Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Shrink is OUT

So, this is a new one: I think I may have been dumped by my shrink. The Miami one--not the L.A. one. I've paged him twice in the last coupla weeks to get an appt. He hasn't returned either one of my calls. Highly unlikely for him; he usually won't hesitate to call at 9 p.m.

I'm half wondering if everything is okay with his family--we have mutual friends--and half wondering if I've finally reached the level of psychosis where my psychiatrist won't even touch me. I bet not even Woody Allen has accomplished that feat.

Since shrinkey is a Facebook friend, I'm thisclose to messaging him via FB. But if he didn't think I was crazy before, that would most certainly push things over the edge.

Seriously though, there's something a little off here. And I need drugs, stat. What the fuck.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm happy to share that Vicky, my new friend I met in Chopard, had clean MRI results! Go her. She's very grateful to all you readers who sent positive thoughts and energy her way!

Friday, August 29, 2008

I just had to post these photos of the Versace manse. Wow. Photos don't do it justice. And it IS completely over the top, but the craftsmanship, design and intricacy of every cranny in this place is just amazing. HG took A LOT of photos, so here's roll two.

Facebook Friends

Ahh, Facebook. Facebook and breast cancer are proving to be the most beneficial things for my career in ages. Through a real-life friend and a Facebook friend, I found myself auditioning for a national TV commercial this morning.

It's for a product that aids in breast self-examinations, which I always found difficult to do. I always had lumpy boobage. I found my lump by accident, in the shower. When I was approached for this spot, I figured what the hell. I'm all about raising awareness. It does pay, but I would certainly donate a portion to cancer research. I wasn't nervous. In fact, while I used to have major anxiety walking into unfamiliar situations, the cancer kind of eliminated that.

Now I'm off to tour the former Versace Mansion, the site of his murder a little more than 11 years ago--holy fuck I'm old. Now the structure is called Casa Casuarina. It's a private club, resort and event space. I don't know if I've spoken about Gianni Versace before, but he was one of my early artistic influences. His designs in the early 90s and late 80s made me see fashion for the art it is. One of my friends who grew up in the city was my Versace-obsessed partner in crime. In fact, we met at a summer program at the University of Michigan by bonding over the genius that was Versace. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of his crazy murder. Gainesville, Florida summer session at UF, in my apartment.

All my Versace clothes are either too big or too worn out, so I *really* can't honor him as I would like.

And have I also mentioned that I gave one of his close relatives her first bong hit years ago? One of my proudest moments.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stand up to Cancer

I've started a Dishalicious team for Stand up to Cancer fundraising. Please follow the link and donate if you are able and inclined. Even if it's just a dollar or two.

On Friday Sept. 5
From the Stand up to Cancer web site:
MAKE HISTORY WITH US
TUNE IN SEPTEMBER 5TH 8PM ET/PT
STAND UP TO CANCERIn less than two weeks, over 50 of the most renowned personalities in TV, film, sports and music will come together to make history. In an unprecedented television event, NBC, ABC, and CBS will simultaneously devote 1 hour of commercial-free prime time to raise funds for the fight against cancer.
A spectacular line up of talent including Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Streep, David Cook, Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Charles Barkley, America Ferrera, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Forrest Whitaker, Jimmy Fallon, Keanu Reeves * will make personal appearances on the show. These celebrities and more will educate you, move you and entertain you. They will also be on hand to answer your calls in the celebrity phone bank.
ONE NIGHT ONE STAGEThe premiere TV performance of “Just Stand Up” – the star studded charitable single in support of Stand Up To Cancer will be performed by legendary recording artists Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood.
Don’t miss out!
Tune in September 5th at 8pm on
ABC, NBC and CBS!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Chemical Cancer





Say hello to my little friends. I don't even know what a lot of them are. C'est la Cancer.

The Tao of Touch

For me, a good massage can hold its own against a good trip to Bergdorf’s any day. There’s something profound to be said for the power of touch. I’ll take a massage when and where I can get one (within reason; you won’t see me in Whole Foods or at the airport). In fact, I may as well admit that one of the reasons I kept an ex of mine around for about four months longer than I should’ve was that he gave amazing massages. Years in the IDF will give you strong hands, apparently. (The other reason was that he also cooked quite well.)

Some people, such as my mom, are not massage-friendly. “I don’t like strangers touching me!” She protests. As a germaphobe, you’d think I would be on board with that excuse. I’m not. The closest my mom has gotten to an actual massage is those five-minute, ghetto, sports rubdowns they give you after you’ve run the New York Marathon. Seriously. Our vacations have taken us to some of the most spectacular spas in the world. Mom never bothers. There’s nothing I can do to convince her, so, more hands for me.

Sometimes my body is more heightened to the sensations of human touch. I began going to acupuncture to seek relief from the constant, dire, expander-caused pain. Once Chad relieved a good portion of that, I was able to relax into the needles and the handwork. As the chemo left my body, my senses became heightened even more. I was feeling things normally again. There was no baseline of pain, so my body was finally just another human body again. As the side-effects diminish, the acupuncture and massage becomes more pleasurable.

And though Chad is a man, it’s not a sexual thing. I feel just as good when a friend rubs my head or squeezes my shoulder or what have you. And my heightened sensory perceptions are not because I’m horny/lonely/damaged goods. Sista actually has a romantic life nowadays, the difference being that I’m not sharing it here.

Today I went in and told Chad that my neck was stiff from yoga. That was my main issue. I’ve also been feeling pretty relaxed, so I’m sure that helped. For the next hour, Chad proceeded to place and remove needles, while at the same time massaging all my pressure points. My neck and shoulders are what always get me, and he was especially adept in that area.

Near the end, (remember, I’ve now been seeing Chad for more than 4 months, weekly) he did something he’d never done.

“Would you mind if I took a look at how they are healing?”

“Oh, the girls? Sure.”
He gently removed the sheet and looked at the ladies, feeling the skin a little. He was quite pleased. I’m not sure why this left me feeling all warm and fuzzy (and not in the hands covering your pants kind of way). I think it’s because Chad’s seen me at every step of the way and is incredibly in-tune with his patients. Early on, he told me that he visualized each of his patients while he meditated. When I came to him, he said, he could tell that I was feeling very unsure with my body and looks. “I just want to assure you that you are still a very attractive woman, Stephanie.” It reassured me in a non-pervy way.
Now, here the same man was today admiring the “after” version of me. And I appreciated his opinion. As both a man and a caregiver.

A few minutes later, I realized that he only wanted to see how they were healing to tell whether he could begin to massage them and let me lay face down for treatment. Ahh. That makes sense.

Now I think I’ll go book some treatments for the Four Seasons Papagayo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Uhhhhhhhh, I feel compelled to write because I am sitting here in the hospital waiting for the staff to bring over my meds, even though I haven't got a whole hell of a lot to say today. When I say I'm "done" with everything BC-related, I always forget about the Herceptin, which requires my presence at least once a month and is the reason I am still with port.

See, they give me the Herceptin exactly like they did the chemo--hook the IV up to the cords that go to the port catheter which goes directly to my heart. YUM. I have stories to be writing, but I'm feeling uninspired and discombobulated, not to mention completely unfocused. I think I should've stayed in my own bed today. I've been waiting in this damned sick bed for almost an hour already. Where the fuck is my Herceptin? Bueller? Anyone?

Screw Cancer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

An 18k Cruising Altitude

As I was typing yesterday's post about karma and coincidences, Delta paged me over the intercom. I had already switched to an aisle seat. (I was hoping the announcement of my name indicated a free upgrade, natch.) The agent asked me if I was willing to switch to another aisle seat, so that she could seat a family together. I said yes and went back to typing.

We boarded the plane and an unremarkable looking older woman took the seat next to me. Ordinarily I shove my nose in a book and stick to myself when I fly. However, we sat on the runway for an hour+. (The gas gauge was broken, so they emptied the tank and put in a full tank to be safe. Comforting, right?) I was decked out in the lymph garments. So hot. I've taken to wearing a rubber glove over my compression glove, so that I can wash my hands normally. It also keeps the glove in better shape. I was so incredibly overtired and marginally delirious yesterday that I don't remember exactly how breast cancer came up. She asked me if she could help me--an 80-year-old, frail looking woman offering to help me, how sweet. We segued into the breast cancer conversation. Natch, she'd had it eight years ago. And, natch, she'd been treated at Sloan. She was en-route to her condo on Collins Ave. and then a wedding in Palm Beach. She's a snowbird who spends most of her time in Riverdale. We begin talking about BC, but also about politics and the content of the People mags I had on the plane. We gushed about Ellen and Portia's wedding and how far our country had come. At the same time, we were lamenting what a shitty state the U.S. was in and how we were keeping our fingers crossed that Obama would choose a VP that would harness more votes for him.

As an immigrant from the Czech Republic at 17, she relayed how much the U.S. meant to her. And I agreed that us native-born citizens certainly didn't appreciate what we had as much as people such as herself, who'd really seen some bullshit go down in their own countries.

Now, a word about her appearance and not judging books by their covers. Or people by their clothes and accessories. This whole cancer thing has made me a lot less judgmental. She's wearing a blue cable-knit sweater, light jeans, sandals with nude hose peeking out, simple, understated jewelry. She tells me her life story--well, what she could fit of her 80 years into a three-hour plane ride. (As an aside, I love observing, talking and learning from old people. Chances are, they have fascinating stories to tell.)

She's Jewish. Near the end of the flight I ask her what business she was in. Antiques. Major ones. For 50+ years in the city. Guess what my next question was? Oh, no idea, right?

"Did you do jewelry?"

"Oh, yes," she says passionately. Bingo.

Now we're even faster friends. She starts telling me about how they'd buy from estates and how heartbreaking it was when the families of the deceased had no interest in keeping their family heirlooms. Sometimes she even talked people into keeping stuff, and later they thanked her. She began telling me about a fabulous diamond she had sitting at home that neither of her children wanted to keep.

I told her about my meshuga grandmother Roxy and her out-of-control jewelry habit. I tell her that my most emotionally valuable pieces are the ones that were worn by Roxy and my paternal grandmother. I tell her about two of my favorite suites, a pale coral bracelet and necklace, and a lavish pair of jade and diamond earrings and bracelet.

"Wait, maybe I'm wearing them in some of the photos in the camera! As I bend down to extract my camera: "Oh, doy, I have them in my bag!"

I remove my three jewelry bags and we put our tray tables down, oblivious to the fact that we're on a plane. As far as we're concerned, we're in a jewelry store.

I show her the coral first. I knew that pale coral is extremely rare and valuable nowadays because the reefs are protected. When I show her mine, a look of appreciation crosses her face.

"Oh my. Look at this. This is Angelhair Coral. Some of the most valuable kind. Just beautiful."

I'd told her we haven't appraised a lot of Roxy's items. What do we care? Roxy stipulated in her will we were never allowed to sell her pieces.

"You must go to Sotheby's to have this appraised. You must."

I always loved these pieces and knew they were special, but here I was with a true expert, validating my power of selection. (I took them, with permission, from mom who never wore them.)

I then show her the jade pieces and again she's overwhelmed. I promise her I will go to Sotheby's and have them take a look-see. She then starts talking about what she is wearing. A beautiful star sapphire that had belonged to her husband, set in a simple gold band. Another gold ring with two letters that her mom had gifted to her and her sister when they came to America. An ancient Grecian cameo-type charm with Athena etched into the carnelian. She turns around her wedding ring and shows me a simple diamond that was her engagement ring. This is a woman who I'm guessing has a lot of jewelry at home that Sotheby's would be glad to get their hands on. I love this woman, and decide she is more than worthy of my Neiman Marcus Last Call secret location that nobody goes to in Miami. She then pulls out her jewelry case from a pedestrian-looking, worn, tan leather handbag. She pulls out an 18k gold and pearl bracelet from the 18th century. I offer to drop her off in North Miami on my way home but she insists she is fine taking a shuttle. C'mon, how cute is that? I give her one of my cards and insist that she gets in touch when she's back in town for the winter. We hadn't even exchanged names yet. We deplane, hug and say our good-byes. She promises to get in touch. I do hope she does, and I'm going to call Lynn to see if she is going to the PB wedding, which is a Jewish one of a couple who lives next to Mar-a-Lago.

"Tell her I will be in a blue dress," she says.

I'd spoken to her about my weird, coincidental experiences, for which she had a simple explanation.

"It's because you take the time to talk to people."

"Well, only sometimes. Normally I don't talk to people on planes."

"That is something else we have in common."


I'm so grateful we made an exception this time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cancer and Chopard




i am writing with the lymphedema garments on again, so no caps or ap style today. sitting at lga after a fantastic 5 days. it was so fulfilling to see both new friends and old. and once again this week was a staggering reminder of just how fortunate i am in every sense of the word, most especially when it comes to my amazing network of friends and family. also, i feel supremely blessed to be a "connector," who seems to attract like-minded and unique people. screw it. pardon grammatical errors as well; i want to bang this out before my flight boards.

ostensibly, my nyc trip was to see the wig guru, which went well. he dyed it back to my natural, darker shade and i likey sooo much better. you will all see in the photos tk. aside from wig guru though, this was a beneficial, satisfying week on many levels, personal and career wise.

as a result, i think i shall proclaim myself a hindu, given the good karma that is finally coming my way. cancer and good karma, hand in hand? for me--absofuckinglutely.

here's what happened. on tuesday i dropped the wig off at ralf's. he only needed a few hours to do the jobs. since he's on the upper east side on 75th, mom and i decided to eat at the viand on madison and then proceeded to travel the shopping stretch from barneys north. we always look in the windows of chopard, which makes my favorite watches, but we don't often go in to browse. this time we did, and i can say without a doubt that fate guided that decision.

mom got some help looking at watches while i browsed. oh, i was sporting the shaved head and the lymphedema sleeve and glove. mom finished and went outside to take a call. i noticed a display case with baubles and watches with a placard that said a portion of proceeds benefit the aspca. i asked mom's saleswoman, vicky to show me some of the watches so that i could choose one for my luxury goods column in juli b next month. the pr director happened to be in-house, so we met, but vicky stuck around.

"if you don't mind me asking, do you wear the compression garments on planes?"

"do you have breast cancer?"

i have to be brief, so long story short. she finished treatment april 07. who is doctor? larry norton, naturally. the head of sloan's breast center. who you may remember is harder to get in to than, well, anyone in the country perhaps. she too was lucky to have a connection.

mom has returned. we shoot the shit for a while. she tells me her story and vice versa. at a certain point, she looks at my mom and says "you must be so happy she is okay. this must have been so hard on you."

mom bursts into tears. vicky bursts into tears. i start laughing, of course. there are group hugs all around. we exchange info and advice.

now, remember, we are only at chopard at that moment in time because my wig is with ralf. her 3 month mri checkup is scheduled for the next day. i'm sorry, but that is no mere coincidence. not one bit, folks. so she is seeing norton the next day. i tell her to tell him i say hi, ditto for his nurse karen. we bond over what an angel doctor norton is, and we both like him for the exact same reasons. this man is a true gem, a rare, d-color, vvs1 diamond.

we all hug several more times and bid farewell, promising to keep in touch. as mom and i head to the atlantic grill to meet brother for lunch, we are truly reeling.

i think mom wants to trade me in for vicky, in fact. i emailed her today to see how the mri went. let's all keep our fingers crossed for her.

i don't really know where the path i am on right now will take me, but i can say with absolute certainty that it's the one i'm supposed to be on. i am looking at the road ahead of me with curiosity, happiness, and great faith.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Something incredibly serendipitous and strange happened to mom and me yesterday involving Chopard, cancer and coincidences. Really, I'm beginning to think some incredibly freaky strain of karma is ruling my life. Sprinkles informed me that the karmic philosophy was started by Hinduism, so I told him I'm now a Hindu after this most recent incident. I'm still at the NYAC--they haven't kicked my Jewish ass out yet, but I'm headed to Jersey later today. I saw the wig guru yesterday and had him dye it back to my natural color; a shade darker than it was. I like it *so* much better; so much, in fact, that I don't need it cut.

I will relate the crazy Chopard story to you all later today. I'm having breakfast with Mel in a few and I'm hoping she'll bring little Monty if possible. I'm missing my pooch.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bergdorf's Bets

The only thing I've bought up here is Shu Uemura false eyelashes, which the makeup lady at Bergdorf's applied for me. Natch, I forgot to take photos after she'd done my face and eyes, but they looked amazing.

Saturday night I was reunited with a good friend of mine that I've known for 16 years; half my life ago we met. What an old bag I am. I finally got to meet my new Facebook BFF, Sprinkles' girlfriend, and she's awesome. I'm not sure how Sprinkles feels about us being fast friends, but I'm certainly glad to have a new gf. She and I got to Otto a little early last night and were in the middle of some juicy girl talk when Sprinkles walked up.

Tomorrow's the wig guru. Today's the jeweler. I'm going to hock some of my unworn gold--the price of gold is so smashingly high right now that I think I can make a pretty penny.

I'm thinking of going shorter and darker with the wig.

So, the two Heebs, mom and me, and the two Palm Beach ladies, Lynn and Gail, are staying at the New York Athletic Club. This place used to be restricted. Uh, yeah. It's uncomfortably stuffy. But, it's right on CPS, and our room has unobstructed views of the park, the TWC, etc. I just snapped some photos but realized I didn't bring the uploading cord.

We kinda feel like we have horns in here. Check out the dress code. Uhhh, yeah.

So, Sprinkles and I made a bet yesterday. He likes my shaved head and tries to prod me into walking around New York sans wig or cap. I like my shaved head too, but I don't like the attention it draws. Anyway, Sprinkles and I have an ongoing battle over his jeans. In that, I don't like them and he's resistant to buying a new pair. While we dined at Trattoria Dell'Arte:

"I'll go to Bergdorf's and look for jeans if you go there without your hat."

"Seriously?" I can visit Mecca sans hair if it means seeing him in another pair of jeans.

We shook on it, but I just couldn't picture him in Bergdorf's men's store. (Bergdorf's men's is an entirely separate store across the street from the women's store.) As I was getting my makeup done, he left and promised he'd go look for jeans. What did Sprinkles do? Went home.

I haven't figured out how to get back at him, but I'm open to suggestions.

I have a new favorite curse word that I'd like to introduce you to; it's courtesy of Kevin Nealon's character on Weeds. Thundercunt. Isn't that just fabulous? I love it.

Lynn says "Hello bloggers!"

See you at the debates, bitches.

Friday, August 15, 2008

cool waters

on the boat today anchored in the sunset islands. the peach fuzz in this photo? thanks, chemo. it will go away soon.

note the michael jackson lymphedema glove, the surgi strips and the scar. but still, i know--not bad considering it's only been 8 months since my diagnosis. eight months that included a lumpectomy, bilateral mastectomy, lymph node removal, eight chemo treatments, tissue expanders, and finally, silicone implants. i've never packed that much into eight months of my life, ever. how the fuck did i do this? it seems like a surreal dream that i'm just waking up from. i wonder if shock can last eight months.



life's a beach

the lymphedema glove is accessorizing my arm, so pardon the lack of punctuation and caps.

i wish all days could start with a mani/pedi at the ritz, followed by lunch at the standard, capped off b ya quick trip out on a friend's boat.

did i mention how a random twist of fate brought together a gf of mine from new york and a guy friend of mine down here? without my knowledge? three weeks ago the whole crew was out and when CT showed up, there LK was on his arm. she's back here, so HG and i had a fabulous, relaxing day with them. they like my boobs.

there is nothing like being on a boat, is there? to me being on the water is one of the most brain-calming and peaceful gifts nature affords.

i'm heading to nyc in the a.m. until thursday night, so you might not here from me. or maybe you will. i'm bringing the computer.

have a fabulous weekend everybody. and continued good health to you, ellie.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Brows, Beauty and Baubles

I still write my monthly fashion/luxury goods and beauty columns for julib.com, I just haven't linked to them in forevs, so ladies you may want to check em out.


I am SO in love with these Chanel tights I wrote about. Def on my NYC shopping list.



Also, I'm helping my friend Donna McNett sell these awesome necklaces. Email/comment if you are interested. They are going for $168 each and I have a few samples that I will wear in photos once I actually bother to go out and get dressed. Lord knows when that will be.




I'm having my brows shaped for the first time ever today because the hair is growing in wild-style. And I was compelled to buy false eyelashes for the first time ever. Apparently, when the hair grows back it pushes the old stuff out. I never lost my lashes, but they thinned out. After chemo, the long ones started falling out and now they are coming in short and uniform in length. They are hideous. Ugh. I used to have really fantastic lashes. And hair. I miss my hair so much. I should've had a funeral for my hair. Said the Mourner's Kadesh (sp?). Apparently most people's hair grows back a different style, texture, thickness.
Please, please, please let it grow back thick and straight!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Playing House

Gay boyfriend and I had a little harmless fun today. He had a broker's open at a schmancy building south of 5th Street and another showing at a not-so-hot building, so I tagged along. The condo in the second, not-so-hot building was straight out of Rooms to Go. It had Marriott written all over it, from the stock, hotel-like, framed prints, to the flowery bedspread. It belonged to an old, Jewish woman who passed away and her child is trying to rent it out. The clients were late, so we had some time on our hands.

"Take some pictures of my boobs."

A gay man's fantasy, right?

We started out fairly normal. . .





And then he decided that I needed to roll around on the hotel bed, cancer vixen style. Unfortunately, I had a real problem taking direction and just ended up looking like an awkward girl being told to pose in retarded ways.








But, is it me or do my boobs now look almost normal? I mean, the swelling has gone down so substantially that I'm actually amazed. And this really solves my wardrobe quandary. Packing light for NYC. And those are my compression garments for the lymphedema on the left arm. Better than being mummified.


So what do we think of the new rack now that it's settled?

Insider Information

My Facebook friend, Reliable Sources host and Wash Post columnist Howard Kurtz posted an interesting story today detailing the John Edwards Schmucko story and the media's role in covering up this scandal.

As a marginal media insider, I can tell you that this happens on pretty much every story. If you have friends who work at publications, chances are you hear of things days, weeks, even months before they break in the mainstream media. Why doesn't the media report these things immediately, pounce on unfolding stories, break stories? Breaking stories, in the tradition of journalism, is something we just can't rely on CNN or the NYT to do. Stories are 'broken' in the newsrooms, sat on, and finally, once the higher ups feel snug in their legal clearances and other corporate BS, told to the public.

Howard talks about the National Enquirer being the first pub to break the Edwards story. As a former American Media slave, I can assure you that the Enquirer is actually one of the most reliable sources in the industry. They go to great lengths to ensure the validity of their sources and their stories; much greater lengths than the mainstream media. My mentor, the EIC of a major mag, told me when I first met him that he read the Enquirer every week to stay one step ahead of entertainment news. Hmm, I thought, if Gary does it, he's onto something.

When I worked at Star, friends, family and even strangers always asked me how much of what they print is true. And believe it or not, I'm confident in saying that probably 99.9% of what they write is true. They vet their stories thoroughly, dot every i cross every t. Their techniques? Sleazy, to be sure. But effective.

In other news, about me of course, I walked to 7-11 in my bathing suit and bathrobe this morning and I'm wondering if I'm officially a beach bum right now. Natch, it's not sunny out so I'm sitting here writing, waiting for the skies to clear. I also must massage the modified mammaries today. We'll see if this makes a diff in terms of their appearance.

I'll probably write more later, but I want you to read Ellie's comment from yesterday's post, and to realize that while I *had* cancer (I can now finally use the past tense without the fear of jinxing myself), and fought it with humor and what a lot of you say an inspiring attitude, people like her are the real inspirations. So I'm going to do--because she can't physically without great discomfort--what I know how to do, write in my memoir, while I have time and motivation. If people get to read it, fine. If they don't fuck it. I know I'll be glad to have it when I'm officially old and forgetful.

And for fuck's sake read the article I posted yesterday and share your thoughts people.

Monday, August 11, 2008

One Tit Tessie

It's a great day in the liberalhood when even hawkish Republicans are bagging on Bush. I am LOVING this coverage. The Chimp Does China. And Russia is being a little bitch again, huh? Well, well. Yeah, I've been watching CNN today. In addition to TMZ, which is my new favorite thing. I was never onboard with TMZ online--I just don't watch videos online. But the show is GENIUS. I want to work for them. I especially love the stoner dude who looks like Jay of Jay and Silent Bob.

What do I want to talk about today? Boobs? Oh, okay. Well, for one, it only occurred to me as I was walking into the gym that I'm supposed to start "massaging" the girls tomorrow. Now, before you guys get your boxers in a bunch, "massage" is a major euphemism. For what I really have to do is basically pinch the bottom of the boobage so that the implant works its way up to the top of the boob. Ten minutes a day I have to do this! Not fun. Hurts a little.

I was on the phone with Boner last night ripping on Corey Feldman because he was on The Two Coreys lamenting about his nonexistent lovehandles that he must get liposuction for. (You must watch this if only to see Corey Haim's unraveling.)

"He has, like, a distorted body image thing?"

"Yes," I say in between hysterics, "He's got body dysmorphic disorder!"

Well, I think I do too with regards to my new tatas. I *know* they look more normal, but I still feel like they're the tennis balls. They're still too high. They still seem a bit too cleavagey to me in my clothes. And, while cleavage is a good thing, I'm bashful (can you believe?) about exposing my cleavage cause I'm scared it still looks completely alien. Maybe I'll post a photo of me in a cleavage-bearing dress and you can be honest with me. Cause my friends and family all say they look great. But I think I look like the typical South Beach/LA bimbo. I'd much rather look like a CP than a bimbo. I suppose one solution would be only to wear cleavagey things when I'm not in the wig. That may be a look to test in NYC. Because what this borderline BDD results in is me wondering what kind of wardrobe to take with me to New York. I'm really fucking sick of having to wear Hanros under everything. It's 105 fucking degrees out here.

I guess it's time for another photo session with myself. But that means I'll have to try on my clothes, which will undoubtedly lead to another crying jag with me lamenting my formerly flat belly, yearning for my period to return.
So, Waiting Room magazine, which I wrote that Upsides of Cancer story for, has a feature up right now that I deem quite controversial. Elizabeth asked me whether I was offended by the story, The Ballad of Tessie Felice, so I read it.

The long and the short of it: A hot woman has breast cancer, lops one titty off, doesn't reconstruct the other one and is therefore known as "One Tit Tessie." Apparently, Tessie is horny, the writer is horny and therefore they enter into a modified fuck-buddy arrangement. The exceptions being that she'll only let him do her doggy style, doesn't talk to him and never lets him see or touch her chest. I found it disturbing on a female level, not a BC level, but as I told Elizabeth, I think that technically it's a good story and therefore has its validity. But it's a disturbing story nonetheless.

For one, the writer's a complete sexist pig and a schmuck. Then there's the added element of the woman putting herself in such a position. Her behavior is just soo utterly bizarre. (Though this is coming from someone who had an affair with a married Schvartze as her requisite Bad Judgement Breast Cancer Fling.) She pisses me off, frankly, and here's why: There is no need to have only one breast! No need to put yourself in a situation that results in such a bad state of mind. I simply do not understand why women opt to undergo a unilateral mastectomy. Especially a woman such as her who is obviously into her looks. I'm sorry, I know it's un-PC for another BC bitch to say that, but when am I ever PC? I think that a mastectomy probably sucks either way, so why not aim for both symmetry and peace of mind. Any good plastic surgeon will tell you that you will absolutely not be symmetrical after a unilateral one with reconstruction. But to have one and not even attempt to put it back--I think there's some kind of psychotic mindset going on there. Like some kind of self-mutilation thing that's probably in the DSM-IV. Like a cutter or something. Meaning, I think women who do this may have some kind of strange desire to be physically freaky.

Perhaps there's a reader out there who's in this situation who can illuminate me on electing this option. I don't understand the rationale at all. Please explain. I can't even look at photos of women who are like this, why would you want to look in the mirror and see that?

There are so many different levels of this BC issue. It's hard not to get enmeshed in it. Especially when you are enmeshed in it. Uhmmmmmm, something else. . .can't remember. Read the story though, I'm sure you'll have a visceral reaction to it in some way and I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Oh, I think a good match for me would be a man with one testicle, no? Testicular cancer seems to be a good match for BC and I always did have a major crush on Dan Abrams. Wonder if he's on Facebook. . .

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jesus Freaks out in the Street

Tiny Dancer probably is my favorite song. I cannot live without this song of Elton's. It is in rotation each time I write. I think I could be addicted to this song. I love how just when you expect it to be over, it's not. It always brings me up. Remember the Almost Famous scene on the tour bus? They all were hating on each other, moody and bickering, and then Tiny Dancer comes on. And all is right with their world again.

As you all know, I've been in a real craptastic mood the past few days. Just raging. Everything's made me mad or made me cry. Part of it is my general noncancer personality. I can be bitchy, selfish, short-tempered, ugly, ungrateful, spiteful, blah blah blah. The list goes on and on. And when I am those things, you'll know it. At this moment in time though, when I have a really big reason to be happy because I am cancer-free, these horrific blue moods are, well, disconcerting. If I hadn't missed therapy for the past couple weeks, Dr. L. surely would've said what reader Audrey did in her commentalysis:

"sometimes at the end of a (VERY) long ordeal like cancer treatment there is a surge of pain and rage that's been repressed so you could use all your strength for the battle. This is NORMAL. This is part of the process. And it will pass and you will feel the relief on a much deeper level. And I hope you can take in the love and admiration for you from so many of us out here; it is huge.Your book? Will sell. If you published your blog for the last year it would be better than most of what's out there. Have faith. Your "voice" (which is spectacular) is already being heard and will continue to be. In the meantime, you are blooming where you are planted. :) Quite fabulously.xxooAudrey"

Audrey, I'm impressed with your analysis either way, but especially if you've never been therapized.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I am sick of everything. I just got my blood tests back and am officially cancer-free. Why isn't that enough? It should be, right? But it's not and here's why. I'm sick of giving, giving, giving and getting nothing back. Fucking sick of it.

The only God I believe in is karma. If I can help someone, I do what I can. Even if it's merely connecting people, which it often is. I do it. Because I can. And because I think that what goes around comes around. Well, I'm waiting. For it to come around. I've been waiting since God knows when. Since I got my master's at NYU a couple months after Sept. 11. Waiting during the ensuing two years to get a "yes" phone call about a job amid the 100s of "nos." Where did it get me? A lawsuit. Some nasty stories in Page Six, Gawker, the Post, WWD, the Daily News etc. A rapidly decreasing self-esteem. A practically forced move to Miami because I couldn't cut it in New York--career-wise, I mean.

You guys wonder how I didn't lose it when I found the cancer. Because--I'd already hit rock-bottom mentally. Several times. I was a failure when it came to the career I'd always envisioned. When I was younger, I didn't dream of marriage, kids, and a white picket fence; I dreamt of an editorial position at Vogue. At a slot in the world of journalism that I revered. Well, guess what? None of it happened. None of my silly little dreams came true. Not a one. So cancer? Nothing compared to already being a complete failure at everything you were supposed to be a success at. Cancer=an enemy I could fight. I am no threat to failure.

So fuck it. Fuck you, journalism. Fuck you, publishing. Fuck you all. You readers, some of whom are professional writers, like my writing, my "voice," which is one of the most important things in writing. And that's gratifying; I'm not bullshitting you when I say that each and every one of your comments bolsters my often low confidence in my skills.

But seriously, what is the point if I don't get paid to do this? This that my parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on at Emory and NYU, ostensibly to buy the education that in former decades would've ensured an illustrious career. And where has it gotten me? Scads of pro-bono writing, which is great. Happy to do it. Happy to do anything to get my story and name out there. But where will it end and what will it yield? I cost money. My life is not cheap. I spend time doing this when other people, a lot of them complete fucking hacks, get paid. to do the same thing.

How can I continue to write a book that has, as my dad so nicely pointed out when I wrote my first book, "has a one-in-a-million shot" of being published? (Thanks dad.) Is it worth wasting another several months of my life for another shot in the dark?

What is the point of me fighting cancer if I can't harness what I've gone through in a meaningful way. I can't focus on what I know I should be focusing on because I know that--writing--will only yield a 1% chance of success.

So here's the deal. I'm speaking at this Heeb event in November. It's a fantastic opportunity and is a part of the Miami Book Fair. I'm working on a large story about my cancer exp (with a twist) for the upcoming issue. And I can't get my feeble mind around the concept of how I'm going to turn this story and this storytelling event into something that will catapult my nonexistent career into an existent one.

What do I say at the bottom of my story? 'This passage is excerpted from Stephanie Green's upcoming memoir for which she has no agent and publisher.' !? Real professional right?

I need serious guidance and help from someone in the industry. I need serious, stable help. I need a life/career coach. I need a whole hell of a lot of non-material things. You guys are great and motivating. But the bottom line is none of you is in the position to give me a book deal or an assignment that pays. (Or worse yet, you are in that position and you're not that into me.) Talk about giving away the milk for free.

I have shit to do. Tonight I was going to party my ass off like it's 1999. Now all I want to do is curl up in bed with my bong and my dog. I'm sure as hell glad my dealer lets me run a tab. Because, guess what? I'm broke, as usual. I'm a real, not-so-hot mess right now. And haters, save your hating comments, I don't approve them anyway in case you haven't caught on to that fact. At least I know my haters are complete fucking morons.

I am 32 years old, cancer free, smart, funny and attractive. Some say talented. Well, where is that going to get me? So far, nowhere. I'm sick to death of being me. Sick of it. Sick, sick, sick, sick. When you have an overwhelming desire to listen to all of Elliot Smith's songs and are bald, crying, depressed and have fake, nippleless titties, sometimes it's hard to see the light. Even though I try. Maybe I'm finally PMSing. Or maybe now that all this BC BS is behind me, I have to get back to a real life that I don't have, career-wise, which scares the shit of me, with good reason.

I'm not happy. Not happy at all, people. I'm the opposite of happy. I want to scream. Instead I'm going to the gym. If I'm going to be miserable, I may as well be skinny and miserable like all the other JAPS. A JAP, that's the extent of what I am. Period. I'm resigned to that now. Fuck me. And fuck everything else that is in my way.

Friday, August 08, 2008

My CA 12-5 and CA 15-2 blood tests came back clean. I am officially cancer-free!

I am celebrating with wine, HG and a showing of Pineapple Express, which I will naturally be watching in the manner it was intended to be watched in. Fucked up.

Suck it, Cancer!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex

I know that title got my male readers to click.

Let's talk about shoes. That just got 'em to click out.
Seriously, what I want to talk about, aside from boobies (below) is my latest obsession: Facebook. I hate myspace and had an account but went on maybe every few months. I was on the fence about Facebook and only joined a couple of months ago. Now, I fear that I spend as much time on there as I do playing with my poor, neglected dog who probably wonders what the fuck that metal object with a screen is always doing on mommy's lap. For me, Facebook is an amazing networking tool. Yeah, it's cool to catch up with 'old friends,' but I don't lose touch with really close friends, so that's not why I likey so much. Me likey because I now am 'friends' with a ton of writers/journos and other figures whom I greatly admire. And what's rad about Facebook is that since it's more intimate than myspace, a lot of these writers are actually reading my crap. Not only that, a lot of them seem to like my writing. This praise is, well, extremely fulfilling. I may not work at Vogue or even have a regular job for that matter (offices suck ass), but this silly little platform appears to be enough for now.

I also love--because I am not a phone person--that I can go on for a minute and see what my friends are up to. The status updates save time; I can see which of my friends are doing what and whether I want to join. If I owe someone a phone call but go on Facebook and see that they are slammed for the day, that buys me another day of not having to call them.
On the boob front, which I know is all you guys care about anyway, let's see. . .
When I walked into physical therapy, Muriel screamed, "Oh my God, you look so good!"
I was wearing a sleeveless cotton dress over a white tank top and cropped, white workout pants, so I was stumped. I was also sans hat or wig.

"What my shaved head?"

"Your boobs!! They're back where they should be!"
Phew.

Then I met up with Gay Boyfriend and he hadn't seen me with the new tatas. He assured me that they don't look as big in person as they do in the bathing suit picture. He hugged me hard and then released. "Oh I forgot did that hurt?"
Actually, it didn't. I do have some sensation there, but it's hard to put the level of it into words. I can feel myself touching my skin and that's about it. People keep asking me if I'll have nipple sensation, and I will, eventually. But here's the thing--maybe you ladies can help me with this one--what is the BFD about nipple sensation?
A dude sucking on my teets never did it for me. Sorry boys. I tolerated it, because clearly you guys like it. But in addition to the nips not being any sort of erogenous zone for me, it's kind of sick. It's completely Freudian and whether it's sexy or not I don't want some 32-year-old baby trying to milk me. And, yes, for the record, I think breast feeding is completely revolting. I'm sure you women who do it love it, and I have no problem with it, lord knows I've watched Cunty and Kobi latch on to Dana's African boobies enough times. But, eww, so not for me.
So there you have it, nipples--eh. Whatever. Probably another reason I didn't much care about losing the titties. I could always take 'em or leave 'em. I guess I left 'em, huh? Do gay men suck on each other's nipples? I'm going to poll my gays. Once again I've gone off on a tittie tangent. So I'll continue. Tomas has generously photographed me along the way, from pre-mastectomy to post, pre-chemo, post-chemo etc. You can see my former boobage in all their saggy glory in the above link. And, in my opinion, it's evident why I was so ready to get rid of them. Now it's time for him to snap the post-tennis ball tatas. I'd like to wait for them to settle, but I'm wondering if I should do it without nipples or put some kind of pasties on them or something. I'd like the photos to be pretty enough to enjoy, and I just don't know how I'll feel about looking at my nipple-less breastesses in print. The below shot of me he snapped just after I'd started chemo and shaved the head.


The "Time To Shop" piece behind me is one of my faves of his and it will eventually be my coffee table top when I earn some god damn money that I don't spend on stupid things. BTW, don't you guys love how many different words I can come up with for boobs? I'm so smart.
Finally, I'll be in NYC from Aug. 16th to 21. So friends, blog readers, writers, colleagues, non-perverted/psycho readers, hit me up and maybe we can do lunch. I mean drinks.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dishalicious Does Dolly?


Well, Hemley took this photo at the Standard yesterday. I'm finally rocking the shaved head when it's too shitting hot out there. I didn't realize how HUGE my knockers look. They'll settle down (literally, down), but jeez. I hope I'm not bigger than I was before.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nipple News

Sprinkles and I went to the Standard hotel's pool today and were hanging with a friend amid at least 15 topless women. The Standard in Miami is pretty European. So imagine my delight at a pool area riddled with boobies. Small ones, big ones, ugly ones, pretty ones, fake ones and a few pairs of real ones. So we all got into talking about size. H. is gay, but was particularly interested in this conversation topic.

"Just get the kind that most straight guys like." (Imagine an adorable Cuban accent.) "What do most straight guys like? Michael, what do you think?"

"Small, definitely."

"Me too," H. says.

"Me too," I say.

"But you should do a survey," H. says.

"I know I should."

Hence, below. If you'd like to share. I'm sure all the ladies out there are as curious as I am. It's anonymous, so vote your hearts out dudes.

What size?
very small
small
medium
large
Free polls from Pollhost.com










What color?
light pink
darker pink
light brownish
darker brownish
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Monday, August 04, 2008

Brother, aka, Sprinkles is here now. I'm feeling 99% normal. I'm amazed that after all the damage I inflicted on my body as a youth, that I heal so well. I was at the gym three days post-op and actually woke up early and dragged my Ethiopian-stomached body there today.

I'm at hospital now, in my normal bay-view room about to get Herceptin. My doctor officially told me I'm his favorite patient and that my wig is the best he's ever seen. (Holla, Ralf.) Both the female resident and Doc Schwartz were tres impressed with my boobs, which I exposed, natch. I love my new boobies, people.

So, the fucking water weight that is the bane of my wardrobe and self-esteem's existence. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck. Chemo makes most women stop period-ing, and Doc thinks this has to do with the Ethiopian belly. It can take up to a YEAR to get my period back. It stopped a couple months ago. And I swear it is so depressing putting on clothes that were big on you and having them fit snugly.

And I've got my lymphedema compression garments on all the time, so I'm typing this now in a Michael-Jackson-style glove with the added bonus of an arm sleeve.

I asked the doc to order the CA 15-3 blood test and the CA 125 as well.

CA 15-3 is a tumor-marker: "Why get tested?
To monitor the response to treatment of invasive breast cancer and to watch for recurrence of the disease.

When to get tested? When you have been or are being treated for invasive breast cancer."

"CA 125 is a protein that is a so-called tumor marker or biomarker, which is a substance that is found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in other cells of the body. In particular, CA 125 is present in greater concentration in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells. Its function is not currently understood. CA stands for cancer antigen."

In other news, I feel that I had other news and I've forgotten. It was funny though. You'll have to take my word on that.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Pervy readers, ahem, male readers: Where might I go to peruse photos of topless celebrities?

Mr. Skin charges. And I didn't even know there was a Mr. Skin; I thought it was pure fiction out of Knocked Up. Turns out my friend Boner has written for them.

I got quite excited about the prospect of comparing my tatas to the Tinseltown ones, but then I realized it was not a place for me to browse for nipples on the house.

I am doing important things today like going to the pool and beach, but I wanted you guys to check out one of my reader's blogs. She is a true Cancer rockstar. I'm a beginning reader of Ellie's blog, but I was hooked after the first couple lines of her about me section.

Check it out.

Happy Sunday peeps.

Friday, August 01, 2008

i have my compression garment on my hand--got it yesterday--so no grammar/caps today.
i know i don't look like someone who just got through chemo and scads of other surgeries. it amazes even me.
today was the perfect end to a long-anticipated week.
mom's bff from atlanta popped in unexpectantly. the yacht she was on had engine probs, thwarting their trip to bimini. our luck. we got to spend the day with the ladies on the lovely high cotton. a nice, quaint, 95-footer.

high cotton


high cotton

johnny depp's boat

johnny depp's boat