Interview/Photos by Scott Preston
One of the strongest people I know has to be Katie Reider. I am amazed at the strength she has after going through what she has gone through this year. As I sent her questions asking about her illness, she sent me the following which should answer any questions people might have:
Katie : (in her own words)
So many people have been emailing me, showing support, offering their prayers and asking lots of questions. SO, Here’s the detailed scoop, I have been going through some tough health stuff. I have been given a diagnosis between two things, Gorham’s Disease and Myfibroblastic Inflammation Pseudo Tumor. Basically, I have a tumor in my skull which has taken over the bone in the left side of my face. This started in February of ’06. My molar on the upper left side of my jaw became loose. I went to the dentist thinking I needed a root canal or something! It turns out, my tooth was fine, but there was no bone holding it in place.
From there, I was sent to other doctors and was misdiagnosed and treated for Osteomylitis for a year. I underwent 9 months of the antibiotic, Cipro (which is used on people who have been in contact with Anthrax), surgery to remove dead bone, 3 teeth extractions and 6 weeks of Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber treatments. I felt pretty good after all of that, but a couple of months later I got really sick. I started losing weight rapidly. I couldn’t keep food down and was getting weak.
This all happened shortly after I moved to New Jersey. My hopes were to take New York City by storm and sing every I weekend at different venues… but my body decided otherwise.
After being passed on by many doctors because they had no idea what was wrong with me, I ended up with Specialist’s at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. My condition was so rare, I had swarms of Doctors at every appointment. Quicky, I became a household name at the Hospital. More scans and one surgery later they determined I would need to undergo radiation therapy. This came at a difficult time, I was already very sick, weak and my Mom’s health was failing her. I was able to come home to Cincinnati at the end of July to see her. We were both a site… spent most of the time laying on the couch together, drinking smoothies and napping. I had never been so weak… nor had she. That trip was the last time I saw my Mom. She passed 2 weeks later, the third day of my radiation treatments. She was the most amazing woman I knew.
Four months later, I have finished my radiation treatments. I have gained a lot of my weight back and continue to feel better every day. The last MRI I had was 4 weeks ago. It’s results showed the tumor has progressed which is not good news, however, I am feeling better than ever and have weaned myself off the pain patches and oral pain meds. My Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Hu, (whom I love) said that my MRI doesn’t jive with how I am doing physically, so he doesn’t “buy it”. He believes the MRI could be showing “post radiation inflammation”. It is very hard to differentiate between that and the type of inflammation tumor I have. He told me to get through the Holidays and we’ll do another MRI the first week of January.
So, here we are. I am still in New Jersey. I am waiting to see what is going on in my head. I have double vision due to the tumor pushing my left eye out of sync with my right eye and my upper jaw will need to undergo some reconstructive surgery once the tumor is stopped. With all of this said, it has been a rough past 6 months, but I am surrounded with love and support. I have felt that from so many of you…. your cards, your emails, your phone calls, I am truly blessed. I don’t know what will happen musically for me, but I sure do miss doing it. For the time being I have to focus on getting better, and living life to the fullest, I am alive!!
The Interview continues below, with some more happy questions:
Cincy Groove: What do you like to do when you are not playing music?
Katie Reider: Most of my time is spent with my two boys. I stay home with them during the day and take care of them. We play hard all day long. They are the only ones experiencing my music right now! I have written way too many silly children’s songs!
Cincy Groove: Is there somebody you have always wanted to perform with?
Katie Reider: I have had the opportunity to open for Catie Curtis, however, I have not had the opportunity as of yet to sing with her. I was supposed to sing with her in June, but my health took a turn and I had to cancel, what a bummer! She has told me that the door is open to do it another time and I am so grateful for that. Other artists I would love to sing with are Jonatha Brooke and Sarah McLachlan.
Cincy Groove: Do you remember the place you played out at for the very first time? How did it go?
Katie Reider: The Blue Jordan Coffee House. I was a Junior in High School. I sang a song I wrote called, “Vanilla Latte”. I think it went well… at least people told me it sounded good, but who knows! I was really nervous.
Cincy Groove: What do you miss most about Ohio?
Katie Reider: Family and friends.
Cincy Groove: What is the strangest thing a fan has ever said to you?
Katie Reider: Oh gosh, that is a hard one… I have had some pretty crazy things asked of me. People have wanted clothes before… and others have confessed their love for me in front of their significant others (this I found incredibly awkward!). There is always the usual request for signing different body parts.
Cincy Groove: If you could perform anywhere in the world for anybody , where would it be and for who?
Katie Reider: Right now, I would love to be headed to a show at the York Street Cafe in Newport , Kentucky to play with my band. I would be playing for my friends and fans in Cincy. I love that place. I have so many great memories there. the last show we played there was Jan. 11th and it was magical.
Cincy Groove: Who is your favorite musician?
Katie Reider: I don’t have a favorite… but I have a handful of artists I really dig. Here’s the staples…. Jonatha Brooke, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan. BUT there is a new group which has dominated my ipod the last few weeks, The Weepies. I love them, they are great. I bought all their cd’s after listening to one song on itunes, I suggest you check them out!
Katie’s song “Whats Wrong” is currently on the playlist on our Audio page. Be sure to go give it a listen.
To keep up to date on Katie’s condition be sure to visit her website at katiereider.com