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I've been playing sax for 45 years. I've never really considered the possiblity that I would not be able to play. Until now. I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma on the left side of my face. It's possible I have it elsewhere as well but that one area is what we're concentrating on right now. It's been there a long time and we're relatively certain it has not mestastized but won't know for sure until after the surgery and all the subsequent tests. I met with the plastic surgeon on Monday and he will be doing the surgery tomorrow afternoon. It's a rather large area and he'll be carving out a pretty good sized chunk of my face. He said I will not be able to do much for a while and SAXOPHONE PLAYING IS OUT OF THE QUESTION until further notice. Hopefully I'll be able to play again in a few weeks but there is a slight possibility of nerve damage in which case it could be much longer and maybe never.

Please understand, I AM NOT TROLLING FOR SYMPATHY. I have every reason to believe I will make a full recovery and live a long healthy life after this ordeal is behind me.

My reason for this post is to encourage all you guys and gals to reconsider what a privilege it is to be able to do what we do. This has put things in a whole new perspective for me. I think back to all the times I neglected my playing because I just didn't feel like practicing or maybe there was something else I wanted to spend my time on. I took my horn for granted as if it would always be there for me. I could always pick up the horn when I felt like making music. Otherwise I could leave it in the case, out of sight out of mind. I regret that now. For the first time in my life I have been told I am strictly forbidden to play the sax. Now I find myself praying the layoff will not be long and that after I heal up it won't effect my embouchure and my ability to play once the doctor releases me. It seems so much more precious when faced with the prospect of not being able to do it anymore.

Thankfully, I also play piano and guitar so at least I still have a musical outlet. But the truth is, neither of those instruments can ever replace my first love.

Bottom line: If you love playing the sax as much as I do, don't take it for granted. Don't assume you can always play tomorrow. Enjoy it while you can today for there might not be a tomorrow.
 

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Best of Luck with the surgery Jeff. Life is fleeting. Live it 100% every day.
 

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Bottom line: If you love playing the sax as much as I do, don't take it for granted. Don't assume you can always play tomorrow. Enjoy it while you can today for there might not be a tomorrow.
I think that can be said for all of the things (and people) in life that we "take for granted". I know that I takes some things for granted that shouldn't be, I think it's just human nature. Good luck with your recovery and here's hoping that you're back on sax soon, it sounds like you have a great attitude going in and no doubt that will serve you well .
 

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So sorry to hear this, Jeff. I'll be praying for a quick recovery!
 

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Jeff,
I hope the surgery is as easy as it can be and no nerve damage happens. Two years ago, I had oral surgery and almost lost 4 front teeth. I couldn't play for a month and it felt like eternity. You are 100 percent right. Don't take playing or eating or anything for granted. Life is pretty cool and saxophone playing is the coolest part of life. You will be in my thoughts as I work on horns and hit my practice session. Feel great soon and beat that bastard cancer.
 

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+++1 for Positiveness! It's been scientifically proven. Thank you for a very good message. Don't take our gifts for granted. Be well, Jeff.
 

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Your o.p. should be the number one post in the "Positive Quote of The Day" thread. Your reaction to adversity is what determines if your life is positive or negative. Congratulations on having a winning attitude. :notworth:

I agree that we take a lot for granted. Most of us never think about how lucky we are to be able to blow our horns without a problem. Thumbs up from me. :thumbrig:
 

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Good luck with the surgery Jeff. On my blog I have written a story about a brain tumor I had. A doctor said the same thing to me............I got a second opinion and was ok to play afterwards. It was rough hearing that from the first doctor though so I understand what you are going through. We are hoping for the best for you. Steve


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Reading this hits pretty close to home.
You can add me to the list of those who will be sending good vibes for a full and speedy recovery after your surgery. :)
 

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Best of luck on your speedy recovery - it is for this exact reason that I have just embarked on my first solo album after being a Sideman and Producer for many years. I woke up one day and thought "what am I waiting for - what if something happens that prevents me from doing this". Your message resonates.
 

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Wow, great post Jeff! Member since 2003 and only 178 posts but this last one is heavy brain food. Here's hoping and praying for a great procedure that removes as little "good" tissue as possible, gets 100% of the tumor, no post-op complications, and recuperation is quick and complete! What a great attitude and inspiration to/for the rest of us.
 

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Enjoy it while you can today for there might not be a tomorrow.
This is so true on so many levels.
Wishing you a speedy recovery Jeff! I admire your positivity!
Your attitude can make all the difference!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
UPDATE: Well, I am truly blessed. The surgery was an ordeal but the surgeon did an amazing job. I have a gash that runs from just under my left eye to just under my jaw bone. I asked him how many stitches but he said he doesn't count. Probably in excess of 50. After only 5 days he removed the stitches yesterday and the incision is healing nicely. No infection and, best of all, the lab report shows that all the cancer is gone. Next step is back to the dermatologist on Nov. 7 for a full scan to make sure I don't have any more of the nasty little buggers anywhere else.

Here is the best news of all. The doctor said I could start back playing sax but only if it doesn't hurt. He said if I feel any pain at all at the incision site I should quit immediately. I just practiced for 30 minutes and felt no pain whatsoever.

WOOHOO! I'M BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN.
 
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