Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well, my fate is now resting in other people's hands at the moment. Career-wise and personal-life wise too.

The second book proposal is out. Friends and family seem to love it, not that they're unbiased.

But I actually believe in this project, so even if the publishing world doesn't dig it, I will self-publish this sucker.

Anyway, if you guys think I'm crazy, check out this dude.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Haute Hospital

potty mouth?! I'm just glad it wasn't Aunt Stephie who taught him the most impt word in the English language.
Well, Jon, I can't reveal the identity of my new love. He's actually a pretty famous entertainer. Yeah, can you believe? Dish has the dish and she's not talking. That's how you know it's real.
Big shout out to my Godson Kobi, who has uttered his first four-letter word, much to the amusement of us all. He started at the top too. He's entered the mimic stage, so next time Daddy is sure to spell out F-U-C-K instead of saying it. Oh, I can't wait till I'm in public with Kobi and he says FUCK instead of HI. One can only hope. Kobi loves to get down with the guitar players on Lincoln Road.

And, drumroll please, the long-overdue photos from my lumpectomy Dec. 3. About 24 hours before I was labeled with the big BC.
Dana and I usually give each other the finger in lieu of less creative greetings.

I don't really get why you can't wear makeup to be operated on. How does anyone meet cute doctors in the ER?

When is a high fashion designer going to tackle hospital gowns? Can't we get a cinched waist or something? Project Runway, the Cancer Chic episode?

No diamonds, no gold, no Cartier, no manicure. Again, why is jewelry an impediment to surgery? Also, my first of MANY tres tres chic hospital bracelets. Perhaps at the end of this journey I could have Landsberg dip one of them in platinum. . .

Kobi making me beautiful post op. Never mind that it's Wally's brush.

Some people laugh all the way to the bank. I laugh all the way to the ER. And then the drugs kick in and I laugh some more. Of course Dana being behind the camera saying, "Smile you fuckmunch" may have something to do with that. Hmm, wonder why Kobi already has a potty mouth.

Monday, January 28, 2008

My friend Schuman just had a brilliant breast suggestion: Angelina Jolie. What do we think? My double-mastectomy and reconstruction surgery is booked for the 15th.

Lop em off, put new ones on in the same day. Talk about customer service.

And I just spoke to the wig guru, so it looks like a mini-NYC trip is in order for the next couple weeks and again the week after I begin chemo, so he can, um, shave my head. Ick.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

All you need is love. . .And new tits

I can finally, finally confess that I'm madly in love. And for once it's not one-sided. I can say, with complete confidence, that my soul mate has fallen out of the sky. So much so that I'm rethinking my atheism.

Yes, it's fucked-up timing. But in a way, it's divine. I have a true partner—in addition to my uber-supportive network of friends and family—to fight the BC battle with me.

He doesn't care that I'll be bald. Or nipple-less for four months. (It's really disgusting, but they have to wait to put the nipples on the implants until chemo is done. Lovely, huh?) Actually, I don't think I've told him about the nipples, but he won't care. He loves me for me, craziness and all. He actually seems to find my neuroses endearing.

He is hands down, one of the most spectacular people I've ever met. He's not Jewish, he's not a businessman, he doesn't come from my world, and I could give two shits. This control freak is completely out of control and loving it.

I always thought I'd get breast cancer. I'm oddly intuitive about weird things. But I never, ever thought I would find a love like this.

The book is now on autopilot. If only there were an invisible hand to actually sit and type for me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

And another thing, since I'm on my high horse today. Something like this really shows you who your true friends are. Many have come out of the woodwork, including many of you and other 'strangers.' And then there are the 'friends' you've had your whole life, or for a very long time, who you know know about the BC, but who haven't even bothered to call or email.

For shame on you so-called friends; you know who you are. You showed me your true colors and I've taken notice. And there are, unfortunately, a lot of you who fall into this category. Former college friends, NYC friends, former coworkers and former mentors. Karma's a bitch people. I hope when YOU get cancer you are surrounded by people of better stock than yourselves.

I am pleased to report however, that every single one of my lifelong MOT friends have been outstanding. Just goes to show you that what I've said about my core crew is true—they are a great bunch and I'm lucky to have been raised amongst such love. Even if it was in Jacksonville.

Cancer Couture

I've just snipped a lock of my hair to send to the wig maker to the stars on the Upper East Side. Pathetically, this was the most emotional experience I've had yet since the BC diagnosis. Crying over my appearance—big shocker.

Think of these wigs as Cancer Couture, as the wig maker will custom cut and design the wig for you according to photos.

The problem? They run about $5,000. My friends and fellow cancer girls had told me that most insurance cos cover part or all of this cost. Mine? No, natch. "Hair prostheses" are an exclusion not covered by any Humana plan. The oncologist actually writes you a scrip for a "hair prosthesis." How FUCKED is that? Jesus H.

FUCK all you insurance companies, you're as bad or worse than Big Tobacco. Fuck this ass-backwards rich country that can't even guarantee insurance coverage for the really serious shit like CANCER. Another reason to be European. Or Cuban, according to Michael Moore. Nonetheless, I will still get the wig. But this fucking cancer thing is going to bleed my poor parents dry if this insurance thing continues. I need to get in touch with Michael Moore for my documentary, if anyone has connections to him.

I'm on hold with these rat bastard insurance fuckwads right now, they have a team of cancer specialists. Fat lot of good that does you.

Anyway, the upside is that I can choose both my hair and my new tits. I'm taking suggestions of tits to copy—celebs etc. I'm not well-versed in that aspect of celebrity, but I'm sure my male readers have some ideas.

I will not go above my current size, 34C, as I want them to look as real as possible. I don't want to morph into one of those LA or South Beach bimbos I make fun of for their grapefruit tits.

UGH! My book proposal is coming along and will be ready to ship to agent next week.

My life now resembles a Jackson Pollock canvas. I'm one of the central splotches; the one that on close examination may be a Native American symbol or something else unrecognizable to the average person. It's been a long time since my art history major. The other splats: BC, tits, friends, family, hospitals, hair, pink, tits tits tits and more tits, vanity, anxiety, humor, material, books, documentaries, music. Fucking A. All of the sudden this is very real. . .I've never been a fan of reality. But in actuality, my life is more surreality.

God damnit. I'm going to the gym to blow off steam. I'm fucking pissed. Now these horrific insurance cos are going to be a whole chapter in the book. I think I'll call it FUCK HUMANA.

This is why I will not vote for a president. It doesn't fucking matter who is in the white house when they are controlled by the lobbies. The figurehead in the Oval Office is just a symbol. The bureaucracy is too powerful; this country will ALWAYS be a mess. Period. Hillary, Obama, Giuliani—all the same. Democrats, Republicans they both feast on our blood.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Did I mention that my blogger friend Mel and I met in person for the first time while I was in the city last week? We had a lovely, long, girl's lunch in the cafe in the Bergdorf Goodman men's store.

She's the first person I've corresponded with in the blogosphere who I've met in person. The media has bagged on Melissa a lot; perhaps even more than they bag on me. In actuality, Mel is a girl I would totally be friends with—funny, down to earth, cool, deep, strong and interesting.

So for those of you who look down on "socialites"—or "princesses" if it's a Jewess—bugger off. The truth is that if the lot of you didn't have to have a 9 to 5 office job, you probably wouldn't. With the exception of people like my mom who derive pleasure out of work for some reason I cannot comprehend.

Don't get me wrong, I'll always write and work. But come hell or high water, I don't EVER want to be caged in an office again. Life is WAY too short not to do what pleases you; and if that's traveling around the world so be it. If it's working behind a desk, so be it. If it's being a stay-at-home mom, a professional shopper, a gym rat, whatever, so be it. Yes, money does make things easier. It doesn't necessarily make things better.

People are either quality or they're not, regardless of their social status. That's the bottom line. Mel is quality people and I'm jazzed that we finally had a tete-a-tete.

Hope Jamaica was fab;)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Fond Farewell to a Friend

I've often spoken of my family friends and how fantastic they are. Most of them have known me since birth. Many of them grew up with my parents and go back for generations. They are all in essence my extended family.

Last night, the first member of my extended family passed away. Eddie fought his cancer longer than the doctors predicted. Diagnosed almost two years ago, the cancer had already infiltrated most of the cells in his body.

But he was never dour; never lost his sense of humor. From the diagnosis forward he embraced life as I had never seen him do before. He went out with the crew more frequently. He laughed, he got by with the help of friends and family. He went balls out.

He lost his hair but gained his spirit. I remember mom telling me that in the midst of treatment (I think; my timeline may be skewed), he attended a legal conference out of town.

"Why did you go?" mom asked.

"Hell, I had to show everyone I'm still around!" he laughed.

That was Eddie. Wasn't going down without a fight. After I was diagnosed and before he went into hospice, I got to speak to Eddie in one of his lucid moments.

"If you ever need to talk, I'm here. You know I can relate, I know exactly what you are going through."

But he had it much worse than I do. Yet I never saw him complain or lose his humor. He will be missed greatly and remembered fondly. He and his family will always be an intricate part of my childhood. He will, of course, live on. I know many of you cannot grasp how I'm viewing BC—as a gift from above—but I get the feeling that Eddie understood.

I remembered that I recently scanned in some of the photos from my dad's college days. Eddie is pictured in both of them. All the others in the photos are still in our lives, as Eddie will be. I could call almost any one of these men and no matter what predicament I were in, they would be there. And they have been there, since my diagnosis. I haven't been able to bring myself to write all the thank you notes, but I hope you all know how much I appreciate the thoughts, phone calls, letters, concern and gifts. (I've never had so many Saks boxes.)

And since I am unable to make Eddie's funeral, I hope that his family reads this and know they are in my thoughts.

I hope these photos remind you all of the vibrant person Eddie was. Even with his eyes closed and tongue out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Meow Mayhem

I am always drawn to these uber-fucked up apartment buildings. You'll remember my posh Upper East Side apt with the rampant mice (and more mice) situation. My first Miami apartment with my insanely noisy upstairs neighbor and the condo commandos.

And though I didn't live there, you'll all remember the riddle of the penthouse pooch.
My building at present, like my life, is tres bizarre. First of all, it's still under construction on the balconies, so I can't even open the patio in the BR or LR. And some mornings when I go to the kitchen after having awoken, I walk around in a skimpy nightgown and look out to see construction workers staring at me from my balcony.

You have to valet ALL the time. I took my car out myself with Dawn recently and was promptly chastised by the head valet. And don't even get me started on how much my Wet Wipes consumption has increased due to the number of people who manhandle my car.

The emergency intercom system erupts at random and is always false:
"There has been an emergency in your building. Please cease operations and go the lobby immediately. Do not use the elevators. I repeat: Do not use the elevators."
This happens about once a week.

Then there's the fact that the building manager is a dead ringer for Frankenstein.

Recently they moved around the furniture in the lobby. Yesterday I noticed a sign in the elevator. They are getting new furniture. If any of the residents would like a say in the decor, we are more than welcome to go shopping with them. However, we must be available during the day to go to furniture stores. WTF?!

The latest is the cherry though: A stray cat has taken up residence in the lobby. None of the building workers know how the fuck he got there and why he's still there. Frankenstein is aware of the creature. He couldn't care less. (Maybe he's really a monster.) I got home at 2 a.m. the other week and saw one of the valets carrying this cat out the front door of the building.

"Is that yours?" I asked. Language barrier.

"No. I just fed it."

Ok. Didn't think much of it, since the random, weird occurrences in my life have been snowballing lately. Copula days later, I go down to the lobby during the day and the cat is prancing around like he owns the place.

"What the hell is going on here?" I asked the doorwoman. "Why is this cat still here?"

She shrugs. "I don't know. I think it belongs to one of the residents."

"Actually, one of the valets fed him a few days ago. I bet he's come back for more."

Over the next few days, the cat moves into the lobby occupying the chair in front of the computer. The doorman, building manager and the valets, for the most part seem to think a cat's presence in an upscale condo building in South Beach is perfectly normal. Mundane even. I'm sorry, but hello, what the hell is wrong with you people? Diseases! Dogs! Babies! Feces! Food! WTF?

Today my favorite doorman put him in the garage and an hour later he was back sleeping on the chair. My realtor had to see it himself to believe it.

I'm going to take a photo of the damn cat before I go to bed.

Leaving for NYC Saturday where I'll be shuttling between Sloan Kettering, Shun Lee, Bergdorf's and Barneys, Norman Landsberg and 5th. Can't wait to see my locals.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cancer, Bergdorf's Style

Awww yeah. Thanks to an anonymous, lovely and generous family connection, yours truly has scored an appointment with the Anna Wintour of Cancer doctors. Larry Norton is at Sloan Kettering and is: The head of Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs; Medical Director, MSK 64th Street; Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology. This guy is the creme de la creme.

Infinite thanks to those who made this happen.

My resolution in 2008: To kick ass. One I know I'll keep.

Cheers to 2008!