dealing With Prostate Cancer: A WriterPoet’s Journey

State of Mind

One thing I’m not going to do is dive deep on the seriousness of the situation. The word “cancer” alone conjures darkness. The love and concern of friends and family remind me of the depth, but my journey has been one of mindful awareness of and respect for the brevity of life. We have to live it while we can because there are no do-overs. How we get to a point in our lives is based on the decisions we make. That notion alone makes you pause and think about where you are in the moment.

New Direction

Living in the moment saves me from torment. I spend days focused on work, and doing things around the house to make it more comfortable and functional during my recovery. I have a list of supplies, a list of books, a list of movies. The best thing is that I will have uninterrupted writing time, and during my recovery I plan to write a lot of poetry. Poetry is a hidden talent that I’ve kept under wraps for years. I had a bad experience in my early days of doing spoken word. I was untrained, but I always loved the way I could play with words to describe my life observations.

I think it might have been the Leimert Park crowd I was performing in front of. The set had a blues format, where every other poem was a about the suffering and torment of our people. The life of a Black middle class male who grew up in an integrated school system didn’t have much to contribute to the vibe, and my time was often cut short by the host. I was considered a square, a Black nerd, a Blerd if you will. You know how Chuck D said “every brotha ain’t a brotha”? I had been accused of that several times because of my upbringing. I could’ve tried another poetry spot, but my confidence was already broken.

Shortly after my fall from grace in spoken word, I was asked to write some reviews for a new hip-hop magazine called No Sellout, and lo and behold, journalism became my new niche. At the same time, the LA riots, the largest civil uprising on American soil, was soon to tear down the foundation of my upbringing. The riots was an instrument playing a resonate tune to the soul of the writer in me.

In all my artistic expressions, from my acting and singing in high school and college musicals, to the words and photography I produced in the Golden Age of Hip Hop, to the film and video production and NFTs that I’ve created in recent years, I am oblivious to the way these expressions make people feel. I realize that when I express in the moment, without pretense, I can express my deepest feelings.

The sheer joy of being in my poetry space is a selfish joy that I’ve kept to myself to heal from the trauma that came along with the loss of the love and spontaneity I had before LA burned down nearly 30 years ago. That’s how long I’ve been moving in spurts to get past the past, falling and rising, forgetting and remembering, until I remember that all that I am is all that I was. I’m a product of my hardships. I got the blues.

End Thoughts

As I pass through this healing journey of recovery from robotically assisted radical prostatectomy, I will strive to be mindfully aware of where I grow from there. And while there are no do-overs once this life ends, there’s a chance to do-over parts of life with a changed outlook. I want to know if the poetic gifts that got me through emotional and mental healing, I want to start sharing my joy again, finally.

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. Good Evening Loupy! What An Extraordinary Story. My Father Was Diagnosed With Brain Tumor And It Was Tough To See Him Go. Thank You For Making This World A Better Place By Sharing Your Journey. My Name Is Leona Ocean, I Am A Music Artist From Montreal And I Write Music As A Therapy. I Launched My Debut “Be In The Now” On All Social Media Platforms And Gained Amazing Results And Knowledge! Check My Music Out? Have An Amazing Evening!
    -Leona Ocean

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: