Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sickie Goes to Saks

Well, after staying up till 4:20 (heh) Monday night/Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling only marginally refreshed. So we decided to head to the Saks outlet 20 mins away. Usually we hit Neiman's first and then maybe Saks, but yesterday I needed sunglasses, which Saks has hundreds of. We didn't expect there to be a buy-one-get-the-second-one-half-off sale in the shoe department. So we were waylayed. And then we carried two pairs of mint-condition Choos to the register. In addition: a pair of Chloe shades, a Calvin dress and a few other things I can't remember, but will be a nice surprise when I find them in my closet. I probably shouldn't have tried on about eight dresses, what with the extensive bandaging and all, right? I start to get paranoid and tell mom we need to go back to Plastic Surgeon and have him re-dress me. I called the office from Saks and told them I wanted to come in.

We arrive at the office. "Doc, I just can't sit still and I think I moved the bandages doing something."

"Or maybe at Saks?"

"How'd you know I went to Saks?"

"You told us when you called."

Bloody percocet brain.

"I told you we were going shopping today! You said I'd be 'fine' in a day!"

"And you wanted Opium suppositories? If you think the Percocet makes you speedy well. . ."

"Those make you speedy? Huh. I've smoked Opium before and it sure as hell didn't make me speedy."

But I digress. My bandages were a hot mess, had slid up and down, but luckily I didn't do any damage. He wrapped me tighter and told me to chill out, not lift things and restrict my arm movements.

We wen't home, chilled for a little, then had a two+ hour dinner at Michael's with Ben and Laura. I mean, a girl has to eat, right?

So today we had to return a couple things from yesterday's Saks excursion, but we figured we'd check out Neiman's first. Mom was fixated on me getting a red cami that would cover my bandages to go under my sexy nurse Halloween costume.

"Mom, what difference does it make if the bandage shows? Everyone knows what's going on; I think the bandages make it legit."

Single gals with Jewish mothers, I'm sure you can guess where she was going with this:

"We-ell, what if there's a cute guy there?"

Natch, mom was way too psyched when I found a lacy, red Natori cami that would be perfect. The golden ticket out of singlehood though? Probably not.

I told mom she had an hour on the dot to do Neiman's. I tried not to carry anything, and I wasn't going to try on anything. So as I chose my wares I simply handed them to the woman at the accessories counter. That solved the not-using-the-arms thing. Mom tried on the cami and a sweater dress I ended up getting; luckily we're close to the same size. We would've probably stayed into the wee hours save for the fact that I began to feel on the verge of throwing up. Fucking Percocet. I've only taken 1 1/2 today, so that means the pain is better and I could be done with these fuckers by Friday.

But we're being good tonight; staying in, watching Obama and junky television. Oh, the camping foam—Doc had told me to go to Bass fishing store to get it. And as we were leaving the mall, we saw a sign for that very store. And we meant to go there today to get "camping foam" for my bra, yet, I'm sorry to say, Neiman's trumps all.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This was a more complicated surgery and recovery than I anticipated, but naturally I was still up and running as soon as we got home from the hospy. For reasons psychologically unexplored by me, I seem to be unable to sit still post-op. Odd, considering that on a normal night I'm perfectly content to chill on the couch. Especially when Gossip Girl is on. What a surgery day treat. Like candy, that show. And I devoured the first book in less than 24 hours this weekend. Anyway. Arrived at hospy 8:30 a.m., only to have them running an hour late. It's so utterly bizarre to me that I have more anxiety on a normal day than I do pre-surgery. Think that's a good topic for Dr. L. this week, no?

When Plastic Surgeon came in to prep me, he brought a worn, plastic box stocked with his tools of the trade: washers from Home Depot and Sharpies.

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

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

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

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

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

"My friend joked the other day that if I really wanted to revolutionize the way people viewed things I should start adding nipples to butt cheeks."

"Eww." Plastic Surgeon has an even drier sense of humor than me.

He then proceeded to draw in different nipple sizes on the girls. I told him at this point, the less skin he took the better, and I trusted his judgement on size. Plus, hawk-eyed mom was assesing the size as well. I had no mirror and was merely looking down. He drew and drew, editing in his beneficial perfectionist manner. Moving them to the left and right, up and down. Mom just now reminded me that once we decided to go smaller, he switched out the washer for a totally ghetto, used roll of surgical tape. Love it—a complete dichotomy of high and low culture, perfect for your's truly.

Once the nip-size was decided, he then traced them within the graft space. So you can imagine what a considerable amount of flesh we are talking about from Down There. Laura had told me that the excision site would be really sore and tender because the nerve endings were exposed, so I sort of knew that would be the worst part of recovery. Remember, I have little to no sensation on the girls. Thus, no real pain at the site of the placement. So we have the skin graft, the shaping of the actual nipples—"like little tents of skin," he described—and the liposuction of the flanks. And this is the unfortunate part for me—the wound dressings are nearly as extensive for this surgery as they were for the mastectomy. Because you can imagine the precision and delicacy of the nipple area. Oh, I nearly forgot that he also did a little corrective procedure on the bottom of the left boob. So we're talking four separate procedures in one shot today. He really took his time, in a good way; it lasted nearly three hours.

What this means is seven days of wound dressings that are in tube-top formation, not to mention the one under the underwear. And get this—the bandages on the actual aureolas are sewn onto my skin. I couldn't even believe. Have you ever even heard of this? I was blown away. Anywho, it's sponge-bath time again for seven days. Sucky for many reasons, mostly because this week I have like two benefits to attend on Wednesday and a friend's annual Halloween bash Saturday night. This totally throws off wardrobe. I got my 'sexy'—a relative term regarding me these days—nurse costume already, which will now be rendered even more graphic thanks to the bandages that will be poking out.

Oh, I forgot the best/worst part. I have to wear a bra again for like three weeks for compression purposes to help the lipo! A bra! Well, I never. Not since February anyway. Said bras will be stuffed on the sides with "camping" foam—as if I knew what the fuck that was. Again, the mix of incredible and basic technology. All things considered, this whole mastectomy and reconstruction process is staggeringly impressive and amazing from the perspective of "can you believe what they can do nowadays?"

Percocet makes me speedy and I'm completely wired yet I should be resting for Neiman's and Saks retail therapy tomorrow. So if this post seems even more rambling than usual, it's the drugs.

And for the record, I have been camping.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A new era will commence tomorrow my good people: the era of the nipple.

By Monday afternoon I shall be a more well-rounded woman.

Does the Cannibus Cup have a baking contest? If so, I'm going to shut it down next year. Mint-chocolate chip partay brownies. Could you die? Eat more than one and you just may think you will.

The cherry on the sundae of the sign stealing escapade:

I'm very fortunate to have such liberal parental units.

Also, Brother sent me this link, which is pretty fucking cool for The Economist. Crazy cool, actually and evidence of the small-mindedness of America. Rather, the small mindedness of Real America.

Honestly, how the fuck can some of my *best* friends vote for a ticket with a woman so. . .so. . .so, uh. . .indescribably re-fucking-tarded.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Political Action Chick

Some people give money. Other people volunteer, go to rallies, canvas and the like. That's way too normal for me, and obviously my attempt at 'rallying' was a complete, germ-ridden debacle. So I'm doing my part in my usual, unconventional way.

I'm currently in the place called Jesusville until Sunday. Yesterday as I baked with the old school crew and tried to tune out EVERY ONE OF THEIR REPUBLICAN VOTING ASSES WHILE THEY INSULTED THE DEMS AND PRAISED THE REPS. I was very thankful for my liberal, informed, educated and worldly upbringing. I'm still of the belief and cultural mindset that ALL GOOD JEWS SHOULD, BY VIRTUE OF OUR OPPRESSED HISTORY, BE DEMOCRATS for fuck's sake. But that's just me. And well, all of New York, where my brain still resides. (Luckily, you don't need a brain to function in the South. Did you know that? It's our state motto: Brainiacs beware!)

Okay, so I'm pissed, politically speaking, right? The McCain/Palin signs are all over the place. I knew I was in trouble when, after six fucking hours at the MIA airport, I overhead the Jax-based pilots talking about their love of all things Palin. (God fucking help me with this one, I literally want to start crying when I think about her being in the position she's in.)

Then yesterday's kitchen-baking experience--me and Wally, the lone Dems among four JEWISH REPUBLICANS. Well, you bitches know I love you, but I fucking HATE that you are voting for the Cryptkeeper. (You guys love to call me a snobby, Jappy bitch and make fun of my Escada belts? Well, I looove calling you ignorant, redneck bitches, bitches!)

So today, I'm on my way to the Jewish Community Center to use the gym. I'm driving down a major street in Jax., comparable to US1. Right around where my Temple is, I see a "Yes on 2" sign. "2" is a proposition to add a no-gay marriage thing to the Florida Constitution. Anyway, I just cursed aloud and proceeded to drive to the JCC.

After a vigorous-though-water-weight-fruitless workout, I drove home and saw another "Yes on 2 sign," adjacent to yet another McCain sign. Well, before I knew what had come over me--aside from my usual angry psychosis--I was making an erratic U-turn. I peeled onto the side street, hopped out of my car and proceeded to remove the two offending signs. I threw them in the backseat of brother's car, hopped in and merrily made my way home.
I shall continue my mission later in the day. Yeah, yeah, I know it's illegal, but guess what's worse than law-breaking? Homophobia. Nobody fucks with my gays.

Now that I've written my requisite five-pages today, I think I'll go on another ride and see how many "No on 2" signs I can collect. I live in a fairly Jewish area, so maybe I'll go cruise the other side of the tracks and do my part for intellectual, elitist, liberal, lefty Heebs everywhere. Who says one person can't change the world? Anita Bryant, watch your back, bitch.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's the saying? Laziness breeds stupidity? Surely then, South Florida is the Dumbest Place on Earth. My disdain for the "city" of Miami is growing exponentially by the minute. I live on "the beach," which is the Miami equivalent of living "Downtown." "The Beach" is South Beach. An entity unto itself. South Beach is not nearly as utterly inefficient and well, completely retarded as the rest of Miami Dade.

I love my neighborhood. Love my friends. Love the water and the vibe and the pedestrian nature of my hood. Once you cross the bridge, however, all bets are off. Miami—the Miami that you know from TV and movies exists on the beach—turns into not only a third-world country, but an altogether hopeless sea of incompetence, mediocrity and English as a second language pile of shit.

Miami is not a city, okay? There is no civil infrastructure as far as I can tell, what with buildings taking decades instead of years to build, non-existent sewage systems in a hurricane center, ineffectual politicians and local leaders, deplorable fashion senses, disgusting non-bathers and—my favorite—crackheads disguising themselves as valet parkers.

What's set me off this time? Well, it seems like every time I try to do something vaguely political or charitable, my efforts are foiled by the COMPLETE FUCKTARDS who run this noncity. Case in point: yesterday's hot mess of an Obama rally. Oh, yeah. Brilliant idea for this germaphobe who would rather be suspended from a trapeze wire than rub up against masses of sweaty, unkempt people. I had the foresight to pop a Klonopin before arriving; I should have taken four.

Despite our getting there an hour+ before his apparent holiness was to appear, we stood like (smelly) sweaty cows waiting to be slaughtered by the heat. En masse, we waited on the steps for an hour, ostensibly to go through one of the FOUR metal detectors the GENIUS organizers erected for THIRTY THOUSAND people. Brilliant, ken? You would not believe. Imagine the most crowded subway you've ridden on, then add loud chanting, pushing and the 90-heat and 100 percent humidity. Obama went on, we were still not even through security. At the 11th hour, the Einsteins abandoned their security posts and told us there was no room for us. Except, we could walk about 20 minutes around the perimeter of the ghetto park to go into the overfill area. As fucking if. We hightailed it out of there and I Wet-Wiped my entire epidermis down upon getting in my car, which, by the way was decorated with an $18 ticket. Oh yeah, I was real happy.

Why, Stephanie, you say, don't you know better than to go to a public place like that when you hate pedestrians and crowds? Yes, I do. But I was trying to be a regular woman of the people. And, guess what? I'm just not. I'm sorry if the only way I can tolerate masses of people, concerts and sporting events is from the comfort of a skybox.

Actually, you know what? I'm not sorry. From here on out, I'm being true to ME. No more public events. Unless I'm watching them from a glass-enclosed, fully stocked private area.

Have I mentioned that adding to my ire of the past 24 hours is the fact that I'm sitting here at Miami International Fuckport since I missed my 4:10 flight because they need you to be here TWO hours in advance for domestics? Lovely. Then I didn't make the standby list. Now I'm waiting for the 8:30 flight; my bags are arriving in Jax right about now, but I won't be there till 10:30.

The more I have to leave the beach, the more I want to leave this state. I'm thinking it may be time to go West again. Even L.A. is better than this sorry excuse for a 'city.'

I want to go to sleep for four days and wake up with nipples and Percocet. At least I'll no longer be sleeping alone. Wally will be waiting for me at the airport. Can you believe I'm still this huffy after THREE Xanax? Time for another. Wake me when this is over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Heeba Storytelling

Drumroll (very quiet one) please. I suppose this would be my first official speaking gig as a writer. Does that even mean anything? I have not a clue as to what my piece will be about—my run in with the Bermudian police the morning after my 30th birthday and the subsequent walk of shame on a two-lane highway back to our bungalow at the five-star resort? Dosing mom with Klonopin? Attempting to dose dad with pot brownies? Dropping ex-beau off at the Miami bus station and never looking back? Crazy Ass Nicole's 4 a.m. disappearing act?

This breast oncol on the Today Show just now said that 20 percent of Breast Ca is found by self exams, as mine was. You all may remember that I began to feel the lump less than a month after my yearly gyno exam. Gah.

I'm leaving tomorrow for Jax until Sunday, when mom and Walls and I drive back here for the final Nip Surg on Monday. Dana and the nuggets will be in town, so I'll get to teach them some new four letter words. In the interim, before my 4 p.m. flight tomorrow I am: going to my primary doc for a pre-op exam today in Aventura; rushing back to the beach to try to get to the massive Obama rally downtown; packing for a cooler climate; making sure all my paperwork and hospital stuff is in order; cleaning so apt is presentable for mom and Wally; squeezing in acupuncture and as much gym time as I can get so as to rid myself of my chemo-baby belly. Does that sound like a lot only to me?

Oh, for fuck's sake, I'm going to the gym. Again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baracking the Vote

I've officially voted for the first time since 1996.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Aventura Bloomingdales tomorrow from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Elie Tahari department for those of you who want to see this hot mess in person.

(And FYI Tahari ladies, this is the only thing that has compelled me to enter Bloomingdale's in nearly ten years. So bow down bitches:) And it's the ONLY thing that could get me to the Aventura Mall, which is apparently the Jappiest mall on earth.)

One week from tomorrow is the big Nip addition. Maybe the girls will look more normal and not *so* fake to me after nipples? Symmetrical concentric circles instead of a blank wall of flesh. At this point, I'm so completely over the boobs that I just want to get the FINAL surgery over with. The fact that I'm going to have nipples, well really, what difference does that make? Is it supposed to make me feel more feminine? Like I can finally get back out there and be a normal single gal since I'll have nips? The truth remains that I've felt like a normal single girl for some time despite being sans-nips. Now, if I were to have had a blind date or something like that, it would've certainly been awkward telling him about the no-nip thing. Okay, so I guess the nips are a non-issue cause I'm not dating and therefore the only people who've felt the girls lately are my friends. But through the clothes at least, the dudes doing the feeling up don't seem to notice the lack of.

You know what would make me feel hotter and more like a woman? Fitting into my fucking jeans. Is it possible Plastic Surg could lipo water weight? Or would my body just generate more fluids? Ugh.

So I threw up this morning and had to take an Emend—a hardcore anti-nausea pill left over from chemo. It really does take up to six months for the fucking jet fuel to worm its way out of my body. Good God bring me normalcy again, please.

If you didn't check out Living Proof on Lifetime last night, watch it tonight at 8 p.m. I learned a ton about Herceptin that I didn't know about. Amazing story. Amazing doctor who literally saved thousands upon thousands of Stage IV breast ca women. Fab cast as well.

And even I (close observer of society as I am), didn't realize that Lilly Tartikoff was the primary fundraising force behind this drug. All I need now is my Hollywood husband so that I can be a badass fundraiser like her. A Hollywood husband who doesn't pay much attention to nipples, that is.

Friday, October 17, 2008


So a couple of my girlfriends work for Elie Tahari, who designed this cute BCA tee for Bloomingdale's. I am planning to be a part of their in-store event this Monday at the Bloomingdale's in the Aventura Mall. I'll be speaking or something along those lines, perhaps reading an excerpt of my recent story. In any event, those of you readers in the area who would like to stop by and say hi, I would love to meet you. I think it's around 1 p.m. I will post the details as soon as I get them.

I have more diet, beauty and wellnes tips from Acupuncturist. My eyes have been really puffy of late, most likely another lovely side-effect of the jet fuel. Naturally I've got every 'miracle' eye cream under the Neiman's ceiling, but nothing has been reducing the swelling. But you know, tea bags usually do the trick. Except the ones I'd been using.

"So, this may seem like a really crazy question, then again, coming from me it's not so crazy," I said to him Weds. "What kind of teabags should I use to reduce puffiness?"

Bet you'd guess green, huh? Since that's all the rage and everything. Actually, it's 100% black tea that works makeup miracles. Black tea has uh, "blah blah, the most antioxidents of all teas, blah, blah nutrients," (all I could hear was that it worked) and is a natural astringent and toner, he said. All I know is when Chad talks, I listen. First of all he's a brilliant acupuncturist, a nutritionist, has a doctorate in Eastern medicine and is a wealth of knowledge in general about food and health.

Thus, I knew I was going to ask him about those seven fucking pounds. Actually, he said, he just got some samples of metabolic supplements that are made up of all-natural Chinese herbs. He said his patients have been responding really well and sloughing off water weight in mere days. Bring it on. He knows the dude who makes it, and I don't think it's on the market quite yet.

As it turns out, Chad is also an Herbalogist (sp?). One of only 200 in the country licensed to prescribe Chinese herbs medicinally.

He hasn't really explored supplements/herbs with me yet, since we need to get my baseline health back up first I think.

Well, you can imagine one of my next questions:

"Do the Chinese ever use marijuana herbs?"

Ahhh, yes they do in fact. And here's the great part for all you smokers out there: You can brew some fairly potent pot tea using stems. How awesome is that? Apparently it's a really mellow, physical high a la pot brownies that the Chinese used during meditation to help them reach the highest state of consciousness. Cool, no?

So not only did I get a massage and acupuncture this week, but diet, beauty and tea recipes as well.

Gah. I SO want to get out of this country, go on sabbatical somewhere where there's nothing to do but write and be in nature. Why don't I? Well, bimonthly Herceptin shots put a kink in that plan. I can't imagine being in India or Africa having to go to a hospital. No way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How cute are my little nephew and niece? Kobi looks like he's already got his photo pose down. That is just the cutest face ever. But poor Sumner—looking more and more like her cunty mom every day. What if her first word is cunt? How fabulously appropriate would that be? One can only dream. Dana and I will be reunited in Jax next week, unfortunately—I'd much rather a trip to Chicago than Jax. But I'll be going home to see her, retrieve Wally and drive back up with mom and Walls for my BIG NIP SURG on the 27th.

Bring it on. THE last surgery. Well, until the ovaries have to be removed, anyway. Yeah. I don't
think it ever ends. And that's fine. That's why it's important to suck the marrow.

OMG—Sarah Palin on SNL?! Noooooooooooooooooo! I knew it was Tina Fey all along.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Heeba Hair

The hair is coming in fast and furious. Thank fucking god! The eyelash hair isn't coming back in quite as thick though, so I'm going to try a product I wrote about recently.

I'm telling you ladies, those chemo hair tips I've been sharing with you really do work. my hair is coming in exactly as it was before, natural highlights and all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Am a Warrior

I'm so sick of the fucking pink ribbon and all its merchandising. Is breast cancer a business? Nope. And we're not victims or survivors. We are warriors. So I've created a group for us on Facebook.

Please join "I am a Warrior," if you want to fight in Prada, not pink.

Stupid Facebook only lets you invite 100 people at a time, so please join using the link and share with others!

Your favorite breast cancer biatch

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh. My. God. I am at hospital about to receive my Herceptin. Whenever I am weighed in the onco's office, I tell the nurse that I don't want to know my weight. He was claiming he didn't think I've gained weight since chemo started; I contended that I have. So he went and looked back to March, when I started. I have gained seven fucking pounds. Seven pounds! It's automatically assumed that you become a skinny minnie when you get chemo, but for us Taxol recipients, the opposite is the case. God damnit. I'm in the gym or doing power yoga or Pilates at least five days a week. I eat well. I've gotten my period twice, so I can't really blame the water weight anymore. So, WTF? Ughhhhhhh. I'll now have to have acupuncturist work on the weight issue.

What a lovely way to start the week. Fucking cancer—not only does it fuck with you in the really big ways, it even permeates your life in the smallest, most superficial aspects as well. Ain't it grand? Time to step up the workouts even more. Twice a day? Why not. I'll look at this as baby weight and pretend I've got some Hollywood trainer kicking my ass.

Alright, enough girly bitching.

The other day I was looking for my manuscript on this here fairly new Mac. When I saved all my files from my dad's laptop, I *knew* that I'd saved the manuscript and I knew the file name. When I went to look for the document on this computer the other day, it had vanished. Completely. From my emails too. Natch, I was absolutely panicked. The only version I found was about 30 pages and I knew the most recent one was up to about 100. This is pretty much every writer's worst nightmare. I located the CD, thank God, uploaded the files again and the manuscript was there—all 90-odd pages.

I was having lunch with Ben and Laura Saturday, after a failed attempt to attend an Obama strategy meeting, and Ben mentioned something about Mercury Retrograde. I had no idea what it was, but he started telling me how typically, during this time computers go awry, technological stuff is wackadoodle and there are communication breakdowns. B & L's computers had crashed like the day before. Suddenly, it made sense. Why have I never heard of this before?

Well, according to my rock-solid research efforts—Googling and then choosing one of the first three links—this is a widely known phenomenon.

According to Writer in the Window:

"All the planets, except Sun and Moon, have these retrograde periods, but Mercury is most famous for them, probably because Mercury represents our very essential communication abilities.

While people speak of Mercury Retrograde periods that screw up computers and television sets, today's astrologers believe the mishaps happen in more personal realms (Uranus is the planet that rules television and computers). Mercury rules communication, but more informal communications, like writing, speaking, short shopping sprees and other erranding endeavors. So, while Mercury is Retrograde, don't give that party, be extra aware of what you say and what you interpret when chatting with or writing to friends, cut back on errands, expect that the check will be in the mail longer than usual. Since the car is usually used for shopping and errands, don't be surprised if the battery wire loosens or the fan belt snaps just when you have rush out for that one ingredient you forgot to buy.

The good things to do when Mercury is Retrograde: meditate, contemplate, edit the book/poem/song/essay you've been writing, clean house, talk to your pet, listen to music, paint, catch up on sleep!"

Ah, well. Another reason to procrastinate on the writing.

And as an FYI for my loyal fans and readers out there. Ellen has a thing this month where survivors submit their stories to her. Natch, you know how much I love, love, love Ellen and the show, so I had to submit. And you also know that I bypass the normal channels—a page within the show's web site—and go straight to The Man, no matter what I do in life. In this case, the executive producer who Dana dated years ago when we lived in L.A. So I emailed him the Aventura story and he assured me he'd pass it along to their human interest dept.

It's a total long shot, but I had to do it. Ellen. I'm sending out those "if you visualize it it will happen" thoughts, so make it happen.

And happy birthday to Wally, who turned 13 yesterday! My little nugget—I can't wait for his return to mama.

Seven fucking pounds?! Fuck me.

P.S. Ben and Laura have a funny blog you should check out. Also, Lifetime is running a movie, Living Proof starring Harry Connick Jr. about the doctor who invented Herceptin, which is currently coarsing through my cathater as I write this. This drug has saved so many lives; check out the message board at the bottom of the page.

Friday, October 10, 2008


When I went kayaking at the Four Seasons CR, I was a little rusty on the sport. I vaguely remember doing it at camp, which was about 18—holy fuck I'm old—years ago. So the cute water sports guy put a life jacket on me, and I just stood there. You can actually see that here.

"What you can't put it on yourself? When was the last time you put on a life jacket?" Lay Ann teased me. (What was she implying that I'm not handy or sporty? Pshaw. I went zip lining, hello!)

My mind flashed back to camp while the guy did the vest up for me. So we went out, had a grand old time, and I never needed the life jacket. While I was in the shower last night for some reason I started thinking about the life jacket thing. I've been on plenty of boats in the past decade, but I couldn't pull up a memory. And then I vaguely remembered donning one on the Las Ventanas yacht about eight years ago when we were anchored at Lover's Beach and took a dip in the gulf.

And then I remembered these photos and this night; I'd seen the photo on my desktop slideshow yesterday, which triggered this whole line of thought. And I thought it ironic and tres appropriate that the last time I was in contact with a life jacket was actually a drunken night not too long ago at Ben and Laura's with Hemley. Fittingly, I was heading to Ben and Laura's last night. And coincidentally, this life jacket in question was for their kayak. Ah the circle of life, my friends. (Sorry for doing this Laura, but it's just too funny not to post:)

I saw plastic surgeon today for the last time before the nip addition Oct. 27th. I was fretting over the fact that the ladies have not dropped as much as they will have in six months, concerned that the droppage might affect the symmetry of the nips. Unfortunately for me, he said they will drop a little more, but not as much as someone with cosmetic implants. If I went smaller, they'd be lower. I suppose that's another consideration, but then I'd be dealing with starting over with the whole massaging thing. I asked for his 'washers' to determine the size of the nips/aureola—when I say nips I really mean the aureola—and he says I'll choose them on the day of the surgery.

The nips, as you probably know if you've been reading, are created from my own skin, taken from just above the pubic area. The roughly two-inch scar will be hidden while in bikinis/underwear etc. So I'm on for the 27th. The last official surgery!! The tattooing in of the color is done in his office. I asked him if anyone's ever gotten a really crazy color like black or purple.

"Uh, no, I don't think so," he said, but I could double check with the lady in the office who does it.

And here's my story on the Prive Salon Mammogram Initiative. If you guys are interested in reading all my monthly columns in Juli B., you can always see them here or sign up here to recieve stories directly to your email account. That's all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Went for the first post-chemo cut at Prive (I don't know how to do accents on Blogger) salon yesterday and the cut is fabulous; no more errant flyaways or Flock-of-Seagulls-style wings. My friend Laura came with and even went out and got a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but neither one of us knew how to open a bottle without cracking one of the salon's gorge Venetian mirrors, so we saved the bottle until after. Prive's a very cool, super laid-back salon and Franck the owner—and founder Laurent's nephew—is adorable.

Anywho, the before and after photos. I have no idea why I look cross-eyed in the first photo. And, listen, I know that I can pull off the short hair and that you guys love it, but when you are forced to lose your hair, the short hair is a constant reminder that you lost your hair involuntarily. So while I am grateful for the fact that I can do the short thing, my hair cannot grow fast enough for my satisfaction. But the good news is that thanks to my fellow cancer patients, I knew exactly what to do to ensure that my hair grew back evenly and thickly. (If you want tips on chemo haircare, I'm your gal.)

The hot mess that was my head before:

And after

After the haircut we hungout at Ben and Laura's and popped open the champagne, which was hot, so we ghetto-fied it and put some icecubes in while wathing the lead up to the debates. The only thing I could think while I was watching this was how much McCain resembles a sinister-looking turtle. And how if he said 'my friend' one more time, ugh; I gave up and watched Rachel Zoe instead. Cannot get enough of this show. And I want her job.

From today's Los Angeles Times:

"Occasionally, it's been reported that aides have advised McCain to curb his use of the line. But clearly, that's a losing battle -- in Tuesday's 90-minute town hall encounter with Barack Obama, the Republican uttered "my friends" or "my friend" (directed at a specific questioner) 24 times."

Gah, you know our country's in serious trouble when the debates aren't even the lead story. And FYI, we are so heading for another—even more catastrophic—great depression. This is straight from the horse's mouth—Alan Greenspan to his friend to me. Seriously. I have a story, but I have to search for it, think it's in manuscript and I will post later. But get your money out of the market if it's not too late, so says the powers that were.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hair Club for Women

I know a lot of you are curious about my hair growth, so here are some rather bad photos. When it's sans product (these are with product), it's a total Jewfro. Unless you're Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill or Fletch, the Jewfro is pretty disastrous. But it's fine. Fine. I don't know how many inches it is, since it's curly and hard to tell.

One of the many Carnival ships leaving yesterday.

And today. It's been raining all weekend. Last night Durrett and I got pounded on Lincoln Road and I was ankle deep in the disgusting, overflowing water. In flipflops. You can imagine what this germaphobe did in response to this turn of events.

"Oh my God. Omigod. Omigod. Ewwwwwwww!" It was insane—more than a foot of water accumulated in the two-hour period we'd been in the movies (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. It's no Devil Wears Prada.) I've now had to wash my feet in the sink twice this week.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Uuuuuuggggghhhh. If these people win, I am selling everything and moving to Amalfi. Or perhaps Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica. Either way. Why, tell me please, is Canada such a popular expat destination when there are so many other beautiful choices just as close?

Anyway, McCain's double-talk and Palin's everything are sending me and all my friends straight over the edge.

Hey, Palin, I live just miles from Cuba; maybe I should call myself a Castro expert? Or perhaps I, by geographic proximity, am a secret agent for Mexico. In fact, I've been to Costa Rica, Mexico, the Bahamas and I've flown over the rest of our 'neighbors,' so I think I'll run for Miss International Diplomacy.

Seriously, it's like watching her do Tina Fey doing her. As gay boyfriend said: "I keep waiting for the end of this whole thing when Palin reveals that it's really been Tina Fey posing as her all along."

And I thought Biden did great and is uber-informed on economics and foreign policy, but the real question nobody addressed: Why the fuck are his teeth so inhumanly white? Are they dentures? Caps? Veneers?

When he smiled for the first time my eyes hurt.

Oh well, I called for my absentee ballot yesterday. The deadline in Duval County for doing this is Oct. 29th, FYI. A Democratic vote is much-needed in Duval County, whereas down here, maybe not. If the Bubbes have learned to use the machines, that is.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Costa Rica Roundup

I've been so frazzled of late trying to get back in the Miami groove that I haven't even properly recapped Costa Rica. The truth is that it was SUCH an amazing vacay that words can't describe. Seriously, it was that good. If you ever want to get away to the middle of nowhere—in a five-star fashion—then this is the place for you. Peninsula Papagayo is a private penin owned by a developer, and the Four Seasons ground-leases their space. (Lay Ann is in commercial real estate, so she got the DL.) It's a little confusing, but basically, you've got the Four Seasons and its rooms, spa, resort, private residences, etc. And then you've got luxurious private homes, an Arnold Palmer golf course at Four Seasons, iguanas and all the howling monkeys you want. Also, the peninsula is protected by the Costa Rican EPA, which has much more stringent regulations than ours. So in addition to this being an amazing five-star property, it's also very "green."

Anyway, here are some photo highlights.

This is what you see upon first entering Papagayo.

Each morning you awake to the sounds of the Howling Monkeys. And boy do they ever howl.

One of the daily Cosmopolitan-making trays waiting for us in our room. Good thing we bought ALL that Grey Goose at the DFS; we never even had to crack open the bottle. Our two California friends left our condo the last night with a garbage bag full of goodies that we never got to.

Our first night in heaven.

Our last night in heaven at the steakhouse where they surprised me with this decadent and beautiful birthday cake.

Me, having the time of my life in the middle of the jungle. Who would've thought? Apparently I have no fear of heights.

Isn't it funny how the best photos are the ones where you hold your arm out to capture yourself and friends?

This big daddy is, according to the manager of the golf course, a really, really, really old reptile.

This is the bay side of the Four Seasons beach. All the water sports are launched from here, but there is also an oceanside beach, where we spent more time. We could hear the waves from our room, which is the most relaxing sound on earth to me.

Zipping away again.

We passed over a couple awesome waterfalls.

And walked over a couple precarious suspension bridges. I had a little fun jumping and running on this one behind Lay Ann to freak her out even more. Hee hee.

Lay and I kayaking on our last day. I forgot how fun kayaking is.

Golf carts transported us to and fro our rooms. For some reason we were all obsessed with the golf carts, but Lay Ann took the prize. She almost wet her pants with excitement when she got to drive us around the golf course on our tour. And she nearly killed me a couple times too.

This is one of the features all of us had been super-excited about. It's the ladies' hot tub in the spa; outdoors, overlooking the Pacific. My photo doesn't do it justice, but the one on the web site does.

A view from a high-elevation hole on the golf course.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Beauty for Breast Cancer

Okay, it's officially Breast Cancer Awareness month and since I'm not really involved in any one breast cancer org, I'll be offering up a selection of my favorite breast cancer initiatives for the month. My first choice is the Prive Products 2008 Mammogram Campaign. As annoying as it is to hear, early detection really is fundamental in saving lives. For me, I caught it when it was just crossing from Stage I to Stage II. My course of treatment would not have changed because of my BRCA status, however, for non-BRCA women, early detection is even more important. (As an aside, have you noticed the commercials for the BRCA test? Talk about progress! Genetic testing ads on TV. Who would've thunk it? Natch, the whole genetic testing thing is controversial, but your grandmothers who died from BC would approve, I'm sure.)

Anyway, one out of eight of YOU will get breast cancer. That is an inescapable fact. So let's say out of 40 of my girlfriends, four others aside from me will have to fight this nasty thing. Therefore: Go get your fucking mammograms already, bitches! Seriously. If not for yourself then for your families and friends.

Soo, back to
Privé. Participating salons will reward you for getting a mammogram; click here to enter your zip code and find a salon near you. If you've had a mammo within the past year or are scheduled to have one before Oct. 31st, you may sign up here to receive a complimentary treatment at the salon. I love this project because it not only gives women incentives for their diligence to their own health, but because it reinforces my message that breast cancer, despite all it's ugliness, can still be beautiful. Additionally, for each unit of Privé's Thermal Protection Detangling Spray, $1 will be donated to the Expedition Inspiration Fund for BC research. I bet the spray is great for wigs too, as I've learned you have to be very delicate when brushing them.

So I hope you guys will look into this. Yours truly will be getting her first post-chemo haircut at the Miami Priv
é very soon! I haven't posted pics lately of my hair, but it's a big ol' hot mess right now. And, despite my prayers to the hair gods, it's growing in curly. Back to the Japanese straightening in a few months.

And remember ladies: The 40-year-old thing is a steaming heap of bullshit. You need to have your first mammogram at age 35. If you have a family history, you should go at 30. But given the people I've met in the cancer community, it's never too early. Remember how I told you that my chemo nurses once treated a 16-year-old for BC? Well, that could be your daughter, sister, niece, cousin etc. That's all. I'll get down from my soapbox now.

Actually, I take that back. I'm not done trying to scare you into action. Perhaps these previous posts and photos may do the trick.