Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From Bergdorf's to Beach

The happy part is hard, but the healthy is the most important, obv. Last year my resolution was simply "to kick ass," which I think I did. Prob first resolution I've kept. This year, it's Publish My Book. So, I'll have to stick to that one too.

Last year I rang in the new year at a cool party house right on the bay, in a chaise lounge, sipping Champagne and watching the fireworks. This year I'll, uh, be with the whole crew at a hippie fest literally on the seediest (public) beach here. You guys know my love for public beaches, so the fact that I'm doing this on NYE is a testament to my fabulous friends. Drum circles. BYOB. Blankets and flip flops. And me. Ha! My main dilemma is, natch, what shoes??? No flip flops for me. And go out at nights in flats? Why I never! I'm 5'4. Luckily I have a pair of cute, Tod's platform sandals that won't sink in the sand. And I've got jeans. Which will most likely be accented with a vintage Leiber belt. You can take the girl out of Bergdorf's, but you certainly can't take the Bergdorf's out of this girl. And I'm baking my special brownies upon request, for $5 each. And of course, the most important part is that last year I had cancer and am now cancer free. Where's my present? (Hopefully, it'll be my condo in foreclosure, selling for half what it's worth.)

Happy and healthy New Year's to all of you. Your readership, support, and encouragement means a whole hell of a lot to me, so I thank you and wish you a prosperous 2009. May all our dreams come true, no matter what they are. As long as they're not evil, that is. I know I have quite a few sickie haters out there. So they can suck it and have a shitty new year, while we try to make the world a better place. Or something like that.

PS, Please pick up the new issue of Heeb, my story is a 4-page spread with some very cute illustrations.

Happy, healthy and prosperous new year's to all you bitches. And to my fellow cancer warriors, keep on kicking ass for as long and as hard as you can.

Healthy, healthy, healthy ladies, you're all in my thoughts.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mom and Barbara, she of the baking and saging fame. (In that post, it was right before my lymphs were removed and I was still sporting the alien drains, but I managed to prioritize nonetheless. The saging worked—my lymphs were clean:)

Kobi, the slightly confused ring-bearer.

Poor Tessie Lou, forced to wear her doggie diaper while in heat. If anyone has a stud-worthy little nugget, Tessie is ready for some action!

The happy couple, flanked by their family and friends. Blake, btw, is Dana's younger brother. Seven years younger than us, I watched him go from diapers to pre-school to high school to stay with us in L.A., which involved his bleached hair, the LAPD and stage-dancing with someone named—I kid you not—Dorito.

Kobi saying: "Why can't daddy change my diaper while mommy is nursing Cunty?"

I had to have a photo of him trying to say "cheeeeeeeeeese" while crying.

Cunty with grandpa, the cashmere blankie that my mom knit for her and her daddy's AmEx. Hmm, you'd think she were mine. Maybe an Eber will finally shop at Neiman's with me! Watch out Harv!

Dana and me at the rehearsal dinner.

Dana, me and Barb.
So, this is how I've recently been sporting the hair. I don't mind it, though I've yet to go out in SoBe with it. At night that is. During the day, this is me.

Me and the little nugget—see, I don't always make him cry.

Dana and me after the rehearsal dinner.

And just a note about my fashionaholism; I subconsciously decided to wear the same little Prada bag this weekend for the first time since Dana's wedding four years ago. Sick, I tell you!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Seriously, Why Do I Have to Be from HERE????

Merry Christmas to all my Goyim readers. Happy, happy, joy, joy, red lights and mistletoe and all that BS.

Let's take stock of what's going on the Green household, shall we?

Brother was gifted an $1,800, last-minute plane ticket to India where he will spend the holidays with one of my best friends, who is staying with Brother's girlfriend's family. Very cruel, right? I think so, considering the only thing I ever want to do is get the hell out of this country.

Stephanie was gifted with, well, nothing. Not a card, a check, a tzchotcke, a gift certificate. Nada. And I assure you there's no surprise present lying around. I am the Samantha Baker of Hanukkah this year, so it's highly fitting that I did the Sixteen Candles reality tour in Chicago a couple weeks ago.

My presents? Dad refusing to let me sleep past 10 a.m. and repeatedly banging on my door when I try; mom badgering me constantly, 'so what else is new?' (since the last time I spoke with you five minutes ago? Nothing!) A house full of barking dogs and a neighbor's yard with chirping bullfrogs outside my upstairs window. Not to mention the fact that I cannot get wireless on my Mac, so the work I was planning on doing--not happening. And a city, I am not exaggerating in the least, where the ONLY thing open on Christmas is the movies. Seriously, not even the gas stations are open in Jesusville. The only reason I'm here is for Dana's family's wedding. Otherwise, I'd be at the pool in South Beach. I hate this 'city' so much I can't deal. Too bad there aren't anymore homophobic signs for me to vandalize.

Bitter? Yes. See, us Jews are not required to have the 'spirit of the season,' thank fucking god. So today I will go to the gym--the JCC rather, the only non-theatrical place open in Jesus-fucking-ville--and probably go see Marley and Me.

And my Hanukkah gift to myself is a trip to the Left Coast for the anniversary of my mastectomy around Valentine's day. (Cause heaven's forbid I should be gifted with a plane ticket anywhere even in the continental U.S., forget about another continent.) I will finally be reunited, in person, with Dr. Laura, get to see Lay and Jill and Kim and Hank and all my long-lost LA friends, and perhaps take a jaunt down to La Jolla to stay with some family.

Oh, and my apartment will not be sold on Jan. 5, rather that is when the judge will make his summary judgement on how long I have to vacate. Probably 60 to 90 days, longer if we can negotiate a rental with the bank/new owner. Well, guess what bitches? I ain't moving. I don't care if I have to squat. I love my apartment. Wouldn't that make a fine human interest story?

"Well-dressed, Deranged, Wigged Woman Refuses to Leave Bentley Bay Apartment."

I'd love to do an apartment swap with a like-minded gal in the City for the month of March perhaps. So if you know anyone into that, hook me up. You've probably seen photos of my apartment, but being on the water in South Beach in March isn't too shabby. Me? I'd prefer to be wearing my shearling in New York and sitting in Bergdorf's shoe department people watching. Bah humbug.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Big Pimpin'

You all are familiar with the lovely and talented author Laura Zigman, the de facto founder of Chick Lit with her national bestseller Animal Husbandry. (Which was made into a film starring no less than People's Sexiest Man Alive, Hugh Jackman.)

Laura is also a Breast Cancer chick, who was diagnosed about a year (I think?) before me. She's been an amazing cheerleader for me and my writing, going so far as to agree to read my manuscript before I send it out, not to mention helping me in the agenting process. What a woman! And a seriously funny and sharp writer. Someone who can (b)rant about the Container Store and have you laughing out loud, well that's pretty rare.

She has a new book out, along with matchmaker extraordinaire Patti Novak:

Get Over Yourself!: How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love

So for your singleton friends, I think this is a perfect gift, assuming they have a sense of humor and self-awareness about being single. Which hopefully they do, otherwise being single would be a real bitch.

In the self-pimpin' department, please go out and buy the "Wasted" issue of Heeb magazine, which you can find at B&N and other large book chains. Seeing a story in the context of a magazine can't compare to reading online. And it's so important to support cutting edge mags. Not to mention the fact that Heeb is fucking hilarious, with regular sections like "Urban Kvetch" "Schwartz of the Month," etc. If you're a Jew or token MOT, I guarantee you'll get hooked on the mag.

Anywho, I'm off to catch some rays before Dana's brother's (Blake) wedding this weekend. I'll get to see Dana and the little nuggets for the second time in one month, so that's a bonus. I don't know if the whole crew will have the time—or place—to bake this trip, but rest assured, we'll try.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Woot woot! The new issue of Heeb Magazine is out and my feature is online! This should negate my previous post.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression, wherein: "people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) experience a much more serious reaction when summer shifts to fall and on to winter. With seasonal affective disorder, fall's short days and long nights may trigger feelings of depression, lethargy, fatigue and other problems. Don't brush this off as simply a case of the "winter blues" that you have to tough out on your own. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression, and it can severely impair your daily life."

As most of you know, I am a diagnosed clinical depressive. Have been most of my life. Currently I'm on Lamictal and Pristiq. But I've never been terribly affected by SAD—the acronym is just too obvious to deride—save for lately. The convergence of the end of Cancer treatment—which, psychologically evokes "chemo and surgical withdrawl," seriously—and the beginning of a New Year (not to mention raging PMS) has left me feeling empty. (I've even sickly fantasized about taking early measures regarding the removal of my ovaries, having decided that there's no way in fucking hell that I'm going to go through IVF in order to freeze my eggs when I don't even crave children.)

You know that after you come out of the other end of a potentially life-ending illness, that your life should be changed in some profound way. More time with the kids or family or travel or charity, any number of ways. And of course you all know I have been changed profoundly, but now the question is what do I do about it? (Aside from the actual physical writing part, I am mentally stymied by what has to follow: finding an excellent agent who will 'get' me.) Were it not for the Herceptin that I have to receive until spring or summer, I think I'd already have sold my possessions and set off on a sabbatical to a far off place I've never been. And I'm hoping that after I finish Herceptin, I will do that. Perhaps go to a country with little funding for women's cancers and try to educate people or whatever. Something Cancer related. And the apartment situation isn't helping either.

But anyway, happy holidays! Haven't I added some Xmas cheer to your week? At the very least, for those others feeling blue around this time of year, take heart in the fact that there's a whole shit ton of "SAD"dies out there.

Are you SAD?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's All Our Disease

I was going to write about how my week only got worse, and then I checked Ellie's blog. Ellie has been a faithful reader—and Internet friend—for the past year. She was diagnosed with a rare form of BC, and has really been through the ringer, to say the least. Yet she's always upbeat, complains little and just radiates goodness through her blog.

I was stopped dead in my tracks when I checked her blog today and read her announcement that she has brain cancer. There are many subcultures associated with cancer. And several of my Cancer friends I've met online and via email. But these are still friendships nonetheless, even if we never meet face-to-face. So when I read Ellie's words, I cried not for myself—as I have been doing most of the week—but for her and her shitty, doo-doo brown luck. All I ask is that you all keep Ellie in your thoughts and/or prayers, no matter whom or what you worship.

And I'm serious when I say that I'll come visit you Ellie, where ever in the Pacific Northwest you are.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This could be one of the worst days in a while, from top to bottom. Wake up after a restless night without having gotten my requisite 8 hours. Foul mood to start with, likely due to PMS. I look down to count the new hairs on my tatas, and oh, what's that? A whitehead on my right nipple, where the penis is still erect. Ahh yes, not only pubes on the nipples, but ingrown pubes that produce whiteheads. Couldn't wait for Dr. Rosenbaum to see this twist.

Mom and dad, neither of whom are speaking to me anymore, are apparently in New York for dad's annual prostate cancer check up at Sinai. (You guys knew dad got prostate cancer under 55? Yes, he's to blame for my faulty gene. But he didn't have to have his dick cut off as I did my tits. Nor did he have to go through chemo. Or nearly ten surgeries. Not that I'm bitter or anything.)

My primary reason for seeing Dr. R today was a Botox touch up, because after last time, I needed him to do a little correction. They were out of Botox, natch. Again. Apparently, people stock up before the holidays. Pretty fucking sad, huh? (I'm not in any rush for the holidays—I'm a Jew, our only real holiday is New Year's Eve—I was just due.)

The good doctor went so far as to call some other doctors in the building. Everyone was out. Fuck me. Leaving the doctor's office, I got a text from Sprinkles—if you're going to insult me Michael, then Sprinkles it is—calling me an idiot. So my parents and brother are sitting at Trattoria Del Arte, next to Jennifer Aniston no less, presumably discussing what a terrible daughter/person I am. Apparently, it's possible for your parents to shut you out and kick you while your down, with cancer. That's comforting, isn't it?

When I get like this, it's all I can do not to tear up in public. So I tend to let myself tear up in the car and do some deep breathing before I go into Epicure to pick up my pathetic dinner of marinated vegetables.

I arrived home, having already decided to forgo the Mondrian—opened on my street—tonight in light of my mood, and checked the mail. I've been served before. I know what the envelope looks like. Seems that my landlord—who, ironically sent out a mass email today that he was now working in Phuket, Thailand, the fucking wacko—is finally being foreclosed upon. My apartment is slated to be sold on the courthouse steps January 5th. Happy fucking New Year!

On the plus side, I have a new best friend who will aid in my mental recovery.

My life totally and completely sucks right now. Seriously, seriously sucks ass.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

After the UPS debacle, Ben informed me—and calculated online—that FedEx could do the whole overnight shebang for $56 including insurance. But I got lazy today, haven't unpacked the $8 UPS box yet and will postpone the dyeing till after the holidays.

I've been using a flatiron on the Jewfro with excellent results. A choppy, Sally Hershberger-esque 'do that is so cute that I'm tempted actually to go out at night sans wig. Scary Walgreen's tranny told me the straightened, choppy 'do looked "fierce, like a rock star," and trannies—especially crackhead ones—speak the truth. I tipped him for his kindness and as I was walking away heard him say, "Girl, you so fierce! This is enough to buy a Whopper." You must picture these words coming from a six-foot-tall, reed-thin, black he/she with a weave longer than my wig. (How does he afford to maintain that weave, I wonder?)

But I digress. I spent the early part of today writing for Juli B. in bed. Don't know why I don't do that more often. My bed rocks.

Now—listen up ladies—I finally am confronted with a BC issue that doesn't merely involve hairy nipples or chemo. Rather, I must figure out how to tell a blind date about this little thing called Cancer. A doctor, no less. A plastic surgeon actually. I should've just told Laura to tell him about the whole thing to weed him out. . .

Ooooh, Wife Swap where the husbands switch. Forgive me, I must watch. More on this issue later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gee, that went well. So well that I'm sitting next to an $8 UPS box containing my $4,300 Ralf wig.

I confirmed with mom that I should insure the Ralf for the full amount. In my mind, I remembered UPS charging $1 for every $100. So I was thinking about $40 to insure the Ralf, and then what ever the cost of overnight shipping was.

"I need to insure this [box] for $4,000 and I need it over-nighted to New York," I said to the UPS fellow.

"What's in the box?"

"A wig."


"A wig."

Betcha he'd never heard that before. He sold me on a second box to encase my box, which I'd wrapped with paper medical tape. (I knew they'd tape it up additionally.) So he wraps the second box up, and I fill out the extensive shipping label. And then he tells me it will be $200-something to overnight it. What. The. Fuck. Insurance, it turns out, is $2 for every $100—so $80. And then like $120 to overnight a package? Seriously, WTF? I know I've overnighted packages before and no way I paid more than $50, let alone hundreds. So I'm standing there like an idiot trying to crunch these ridiculous numbers and time constraints. Problem is that I need the wig back for the Friends of the New World Symphony gala Saturday night. Ralf was going to dye it a little darker to match my natural color, which he would see from the sample I enclosed. That would take a few hours, then he'd turn it around and have it back to me by Thursday. Okay, so what about second-day? Still more than $150. 3rd day—too late to get it back it time.

"Uh, I'm afraid I can't ship it today at all," I said, while thinking 'no fucking way am I shipping it faster than standard ground if insurance is $80.'

"But you went ahead and wrapped it and everything. . ."

"That's okay you can just bring it back and keep the shipping label."

I thanked him and turned to leave.

"Ma'am gotta charge you for the box."

I got back in the car, marveling at this rather unique situation. My cell phone rang and it was Laura.

"What're you doing?"

"I'm sitting here in my car looking at an $8-UPS box containing my wig."

I explain the story. "So essentially I left my apartment and wasted gas just to buy an $8 box from the UPS store."

And I'm sure you're thinking, 'Oh, well, at least it's all ready ready to ship.' Except that I need to wear it this week and I will most certainly not be shipping via UPS when I do send the Ralf up to Ralf. Oy vey.

Anywho, I don't know about you, but I'm eagerly anticipating the new Ryan Seacrest sure-to-be trainwreck TV debut of Momma's Boys tonight. And I'm putting my $4,308 package in a corner of my room so it doesn't piss me off anymore.

What am I doing? Getting ready to go to UPS to overnight the wig to Ralf, so he can color it and ship it back to me by Friday. This is probably the closest I'll get to having a couturier at my call, and I quite like the fantabulous customer service. It's going to be a hefty chunk 'o change for the postal insurance.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Hairy

The good news: I've lost six more pounds in three weeks. (But my skinny jeans still don't fit since all the weight is in the belly and fucking hips.)

The bad news: My hair has to be FIVE inches before straightening. That means May at the earliest. I'm tearing up a little. Surely anyone who's lost hair can relate. I had such great hair thanks to Momotaro.

I'm in the hospital, as usual, receiving my Herceptin. Fucking A. Why did I decide to start my weeks at the hospital?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You know that your Jewish mother is pissed at you when she hasn't called in more than a week. Huh. You'd think that when your daughter is in recovery from Cancer, whatever I did—which is undoubtedly something to do with money—she'd be curious about her daughter's health. Surprisingly, during this ordeal, dad—from whom I inherit my horrid lack of patience and ability to say whatever is on my mind—has been the more tolerant and patient of the duo. I can only attribute this to the fact that he too had cancer recently. Whereas mom, perfect mom, has never been sick for a day in her life. Nor has she ever been single, lived alone, been alone or struggled in any way when it comes to her appearance.

I am however excited to report that a box of the "Wasted" issue of Heeb magazine is being shipped to me soon. I have a fairly large feature story about "Benzos and Breast Cancer." Finally, a national magazine. I seriously hope a lit agent or someone worthy of my time reads it, loves it and wants to pay me to do something. Sigh. I need to stop drinking I think. It really gets me down the next day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm not feeling so hot, after a typical pre-BC style Stephanie night out. Headache, sore throat, runny nose. I have the Daschle press conf on now, and I can't help but mentally compare Obama's cabinet to the Olympic basketball dream team that included MJ, Magic etc. I'm counting on my acupuncturist to help knock this cold out of my system.

Anyway. The girls. They're always instigating trouble. E.G., after my workout, I had plenty of time to get ready for the 7 p.m. Friends of the New World Symphony exec committee meeting. Now that I have jeans again, I'm finally able to go into Wardrobe and liberate my frilly tops that have hibernated for a year. But trying on said tops is not that much fun. It goes a little something like this.

Put said top on, try to zip it up in back over the girls. Realize it's marginally uncomfortably tight.

"God damnit you fucking dick-nipple motherfuckers! Why, why, why? Fit, for fuck's sake, fit! I'm so fucking sick of this shit!"

See, I plan wardrobe ahead of time, so when the shirt don't fit, you must acquit. Sorry, couldn't help it. But when the shirt doesn't fit, then the bag, shoes and jewelry must be changed as well.

Top #1 was a no go. It fit, but was just a little too snug. Threw it back in the closet along with its accompanying accessories. I select another Nanette top that I remembered had always been a little loose on top.

"Please, Nanette, please make it work!"

(I do talk to my clothes I'm afraid. Lots of sicko fashionistas do. I won't name names, but you know who you are. Sometimes I even pet them—shoes, bags, etc. Like plants, they need love to flourish.)

Nanette made it work. The girls were quite prominent, insisting on seeing the daylight. Okay, wardrobe done. Makeup—well, leave it to me to get Shu Uemura liquid liner all in my left eye. My eyeball was leaking black. I fucking hate that liquid liner and need some new YSL. Natch, that set me back several minutes. So now I'm shvitzing like a motherfucker and I haven't even put the wig on yet.

I finally make it out of the house and hop in a cab to the Lincoln Theatre, where I thought the meeting was. Yeah. I get to the theatre and look into the room where we usually meet and see a bunch of people doing yoga. Hmm.

I call Lisa, who tells me the meeting is at the Catalina hotel.

"Fuck, I can't believe I did this."

"I can." Lisa says.

Now it's 90% humidity out and my Jewfro is frizzing beneath the wig. Lisa has no idea what cross street the hotel is on and in case you guys don't know, I have the worst sense of direction ever. Plus, I have no cash and must totter in 3-inch heels on the Lincoln Road mall to find an ATM. But then I call Stace and she tells me it's close enough to walk. So I do ten more minutes of tottering and I arrive at the hotel hot as a motherfucker.

"I need a drink," I say by way of greeting Rene and Stace.

I chug a glass of Chard and begin fanning myself with the menu. I have yet to look in a mirror for visual confirmation of what kind of hot mess is going on in my hair. I go to the ladies' to check the do. My (new fave) Jennifer Oullette headband (the kind that Blair on Gossip Girl is always donning) is askew, the wig hair is curling up (ew) and the Jewfro beneath the wig is also frizzing and poking out. Ugh. I rearrange, but know it's futile. I really must see Ralf or get a hair net or something. Gaaaaaaaahhhhh. I want my Jap straightening already.

After we all schmooze and booze, we sit down for the meeting and we have to intro ourselves, as we seem to do every meeting. (Is everyone taking Vercet and getting retrograde amnesia here or what?)

"I'm Stephanie. A writer, blogger and unwitting breast cancer research advocate. A lot of you probably know me from my blog and if you don't, then read it. I'm a recent BC 'survivor' so you'll see my girls a lot and you'll have to excuse me. I can't help it—they pop out of everything. I'm a cyborg from the waist up and I have no control over these things."

"They just want to say 'hi,'" someone says.

I don't think most people intro themselves at board meetings like that. But I'm amongst friends. And I feel compelled to tell people that my cleavage is not a la South Beach, but a la reconstructive surgery.

A couple of glasses of wine at the meeting, another at Nobu, little food and now feeling the pain, my friends. So I think I'll take it easy and try to work on the book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Return of the Brat Pack

John Hughes is one of Hollywood's most prolific and talented figures. From The Breakfast Club to Sixteen Candles to Ferris Bueller to Home Alone, he is singlehandedly responsible for the success of the Brat Pack.

He grew up in Northbrook, IL, which is near where Dana lives in Lake Bluff. These movies were SUCH a huge part of our childhood, so I suggested a star tour. I IMDB'd my way through Hughes land.

Here are the results.

The awesome "garage" where Cameron kamikazied his dad's Ferrari.
Cameron's house to the right and the garage to the left. Pardon that hot mess in the middle.

The Sixteen Candles church where Sam's doped-up sister got married (see below). And where dreamy Jake Ryan parked his Porsche in front of when he finally won Sam's heart.

Jake Ryan's house where Long Duck Dong got wasted, the trees got toilet-papered and the garage from where Anthony Michael Hall's character took Jake's dad's fancy car.

Home Alone!

The part of the house where Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern's characters had some of their funniest scenes.

And get this—they have a Macaulay cutout after all these years!!!

I love driving around and looking at houses. Especially famous ones. Quite fun, but quite cold, as you can see.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jesus Christ (sorry Lynn, sometimes I just can't help it!). Mom just nearly gave me a heart attack when I got this email:

Took Wally to dr today; his cough was worse than usual. They took x-rays and everything looks good; little swelling around his trachea so she gave him an antibiotic and cough medicine! Heart looked good and no masses anywhere. She said he has a narrow trachea so that is why he coughs a lot, but he is fine, and he was so good!

Wally is with the grandparents cause of my traveling. Something you should know about mom: She doesn't take our dogs to the vet unless it's time to put them to sleep. (Actually, dad does it then.) She's convinced that dogs don't need check-ups, and despite this behavior, Betsy and Lou Lou lived till 17 and 16 respectively.

Anyway, fuck, now that I can breathe again. My poor little baby, I miss him so much but won't get to collect him until I'm home for the holidays. When the fuck is Hanukkah this year anyway? All I want is a gift certificate to Momotaro for my Japanese straightening. I can't handle the Jonah-Hill-style Jewfro anymore and I think it'll be long enough to straighten by Feb. Perhaps by my mastectomy anniversary. (Feldman makes fun of me for having like 30 cancerversaries, but I don't care.)

In other news. . .

Can you believe Sunny von Bulow finally died? I've always been fascinated by that story and cannot wait to read an (assumed) piece on the whole shebang by Dominick Dunne. If you haven't seen Reversal of Fortune, you must rent.

Dr. Rosenbaum had last-min surg today and had to resched my appointment. So I'm standing here typing this in my Juicy pants, no shirt and a non-stick dressing over the dick nipple in hopes of compressing it's constant fucking boner.

On the plus side, if I do have to go in for laser hair removal, I'll have my upper lip, armpits (can't use razor on left armpit cause I have no feeling there) and South of the Border done as well.
I should probably see to the hair and dick nip issue before Tomas does his final portrait of me. The girls will be covered by—wait for it—jewelry. Editorial style. Landsberg will loan and I'll also use my own.

I was under the illusion that today was Monday until about 4 p.m. today, since I was writing one of my articles and today was my first day at home. My bad.

I have little-to-no appetite lately, but am not reaping any benefits of that. I think I should book an appointment with Dr. Hottie, aka the gynecological oncologist. Lemme tell you ladies, it's a pleasure to get a pap smear with this man.

That's all for now. I'm jumping into the shower, finishing my column and hanging out with Laura. So maybe I will be hungry tonight after all;)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Someone, Please Take My Nipples

I'm ba-aack. Miss me? Well, I'm sitting in O'Hare right now having decided to go standby on an earlier flight back to the beach. I've been in Suburbia with Dana and fam since Thursday, so I'm afraid I don't have any hilarious, debaucherous, law-breaking stories for you, but I've got a few rants. So that's just as good.

First and foremost—the fucking, bloody penis nipples. The left one? Perfect. The most perfect nipple you could conjure up. The right one? Still a bit of a penis I'm afraid. A little pointy penis, adorned with stitches.

And remember this post:

Adding the aureoles—which they spelled areola on all the official papers—is a skin graft. They excise the skin from just above your pubis. As in, right above your hairline. You can probably guess where I'm going with this.

He began by drawing in the skin graft area, a horizontal, inch-deep, three+-inch wide, half-moon shape. He takes the skin, then stitches up the remaining skin together in a modified tummy tuck fashion. (Unfortunately, this area is below the chemo-baby roll of flab.)

"You'd better not give me hairy nipples Doc," I said. That really can happen. Can you even imagine?

"Well, you've kind of thrown me off by shaving."

"Oh," I said, "I thought that would help." I don't know why that came out, suddenly I'm modest? I'd debated on whether to shave or not; in the end vanity won out as usual."

He said: Sometimes hairy nipples do happen in these situations and no biggie, you can laser-remove it. I really thought he was being sardonic. I mean, surely this world-renowned plastic doctor who has turned this mutilated mess into a work of art would not give me hairy nipples. Never.

The scabs are almost all healed now, meaning my nipples/aureoles are sans stitches and other detritus. Since the surgery, there have been odd bits of stitches and stuff poking out. Some clear, some—I thought—black.

Well. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the few stray "stitches" poking out of my aureoles are actually little, straight, short black hairs.

I have hairy nipples, people. I really do. Pubic hairy nipples. Me. Vain, appearance-obsessed, beauty-columnist me. Hairs. On my nipples. Have I mentioned I have pubic hair on my nipples?
Okay, you get the point. The odd thing is that they are very short and very straight. Who has short straight pubic hair? I know this is my hair on my nipples, but how did it get Japanese straightened in the transfer of power from the pubis to the tatas?

Whatever the case may be, naturally I will have Dr. Rosenbaum take care of this tomorrow. There goes playboy.

You can check out my Chicagoland photos on Facebook here. The houses that you see you'll recognize from Ferris Bueller's Day off, Sixteen Candles, Home Alone and other Brat Pack flicks filmed in the areas where Dana lives. I'm off to board my flight and ponder my pubic hair dick nipples.

I love my life.

Oh, and it's even better now that I just realized that I posted an excerpt from the memoir and you guys had absolutely no comments. Lovely. Why the fuck do I bother with this blog? I think from now on I'll only be posting weekly.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

One-Year Cancer Free

It was one year ago today. I'm on a plane to see Dana to celebrate the anniversary of my diagnosis. What a year! The most educational and enlightening period of my life. This is an excerpt from the memoir about the D-day. It's unedited. But I hope you enjoy.

Excerpted from Cancer is the New Black.

December 4, 2007
So this is Cancer.
I know the instant I hear the woman’s grave tone. To this day, I don’t remember her name or title. I’m sitting at Tom’s kitchen counter, in one of only four chairs in the whole apartment. South Beach, 5th Street and Euclid. A few blocks from Ocean Drive and Collins Ave. I’ll never forget this barstool, this counter, this kitchen. Rene, who I just met, is taking a turntable out of the front door. Tom is helping him. I’m wearing jeans—Rock & Republic. I can’t remember any other piece of wardrobe; odd for someone who remembers what she wore at all of life’s pivotal moments.
I do recall that I’d showered, shaved, applied some makeup. I looked decent.
One phone call, one sentence, changes your world.
“Stephanie, when can you get to the doctor’s office? He wants to see you as soon as possible.”
“Uh, I dunno,” I say through a fog of a million thoughts at once. Thumbing through one of my Filofaxes. The purple one. “I can come tomorrow?”
“Is there anyway you can get here now?” The tone has changed. Graver.
“Now honey.”
NOW. Three letters that translate immediately into six. Six with a stigma. The big C.
“Yes now, the doctor is on his way in just to see you.”
Fabulous. Even in dire straits I get the VIP treatment. I hang up, in shock, obviously. The last time I was in shock: watching the Twin Towers ablaze from a corner in the Village. Mom—still in town, packing up her things at my apartment, getting ready to hit the road in minutes. Rene is gone. Tom catches my eye, grasps my fear, sees and hears me at my rawest.
“What? Okay, calm down.” Her voice gets weak and slow, I’ve heard it before, when I called in the middle of a hurricane to tell her I was being sued.
Tom sits across the room, rooted in his chair, looking like his world just fell out too.
“Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it,” says Mom. No, “I’m sure it’s not cancer, you’ll be fine.” Jewish mothers.
“Get the Xanax. Now. While I’m on the phone. Second bathroom drawer. Got em? Now put them in your purse please. Are they in? Okay hurry and pick me up at Tom’s. Behind China Grill; I’ll be outside.”
I hang up, still shaking. Tom comes to me from across the room, panic stricken, the color completely drained from his face. He sits down across from me, takes my hand.
“What? What? What happened? Steph?”
“The doctor. Just called. On his way to the hospital just to see me. Now. Omigod I have cancer. I have cancer. Cancer.”
“You do not have cancer. Hey, don’t panic.”
He envelops me. I cry into his shirt. He strokes my hair. I step back, look in his eyes. Even Hudson, the dog who hugs you, is whimpering.
“Stop. Take a deep breath.”
I return to my kitchen perch. He sits down across from me, holds my hands.
I’m panicking. The tears streak. The shallow breathing starts, the panic attack rears its frequent head again.
“It could be a million different things.”
“No. There are not a million things to go wrong with breasts. It’s cancer.” Fucking men. All they know about breasts is that their hands and mouths like them.
“Think positive, please,” he pleads with his eyes, his brows.
“The doctor doesn’t call the day after a biopsy with good news,” I’m flippant. “He’s coming in just to see me. Aren’t I special?” The first laugh. My sense of humor—immediately I know this will be one of the strongest weapons in my cache.”
“Stay positive. Think positive. Focus on me.”
I focus on his green eyes. He looks as stricken as a mother would be, a father, a brother, a husband. I won’t forget this look, this hour, these minutes. I know that instantly.
“Whatever it is, we’ll get through it. You are strong. We’ll get through it,” the conviction in his voice—the first sense of calm and comfort.
“I have cancer. I’m 32. How can this be happening to me?” I sound robotic and detached already, I can see myself, the room, Tom, me; all of it in slow-mo.
Tom and I have known each other three weeks. He’s not my boyfriend. But right now he is everything. This room where we’ve laughed, argued, planned for our bright futures that we will craft as a “dynamic”—his favorite word—team. He is, at this moment, the one thing moving while time stands still.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A fraction of a day in the life in the less-talented, female Larry David. After a day of lounging and chilling at the house, we made it to the Saks and Gucci outlets. I relented and bought two pairs of size 28 jeans. And then these totally hot gold, strappy Gucci sandals, which Saveira bought as well.

(I think I've shared that Brother's new girlfriend and I have been instant BFFs since we first talked on Facebook.)

Well, the most fabulous news ever came out of yesterday--Saveira fits in purrrrrrrrfectly with our crew's style of shopping. And I foresee her accompanying Lynn, Gail, Mom and me on many a girls' shopping trip.

Here's where the Larry David part starts. We drove through Starbucks on the way home. Naturally, the adolescent working the shit filled my Americano to the brim with scalding coffee, in between trying to pour some out of the door and then putting the lid back on, I spilled the burning stuff all over my crotch, the carseat, floor etc. I screamed because it was painful. Then I realized that my mint-condition, Jackie O. suede Gucci bag--which I rarely carry precisely because liquids and suede are arch enemies--and I screamed again and threw the bag back to Saveira. She sprung right into action like a true fashionista friend, as panicked for the suede's state as I was.

I was simulaneously freaking out about the firecrotch I had going on, while Saveira was assuring me that Jackie was still as perfect as her namesake.

"God damnit." I huffed and puffed and got out of the car, walked around to the drive-through window and knocked. Saveira later told me that she was thinking, 'Oh, this is going to be good.'

"Stephanie, get back here, you're not burned!"

"I think management should know that these people are filling coffee to the brim for drivers. Don't they fucking realize that driving is bumpy?"

"Ste-eph, come on."

"I'll be nice."

She put the window up and Saveira was trying to keep her laughter in check. I saw the girl, who was all of about 16--or whatever the legal working age is--and my desire to verbally pummel someone evaporated. Anticlimactic for Saveira unfortunately.

I also started my veggie and fruit fast yesterday--fucking chemo baby--and was ravenous around dinnertime. Mom and dad have been entertaining all week, and last night about 15 of us stayed in and ordered Indian food. I specifically had Michael order me something with only veggies and no cream sauce. And a side of mango chutney. Oh, and PS, delivery doesn't exist in Jacksonville, so Dad had picked it up. Out of about 20 entrees, guess what they forgot? I was famished. And fuming, and the only reason the chef didn't get an earful of obscenities was that I finally coaxed Brother, who spent nine months in India, to get on the damn phone. (After the chef said 'I think we have communication breakdown.'

They actually agreed to deliver. 30 minutes later, as everyone was pretty much done, the driver calls. He seems to be in the general vicinity but cannot find our house. We have a.) many lights lining our long driveway; and b.) a large, brick mailbox with the address clearly visible even in the dark.

Finally, food. By which point I was less hungry, so I drained the cup of oil that the vegetables were doused in and ate.

I was supposed to drive home today, but as usual got lazy and wanted one more day with Wally, who I have to leave here while I'm in Chicago. I'm listening to Candace Bushnell's newest book on my drive, and it is so utterly boring. She really needs to put the pen down.

I am thankful Thanksgiving is over and I can get back to the peace, quiet and water. And civilization. A Saks and Gucci outlet center does not a city make.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Status of Shock

I've come to a fairly accurate hypothesis regarding my Cancer Coping Mechanisms. I believe from the beginning to end of the really bad treatments, I was in shock. And luckily when I'm in shock, I don't crawl into bed, I go into hyperactive manic mode.

And now I find myself dealing with the longer-lasting side effects: the loss of effortless beauty, the addition of extra pounds and puffy eyelids, and the psychological trauma of knowing that I--who even before the body mutilation felt I would never find a partner--have about a .001 % of finding one now.

(As an aside, my dad's cousin, a survivor who works for Gilda's Club, said that only after reading my story in Aventura, did they begin even to think about how BC women are affected regarding dating. This is precisely why the older organizations SUCK for us YOUNG bitches. Let me tell you Komen fuckers, we're here in greater numbers than ever. And not thinking about dating? Fucking Christ people, that is the FIRST thing any single woman with Breast Cancer is likely to think of.)

Yes, I am in full ranting mode today brought on by a pair of Seven Jeans. And my usual disclaimer: I'm grateful to be alive and cancer-free. But this is MY Cancer and currently the issues I'm dealing with are self-esteem and hopelessness regarding men, so deal with it. Pull your chemo IV closer to the screen and lose yourself in my ridiculous, selfish problems for a few minutes.

First, you should know that I used to be fat. At one point, really, really fucking fat. I was up to a size 14 in college. Hence no dating in college and not losing virginity till after. I told you guys I'm not a whore. I ballooned up and down like most girls, but once you're fat, you always see some part of that fat girl in the dressing room mirror even when you're down to a 0 or a 2.

Well. For the past five years I've been a 0, 2 or 4 depending on the label. European labels are cut smaller and American ones bigger. Retailers have taken sizes down over the years to make fat America feel not so fat. Seriously, it's a fact. 1993's size 4 would now be a size 2 etc. Also remember that I'm only 5'4. Taller skinny bitches often wear bigger sizes.

But jeans are a woman's real guage of size. I've been a 26 for about four years. I've talked about avoiding my jeans so as not to trigger a nervous breakdown the likes of which I am experiencing at this very moment. Proof? I am at home while the family is at the new Saks and Gucci outlets. But why should I go there when I can't fucking fit into fucking anything and instead of wanting to crawl into my closet and caress my beloved Versace and Chanel, which I would do if stuff fit, I want to set fire to it all.

So the jeans. It's a little cool in Jacksonville and I knew I'd have to borrow some of mom's after getting my 26s on only by lying prostrate. But when I tried her 28s and they weren't the least bit big, I freaked. I feel like a 14. And what's worse is that people telling me I look great is to me a backhanded compliment, unintentionally on their part. Of course my fam and friends are going to say I look great; I've just finished cancer treatment. What are they going to say? I look sick? Fat? Pale? They would never. But I am sick of hearing that I look good. Because I look like shit to myself and that's all that matters in my world of fashion and beauty. Currently, I'm wearing Crazy Ass's size-28 pair of Sevens that she wore when she was pregnant. That's a real confidence booster, no? I don't dress for men or other people. I dress for myself because I take pride in my appearance, I work hard on it and I like getting dressed up and made up and sylized. If I hate the way I look, I try to please myself and fail. Clothes end up all over my room; I yell at my jeans; I don't go out sometimes when I feel 'fat'; and I pass up opportunities to go to Gucci and Saks. (Not to mention all the glam parties and other social invites I decline because my lovely high-end dresses still look hideous to me.) And my fucking eyelids. PERPETUALLY puffy. Looks like I've tied one over the night before every day. And I barely drink anymore.

So I've gone up two sizes in my lower region. My small tops fit, bottoms don't. This is even scarier because I'm fearing that unless I can afford to hire a trainer, I'm going to go from a desirable hourglass shape to the dreaded pear shape. Please, god, no. Please. If 5 of my 7 post chemo pounds are gone, what the FUCK is that in my belly and ass? Seriously? Two pounds doesn't equal having to go up two jean sizes. And I know that I mentioned that I do at least 45 minutes of cardio six times a week; weights two or three; Pilates and Ashtanga yoga once a week each. And I eat well.

The only solution I can see is stepping up the gym to twice a day. If I have to work twice as hard to look good, then maybe that formula makes sense. But who the hell wants to go to the gym twice a day. Ugh.

Thanksgiving was pretty uneventful. Everone is sick. And I want to stab myself in the stomach and puncture that fucking bloody water belly. And I'm on my period. Long story short. I am very, very unhappy with my body right now. Which causes me to be unhappy in general. And short tempered and bitch. And I know that mom is going to bitch and moan about having to buy me an exp pair of jeans that (god fucking willing) I'll only have to wear for a couple more months. Which is another reason I won't go to Saks with her today. She won't let me borrow her 28s and probably won't get me a pair. So, what? It's warm up suits and dresses with tights in Chicago.

And to all you fatties, more power too you. I love my fatties and wish I could have a big basket of crispy French fries with you right now. If I could be happy being fat, I'd be shoveling Krispy Cremes into my piehole right now. My family though is beautiful, disgustingly, Hollywood beautiful. And when you're the ugly duckling for a large part of your life, trust me, you never want to relive that. My parents, as much as they will deny it and think that it makes them sound superficial, take pride in my appearance. I hate being around them when I'm feeling ugly. They don't get it. They've never been ugly.

So you know what? FUCK YOU CANCER for depriving me of the historic, brand-new Gucci and Saks outlets 20 mins away. And FUCK YOU TAXOL YOU MOTHERFUCKING, WEIGHT-GAINING PIECE OF CHEMO SHIT. I appreciate you fuckers saving my life, but Jesus Christ, can't you at least spare us our looks too? Seriously?

On a serious note, please send your prayers, positive thoughts and energy to Vicky of Chopard fame, we need to get some good energy going up there for her in the City.

The Fat Ass
(Sorry Lay, this is my title until I'm back in my jeans.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bawdy in Bermuda

This is the text from my Heeb Storytelling piece. My vid battery died near the end, but this is the gist.

(Martha Frankel, the author before me, had spoken of Quaaludes and whor-as. And blamed herself for the dearth of the drugs on the market nowadays.)

I actually have done a Quaalude Martha, and it was at my friend’s wedding at a synagogue. That’s about as Jewish as my story gets. Three years ago on my 30th birthday—the most Jewish part of this is that if my mother were not an anxious Jewish mother, this never would’ve happened.

So it’s my 30th birthday, I’m in Bermuda with my family. We had a nice dinner, we went back to our resort, which was a lot of honeymooners, adults, not young kids. And this was around the time of Natalie Holloway, that girl who was abducted in Aruba or whatever. She was like 16; I’m 30, okay.

You can imagine where this is going. So we get back to the hotel, and my mom likes to party. She’s really cool, my parents are very cool, ex-60s liberal hippies. So we get back to the Reefs and there was a wedding party going on. This was also the time of the movie Wedding Crashers. And my mom was obsessed with that movie. We’d had some wine, my mom says:

“Oh, a wedding! Wedding Crashers! Let’s crash the wedding!”

So we crashed the wedding. It was a crowd full of Canadians, really nice, really young. We partied with them for a couple hours and mom says she’s going back to the room, will leave a key for me outside the villa.

I should preface this by saying I’m not a slut.

I’m a lot of things, but I’m pretty virginal. So basically mom goes back to our little bungalow around 1 in the morning. We’re staying in this condo type of thing that’s a little hike from the main resort. I end up partying with this whole group of Canadians—girls and guys—who’re staying at the Marriott next door. (Remember, there are no cars on the Island.) We end up going over to the Marriott at like 2 a.m. They’re like in the pool skinny-dipping. I was the only clothed one, because I’m a Jew.

I was wearing boxers and maybe a bathing suit top or something.

Long story short—remember it’s my 30th birthday so give me a little leeway here—I end up hooking up with this Canadian guy. We go up to his room. And this is, you know, 2 in the morning in Bermuda, my parents and brother are staying in the resort next door. Well we go up to his room in the Marriott, and I end up falling asleep. The next thing I know, we wake up to pounding on the door—there were no fluids exchanged by the way (laughter)—I’m in one bed, he’s in the other. I look at my watch and it’s like 7 or 8 in the morning.

He opened the door: two Bermudan police officers are at the door.

“Are you Stephanie Green?” one of them asks.

“Uh, yes.”

“Can you please call your mother?”

And now the shit really hits the fan. I’m like, “huh?”

So the guy—I totally forgot his name. . .”
(Uproarious laughter and clapping)

“Hey, it was three years ago, okay? So the guy is in his boxers and is so nice. ‘Omigod, omigod, I’m so sorry I was totally going to walk you home.’”

We start freaking out and getting our shit. So he walks me outside the hotel room in his boxers and no shirt and locks himself out. (Laughter.) I was in my clothes from the night before, and I didn’t plan this but I was wearing these shoes. (I say, looking down at my three-inch high, platform Chanels.)

(Laughter from the girls.)

Now, this is another Jewish part—who does the walk of shame in Chanel but a Jew?


So he walks me through the lobby of the Marriott, which is a huge convention hotel, with boxers and no shirt on and I’m fully clothed from the night before.


So, I end up doing the walk of shame on a two lane highway with no walking path in Bermuda. And I’m you know, trying to run in these heels on the road, no sidewalk. I walk in and the whole family is like, “Where the fuck were you?”


My mom had woken up in the middle of the night—she never wakes up in the middle of the night so I figured I was safe. You know I’m 30 years old, they know I party.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and you weren’t there!”

“What the hell did you do mom?”

“We-eeeeell, I woke up and you weren’t there, so I called the lobby and there was no-one there till six in the morning so I went to the lobby at six in the morning. And I told them that you were with a bunch of Canadians in a wedding party.”

“I don’t know the name, but they were in the Canadian wedding. . .”

So the front desk guy calls the mother of the bride.

(Gasps and laughter.)

I’m not kidding. At six in the morning. The mother of the bride comes downstairs to the lobby at six in the morning to comfort my mom. My mom’s probably crying, hysterical, whatever. . .”


The mother of the bride starts naming guys, is it this one, that one?

They figure out who it is and the mother of the bride assures mom that he’s a nice guy, I most likely had not been abducted and that I was safe with what’s-his-name.

“But Natalie Holloway,” blah, blah, blah.


I’m 30, you know!

They get the police, who call the hotel room, we don’t answer and that’s how they ended up at the room. Even my brother, who’s totally laid back, lives on the Lower East Side, was like, “Stephanie what the fuck?”


“Dude, why the hell are you getting involved?”

“I was up all night waiting for your ass too.”

“Oh, please, you know you went back to sleep.”

“It was a little hard with mom moaning in the other room!”

“Mom, you hung out with these guys, you met them, you saw that they were upstanding, professional guys!”

“But Natalie Holloway!” blah, blah, blah.


Skinny Jeans!!!

I'm about to receive my Herceptin, and I asked Max, the nurse who takes care of me and knows—from nine mos of exp—not to tell me my weight. But I HAD to know, given my renewed gym rat status, if I'd lost anything since last time.

Remember I'd gained 7 pounds since treatment began? Well, I've lost five since October! Woo-fucking-hoo! Today after I sweat off last night's dinner, I will try on my jeans. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I never linked to this fabulously glowing post about yours' truly penned by the lovely and talented Laura Zigman. If I ever publish a book, perfect quotes!

The Girls are shouting with glee:
"Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty we are free at last!"

He freed 'em on Thursday. Proclaiming them healed and good enough to go without nursing pads, non-stick gauze and paper tape.

"I can wear them without anything? Not even a bra?"

A bra if I wanted them to stay perky, perky, perky.

"So if I don't wear a bra they'll start to drop a little?" Bingo.

It feels so good. I feel like the good doctor wants to taxidermize my torso and hang it on his office wall, that's how good they look.

They are also perfectly in proportion to my body. A teeny-tiny smidgen 'smaller' than my prior ones. However, since the previous mamas had so much loose skin, these are in actuality not smaller, according to Dr. R.

Aside from the works of art now inhabiting my chest wall—compare that with the alien tennis balls taking up space there a mere 6 months ago—all in all the healing process is accelerating.

My body is finally starting to bounce back. The five days a week of cardio, two days of strength training and two days of yoga and Pilates, pushing that along. And the weather has been a gift from above—high 70s during the day, 60s at night and breezy.

Had a lovely time at the Vogue party Thursday night with Lisa, on the roof of the Gansevoort Hotel.

I debuted the bandage-free boobs—I was freezing my ass off in a sleeveless dress. (Lisa was of course perfectly attired in a slim sweater dress and vintage Chanel chain belt.) Pre-drop off Lisa was amazed at how much the girls had softened since I last saw her at her Halloween party.

So yesterday saw me Dryel-ing 20 sweaters and bringing the winter clothes out. As usual I forgot what goodies were buried under the detritus. The jeans are almost fitting well again, so I'm prepared for "Fall." Friday night Laura and I went to a rather Palm-Beach-esque cocktail party for the launch of the Bertram 540 yacht at a home called Casablanca on 44th Street and North Bay Road on the Beach.

Thank god I'd picked up this weird little sweater/shawl thing in Amalfi a couple years ago.

(Gossip Girl fans like me—and, ahem, JKD—may notice my headband. They are the ones Blair Waldorf sports, by a designer named Jennifer Ouellette, whose stuff is at Barneys and such but you can order online.)

(North Bay Road, the most desirable parts of it, is a street on Miami Beach a la Gin Lane, 5th Ave or South Ocean Blvd in Palm Beach.) Ten-thousand+ square foot, Mediterrannean McManse, never lived in, listed at $17+million. Fantastically overpriced. About a 100 feet waterfront, but about 20 feet between the neighboring lot/home. Typical—and terrible—characteristic about posh Miami Beach real estate. Of course we snagged ourselves a private tour of the house via one of the owners' staff.

And we had some fun. The closets, kitchen and bathrooms were most impressive.

I will be in Chicago though in two weeks, so shearlings and furs and boots, oh my (yes!). And Jacksonville—leaving Tuesday—is also cool enough to bundle up. I'm actually super-psyched about Jacksonville as Lay Ann is in town, Saveira's (brother's awesome GF) is coming and we have all kinds of fun girls' stuff plan. Including, naturally, a baking party. And a girls slumber party at Al's new beach pad.

Saveira is the furthest on left followed by Dawn, Deb, Jamie, me, Danielle and Shari in NYC.

I can't wait to show Saveira the town. Except it's better now. Would you believe that Jacksonville has a Louis????? And soon we are getting an Off 5th outlet and a Gucci outlet. Oh, the wardrobe expansion to come!

I also finally installed Skype so I can teach Kobi bad words from here to Chicago.

Now, back to the gym.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of Mouse and Men

The last time I saw Dr. Melnick, the psychiatrist, I asked him to up my dosage of Pristiq. The only additional side-effect may be "delayed orgasm," he said.

"That's not an issue," I said offhandedly.

"Wait, why isn't that an issue?" my 34-year-old friend-like psychopharm asked. One of the many reasons I love him is that he's truly my peer and on top of that, your average, hetero male, with insight into the rest of the male species.

"Uh, there's nobody there."

"So? You need to start double clicking your mouse then."

My psychiatrist offering up a sexual scrip in the vernacular of Juno. Only me.

"Meh," I stated eloquently.

But my romantic tentacles are slithering around again, grasping for that which is just out of reach. And I am beginning to have those girly feelings again. That anticipatory, predatory mindset that is propelling me back to a baseline, singleton equilabrium. Translation: I'm beginning to feel womanly again and therefore in need of some manliness. Not just sex or a one-off, but something a little meatier. Finally the clothes are fitting almost normally again and despite my myriad self-induced physical insecurities, I find myself interested again. For worse and worse. Then as soon as I reach that point of relative normality in the sex and romance departments, I remember what lies beneath. At the moment—three layers of nursing pads; a Target sports bra stuffed with compression garments; a hefty, horizontal scar above my pubic bone. And just as I start to feel good again, flirted with, checked out, complimented, I remember. That not only do I have all the same bullshit baggage that everyone else has, but an additional set of Goyard that's been beat up on the conveyor belt from Miami to New York.

As if I'm not intimidating enough. So it's me, plus the added scare of what is actually underneath my not-so-chic undergarments. At first I think, 'no, they're cool with it,' 'they've seen this happening to me and they're still here,' and then reason brings me back. And I start with all the typical female insecurities except they're not typical anymore because I'm damaged goods and way beyond 'typical'. And then I just get depressed again, want to curl up into a fetal position and not eat again till I'm wasting away in my skinny jeans.

So I'm going to curl up in the fetal position and watch Wife Swap (and probably feel a little better as a result of watching people even more fucked-up than me).

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The Cancer was already there this time of year in 2007. So though it's been less than a year since the diagnosis, my breasts became a source of stress and more than mere appendages more than a year ago.

I'm going to Chicago to see the Thundercunt on the anniversary of my diagnosis Dec. 4th. Ben, Laura, Jeff and I were chilling in their yard last night and I mentioned the Cancerversary.

"What a fun year it's been, huh?"

My first thought (and my response) was: "Yeah, it has been fun, hasn't it?"

Uh, what the fuck? I don't think that's normal. But when he said that, I didn't flash back over the hospital and Cancer stuff, instead I immediately envisioned all the fun I'd had with my friends despite and during the Cancer ordeal. So, yeah, there was a black cloud of big-time suckage looming over the last year, but there were also a hella lot of good times. Which goes to show you the quality and caliber of the people in my life. And me, of course.

Jeff, naturally, gave me the "you're nuts" look, and only then did the Cancer thing show it's face.

"Oh, yeah, there was the whole Cancer thing. But at least I got these boobs out of it. Never mind that they're covered in nursing pads."

"So you're still bandaged? They're not that big?" Ben says.

They look huge, okay? They're padded by three nursing pads—which are kind of like maxi pads for women's milky breasts I suppose. I'm basically wearing a padded bra. So they're looking really fucking big, especially when I'm not wearing black or a dark solid. I'm going to see Dr. Rosenbaum Thursday, so fingers crossed he'll let me go sans nursing pads from there on.

Oh, where the hell was I going with this? I don't know. But my nights are getting back to normal finally. To the point where I know that when I'm around friends now, I'm back to having times too fun to blog about. Stories made and told that are exclusively manu-worthy. In a good way.

I'm going to transcribe my Heeb story from the video Durrett shot, which I can't say I'm too eager to watch, and then publish the text here soon.

Lots to catch up on, but it's such a beautiful day it'll have to wait. Photos from Heeb Storytelling, Jacksonville, the Obama rally and random November pics.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Laura's Brant

I may have posted something about this before, but I can't recall and I'm too lazy and frazzled to do a blog search. So bear with me.

I've met some really amazing people through this blog and Facebook. One of those bitches is author Laura Zigman, a fellow BC chick. Laura wrote the book Animal Husbandry—as well as scads of others you can buy from her blog—which was turned into the movie Someone Like You with Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear. Before I knew Laura, whenever that movie came on TV I'd watch it even though I'd seen it a million times before, like Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, etc. Classic chick flick.

Anyway, Laura's moved over to Blogspot and her blog is simply hilarious. If you guys like my sense of humor, you'll probably read one of her posts and leave me for her. (I know, it's not me, it's you.) She cleverly coined the term brant:

brant (brant) v.i. - to simultaneously brag and rant.

brant (brant) n. - a shared on-line journal where people can post brags and rants about themselves and their personal experiences, opinions, observations, and feelings.

branted, brant-ing, brants intr.v. To write entries in, add material to, or maintain a (we)brant.

And I didn't even know this until I Googled her a couple weeks ago, but Laura is actually credited with creating the Chick Lit genre with Animal Husbandry. Credited by the Washington Post nonetheless. Helloooooo. For those of you who've been living in a cave without bookstores, Chick Lit has become a staple of the publishing world, encompassing books like Devil Wears Prada, Nanny Diaries, Bridget Jones Diary and pretty much all those girly-looking books you see in B&N.

I'm reading Animal Husbandry right now and it's delish. One of those page-turners that will make you laugh (and perhaps cry, but I haven't gotten to that point yet) and want to go to the beach/gym/toilet or wherever you do most of your reading.

But unlike most of today's Chick Lit, which has become a dubious label in the publishing world, Laura's book is scathingly funny, sharp, intelligent, unusal, interesting and the storyline is multifaceted. So check out her blog and the Wash Post story. And buy her books if you're looking for some good times.

I’m always thrown when people as what my 'prognosis' is. ‘Prognosis’ is a wholly alien word to me after a year of Cancer. Maybe I heard that word once or twice from someone in the medical field, but certainly not often. If that creepy word was thrown around the chemo ward, the OR, the surgeons’ offices or by my friends and family, surely I would not have such a visceral reaction to it. Despite chemo brain, I can still remember the oft-bandied words: cytoxin, taxol, herceptin, filling, expanders, tissue, lymphedema, hair loss, dry mouth, early menopause, ovaries, children, nipples, Botox, washers, recovery time, sponge bath, non-stick dressing, compression garments, the list goes on. But does not include ‘prognosis.’ I think perhaps I did hear that word from the first oncologist—a doom and gloom type—whom I later fired for Dr. Schwartz. That bitch’s first phrase to me was: “This is not a death sentence.”

No shit, bitch. She was a real schmuck though—grave, harried, and seemingly a little unstable. Definitely not someone I’d want to have dinner with. Anyway, what’s my prognosis? Well, what’s yours? Do you anticipate getting hit by a car or falling off your moped tomorrow? That’s about as much consideration as I give death.

Maybe some cancer patients ask what their prognosis is. And I can totally get that. Maybe it’s the anal, control-freak journo in me that asks specific questions and wants numbers. Just give me the stats. Give me the stats that you’ve worked up specially for me; entered my numbers into a program to yield my own odds.

Sure, I was waiting with a fair amount of anxiety when Dr. Schwartz was working up said numbers. And I was quite obviously relieved when he came back with a not-so-scary number of eight percent chance of recurrence. I leveled the playing field with the prophylactic mastectomy and chemo. (Remember that my cancer was officially gone after that initial lumpectomy. I elected to have the bilat mastectomy and chemo because of my positive BRCA1 status.) Granted I had to do a lot to put me in equal standing with the general population—one in eight women get BC, bitches, so get yourself checked. And that took some getting used to, as I was previously accustomed to being one step ahead of everything in life. I could’ve become just a number. I could’ve gone through this whole thing with only my closest family members and friends the wiser. But why? I mean, I really don’t understand the stigma that so many people attach to Cancer. This is not the 1950s people. Cancer is not a death sentence for fuck’s sake. For a lot of us, it’s a sentence to live. A mandate to live, really live. Balls-out, guns-blazing living. Like taking that trip that you’ve always wanted to, partying like a rock star, living out loud. Because you know that if you do actually die from this thing, then you may as well have lived before.

You want my theory on why death rates for cancer are so high? It’s simple and I don’t think I’m way off base here. Poor people. Poor people—homeless people, welfare people, senior citizens, those with pre-existing conds who simply cannot get coverage—cannot afford the life-saving health care that I and other fortunate people are blessed with. Poor people get cancer. Lots of these people die from lack of good health care. Period. Why are the death rates so high? Because our health care system is a mess, people. A not-even-hot mess. If you’re diagnosed with Cancer, and you have good insurance, be grafeful.

L.A. therapist asked me yesterday if I was grateful.
Now that’s a word I can get down with; a word I utter almost every day. But my first thought was:

“What like grateful to God or whatever that I’m alive? Not really. I’m not grateful to God or whatever is out there.”

“Well, are you grateful to anyone?”

“Yes, I am grateful that I am who I am. That I was able to get the best doctors. That I couldn’t have a better network of support. I’m grateful to modern and Eastern medicine. I’m grateful that my family is in a position to provide me with the best of the best in care. I’m grateful that I’m strong enough to not only weather this fucking thing, but to be strong for my friends and family. And to be funny. And myself.”

“That’s what I was looking for. That you finally give yourself credit for being a strong woman who cannot only handle cancer but who can come out of it with grace and humor and beauty. . . .” and blah blah psychobabble blah.

“Well, all it took was Cancer and 12 years of therapy.” (Yes, 12. I am gunning for Woody’s position as the most therapized neurotic Jew ever.

Know what else I’m grateful for? My perfect, fantastic tatas courtesy of Dr. Gary Rosenbaum. And the fact that I have no visible scars and am sitting here in my bikini at the pool typing this, scar free to the naked eyes around me. Except, oops, I just looked down and my paper-tape covering the area where my nipples were made from is poking out. But I can just rip that shit off whenever I want.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My head is looking like a Chia Pet.

My eyes are constantly puffy and my surgeon is out of Botox, which can lift the brows.

Three nursing pads on each tit seems to stop the nasty leakage.

I'm wondering whether I should say anything about the cancer before I launch into a completely unrelated story at the Heeb event.

Today, after I brought Wally to my pool for the first time, he proceeded somehow to end up in the pool doing the doggy paddle with the most adorable, heart-breakingly helpless expression on his face. I didn't even see him go in, and when Laura exclaimed, I thought my flip-flop had blown away or something. The last thing I expected was 13-year-old Wally, who's only been in a pool once, to have done that. I actually think he was disoriented and stumbled in there accidentally or something. Poor baby. It was very bizarre. And pretty fucking funny.

I made my first radio appearance today, on a show that will be airing in a few months. Talking a little about men and dating relating to the breast cancer thing.

But I am *so* going to the Vogue party next week. Oh, and I'm live blogging from the Victoria's Secret fashion show taping here Saturday and airing next week on TV. We'll be in a separate media room, watching the taping as opposed to sitting in the audience though.

I should be excited about all this stuff, right? So then why am I completely blase and utterly bored with my life? I think I'm going through cancer withdrawl, which all my fellow cancer people said would happen. Life's so fucked-up.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Come out Friday Nov. 14 to see me perform/speak in all my agitated glory. I'm going to *try* to take the stage sans Xanax. Keep your fingers crossed. (It's at the Miami International Book Fair.) I read the lineup of authors and agents at the book fair. Big mistake. There are lots of big-name people who attend this thing. I just assumed it was a C-list affair, since this is Miami after all. But there are lots of A-listers. Now I'm all intimidated and shit. Kind of. Okay, not really. Since I'm not a published author, I do think it's cool that I'll be among such very accomplished ones.

In other news, my nipples are going in two different directions. So that's nice.

This is how the Hallowen costume went off, five days post nip surgery.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The fabu coasters that Ben designed for me to bring to the Heeb Storytelling event. It's actually an image of a reconstructed boob.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Woo-Hoo Jews!

A Heeb chief of staff and a black POTUS! Ahh, it's finally good to be an American again—except in California and Florida with the fucking homophobic BULLSHIT. Seriously, California, WTF? If I ever have a happily ever after with a man—whom Lisa's psychic said I already know, natch—I'm not gettin' hitched until my gays can. Fucking homophobia. Stupid, obtuse, small-minded ridiculousness.

But I think it's huge that Barack said this:
"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states."

What a fabulous example of, well, humanity. And I have to say that I'm not hating on Oprah so much after seeing her mixing it up with the hoi polloi in Grant Park. I may actually be warming to her. Nonetheless, should I be published, she certainly wouldn't have me on her book club after my rant about her is published in Heeb magazine. Whoops.

How the hell did I digress? I logged in only to post these pics, since a lot of you fellow Cancer Warrior gals have been emailing me with hair-growth questions. (And all you readers with cancer concerns, I'm always, always happy to give advice on any and all things BC-related.)

So, this is my hair as it stood exactly four months and one week post-chemo (two weeks ago today).

Even my little nugget nephew noticed that my hair was looking better.

"Kobi, remember how I was bald?"

"Do you like this hair better?"


For some reason I always think that kids—and dogs—won't recognize me with all the hair-changing I've got going on. But I suppose they do.

And there's niece Cunty in Crazy Ass Nicole's arms. Stupid Chicago. Now I can't see Cunty, Kobi, Kutzy and Cubby every day. Stupid Windy City. And now Chicago's even cooler thanks to Barack. I'm never getting these little fuckers back to Florida. God, cuntrag, why can't you just be a snowbird with Burt and Myrn? I'm sure Jim wouldn't miss your crusty ass. Daryl isn't even filling your ugly-ass shoes thanks to stupid med school.

And yes, I know the tatas look rather high and huge here, but it's the way I was posing. . .

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I know I said, and thought, that I wouldn't look at them, but I did. After taking the bandages off during my first shower in nine days and seeing that the penis nipples no longer had such huge erections, I figured what the hell. So I looked in the mirror. And let me tell you, my boobs look fanfuckingtastic. Maybe I was a little more freaked out yesterday than I should've been—who me, dramatic?—or maybe the penis nipples were just really turned on. But seriously, seriously my surgeon (Dr. Gary Rosenbaum, FYI) is a genius.

In a few months—perhaps even by February, a year post-mastectomy—if you didn't know my history, I think you'd have to get about six inches from my chest even to notice that something is a little amiss. And the area where the skin graft came from down there, barely anything. When you look at photos of most women's mastectomies out there, they're pretty fucking scary. As I've said before, I have no horizontal scars and the vertical ones will be compeletely faded shortly. Which leaves us with, well, two manmade, perfectly symmetrical, finely crafted breasts. The left breast, the toxic one that had a lumpectomy in addition to mastectomy, is now corrected even more, so that both breasts are basically the same. The aureolas are still stitched and pink—from irritation I suppose—but they're otherwise perfect. The perfect size. And the penis nipples are weird, no doubt, but within a few weeks I think they'll be pretty normal. So instead of thinking of myself as a cyborg, perhaps more something along the lines of Dr. Rosenbaum's David.

With a smaller penis(es).

Well, I'm out like—in the youthful vernacular Laura taught Jeff and me last night—an erection in sweatpants?.