Thursday, December 27, 2007

You must, must, must run out and see 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.' From Moviefone—the NYT review was way too long—"the remarkable true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), a successful and charismatic editor-in-chief of French Elle, who believes he is living his life to its absolute fullest when a sudden stroke leaves him in a life-altered state. While the physical challenges of Bauby's fate leave him with little hope for the future, he begins to discover how his life's passions, his rich memories and his newfound imagination can help him achieve a life without boundaries."

This movie, by renowned artist Julian Schnabel, is truly the most inspiring film I've seen in years. It has, in fact, inspired me to write. Starting tomorrow. Ten pages a day. No more excuses. If you have not seen this movie, go see it. No matter what you may be going through in your life, watching what Jean-Dominique Bauby overcame will make your obstacles seem surmountable. Christ, it made me feel like BC is as trivial as a cold. Not that I'm taking away from BC survivors in the least. But, it can always, always be worse.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy holidays to all. And now, a peek inside the 3 weeks (to the day) since my Cancer diagnosis. Please enjoy this smorgasbord of quotes from myself, my friends and family members.

D (iagnosis) Day, Dec. 4, 2007
I'm sitting at Tom's kitchen counter, receiving "the call," while someone is removing equipment from his house. I frantically phone mom, everything happening in fast-slow-motion. Come pick me up now I tell her, "And bring the Xanax. I cannot emphasize that enough."

Cut to an hour later, three Xanax having kicked in, making the whole "you have cancer" speech a little more bearable. I think I even said something like "Yeah, yeah, yeah doc, I'm on three Xanax, just spit it out."

Enter Dana, pregnant, hormonal and in shock. I'm reclining on the exam table, mom's crying and the doctor (ex-doctor, that is) is a wreck.

"What the fuck?" Dana questions all of us.

"Hiiiiiiiii. I have CANCER!"

I can still make her laugh and cry at the same time.

On the way home from that visit, in the car with Dana driving and mom in the backseat on the phone to someone:

"Yeah, she's doing amazingly well! Xanax is a wonderful drug."

Upon getting the runaround at Mount Sinai Cancer Center, despite the fact that I'd just received my cute little red "cancer card" that they give you for no apparent reason as it does nothing but get you free parking:

"Well Jesus fucking Christ, we still had to wait two hours. Clearly this card is not platinum!"

Upon hearing from the surgeon that one of my tits will be blue after some test:

"Oh gr-eeaaaaat, I'm not going to have sex for like two years!"

"Don't say that," the very handsome doctor says, "Smurfs have sex!"

Tom's email, after I told him about my bodacious blueboobs:

Subj: It's a Match!!!
My god I have found your future husband!

Upon hearing said doctor tell me that instead of getting implants I could have fat from my ass removed to make new tits (I know, eeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwww):

"What? Why? So I can have cellulite tits? I don't think so!"

On the way to the reconstructive surgeon's office with Dana and her mom Nancy. We're discussing the autism-vaccine relationship in children when Nancy bursts out:

"I think it's all the chicken eggs!"



Waiting in the boob doctor's office, filming all the while, in front of several other patients. The three of us were cracking the fuck up. They finally called my name, and Dana, Nance and I were in hysterics; the other people were questioning our sanity.

"Pardon us," I said, "Humor is my coping mechanism."

"Clearly," Dana said. But the other women waiting laughed.

"Well?" I said to Dana, "How do you think the Jews would have persevered for thousands of years without their humor?"

A little random out of context I suppose, but when Woody Allen's Gallows humor is the main weapon in your arsenal, it's not such a far fetched concept. Ironically, that was my first doctor's appt. when I wasn't on Xanax. I'd forgot it.

Man, you should see the footage we have. CHICKEN EGGS!

FYI, CHICKEN EGGS! is the new MAJOR. If you don't know what major is, well, then you're like way too far gone to be helped, darlings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Smurfs Have Sex Too . . .

I can't quite keep it all together, or document every nanosecond of my crazy life—having dinner with my fam and fam friends, godson and girlfriend's at a chi chi rest one minute and talking biz with hip hop friends on the way home—but let me tell you, there are some funny stories coming out of this whole cancer thing.

I think I've told you all that my bff Dana is videotaping most of our hospital visits documenting the Cancer Queens at their finest—from Neiman's to Mount Sinai. We already have enough material to pitch a show, we are all, collectively a hoot. As anyone who knows Lynn, Dana, Nance and I will attest to. Anywho, Monday I went to the Onky for a gabfest. Mom drove in and Dana was in tow. The camera was on. First I had to go to a radiologist in the same building—the mammoth Cancer Center at Mount Sinai. (Have I mentioned that every fucking time I am THE youngest patient in this cursed building???)

Christ, it's Friday and I can't even remember where I was going with the above. Basically, finally, bottom line—everyone I've consulted with is recommending a double mastectomy. That's right—I'm going to have to lop them off, then get implants. That's what they recommend when someone is (most likely) BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive.

BRCA1 and 2 are the genetic anomolies that make Ashkenazi Jewish women more susceptible to breast cancer. Now listen up ladies: 1 IN 4 ASHKENAZI WOMEN ARE POSITIVE FOR THESE GENES. THIS IS WHY IT'S SOOO IMPT TO HAVE GENETIC TESTING DONE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE THIS MUTATION. IT'S A SIMPLE BLOOD TEST. Compare that stat to 1 in 345 women in the general population.

Tres, tres freaky. So girls, get your genetic testing done, ESP if any member of your family has cancer that's not smoking-induced.

I have more funny cancer stories but I must go for therapy at Bal Harbour right now. Stat.

I am mentally and physically fine. And I want to thank all my friends and family friends SO much for all your support, encouragement and gifts. I think I'd better register before it's too late. Who knew? Cancer seems to equal another bat mitzvah!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Well, somehow we did it. Two performances in one night, shuttling from a private jet hangar to the museum of science, and a whole posse of us having to get from place to place on time. It could've had disaster written all over it, but thankfully it didn't.

Ok, so Tomas, almost got himself arrested at the airport party—it was a birthday fete for a prominent real estate developer—shooting pics of the bday boy. And there were lots of distractions. The party—in a huge hangar, with ice bars, gogo dancers, huge stage, beautiful people, performances by Prince and KC and the Sunshine Band. Toasting the bday boy were George Hamilton, James Caan and Brett Ratner. Anthony Michael Hall was making the rounds with literally 5 or 6 women in tow. Seeing Prince from 5 feet away is quite an experience. And we had three videographers to begin our experimental TV project. Let me tell you, if you think I'm a typhoon of drama in and of myself, you should see us all together.

Anywho, thanks to a great driver, a good team, lots of sweat and anxiety, we managed to make it to the hangar, back to the planetarium, and back to the hangar again without any major glitches. The planetarium show was fantastic; great crowd response and fabu debut. I, the erstwhile project manager/agent/publicist/Jewish mother to these guys, had to keep kicking hordes of people off the stage. Dawn, my friend who introduced me to Tom, was cracking up seeing me doing my thing with these guys, kicking people off stage and shit.

The one guy I had to repeatedly kick off the stage . . .

It occurred to me this a.m.—er, make that this afternoon—that I am good at this whole managing thing precisely because of the one trait that has made me a resentful full-time employee at other, more rigid establishments. I like bossing people around. I like being the leader. I like having control over situations. Hell, I like being able to kick people off the stage and have me listen. I can see why Ari Gold is such an asshole. If you're not tough with everyone, nobody listens. So I finally get to be tough. It's cool.

Check out the planetarium photos from the lovely and talented Tomas Loewy. These couple of me are tres bizarre. I somehow manage to successfully mimic a squirrel in one of them.

At the planet-arium . . .

The cool photos are Tomas's; the bad ones are mine!

At the airport party . . .

The boys, United Content Providers DVDreams and DJ Tom Laroc at work. . .

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just the facts:
Stage 2, high-grade infiltrating breast cancer. Most likely I'm a carrier of that fucked-up gene that many Ashkenazis have. Waiting on DNA analysis. Waiting on MRI. Will have to have lymph node biopsy. OYYYYYYYYYYY. WILL MOST LIKELY HAVE TO HAVE CHEMO-FUCKING-THERAPY. Can you imagine how weird jewelry will look on a baldie?

Xanax has been a Godsend, as have my family, family friends and friends. I do not know how people go through this kind of stuff without a support network. Thanks to all of you who have reached out, written and called.

The upsides are that I get to milk this Big C thing until I kick it's cliched, sick little ass. And obv. I will have a second opinion at Sloan Kettering. Followed by retail therapy at Bergdorf's. Neiman Marcus, Apple, Bal Harbour and Merrick Park have already soothed me immensly. And working with crazy musicians is a fantastic distraction.

And I feel fine. My best friend has been filming everything—from me waking up after the surgery to driving to the oncology center for the diagnosis, wherein my mom, her best friend from PB, Dana and I took over. The footage is really hilarious and we're going to keep it going.

But I'm still out every night, proceeding normally, feeling good. You know, I've always lived by the philosophy of do what you want and love because life is short. Of course now it's more of the same, but I'm going balls out.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cancer, Shmancer

The cherry on the sundae that is my life: My breasts are toxic. That's right folks, I, a 32-year-old perfectly healthy woman, have breast cancer.

A big shout out to the overwhelming support of my friends, family and family friends. We caught it early, it's encapsulated, I'm young, prognosis good, yada, yada, yada. In the words of my doc, "this is not a death sentence." Bottom line is I have to get radiation whether it's spread to the nodes or not. I will find out whether it's metastized or not in the next biopsy.

It's totally fucked up. Maybe I'm still in shock, but I'm proceeding as normal. Working, hanging out with friends, going out and partying. This little thing with a big C ain't gonna take this woman down. Fuck cancer. Cancer seems like a walk in the park frankly compared to what I've overcome throughout my life and esp the past five years. So I'm ready; I've got my dukes up; I've got the best doctors (or rather am in the process of securing them; bring it on you invasive, pervasive murderer of humankind.

Oh, and I seemingly have license to do whatever the fuck I want for as long as this shall last. That's a plus. And when all my fam friends call to see if I need anything, I say, "yes, PRESENTS!" Also, I will be throwing a big cancer party/breast cancer awareness event. I will be registered at Neiman's and no, I'm not kidding.
As if CANCER could change me.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bedtime: 4:30 a.m.
Wake-up time: 8:30 a.m.
Snapples: 4
Items purchased at Neiman's outlet: 7
Xanax: 3
Blunts: 2

Por que?
Lumpectomy tomorrow, 9:30 a.m.

Bring on the drugs, sympathy, catering to and presents.