Monday, June 30, 2008


When is the fat lady going to sing? Seriously? Do you think I could just pay a fat lady to sing to me? Would that work?

I mean, come on folks, all I'm asking for is a little good news in my life right now. Instead, I get lymphedema.
Lymphedema: edema due to faulty lymphatic drainage

Edema: an abnormal infiltration and excess accumulation of serous fluid in connective tissue or in a serous cavity

In English, insane, out of control swelling in my left arm, hands and fingers. It's common when your nodes are removed, as the fluids redistribute themselves to the wrong places. So instead of all my fluids circulating symmetrically, a whole hell of a lot of them are in my left arm, which is where the nodes were removed. It requires therapy; putting on those tights that you get in the hospital to help circulation and a bunch of other stuff that I was unable to digest. But I won't be able to start that until August between traveling and then the tata swap. And the Herceptin? I will be having until April. I thought this saga would be under a year start to finish. Wishful thinking.

I know this latest health complication is (hopefuly) just a minor inconvenience relative to this whole entire ordeal. But it's the little things in this that have been adding up to a big old hot mess. OMG, I'm going to have to be one of those people who walk around the plane so they don't have to sit for long periods of time, which could lead to blood clots. FUUUUUUUUUCK. Dr. Schwartz says, from what he can tell it's not a blood clot, but from my understanding this is what leads to dangerous blood clots if not treated early. Okay, now I'm getting freaked out just sitting on my couch and watching TV. I'm going to have to do what my mom did to 'diet' in college--jumping jacks during the commercials. She claims she lost about ten pounds that way, but the woman has never weighed more than 115 lbs.

In summary, things are pretty much sucking all over. Heading home on Thursday for several days, so I'll get to chill by the beach, with brother and the dogs and the peace that home affords me.

I couldn't help myself so I Googled "lymphedema treatments" and found a helpful Mayo Clinic explanation.

Have I mentioned how much I love salt? Now it's my enemy.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The young, postmodern Cancer Patient: I'm sitting on my balcony with Wally, in my bathing suit, with my laptop and bald head exposed. The downside to this is that I can see my reflection in the computer screen and it ain't pretty. Luckily the boaters don't get too close.

Friday, June 27, 2008

That photo above is from my own balcony, from which most nights I view a spectacular sunset. Therefore I know I shouldn't bitch much. But it's been one roller-coaster of a week. Being inside my brain is like riding Space Mountain.

Between Dana leaving and the BC BS, I'm pretty emotionally spent and unmotivated to do much. My left hand is so swollen I can't see the veins. My watches are leaving marks on my inflated wrists. And no matter how much I sweat, pee or detox, I feel so disgusting. I imagine I feel like a preggers woman about to pop.

And here's the kicker. I popped into the cancer ward today. (How is it that I've gone from popping into Neiman's and Bergdorf's to this?) I was already at the hospital for my MUGASCAN, so I went to talk to one of the chemo nurses about the swelling and water retention. Now, survivors and even my docs told me that the side-effects work their way out of your system in a couple weeks. And I was hoping that would be the case with the swelling.

Not so much. The nurse told me it takes 4-6 months for your body to get back to its pre-chemo state of wellness. That means October. No hair. Sausage fingers and arms. Fruit fast. I've barely been holding it together this week. All my body is craving is carbs, carbs and more carbs to boot. Specifically, cake from Epicure. My chemical romance with the benzos is about the only thing that really helps me when I get so anxiety ridden I can't sit still.

I'm actually watching Enchanted for god's sake. I need a bona fide fairy-tale to take my mind to fantasyland. I think I'll go book a trip to NYC for August. And a Botox session for next week cause at this rate I'm sprouting new wrinkles every day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Check out my new friend Janelle's fashion line Orangia. She's taking on New York now so remember you heard it here first!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law

Sitting here with Dana . We're going to recap some of our funniest stories while Kobi is presently eating an entire container of cottage cheese, Wally is under the bed, Cubby the pug is snorting and Sumner is sprawled out on the bed sleeping with her eyes open.

An early start to retail therapy:
When we were in my old house, I had a lovely peach room and bed with a canopy. Apparently, I've always had a penchant for fashion. Dana and I liked to pretend that my room was an upscale boutique. We can't recall what we 'sold' but we both remember organizing things, making the room attractive to 'buyers' and dressing up and putting on makeup.

The origin of my snake phobia:
It was my 11th (I think) birthday. I walked over to my closet to get a pair of Mary Janes for our trip to the mall to spend my birthday cash. As I reached for my shoes, a garden snake slithered out. I screamed, freaked out and ran down the hall to mom, meanwhile Dana was cracking up, so mom didn't believe me. It wasn't until I started bawling that mom believed me. Dad was in the bath. So Dana and I hid in the hall closet while Brother, who was only like 6 or so, caught the snake and carried it out the front door in a brown paper Publix bag.

The Continuation of my snake phobia:
Dana is a pretty successful practical joker and loves to prey on my weaknesses. My parents' street is very wooded with all kinds of animals lurking amongst the foilage. The snakes come out in full force once it gets hot. Dana and Nicole show up at my front door one day and greet me by throwing a dead snake at me. They picked up roadkill, carried it to my house and thought it was just the funniest thing ever.

New Year's Eve:
It's 9th grade. We were going through our slumming it phase and hanging out with these total white trash losers who were like 17 or 18. We were 14. It was New Year's Eve and for reasons unknown, our parents had trusted us to stay home and baby-sit Brother and his friend Michael. Well, naturally we had other plans. As my parents were getting ready, Einstein over here is trying on her new clothes, putting on makeup, getting the bangs up to superhuman heights and being an idiot in general. Both my parents and Dana's parents were attending the same party that night, which happened to be at one of our teacher's homes. Brother was always cool and was under strict instructions to cover for me. Before Dana had come over, she had gone through the same ritual--coated her hair in Aussie Scrunch Spray, put on makeup, etc. As soon as mom and dad left, we gave the boys instructions.

"When mom and dad call, tell them we are in the shower." Brilliant, foolproof plan.

These ghetto boys pick us up in their car that we used to call the Hellrider. Right away, the driver told us he was tripping. Well, were pretty innocent nice Jewish girls and I don't think we really understood what tripping does to you. We don't remember the sequence of events, but we both recall the driver was basically in a reclining position about three feet from the steering wheel driving. We ended up in the parking garage at the now defunct Jacobson's and the acid dude was driving around the garage at warp speed. We also went to the Landing, which is an outdoor, mini South Street Seaport type of place. It was Jax's Times Square and filled with rowdy, drunken adults. Two 14-year-olds had no business being there.

We got back to my house around midnight and saw Harvey's, Dana's dad, car parked outside the house. We panicked and had another brilliant idea. We through our shoes into the bushes and put our purses in the mailbox.

"Ok, we'll tell them we just went for a walk."

"Ok. That will totally work."

We crept into the front door and Harvey, an intimidating and strict father, was planted in the foyer.

"You get your ass over here now."

While we were out, the 'rents had called, and one of the Michaels had done as told.

"Uh, she's in the shower."

Natch, both sets of parents raced home. From that point on, we were on and off restriction for most of ninth grade. And the kicker: We had to go to class on Monday and face our teacher whose house the party was at. She called us out in front of the entire class, saying something like,
"So, you guys were quite the conversation topic at the party."

The Spacemobile

We still had some very WT friends. The same year, in one of our breaks from restriction, we convinced our parents to let us go hang out at this girl Rhonda's house. Our parents insisted on talking the our friends' parents before allowing us to go over to other people's houses. Mom spoke to Rhonda's mother, who was a little drunk I think. Nancy and Nancy were leery of letting us go over there in the beginning. We got over there. The mom was completely wasted. The dad was a character out of "To Catch a Predator." Literally leering at us. The three of us went out with some other WT boys; meanwhile it hadn't escaped mom and Nancy's attention that this family was a little off.

We got back to her house and saw the lights of my mom's Spacemobile in the middle of the street. Busted, again. Back to restriction.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dana Detox Diet

I asked acupuncturist today about a detox diet that didn't involve the master cleanse or fasting. He suggested the fruit detox, which is: 1st day only solid fruits. 2nd day only fruit juices (including those Odwalla smoothies and stuff. 3rd day back to solid fruits. Totally doable. So tonight my dinner will be fruit salad. And I bought this Chinese tea from Whole Foods. He says that will definitely help me pee. I mean, I peed like two times today and I drank 1 large cup of coffee; one Snapple; and 30 oz of water and counting. UGH.

We finally have at least one foursome for the Costa Rica trip and I'm beyond psyched. Jen is the only one who hasn't booked her plane ticket yet, but she is definitely in. And a friend from college and L.A. is joining us, which is fabu because I haven't seen her in like seven years!

I'm kind of bewildered (and grateful, natch) at how good I feel and how the only apparent side effect I'm still having is the bloating, swelling--my fingers are sausages--and mouth thing. And the hair loss of course. I drove around bald today; it was fucking sweltering. But now I'm thinking that I need to go see Ralf the wig guru to cut the wig and have him show me how the hellI'm supposed to secure the wig when I have just like a 1/4 inch of hair. I can't use the wig tape cause it's so strong it pulls out the hair. I suppose there may be other kinds of toupee tape that aren't as adhesive.

Dana leaves Thursday a.m. I rescheduled my MUGASCAN and have the day to be with her. I think I'll take a few Zannies. I'm going to dedicate the next several posts to hilarious stories of our 32 years of misadventures together, so I think if I bring over the laptop tomorrow she can dictate to me while I write them up. That should keep us laughing instead of crying.

And I'm determined to make an indelible impression on Kobi before he leaves. I shall teach him a curse word. Jim already got fuck. How funny would it be if I pointed to myself and said "bitch?" He already knows me as Stephie though, so it probably wouldn't work. Ooh, I know. I'll teach him dick. Or cock. I will demonstrate on Wally and Cubby. Loves it.

Hey the kid won't remember living in Miami, but he'll sure as hell remember "cock."

And Crazy Ass Nicole the hole is having a baby on Friday. Inducing of course, for which I do not blame her one single bit.

And I think I just burnt the water I was boiling for the tea. Fuck.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A moment of laughter and cursing for the legendary George Carlin.
And while we're at it, a moment for Tim Russert and Bo Diddley too.
Life, death, life, death. Shit happens. Time is short, people. And I'm still bald. Everywhere.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I can't believe Dana's leaving. I'm going to be comfortably numb and in denial probably until I go to Chicago. And I'm sure leaving Chicago is going to unleash the waterworks. I'll double up on meds for that flight home.

Our last dinner downtown tonight with the Glassman Girls (who are going to be a triple threat soon), Dana, Jim, Kobi and Sumner.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I've put some stuff up on eBay.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could sell your entire self on eBay?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taping the Tatas

I had a four-month check up with my surgeon (regular, not plastic) today. Have I mentioned how hot he is? George-Clooney-esque. Married, natch.

It's not stopped raining for 2 days here. I shaved the head again yesterday to get rid of the peach fuzz. What came off in the razor resembled blond dust. Tres, tres bizarre. Fucking fuzz. I'm just going to keep shaving until that nasty shit is gone and the real, thick, Jew hair comes back. Surgeon seemed impressed that my eyelashes and eyebrows didn't come out. I'm lucky I'm one hairy biatch, because while I did lose some eyelashes and a few eyebrow hairs, I had enough to spare. I really wish the V-jay-jay hair would stay gone though. And the armpit hair. What a treat it was never having to shave.

As a beauty tip aside, those of you who buy oils, potions and creams to reduce scarring, save your money. The plastic surgeons instead recommend using silicone tape or steri-strips to flatten the scars so keloids don't form. Thus, I'm about to go tape up the perimeter of my tatas.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cabin Fever

It's absolutely apocryphal outside. Wally's been hiding in the closet/bathroom/kitchen for two days now. We are all stuck inside. I'd like to go out and skip around the streets, mingle with the crazy crackheads and SoBe characters, shout from the rooftops, but instead I'm on the computer.

Summer is officially here. If you want to see all the chemo photos, you can check out my Facebook album.

I'd invited about 15 of my closest Miami friends to join me in the chemo room Monday. We brought 3 bottles of wine, upon my insistence.

"Do you really think your friends are going to drink wine during the day?" mom asked.

"Uh, yeah."

Surprisingly, they only went through one bottle of rose. They all seemed to get a kick out of me lounging in the hospital bed in my four-inch Giuseppe Zanottis. Stace said she knew it was me in the room because she saw the shoes peeking out behind the curtain. Love it. By the end of the day, we walked out of the room with about 3 bags of food and two bottles of wine. The charge nurse saw Cunty in her stroller and basically kicked her out. The reasoning? Insurance of course, they don't want the baby to get poked with needles. I can assure you she would've come nowhere near a needle. But poor Dana and Cunty had to evacuate the chemo ward and wait in the hallway.

I also brought my Tempurpedic pillow with me, which some of you may know weighs about 10 lbs. I can't sleep without this pillow. After collecting all our things from my room--laptop, flowers, food, cards, video and still cameras, magazines and the like, we arrived home.

"Fuck! Where's the pillow?"

All three of us forgot. It was about 6 p.m. and I was convinced someone would either steal it or contaminate it. Dad rushed back to the Cancer Center and the whole place was locked. Went in yesterday a.m. for the shot and the lovely nurse--whose name I don't know as he was new--had stowed the pillow for me.

"Honey, I have one of these, so as soon as I picked it up I knew it was too heavy to be one of ours."

Ah, the kindness of strangers. The staff also gave me a chemo graduation certificate and a piece of cake. Very cute.

I've got that victimy-looking peach fuzz thing going on. I'm just going to keep shaving the head until I see normal, dark, healthy hair grow back in. And since it's about to be 100+ here every day, this baldie will probably be walking around that way for most of the summer.

Feeling remarkably well. Though for some reason every muscle in my body aches, despite my lack of excercise in the past few days. Think it's a side effect of the Nulasta shot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What a long, strange drip it's been

I am done. I am done. I am SO done (hopefully) with chemo. Hell fuck yeah. It's definitely been a long four months that at the same time went very fast. I know some of you new readers are curious for the whole cancer saga in a nutshell, so here are some links that should give you the bigger picture. The phone call. Diagnosis. The facts. The hair. The wig. The photos. The surgeries. The alien drains. More surgery photos. The lymph nodes. More lymph nodes. Chemo.

I am so grateful for my wonderful, amazing, supportive friends, family and family friends who have been so helpful. I never needed any of those "support groups" because my people were that for me. I am truly blessed by these people. You'd be amazed how many patients I saw in the chemo ward completely alone. It's pretty heartbreaking. I'm also very grateful to my readers who have been incredibly encouraging and whose comments and emails mean a great deal to me as well.

I'm not, however, done with the hospital yet. Because of the kind of BCa I had, I can take this drug called Herceptin, which greatly reduces the risk of recurrence. Now, because we've had so many percentages and numbers thrown at us over the past seven months, I asked my doctor to recalculate what my percentage of recurrence possibility will be. I think it should be lower than 5%, but I can't fucking remember what I said two paragraphs ago, so obv. I could be wrong. But I do have to go back to the hospital and chemo ward every two or three weeks for the next several months, where, again I'll have to receive fluids for a half-hour to an hour-and-a-half through my port.

My Costa Rica trip to the Four Seasons on Peninsula Papagayo is set for the day after my 33rd birthday (ugh), then I'll have one day in between to come home and fly out to Vegas for my dad's 60th and Lynn's son's wedding, where I'll debut my Oscar dress to much fanfare I am sure. Though mom's Reem Acra is a show-stealer too.

Let me tell you, I am sooo looking forward to the boob swappage. My boobs will finally be soft and low enough to fit back into my clothes without having to wear a tank under everything to cover the tops of the tennis balls. All in all though, with the nipples not going on until October likely and then tattooing in the color after that, I'm not going to be completely done until Nov/Dec. Meaning, this whole ordeal will have taken an entire year. I suppose that it's been the most formative year of my life; at least let's hope so. I'm still considered a high-risk cancer getter and will eventually remove my ovaries. . . .good times.

Anyway, I'm off to start my life again. So far so good with the side-effects today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hooked up to my last chemo IV hopefully forever! Thanks to all my friends for stopping by.

Check out my friend Melissa C. Morris' article about her May December blog in Sunday's NYT Styles section.

Loyal readers will remember Mel and I meeting up at Bergdorf's for lunch when I went to NYC to see Larry Norton. We had a lovely long lunch. And she's still the only blogger friend I've met in person.

Go Mel and Monty.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

CP in CR

I'm quite excited that this is where I'll be for my birthday and post-cancer trip this year.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Running out for dinner and a movie at the gay boyfriend's house, where I'll finally meet his two Jack Russell's, Ruby and Otis, but I have to write this before chemo brain erases it.

Went to the tata doc today for the final pre-op consult. Following is what he said, after Dana, Cunty and I discussed the TPC course with him; he was in Jax recently and thought of me. Aww. I wonder if when he thinks of his patients he sees their boobs instead of their faces.

Anyway, apparently my thin skin makes for a bad recipe in terms of size and cleavage. Since there is nothing but "skin and bone" between the boobs, he can't put them too close together without it creating rippling/wrinkling. So you know how on 90210 Tori Spelling looked like a freak of nature with those implants and that weird concave wall in the area where cleavage should be? We finally have an explanation! Skinny bitches do not make for good breast implant candidates apparently. You'll notice that when she got preggers her boobs normalized. . . .

So, get this—he's actually going to pop the balloons in my chest! I can't tell you how long I've been wanting to do that! He pops the balloons, pulls them out of the small incision space, then slides in a couple different silicone implants to see which ones fit the best. He thinks I'll probably be a small-to-regular-C cup. Fine by me; just get it over with already. At this point I just want my clothes to fit me normally.

He says that he will literally have 8 different implants in there for sizing purposes. Also, there won't be any additional scarring, which is good. The recovery time is about a week or so. The liposuction issue—the reason there is extra tissue/fat on the flanks of my rib cage is that when they removed all the tissue from my underarms, breasts etc, the stuff redeposited itself in the flanks. Basically it has nowhere else to go so it drips down.

"Are you planning on having nipples made?" he asked.

"Uh, yeah."

He said to wait until they put those on—about two months later—to do the lipo. There's a slight chance that tissue will redeposit itself and if I did it in this surgery it would just add to my recovery time. I almost forgot to ask him the most important question:

"Can you do some Botox and Restylane when I'm under?"

"Well, it depends. . ."

According to him, the fucking BS hospital people insist on charging the patient for the 10 minutes in the OR it takes to do the shots. So, if you're in there for an hour-long surgery covered by ins., the hospital would charge you separately for that minute it takes to inject you.

Now, whether the hospital knows about this, it all depends on who's in the OR. One nurse narced on him for doing it once. How fucked up is that? These hospitals really milk you for all you're worth. It's horrifying.

I also sliced open the top of my big toe the other day. It was really gushing. Ya'll know what a crazy germaphobe I am, so I've been bandaging it, cleaning it obsessively etc. He took one look at it and put a band aid on it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's been one of those days. I woke up to find Wally's bright yellow urine on my beloved Yves Delorme pillow sham and fitted sheet. I'd just washed them the day before.

On my way to acupuncture this asshole cut me off on the road and we had a finger-fuck-you-off.

All of which caused me to be late to acupuncture.

Then the mouth started to bother me while I was at Dana's. Then I acknowledged the fact that my eyelashes have started to fall out. I have thick lashes thankfully, but the bottom ones are almost completely gone and the tops are definitely thinner. The jet fuel is definitely building up in my system and I'm anticipating a rough three weeks coming up.

Tomorrow is my last visit with the plastic surgeon before the surgery. My voodoo doll of him is filled with pins. But tomorrow is when I will "choose" my new breasts so to speak. How the fuck do I know what breasts to choose? I'll just leave it up to him and his knife mastery. I have to have the liposuctioning of the "flanks"—the sides of my rib cage—during this surgery, so I'm going to ask him if he'll throw in some Restylane and Botox. I'm kidding mom don't freak out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hey Ladies. . .

Okay, without revealing things in advance—I need to be up and running before I spread the word—this item is essentially a prototype. So you guys will get first dibs on my inaugural product for what will be a successful venture, hopefully.

These lovely and talented—yes, shoes can have talent—Manolo Blahniks were designed exclusively for Neiman Marcus' 100th anniversary.

Retail price: $595. Your price: $295 plus shipping. ($307.99) Never worn.

The added bonus? You won't have to feel guilty because I'll donate 10% of the proceeds to breast cancer research.

My photography skills SUCK. But these are a fabulous pair of gold and purple metallic flats in size 37. They are very comfortable. They're not ultra-shiny as they may appear in some of these shots. They're really lovely. I'm tempted to keep them, but I have a gold pair of Manolos, so I really couldn't justify that. If you likey and want to buy them, hit the button below. And if you have questions about them, feel free to comment or email me directly.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hell fuck yeah

One week from today is the last time—God willing the big C doesn't have an encore in my cells—I'll be hooked up to the chemo bags of drugs! Woo-hoo.

I've actually been very nauseated the past few days. Today I had to take two diff kinds of pills for that. I'm kind of hoping it's PMS combined with chemo, otherwise I could be in for a rough round of side-effects after the last treatment.

Of course I can do anything I want that night or whatever, but I'm just SO exhausted. I mean if a jet was waiting to take me to Nice, you can bet your ass I'd be on it. But nice dinners have kind of lost their lustre, especially since I usually eat three bites and don't drink. Oooh, yay! I can drink again! Hahaha. The party girl is back!

I'm getting ready to launch a new biz venture that you guys will have first look at. Combining fashion, styling, writing and giving back, this idea may actually work and will be fun as hell too. My smarty-pants, business-y guy friend is going to help too. Teach me some business common sense.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I have such a smorgasbord of meds that I just had to Google "hydrochlorothiazide" to make sure it was the diuretic. I swear I'm retaining like 5 lbs of water from this chemo, no matter how much I sweat out. Imagine your PMS symptoms on steroids and you'll get the idea. The shrink, whose clientele is about 50% cancer-ridden, told me not to take them, that I'll be amazed how my body will bounce back right after chemo ends. But fuck, I need to get this water out. I used to piss about 8-10 times a day. Now I go about 3 or 4. Who would've thought I'd lament about not having an overactive bladder? I can't fit into my fucking jeans thanks to my water belly. And that's not a delusional an excuse I'm psyching myself into, as I've got no appetite and am at the gym at least 4 days a week again.

Sigh. I just have to remind myself that these side-effects are better than hugging the toilet.

I just returned from Sally Beauty Supply to get my "men's grooming tape" for the wig, which henceforth shall be named Roxy. The dead, diva grandmother may get a kick out of that. I'm sure if she needed a wig, she would've gone to Ralf. She made Doris Duke seem very normal.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'm now totally addicted to Facebook. Those of you readers who use it, feel free to join my "friends."

I was walking Wally and thinking about Ralf the wig guru which led me to thinking about Doris Duke, as Ralf did her wigs like every week of her life or something. Many of my friends didn't know who she was when I told them my Ralf stories—helloooo Duke University—but basically she was the girl for whom the term "poor little rich girl" was coined. Her daddy was a tobacco tycoon who left his estimated $100-million estate to her when he died. She was 12 or 13 at the time and that $100 million translates to a billion in today's market.

Doris was one of those women everyone took advantage of for her money, and from what I've read and seen, she was somewhat of a nutbag herself. In the end, she had this creepy male butler named Bernard Lafferty, who was a total freak—gay but loved women to the point of complete, utter obsession.

I remember Ralf saying what a weirdo this Bernard guy was, as he accompanied Doris to her wig sessions. I just think it's amazing that Ralf—this rough and tumble character with a thick Queens accent—must have known Doris intimately. I can just see her in his salon rambling obscenities and him rolling his eyes and saying, "Madame" this and that. He calls everyone Madame.

So I get home from walking Wally, and what's coming on HBO but a movie with Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes called Bernard and Doris. I DVR-d it and watched it yesterday. Lo and behold, it was produced and directed by the awesome Bob Balaban. Now, when I met Dr. Larry Norton at Sloan, he immediately reminded me of Balaban. Anywho, just odd that I thought of Duke, then the movie came on, then I watched it, then I saw that it was directed by Balaban.

I highly recommend watching the flick, this woman led a fascinating life. Also, if you haven't seen HBO's Recount, watch that too. Balaban gives a brill performance in that as well. Ah, the circle of life.

I've decided—per the 'rents suggestion—to go to Chicago to help Dana settle in. It'll be a nice distraction the week before my big tata swap.

Friday, June 06, 2008

So the real reason I've been in such a funk this week is not the cancer, the chemo, the future—although that is bleak for sure—but the fact that my bff recently announced that she is moving to Chicago. In about three weeks. Hubby got a better job offer, his family is there, the school system is better, and they have to go.

Dana and I have been best friends literally since birth, when we were put into the same playgroup, and have never looked back. We've been together through every pitfall and triumph of each other's lives. We lived no more than a mile away for 17 years; we were college roommates and post-college roommates. I was there for the birth of her two children and she was there for my cancer diagnosis and pretty much every doctor's appointment and chemo thereafter. Not to mention the countless times we got into trouble together, partied like rock stars, laughed cried, the whole nine. A friendship like ours is truly rare.

If there was big news to share in either one of our lives, I was the first to know about it and vice-versa.

I have had a more emotional reaction to the fact that she is leaving than I did to finding out I had cancer. Of course I am happy for her if she is happy and if they can make a better life out there. But I'm also completely, utterly shattered that she is going to be much more than a car ride away. I know that this is what happens in life; people get married, create families and go where the best opportunities are. I suppose that I've never had to do that. I've been lucky enough to pick up and move where I want, when I want. And I have to admit that I don't know if my decision to move here would have been so easy had she not been here. And I also admit that I thought she'd be here for good. But as I've learned in the past year, nothing is ever really set in stone. People move, die, get cancer, have babies and live their lives according to what happens to them. We all "roll with the punches."

Still though, I haven't slept well all week. When I do sleep I have disturbing nightmares. And I haven't cried this much since I can't remember when. I know that the move won't affect our unique bond, and maybe on top of this I am PMS-ing, but I can't help but feel gutted. She's always been a phone call or car ride away.

When I was in so much pain I could barely move she came over and massaged my back. She's my emergency contact on all my hospital forms. Our fathers grew up together. My grandmother used to take her shopping whenever we visited Sarasota. We are, and have always been, sisters. I guess I now know how my brother (probably) felt when I left New York. Though I can't imagine him being this emotional. And I was never as good of a sister to him as she was a friend to me.

My shrink is in the South of France for the summer. I have cancer. And she's moving. Why the fuck does everything always happen at once? What's next I can't even imagine, but I know, I know, things could always be worse. And I'm being selfish; I know they will be happy there and come visit a lot. I guess this is what being a grown up means.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Okay, so an update on the personal front. Ex-Beau finally got all his shit out of my pad. He had "given" me one of his Macs that he said he didn't use, but sure enough he took it back.

I made sure not to be here when he came—don't need the drama. I was at Neiman's Last Call anyway, which has become a ritual during chemo weeks. As I was running my errands with Wally just now I thought to myself, 'What the hell was I thinking being with Beau anyway?'
I have a weird penchant for choosing men who need to be fixed in some way. Which is odd considering that my only maternal instincts are for dogs. So my love affair with Wally continues while men are not even on my radar.

I've also acknowledged one of my biggest fears re. the cancer thing and the end of chemo: What if my previously lovely hair grows back ugly? I always took my thick, shiny hair for granted. Now I'm fretting over the fact that it may grow back hideous. Also, my hair is naturally curly and I can't get it Japanese-straightened until 6-months post chemo. What this means is I'm going to have a head full of gross, short, curly hair for 6 months; I'll have to wear the wig for another 6 months post chemo, with hair underneath making it that much hotter and uncomfortable.

Profound thoughts on the cancer front. Whatever. My curly hair has come back to haunt me.

I'm going to post some clothing and shoes for sale later for the ladies. . .

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tell me why they call it chemotherapy when there's nothing therapeutic about it. I'm feeling fatigued and am going to take a nap, but wanted to write before I go into la la land.

It was an emotionally exhausting week at home. Have I told you? I cannot fucking remember.

The chemo brain has gotten so bad that when I walked into acupuncture today, I forgot my therapist's name when I signed in. I mean, come on. That's just embarrassing. It seems I'm experiencing all the emotional and physical side-effects this week. I'll spare you the details, but I'm not feeling very happy right now.

I am, however, starting a new biz venture, which my fashionista readers will come to appreciate (hopefully). I should have that up later tonight or tomorrow.

And there are still rats! I was on the balcony last night when it was still freaking light out and one of the little fuckers was scurrying along the top of the wall on the floor beneath me.

Anyway, here are some fun pics from today's session. I asked Chad, the therapist, to snap me while I was being treated. He was a trooper.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Chemo Cakewalk

Plugged into the chemo machine right now. Got salads from Epicure, have the Bob Dylan movie I'm not There, finished a column, possibly set up my male nurse with one of my gays and am wearing "My Boobs Are Killer" t-shirt.

Don't know if we'll be headed straight to Neiman's, but perhaps dinner and Sex and the City again.

Two weeks from today, I am SOOO outta here!