Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

I am absolutely exhausted. I got home from Vegas Sunday night about 1:30 a.m., went for my Herceptin yesterday and woke up early today for lymphedema therapy.

So, tomorrow breast cancer awareness month starts. I am definitely more aware, right? Last year at this time I was trying to ignore the commercials, telling myself my small lump was nothing. But the scare campaign worked and I went and got tested and you know the story from there.


I'm going to sell some of my clothing/accessories/whatever and donate a large percentage to BC research, if they sell that is.

My mom and friend just texted me that Christina Applegate is on Oprah for the breast cancer thing. And you all know my feelings about Oprah, so I'm not watching it. But apparently Christina's got the expanders in. And I have to say she's working them. They look lower than mine did though. Let's compare and contrast.

Here's Stephanie in vintage Pucci, probably still a small B cup . . .


Here she is in her Neiman Marcus Last Call pyjamas. Definitely a C cup by then.



And here's Christina in Reem Acra:

I mean, is it possible that she had a better surgeon than me? Well I never! If that's the case, then I shall surely bring this to Doc Rosenbaum's attention. But what I suspect is that she had smaller tatas than me to begin with. And that she's at the beginning of the expansion process, meaning she's still a smallish cup size. If you notice in my first photo, when they were still small, they are not as noticeably high.

I think several other factors come into play here as well; I will ask Doc R. when I go in for my nipple and lipo operation Oct. 27. I'm having my flanks lipo-sucted; I think I've mentioned that. It's the area on either side of my rib cage. when you remove the breast tissue the fat/tissue/whatever redistributes itself there. It's puffy, it's tender and like I've said—my precious clothing fits more snugly because of this. I've had many meltdowns upon trying on my side-zip dresses due to this fucking extra tissue/fat. Did I mention the fact that a few weeks ago I tried to get into one of my DVF evening dresses with a side zip and ended up literally cutting the zipper to get the fucking thing off me? No? Well, you can imagine how fabulous that made me feel. I've got to take it for repairs.

Anyway . . . oh, here are some of my posts on my expander experiences. I'm very curious now about why her tennis balls are SO much lower than mine were. I refuse to accept that I have anyone less than the best reconstructing my upper half.

Hers do look lopsided though, no? Hummph. At least mine are symmetrical sweetie. Leave it to me to turn mastectomy reconstruction into a beauty contest. She didn't have chemo either so nanny-nanny boobie, Applegate.

Oh, and PLEASE go to this site called Free Kibble. Each day they post a trivia question and every answer (even the wrong ones) means food for neglected doggies. It was started by some little girl. Bookmark it and play every day for the pups!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oscar and Narciso

I have a six-page feature in Aventura magazine this month that many of you will be interested in. I believe Florida peeps can purchase it at B&N, Publix etc. But it's not online so if you want a copy send me your addresses.

(Photos accompanying this post are in the post below. Blogger is fucking with me today.)

Soo, Vegas. I know it's un PC to say, but I dread weddings lately. Like an afternoon at Herm├Ęs, they serve only to illustrate all the beautiful things I most likely will never attain.

The wedding and everything associated with it was flawless, so these opinions have absolutely nothing to do with this wedding in particular. As usual, I am just using this weekend to illustrate a point.

Friday night in Las Vegas at the Ritz some miles out of town at the rehearsal dinner. Michael and I were seated at the "singles" table, even though there was only one other single male as far as I could tell. Earlier, I'd donned my Narciso dress that Susan bought me back when the tennis balls were still occupying my chest. I'd promised Susan I'd wear it this weekend. And it fit perfectly, but it showed an uncomfortably ample amount of cleavage.

"Steph, why don't you wear clothes that don't show so much cleavage?" Dad asks.

"It's not the fucking clothes! It's the fact that my knockers are still up to my chin Dad."

During rehearsal dinners and weddingy events I get morose. Especially when I am one of the sole singletons and on top of that am wearing a wig and boasting fake tits. I can't help it; though I am pleased for the happy couple, I am even more sorry for myself.

I'd wisely borrowed mom's gold Loro Piana shawl and covered the girls up most of the night. After the dinner, I had mom snap a couple of photos of Michael and me. I looked at the photos, saw my melons poking out of the top and immediately deleted the evidence. You see, this was the weekend I'd been looking forward to since D-day. The social event where I'd be able to debut the new girls to friends and family friends. I was not supposed to look the way I did in those photos. Fabulous from below the chest and pleasing from above, but the whole package? Appalling.


It only got worse on the shuttle, wherein I changed my status on Facebook to something like "Stephanie just realized she will always be the single, nippleless girl at rehearsal dinners and weddings."

By the time we pulled up to the Bellagio, I was completely morose. I wasn't having it anymore. I looked "sooo good" according to everyone else, but what did it matter when I felt like a leper?

So picture this. Stephanie proceeding to the lobby decked out in her (apparently) invaluable angel hair coral, Loro shawl, black, sweetheart neckline Narciso dress, vintage, re-issued Manolos and $4,000 wig. Now picture Stephanie in a fit of depression and low self-esteem removing her wig in the middle of the lobby of the Bellagio. I carried it in my hand over the Loro shawl and clickety-clacked my way through the hotel looking like a couture version of Cousin It. Now, I know some strange shit goes down in Vegas, but I can't imagine something like this is normal. I made it back to my room just in time for the waterworks. I called the front desk, convinced them that my last PPV purchase of SATC had stopped and had them restart it. At the same time, I was trying to keep the hysterics at bay, knowing that the next day was the wedding and all it takes is a few heaving sobs for me to get all Renee Zelweger-y.

I popped some pills and passed out, knowing the wedding would stir up even worse feelings of self-loathing.

I started out the day placing green tea bags and cold washcloths over my eyes. I also ate a Klonopin along with each meal, which at least numbed the pain. Because this was the big night-the Oscar de la Renta reveal. The borrowed earrings and vintage Chopard watch from mom; the mint-cond Valentino stilettos that mimicked the embroidery on the Oscar dress. I paid someone to do my makeup and put my lashes on.

"I'll make this real easy on you," I told the makeup artist. "Smoky eyes, lashes, liquid liner and anything you can do to minimize the puffiness."

I looked hot, I did. I can say that objectively. I know I'm a good-looking gal, but that is completely beside the point when I feel like this. The wedding wasn't as depressing as the rehearsal dinner, probably because I was all cried out and had resigned myself. I forced Michael to go outside and snap some photos of me in the dress that I've been boring you with for, oh, what, eight months now? I knew you guys would want to see the evidence, even if I wasn't all too pleased with the pot at the end of the rainbow.

Out of about 10 frames, I liked two at most.


Now I'm sitting on a plane an hour and a half away from home and less than 12 hours until my Monday Herceptin infusion while the WT next to me has his stinky feet up on the seat in front of him. Is this really my life? Seriously? Seriously.

Anyway, I've decided that I will indeed marry-myself. Next year Il San Pietro in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. I'll be registered at Bergdorf's natch.

The Oscar frock, overlooking Las Vegas.




Michael and me in the Narciso dress; notice the girls barely able to contain themselves. 


Susan, my Narciso benefactress. 



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Costa Rica was so beyond beyond that words are useless right now. And I'm heading to Vegas tomorrow a.m., so the photos will do for now. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

good thing you can roll a joint and you're not just a pretty face with an ass that won't quit. 

—Jill Pleeter to Stephanie



Friday, September 19, 2008

Welcome Home, Miss Verde


Welcome to my office for the week.


Sometimes I'm terribly unlucky, e.g. the whole cancer thing. Often though, I'm incredibly, stupendously, ridiculously lucky. Like right now. I knew this trip would be to die for, but we didn't realize the extent of it until we arrived at the airport. 

Our first Four Seasons staffer greeted us after immigration and retrieved our bag for us. We'd booked a shuttle.

"Miss Green, you have been upgraded to a private car."

I nudged Lay. Another staffer showed up and they assisted us through customs. The banana in Lay's bag was kosher; the Oberto Beef Jerky they treated like a vial of Antrhax. Mad cow in a bag? I have no clue. 

Outside our driver met us and drove us about 45 minutes to the resort. Peninsula Papagayo is a private development, with a gate and the whole nine. The Four Seasons leases their property from the developer. It's the most lush and verdant landscape I've seen since Hawaii. Upon our arrival at the hotel, we were greeted by the entire staff from the activities director to the general manager.

"Miss Green, we have upgraded you to one of our private residences since we are not so busy right now."

We'd booked a notch above a standard room. After schmoozing a little--while practically peeing our pants with anticipation--a staffer drove us in a golf cart to our residence.

I doubt a Four Seasons' staffer has ever heard so many "Oh. My. God.(s)" uttered in a single minute. Because our residence is a seven-room, two-bedroom, three-bath, 2,000-square-foot space. To die. I was literally skipping around the apartment. I've got my own master bed, the girls have their own and the den has a pullout bed as well. Full kitchen. Open-air deck and grill area where I'm sitting now. Covered terraces, dining room, fully equipped office with--get this--three separate fax cover sheets with each of our names on them. Oh, and perhaps the best post-flying gifts: a cosmopolitan making set with vodka, martini shaker and all the fixings and a plate of exquisite pastries.

"Steph, we love you! Thank you so much!"

"What the hell did I do to deserve this? Oh. My. God!"

"You had cancer, remember?"

"Oh yeah, that's right, I do deserve this I had cancer. Fuck man, I think the cancer coulda been worth it for this." 

Now it's raining beautifully and I'm listening to the sound of the Pacific. Did I mention the ocean and jungle views? I awoke to the rain and tropical birds chirping. 

Why the VIP treatment? Writing writing writing. This is, after all, my big, fat, fabulous post-cancer trip to be turned into a heartwrenching essay about a girl with cancer and a dream. Kidding, but you know, something like that. With Manolos thrown in. 

Last night we had private complimentary salsa lessons which saw me giving up halfway through because my instructor was getting nowhere with me. I have absofuckinglutely no rhythm.

Today we have pilates at 9 a.m. Ziplining at noon. A sunset hike to see the monkeys and then some beach time--assuming the rains stop. If not, the spa is perfectly lovely as a second home. 

What can I say? I'm in heaven. Heaven. And we're doing a trip like this every year. So all you girls who elected not to come this year, two things: Hahahahahaha. And start saving time and deniro for next year. 

You can see all the photos on my Facebook

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm off to Costa Rica in the a.m. and am dying with anticipation. Cannot. Fucking. Wait. I'll be posting photos from there. Hasta luego.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am getting really panicky about the cost of this CR Four Seasons trip. This is the first luxurious trip I have shouldered the finances for, and I think I'm beginning to see what people mean by realizing 'the value of money.' Ugh. Real life. Not awaiting--it's here, and I'm not ready.
Eight months since diagnosis to cure, and I feel like I had no transition time. It was sick to health to full health to whirlwinds of activity and, well, I'm thinking I probably should have set aside this month to completely chill, formulate a game plan and breathe. Instead I'm running around like a schizophrenic.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

You can see the photos from my bday party here and here.

I'm in super-high-anxiety mode. Like I'm freaking out over here. I really hope Dr. L can talk me down from this my-life-is-a-mess-clothes-don't-fit-making-dad's-bday-gift-vegas-related ledge. I must do yoga tonight. Must must must figure out how to edit in iMovie. Help? The fucking Macbook didn't come with individ instruction manuals for programs. WTF??


Okay, I'm going to find a paper bag to breathe into.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Has It Really Been 7 Years?

I like to honor the victims of Sept. 11 as best I can. So I'm reposting my story of what I witnessed that day and lighting a candle for all the survivors and deceased.

From Sept., 2006
It sneaks up on us each year, but it's here again: September 11th. And as all these people are on TV and the radio sharing their experiences of that day, I can't help but reflect and remember. It's our generation's JFK-shooting--we will all remember where we were when we heard the news. It's the event that when I think about still makes my heart race and brings tears to my eyes, even five years later. I don't know if this is true of all Americans, or just for New Yorkers or only for people who witnessed it or knew people whose lives were lost. Anyway, here's my Sept. 11th story, which I will never forget, and I know I've written about longhand somewhere, but god knows where that notebook went. And not that my story is special, it's not, but it's a valid memory, because, if nothing else, it's history. I had been in the city for about a year, but I'd been visiting New York yearly since about the age of 10, and was always a New Yorker at heart; was living in midtown; attending NYU grad school in journalism in the Village; dating an Israeli who lived in Haifa; had returned from visiting him in Israel about a month and a half prior to the attacks. In general, life was pretty good. I was "in love," had a big apt., was with Wally, was going to NYU, which I'd always dreamed of, and was living in the place that I loved better than anywhere in the world. My mom and two of her girlfriends were staying with me for their annual "girl's shopping trip." I had my only early class that morning, and, ironically, it was a "journalism ethics" class, taught by 'renowned' ethicist Todd Gitlin. Everyone talks about the weather that day and it seems silly, but it's true that on days like that, you remember every detail, salient or not. So as I left my apt. a little before 9 a.m., I remember looking up at the sky and thinking what a nice day it was, no clouds, no awful August humidity. I hopped in a cab, just as I noticed that Second Ave. was rife with fire trucks and ambulances. No big deal, a common sight. As we proceeded downtown, the ambulances and fire trucks grew in number, and the cabbie and I began to wonder, so we turned on the radio. At that point, the world was still in shock, and was talking about the 'commuter plane' that had most likely hit the Trade Center. Details were still sketchy at that point, but we proceeded downtown, both of us, similar to the entire city and nation, in a state of shock. By the time we reached the Village, the second plane had hit, and we were just confused, I mean, terrorism just didn't happen in our country, what were any of us supposed to think until we saw? Until we saw. Because while most people saw it on TV, for me it didn't sink in until I got out of the cab near Washington Square Park and saw both towers aflame. Then, and only then, it sunk in. From that point on, I was plunged into that same surreal, dreamlike, post-traumatic haze that most New Yorkers found themselves in for several days, if not weeks or months. I walked to the corner where clusters of people just stood staring up at the towers. Some were openly crying or looked horrified; most just stood there staring, mouths agape. It really was like a scene out of an Independence Day -type movie. Everything else stood still. I think I must have tried to call my mom and the girls, but cells were probably down. I knew I would never make it back uptown, and was in shock, so I moved robotically into the school's building and went into class. And though it was an "ethics" class, and though many of the students in it lived near Wall Street and hadn't shown up yet, and though we were journalists who should be out literally witnessing history and trying to get the story, our professor kept us in class the whole two hours without TVs, radios, phones, and forced us to debate the 'ethical' elements of jumping to the conclusion that this was indeed a terrorist attack being perpetrated by Arabs/Muslims/Islamic extremists. Perhaps he was in shock to and the mantra, "just carry on normally" was propelling him. I had just returned from Israel, so I remember the shock finally wearing off and my rage beginning to kick in, and getting into a heated argument with an Egyptian student, wherein I blamed this on the Arabs and she defended them saying it could be anyone doing this. We finally got out of class and emerged from our time-warp bubble, and learned that both towers had gone down. In those two hours, the sky had fallen. No, it couldn't be, I thought. There's just no way, my brain rationalized, those towers? It had looked like two small fires when I'd gone into class, relative to the largesse of those buildings. But sure enough, I walked out to the corner where I'd watched them on fire earlier and the skyline was flat. Gone. Now, New York City was a quiet ghost town except there were hordes of people walking slowly, stoically. Just walking like zombies, standing in line for payphones, eerily calm. No traffic, just on foot. No transportation anywhere, save for emergency vehicles, but I don't remember hearing any sirens, any noise at all save for radios with news. Nobody yelling, no street noise, the most disturbing thing in New York City--a lack of noise. I walked all the way from the Village to my apartment; walked amid a crowd stunned silent for probably the first time in their lives. I tried to call mom repeatedly, but eventually gave up. I lived near the UN, and kept thinking that that would be the terrorists' next target, so I kept popping into shops and asking if anything else had been hit, because the fire trucks never stopped going downtown. I wondered where my mom and her friends had gone, but knew that they probably hadn't left the house before the news was out, so I wasn't worried. The horrifying thing is that they had been at the store Century 21, which was leveled by the attack, the morning before. I got home and they weren't there, so then I started to panic, no communication, an empty apartment, with a Wally who just knew something was up. I think I just fell on to the couch and sat there, mesmerized by the footage on TV. It was as if I were in a drug-induced haze, which you really can't describe accurately, but if you've ever witnessed a horrible accident or crime, you can most likely relate to. Mom and friends eventually returned home, having walked over to 57th street to see what it was like outside. Like I said, when in shock, you just go by rote, do what you know. Head into class, teach class, go to work, go shopping. Eventually, maybe two days later, mom and co. rented a car and drove home to Florida. Damned if they were getting on a plane. Damned if I was, not for a year or so I think. And though I didn't lose anyone that day and wasn't connected to anyone in those buildings, the event itself had such an impact if you were living in New York, whether you were able to admit it or not. For me, it meant that each time I saw a plane outside the window of my new 15th floor apartment heading past the Con Ed towers in Queens, each and every time for a couple years after, my first, instinctual thought was, that plane is going to hit that tower; it meant that I didn't take the subway for a couple of years; it meant that I looked at cab drivers appraisingly and unconsciously eavesdropped on their foreign conversations; it meant that I didn't feel safe in my own apt., my own city, for many, many years. It meant living in fear for a great while, thinking how easy it had been for them to do it once, surely they would strike again. And still, I'm kind of amazed that nothing else has happened in our country because, really, we're no safer now, are we? Soon, surely, the sky will fall again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No-Nip Slip

It's been another groundbreaking and comical day. My brother's friend Rich stayed with me last night and we hung out today. We're having 30 mph winds on the beach, so we decided to go over to the ocean to see the wave and surfer situ.

The waves were pretty lame and the sand was blowing something fierce. We stayed for a few and snapped some pics. At a certain point, Rich held out his arm and took one of both of us. Then I took two of him by himself. Then he took one of me by myself, after I'd rotated from the previous direction. Okay, after he shot the pic of me, I looked down and realized that my nippleless breasts were completely exposed to all of South Beach. It was so sandy that he couldn't really see the screen. And obviously, so windy that my bathing suit top AND my sundress fell down. I was in TWO different photos, facing two different directions showcasing the nippleless girls for everyone's viewing pleasure.

After we realized what had happened, we were hysterical.

"Well, I thought I noticed a lot of flesh, but it was hard to tell. I thought your bathing suit was down there somewhere."

Oy vey. And no, I'm not posting the photos. I had absolutely no desire or intention to go topless while nippleless, believe you me. Yet somehow I managed to make that happen. What a go-getter!

Yet, I'm in a really foul mood at the moment. I attribute my bitchiness to scrambling for Costa Rica and Vegas; trying to put together a creative, complicated gift for dad's 60th the same weekend as the wedding; getting several different stories together on deadline; copyediting a 24 page feature in Heeb; maintaining my diet and health; fulfilling social obligations; and as usual, fretting about what the fuck I'm going to do with my fucking life.

But after I dropped Rich off at MIA aeropuerto, I found myself extremely wound-up, driving straight to CVS to fill an Ativan scrip. You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to benzos if you're relying on Ativan, FYI. But I've been giving lots of friends Zannies and Klonopins, leaving me with the lamer scrips until I see my shrink (who did not dump me, BTW). Anyway, Ativan does absolutely nothing to you unless you've never taken any drug ever. Seriously, it's lame. So I ask the pharmacist:

"What's the maximum dosage for Ativan?"

Thick accent: "What do you mean?"

"I mean how many of these fucking things can I take? What's a strong dose?"

"This is 1 mg that is good dose."

"Noo, it's not. One does nothing for me. So how many can I take without overdosing," I say through clenched teeth, as I don't have time to have to Google this shit.

Elan, the pharmacist I know, walks over. "Elan," I say dismissing the other dude, "What's the maximum dosage of this I can take?"

He smirks at me. "The question you need to be asking is what is the dosage your doctor prescribed within a 24-hour period."

"Okay."

"So one every four hours is six."

"Well it says six hours but you could do four hours. So that would be 6 yeah," he says.

"Okay, so no more than six."

What do you think I'll be doing come bedtime tonight?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Partay

Friday night I stumbled upon the recipe for a perfect gathering at my place. About 20 good friends. Lots of alchohol and munchies. A nice night and a balcony to take advantage of it. And, most notably, a batch of perfectly made party brownies. Not only were they delish, I used precisely the right amount of herb.

We had a blast. A real, Big Chill-esque night of debauchery in the best sense of the word. I got my first noise complaint.

As Laura said, "You know, people work all week for nights like this."

And ladies, especially those of you BRCA biatches and fellow mastectomy mavens, I finally have concrete proof that men will love your tatas any way you slice them.






Jeffy, thanks for providing this hard-hitting evidence.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Let it Flow, Let Yourself Go

I am strong. I am invincible. I am WOOO-MAAAAAAAN.

I got my period! Hell. Fuck. Yeah. I'm a woman again from the waist down. From the waist up, still a cyborg. Tampons and no more water weight here I come!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fabulous Fundraising!

Woo-hoo! Surpassed my $1,000 goal by $2.77. For 10 days that's not bad right? This fundraising thing is kind of fun. Oy, I get more like dad every day.

Hey guys, one day left before the big Stand Up To Cancer telethon. I've nearly met my goal of $1,000, my biggest fundraising effort ever. Okay, my first fundraising effort on my own.

When you donate, don't forget to "assign" your donation to team Dishalicious.

Many of you readers have generously donated, and considering we've never met, I consider that a great testament to the character of my readers. So kudos to you!

I'm in the weeds this week with work; two 2,000+ word features due in addition to other smaller things. Not to mention the fact that I've got less than two weeks to get my fall schedule in order. Come Sept. 18th, I'll be in and out of Miami like a cruise ship. I got my new MacBook, so as soon as I gets the internets, I'm hoping to do some web cam stuff here, assuming I can figure it out.

Oh, and I suppose now would be a good time for me to actually find where my airline ticket for CR is located. I'm a total hot mess right now. And I must get my apt in order for the viewing party tomorrow night.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Nipple-less Slip

It happened without preamble, forethought, anticipation, anxiety, awkward disclaimers, drugs or alcohol: A man saw my nipple-less boobs today. I was at accupuncture, as I am weekly. My therapist is a straight, hippie-ish dude somewhere in his 30s I'm guessing. We always chat; get along well.


He's been working up to treating the abdomen and chest area, in terms of pressure points and massage. Today he really amped up treatment, as I told him I was all over the fucking place mentally this week. Near the end, he said something like, "Are you comfortable exposing your chest wall?"



"Sure," I answered without realizing what the hell he was referring to--I think of my 'chest wall' as tatas, titties, boobies, breasts or girls.



Whisk! The sheet was gone and there were my nipple-less tatas in all their glory. It happened so fast that I had no reaction at all. A testament to how relaxing these treatments are--my breasts were exposed to a hetero guy for the first time since the operation and I didn't even flinch. I'm so mature. There was no funny biz--he basically worked the rib cage in between the girls, never touching them.



But, hey, one more hurdle passively jumped . The first reveal is done. Easy peasy. If only all single men were as chill about looking at a mutilated 'chest wall.'

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

90210, Baby

Cannot contain my excitement about the new 90210. Oh how I've missed thee. You see, I was in the class of '93; the same class as the first group of 90210-ers actors. We grew up with that show. And while it makes me feel incredibly old, I'm loving it. Loving Kelly Taylor's wardrobe.
Loving Teacher McHottie (below). Loving the brilliantly cast typed bitch, Nip/Tuck's AnnaLynne McCord. Love love love. And the fabulous Jessica Walter aka Lucille Bluth? Looooooove.