Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From Bergdorf's to Beach

The happy part is hard, but the healthy is the most important, obv. Last year my resolution was simply "to kick ass," which I think I did. Prob first resolution I've kept. This year, it's Publish My Book. So, I'll have to stick to that one too.

Last year I rang in the new year at a cool party house right on the bay, in a chaise lounge, sipping Champagne and watching the fireworks. This year I'll, uh, be with the whole crew at a hippie fest literally on the seediest (public) beach here. You guys know my love for public beaches, so the fact that I'm doing this on NYE is a testament to my fabulous friends. Drum circles. BYOB. Blankets and flip flops. And me. Ha! My main dilemma is, natch, what shoes??? No flip flops for me. And go out at nights in flats? Why I never! I'm 5'4. Luckily I have a pair of cute, Tod's platform sandals that won't sink in the sand. And I've got jeans. Which will most likely be accented with a vintage Leiber belt. You can take the girl out of Bergdorf's, but you certainly can't take the Bergdorf's out of this girl. And I'm baking my special brownies upon request, for $5 each. And of course, the most important part is that last year I had cancer and am now cancer free. Where's my present? (Hopefully, it'll be my condo in foreclosure, selling for half what it's worth.)

Happy and healthy New Year's to all of you. Your readership, support, and encouragement means a whole hell of a lot to me, so I thank you and wish you a prosperous 2009. May all our dreams come true, no matter what they are. As long as they're not evil, that is. I know I have quite a few sickie haters out there. So they can suck it and have a shitty new year, while we try to make the world a better place. Or something like that.

PS, Please pick up the new issue of Heeb, my story is a 4-page spread with some very cute illustrations.

Happy, healthy and prosperous new year's to all you bitches. And to my fellow cancer warriors, keep on kicking ass for as long and as hard as you can.

Healthy, healthy, healthy ladies, you're all in my thoughts.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mom and Barbara, she of the baking and saging fame. (In that post, it was right before my lymphs were removed and I was still sporting the alien drains, but I managed to prioritize nonetheless. The saging worked—my lymphs were clean:)

Kobi, the slightly confused ring-bearer.

Poor Tessie Lou, forced to wear her doggie diaper while in heat. If anyone has a stud-worthy little nugget, Tessie is ready for some action!

The happy couple, flanked by their family and friends. Blake, btw, is Dana's younger brother. Seven years younger than us, I watched him go from diapers to pre-school to high school to stay with us in L.A., which involved his bleached hair, the LAPD and stage-dancing with someone named—I kid you not—Dorito.

Kobi saying: "Why can't daddy change my diaper while mommy is nursing Cunty?"

I had to have a photo of him trying to say "cheeeeeeeeeese" while crying.

Cunty with grandpa, the cashmere blankie that my mom knit for her and her daddy's AmEx. Hmm, you'd think she were mine. Maybe an Eber will finally shop at Neiman's with me! Watch out Harv!

Dana and me at the rehearsal dinner.

Dana, me and Barb.
So, this is how I've recently been sporting the hair. I don't mind it, though I've yet to go out in SoBe with it. At night that is. During the day, this is me.

Me and the little nugget—see, I don't always make him cry.

Dana and me after the rehearsal dinner.

And just a note about my fashionaholism; I subconsciously decided to wear the same little Prada bag this weekend for the first time since Dana's wedding four years ago. Sick, I tell you!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Seriously, Why Do I Have to Be from HERE????

Merry Christmas to all my Goyim readers. Happy, happy, joy, joy, red lights and mistletoe and all that BS.

Let's take stock of what's going on the Green household, shall we?

Brother was gifted an $1,800, last-minute plane ticket to India where he will spend the holidays with one of my best friends, who is staying with Brother's girlfriend's family. Very cruel, right? I think so, considering the only thing I ever want to do is get the hell out of this country.

Stephanie was gifted with, well, nothing. Not a card, a check, a tzchotcke, a gift certificate. Nada. And I assure you there's no surprise present lying around. I am the Samantha Baker of Hanukkah this year, so it's highly fitting that I did the Sixteen Candles reality tour in Chicago a couple weeks ago.

My presents? Dad refusing to let me sleep past 10 a.m. and repeatedly banging on my door when I try; mom badgering me constantly, 'so what else is new?' (since the last time I spoke with you five minutes ago? Nothing!) A house full of barking dogs and a neighbor's yard with chirping bullfrogs outside my upstairs window. Not to mention the fact that I cannot get wireless on my Mac, so the work I was planning on doing--not happening. And a city, I am not exaggerating in the least, where the ONLY thing open on Christmas is the movies. Seriously, not even the gas stations are open in Jesusville. The only reason I'm here is for Dana's family's wedding. Otherwise, I'd be at the pool in South Beach. I hate this 'city' so much I can't deal. Too bad there aren't anymore homophobic signs for me to vandalize.

Bitter? Yes. See, us Jews are not required to have the 'spirit of the season,' thank fucking god. So today I will go to the gym--the JCC rather, the only non-theatrical place open in Jesus-fucking-ville--and probably go see Marley and Me.

And my Hanukkah gift to myself is a trip to the Left Coast for the anniversary of my mastectomy around Valentine's day. (Cause heaven's forbid I should be gifted with a plane ticket anywhere even in the continental U.S., forget about another continent.) I will finally be reunited, in person, with Dr. Laura, get to see Lay and Jill and Kim and Hank and all my long-lost LA friends, and perhaps take a jaunt down to La Jolla to stay with some family.

Oh, and my apartment will not be sold on Jan. 5, rather that is when the judge will make his summary judgement on how long I have to vacate. Probably 60 to 90 days, longer if we can negotiate a rental with the bank/new owner. Well, guess what bitches? I ain't moving. I don't care if I have to squat. I love my apartment. Wouldn't that make a fine human interest story?

"Well-dressed, Deranged, Wigged Woman Refuses to Leave Bentley Bay Apartment."

I'd love to do an apartment swap with a like-minded gal in the City for the month of March perhaps. So if you know anyone into that, hook me up. You've probably seen photos of my apartment, but being on the water in South Beach in March isn't too shabby. Me? I'd prefer to be wearing my shearling in New York and sitting in Bergdorf's shoe department people watching. Bah humbug.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Big Pimpin'

You all are familiar with the lovely and talented author Laura Zigman, the de facto founder of Chick Lit with her national bestseller Animal Husbandry. (Which was made into a film starring no less than People's Sexiest Man Alive, Hugh Jackman.)

Laura is also a Breast Cancer chick, who was diagnosed about a year (I think?) before me. She's been an amazing cheerleader for me and my writing, going so far as to agree to read my manuscript before I send it out, not to mention helping me in the agenting process. What a woman! And a seriously funny and sharp writer. Someone who can (b)rant about the Container Store and have you laughing out loud, well that's pretty rare.

She has a new book out, along with matchmaker extraordinaire Patti Novak:

Get Over Yourself!: How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love

So for your singleton friends, I think this is a perfect gift, assuming they have a sense of humor and self-awareness about being single. Which hopefully they do, otherwise being single would be a real bitch.

In the self-pimpin' department, please go out and buy the "Wasted" issue of Heeb magazine, which you can find at B&N and other large book chains. Seeing a story in the context of a magazine can't compare to reading online. And it's so important to support cutting edge mags. Not to mention the fact that Heeb is fucking hilarious, with regular sections like "Urban Kvetch" "Schwartz of the Month," etc. If you're a Jew or token MOT, I guarantee you'll get hooked on the mag.

Anywho, I'm off to catch some rays before Dana's brother's (Blake) wedding this weekend. I'll get to see Dana and the little nuggets for the second time in one month, so that's a bonus. I don't know if the whole crew will have the time—or place—to bake this trip, but rest assured, we'll try.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Woot woot! The new issue of Heeb Magazine is out and my feature is online! This should negate my previous post.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression, wherein: "people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) experience a much more serious reaction when summer shifts to fall and on to winter. With seasonal affective disorder, fall's short days and long nights may trigger feelings of depression, lethargy, fatigue and other problems. Don't brush this off as simply a case of the "winter blues" that you have to tough out on your own. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression, and it can severely impair your daily life."

As most of you know, I am a diagnosed clinical depressive. Have been most of my life. Currently I'm on Lamictal and Pristiq. But I've never been terribly affected by SAD—the acronym is just too obvious to deride—save for lately. The convergence of the end of Cancer treatment—which, psychologically evokes "chemo and surgical withdrawl," seriously—and the beginning of a New Year (not to mention raging PMS) has left me feeling empty. (I've even sickly fantasized about taking early measures regarding the removal of my ovaries, having decided that there's no way in fucking hell that I'm going to go through IVF in order to freeze my eggs when I don't even crave children.)

You know that after you come out of the other end of a potentially life-ending illness, that your life should be changed in some profound way. More time with the kids or family or travel or charity, any number of ways. And of course you all know I have been changed profoundly, but now the question is what do I do about it? (Aside from the actual physical writing part, I am mentally stymied by what has to follow: finding an excellent agent who will 'get' me.) Were it not for the Herceptin that I have to receive until spring or summer, I think I'd already have sold my possessions and set off on a sabbatical to a far off place I've never been. And I'm hoping that after I finish Herceptin, I will do that. Perhaps go to a country with little funding for women's cancers and try to educate people or whatever. Something Cancer related. And the apartment situation isn't helping either.

But anyway, happy holidays! Haven't I added some Xmas cheer to your week? At the very least, for those others feeling blue around this time of year, take heart in the fact that there's a whole shit ton of "SAD"dies out there.

Are you SAD?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's All Our Disease

I was going to write about how my week only got worse, and then I checked Ellie's blog. Ellie has been a faithful reader—and Internet friend—for the past year. She was diagnosed with a rare form of BC, and has really been through the ringer, to say the least. Yet she's always upbeat, complains little and just radiates goodness through her blog.

I was stopped dead in my tracks when I checked her blog today and read her announcement that she has brain cancer. There are many subcultures associated with cancer. And several of my Cancer friends I've met online and via email. But these are still friendships nonetheless, even if we never meet face-to-face. So when I read Ellie's words, I cried not for myself—as I have been doing most of the week—but for her and her shitty, doo-doo brown luck. All I ask is that you all keep Ellie in your thoughts and/or prayers, no matter whom or what you worship.

And I'm serious when I say that I'll come visit you Ellie, where ever in the Pacific Northwest you are.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This could be one of the worst days in a while, from top to bottom. Wake up after a restless night without having gotten my requisite 8 hours. Foul mood to start with, likely due to PMS. I look down to count the new hairs on my tatas, and oh, what's that? A whitehead on my right nipple, where the penis is still erect. Ahh yes, not only pubes on the nipples, but ingrown pubes that produce whiteheads. Couldn't wait for Dr. Rosenbaum to see this twist.

Mom and dad, neither of whom are speaking to me anymore, are apparently in New York for dad's annual prostate cancer check up at Sinai. (You guys knew dad got prostate cancer under 55? Yes, he's to blame for my faulty gene. But he didn't have to have his dick cut off as I did my tits. Nor did he have to go through chemo. Or nearly ten surgeries. Not that I'm bitter or anything.)

My primary reason for seeing Dr. R today was a Botox touch up, because after last time, I needed him to do a little correction. They were out of Botox, natch. Again. Apparently, people stock up before the holidays. Pretty fucking sad, huh? (I'm not in any rush for the holidays—I'm a Jew, our only real holiday is New Year's Eve—I was just due.)

The good doctor went so far as to call some other doctors in the building. Everyone was out. Fuck me. Leaving the doctor's office, I got a text from Sprinkles—if you're going to insult me Michael, then Sprinkles it is—calling me an idiot. So my parents and brother are sitting at Trattoria Del Arte, next to Jennifer Aniston no less, presumably discussing what a terrible daughter/person I am. Apparently, it's possible for your parents to shut you out and kick you while your down, with cancer. That's comforting, isn't it?

When I get like this, it's all I can do not to tear up in public. So I tend to let myself tear up in the car and do some deep breathing before I go into Epicure to pick up my pathetic dinner of marinated vegetables.

I arrived home, having already decided to forgo the Mondrian—opened on my street—tonight in light of my mood, and checked the mail. I've been served before. I know what the envelope looks like. Seems that my landlord—who, ironically sent out a mass email today that he was now working in Phuket, Thailand, the fucking wacko—is finally being foreclosed upon. My apartment is slated to be sold on the courthouse steps January 5th. Happy fucking New Year!

On the plus side, I have a new best friend who will aid in my mental recovery.

My life totally and completely sucks right now. Seriously, seriously sucks ass.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

After the UPS debacle, Ben informed me—and calculated online—that FedEx could do the whole overnight shebang for $56 including insurance. But I got lazy today, haven't unpacked the $8 UPS box yet and will postpone the dyeing till after the holidays.

I've been using a flatiron on the Jewfro with excellent results. A choppy, Sally Hershberger-esque 'do that is so cute that I'm tempted actually to go out at night sans wig. Scary Walgreen's tranny told me the straightened, choppy 'do looked "fierce, like a rock star," and trannies—especially crackhead ones—speak the truth. I tipped him for his kindness and as I was walking away heard him say, "Girl, you so fierce! This is enough to buy a Whopper." You must picture these words coming from a six-foot-tall, reed-thin, black he/she with a weave longer than my wig. (How does he afford to maintain that weave, I wonder?)

But I digress. I spent the early part of today writing for Juli B. in bed. Don't know why I don't do that more often. My bed rocks.

Now—listen up ladies—I finally am confronted with a BC issue that doesn't merely involve hairy nipples or chemo. Rather, I must figure out how to tell a blind date about this little thing called Cancer. A doctor, no less. A plastic surgeon actually. I should've just told Laura to tell him about the whole thing to weed him out. . .

Ooooh, Wife Swap where the husbands switch. Forgive me, I must watch. More on this issue later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gee, that went well. So well that I'm sitting next to an $8 UPS box containing my $4,300 Ralf wig.

I confirmed with mom that I should insure the Ralf for the full amount. In my mind, I remembered UPS charging $1 for every $100. So I was thinking about $40 to insure the Ralf, and then what ever the cost of overnight shipping was.

"I need to insure this [box] for $4,000 and I need it over-nighted to New York," I said to the UPS fellow.

"What's in the box?"

"A wig."


"A wig."

Betcha he'd never heard that before. He sold me on a second box to encase my box, which I'd wrapped with paper medical tape. (I knew they'd tape it up additionally.) So he wraps the second box up, and I fill out the extensive shipping label. And then he tells me it will be $200-something to overnight it. What. The. Fuck. Insurance, it turns out, is $2 for every $100—so $80. And then like $120 to overnight a package? Seriously, WTF? I know I've overnighted packages before and no way I paid more than $50, let alone hundreds. So I'm standing there like an idiot trying to crunch these ridiculous numbers and time constraints. Problem is that I need the wig back for the Friends of the New World Symphony gala Saturday night. Ralf was going to dye it a little darker to match my natural color, which he would see from the sample I enclosed. That would take a few hours, then he'd turn it around and have it back to me by Thursday. Okay, so what about second-day? Still more than $150. 3rd day—too late to get it back it time.

"Uh, I'm afraid I can't ship it today at all," I said, while thinking 'no fucking way am I shipping it faster than standard ground if insurance is $80.'

"But you went ahead and wrapped it and everything. . ."

"That's okay you can just bring it back and keep the shipping label."

I thanked him and turned to leave.

"Ma'am gotta charge you for the box."

I got back in the car, marveling at this rather unique situation. My cell phone rang and it was Laura.

"What're you doing?"

"I'm sitting here in my car looking at an $8-UPS box containing my wig."

I explain the story. "So essentially I left my apartment and wasted gas just to buy an $8 box from the UPS store."

And I'm sure you're thinking, 'Oh, well, at least it's all ready ready to ship.' Except that I need to wear it this week and I will most certainly not be shipping via UPS when I do send the Ralf up to Ralf. Oy vey.

Anywho, I don't know about you, but I'm eagerly anticipating the new Ryan Seacrest sure-to-be trainwreck TV debut of Momma's Boys tonight. And I'm putting my $4,308 package in a corner of my room so it doesn't piss me off anymore.

What am I doing? Getting ready to go to UPS to overnight the wig to Ralf, so he can color it and ship it back to me by Friday. This is probably the closest I'll get to having a couturier at my call, and I quite like the fantabulous customer service. It's going to be a hefty chunk 'o change for the postal insurance.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Hairy

The good news: I've lost six more pounds in three weeks. (But my skinny jeans still don't fit since all the weight is in the belly and fucking hips.)

The bad news: My hair has to be FIVE inches before straightening. That means May at the earliest. I'm tearing up a little. Surely anyone who's lost hair can relate. I had such great hair thanks to Momotaro.

I'm in the hospital, as usual, receiving my Herceptin. Fucking A. Why did I decide to start my weeks at the hospital?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You know that your Jewish mother is pissed at you when she hasn't called in more than a week. Huh. You'd think that when your daughter is in recovery from Cancer, whatever I did—which is undoubtedly something to do with money—she'd be curious about her daughter's health. Surprisingly, during this ordeal, dad—from whom I inherit my horrid lack of patience and ability to say whatever is on my mind—has been the more tolerant and patient of the duo. I can only attribute this to the fact that he too had cancer recently. Whereas mom, perfect mom, has never been sick for a day in her life. Nor has she ever been single, lived alone, been alone or struggled in any way when it comes to her appearance.

I am however excited to report that a box of the "Wasted" issue of Heeb magazine is being shipped to me soon. I have a fairly large feature story about "Benzos and Breast Cancer." Finally, a national magazine. I seriously hope a lit agent or someone worthy of my time reads it, loves it and wants to pay me to do something. Sigh. I need to stop drinking I think. It really gets me down the next day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm not feeling so hot, after a typical pre-BC style Stephanie night out. Headache, sore throat, runny nose. I have the Daschle press conf on now, and I can't help but mentally compare Obama's cabinet to the Olympic basketball dream team that included MJ, Magic etc. I'm counting on my acupuncturist to help knock this cold out of my system.

Anyway. The girls. They're always instigating trouble. E.G., after my workout, I had plenty of time to get ready for the 7 p.m. Friends of the New World Symphony exec committee meeting. Now that I have jeans again, I'm finally able to go into Wardrobe and liberate my frilly tops that have hibernated for a year. But trying on said tops is not that much fun. It goes a little something like this.

Put said top on, try to zip it up in back over the girls. Realize it's marginally uncomfortably tight.

"God damnit you fucking dick-nipple motherfuckers! Why, why, why? Fit, for fuck's sake, fit! I'm so fucking sick of this shit!"

See, I plan wardrobe ahead of time, so when the shirt don't fit, you must acquit. Sorry, couldn't help it. But when the shirt doesn't fit, then the bag, shoes and jewelry must be changed as well.

Top #1 was a no go. It fit, but was just a little too snug. Threw it back in the closet along with its accompanying accessories. I select another Nanette top that I remembered had always been a little loose on top.

"Please, Nanette, please make it work!"

(I do talk to my clothes I'm afraid. Lots of sicko fashionistas do. I won't name names, but you know who you are. Sometimes I even pet them—shoes, bags, etc. Like plants, they need love to flourish.)

Nanette made it work. The girls were quite prominent, insisting on seeing the daylight. Okay, wardrobe done. Makeup—well, leave it to me to get Shu Uemura liquid liner all in my left eye. My eyeball was leaking black. I fucking hate that liquid liner and need some new YSL. Natch, that set me back several minutes. So now I'm shvitzing like a motherfucker and I haven't even put the wig on yet.

I finally make it out of the house and hop in a cab to the Lincoln Theatre, where I thought the meeting was. Yeah. I get to the theatre and look into the room where we usually meet and see a bunch of people doing yoga. Hmm.

I call Lisa, who tells me the meeting is at the Catalina hotel.

"Fuck, I can't believe I did this."

"I can." Lisa says.

Now it's 90% humidity out and my Jewfro is frizzing beneath the wig. Lisa has no idea what cross street the hotel is on and in case you guys don't know, I have the worst sense of direction ever. Plus, I have no cash and must totter in 3-inch heels on the Lincoln Road mall to find an ATM. But then I call Stace and she tells me it's close enough to walk. So I do ten more minutes of tottering and I arrive at the hotel hot as a motherfucker.

"I need a drink," I say by way of greeting Rene and Stace.

I chug a glass of Chard and begin fanning myself with the menu. I have yet to look in a mirror for visual confirmation of what kind of hot mess is going on in my hair. I go to the ladies' to check the do. My (new fave) Jennifer Oullette headband (the kind that Blair on Gossip Girl is always donning) is askew, the wig hair is curling up (ew) and the Jewfro beneath the wig is also frizzing and poking out. Ugh. I rearrange, but know it's futile. I really must see Ralf or get a hair net or something. Gaaaaaaaahhhhh. I want my Jap straightening already.

After we all schmooze and booze, we sit down for the meeting and we have to intro ourselves, as we seem to do every meeting. (Is everyone taking Vercet and getting retrograde amnesia here or what?)

"I'm Stephanie. A writer, blogger and unwitting breast cancer research advocate. A lot of you probably know me from my blog and if you don't, then read it. I'm a recent BC 'survivor' so you'll see my girls a lot and you'll have to excuse me. I can't help it—they pop out of everything. I'm a cyborg from the waist up and I have no control over these things."

"They just want to say 'hi,'" someone says.

I don't think most people intro themselves at board meetings like that. But I'm amongst friends. And I feel compelled to tell people that my cleavage is not a la South Beach, but a la reconstructive surgery.

A couple of glasses of wine at the meeting, another at Nobu, little food and now feeling the pain, my friends. So I think I'll take it easy and try to work on the book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Return of the Brat Pack

John Hughes is one of Hollywood's most prolific and talented figures. From The Breakfast Club to Sixteen Candles to Ferris Bueller to Home Alone, he is singlehandedly responsible for the success of the Brat Pack.

He grew up in Northbrook, IL, which is near where Dana lives in Lake Bluff. These movies were SUCH a huge part of our childhood, so I suggested a star tour. I IMDB'd my way through Hughes land.

Here are the results.

The awesome "garage" where Cameron kamikazied his dad's Ferrari.
Cameron's house to the right and the garage to the left. Pardon that hot mess in the middle.

The Sixteen Candles church where Sam's doped-up sister got married (see below). And where dreamy Jake Ryan parked his Porsche in front of when he finally won Sam's heart.

Jake Ryan's house where Long Duck Dong got wasted, the trees got toilet-papered and the garage from where Anthony Michael Hall's character took Jake's dad's fancy car.

Home Alone!

The part of the house where Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern's characters had some of their funniest scenes.

And get this—they have a Macaulay cutout after all these years!!!

I love driving around and looking at houses. Especially famous ones. Quite fun, but quite cold, as you can see.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jesus Christ (sorry Lynn, sometimes I just can't help it!). Mom just nearly gave me a heart attack when I got this email:

Took Wally to dr today; his cough was worse than usual. They took x-rays and everything looks good; little swelling around his trachea so she gave him an antibiotic and cough medicine! Heart looked good and no masses anywhere. She said he has a narrow trachea so that is why he coughs a lot, but he is fine, and he was so good!

Wally is with the grandparents cause of my traveling. Something you should know about mom: She doesn't take our dogs to the vet unless it's time to put them to sleep. (Actually, dad does it then.) She's convinced that dogs don't need check-ups, and despite this behavior, Betsy and Lou Lou lived till 17 and 16 respectively.

Anyway, fuck, now that I can breathe again. My poor little baby, I miss him so much but won't get to collect him until I'm home for the holidays. When the fuck is Hanukkah this year anyway? All I want is a gift certificate to Momotaro for my Japanese straightening. I can't handle the Jonah-Hill-style Jewfro anymore and I think it'll be long enough to straighten by Feb. Perhaps by my mastectomy anniversary. (Feldman makes fun of me for having like 30 cancerversaries, but I don't care.)

In other news. . .

Can you believe Sunny von Bulow finally died? I've always been fascinated by that story and cannot wait to read an (assumed) piece on the whole shebang by Dominick Dunne. If you haven't seen Reversal of Fortune, you must rent.

Dr. Rosenbaum had last-min surg today and had to resched my appointment. So I'm standing here typing this in my Juicy pants, no shirt and a non-stick dressing over the dick nipple in hopes of compressing it's constant fucking boner.

On the plus side, if I do have to go in for laser hair removal, I'll have my upper lip, armpits (can't use razor on left armpit cause I have no feeling there) and South of the Border done as well.
I should probably see to the hair and dick nip issue before Tomas does his final portrait of me. The girls will be covered by—wait for it—jewelry. Editorial style. Landsberg will loan and I'll also use my own.

I was under the illusion that today was Monday until about 4 p.m. today, since I was writing one of my articles and today was my first day at home. My bad.

I have little-to-no appetite lately, but am not reaping any benefits of that. I think I should book an appointment with Dr. Hottie, aka the gynecological oncologist. Lemme tell you ladies, it's a pleasure to get a pap smear with this man.

That's all for now. I'm jumping into the shower, finishing my column and hanging out with Laura. So maybe I will be hungry tonight after all;)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Someone, Please Take My Nipples

I'm ba-aack. Miss me? Well, I'm sitting in O'Hare right now having decided to go standby on an earlier flight back to the beach. I've been in Suburbia with Dana and fam since Thursday, so I'm afraid I don't have any hilarious, debaucherous, law-breaking stories for you, but I've got a few rants. So that's just as good.

First and foremost—the fucking, bloody penis nipples. The left one? Perfect. The most perfect nipple you could conjure up. The right one? Still a bit of a penis I'm afraid. A little pointy penis, adorned with stitches.

And remember this post:

Adding the aureoles—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. 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."

He said: Sometimes hairy nipples do happen in these situations and no biggie, you can laser-remove it. I really thought he was being sardonic. I mean, surely this world-renowned plastic doctor who has turned this mutilated mess into a work of art would not give me hairy nipples. Never.

The scabs are almost all healed now, meaning my nipples/aureoles are sans stitches and other detritus. Since the surgery, there have been odd bits of stitches and stuff poking out. Some clear, some—I thought—black.

Well. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the few stray "stitches" poking out of my aureoles are actually little, straight, short black hairs.

I have hairy nipples, people. I really do. Pubic hairy nipples. Me. Vain, appearance-obsessed, beauty-columnist me. Hairs. On my nipples. Have I mentioned I have pubic hair on my nipples?
Okay, you get the point. The odd thing is that they are very short and very straight. Who has short straight pubic hair? I know this is my hair on my nipples, but how did it get Japanese straightened in the transfer of power from the pubis to the tatas?

Whatever the case may be, naturally I will have Dr. Rosenbaum take care of this tomorrow. There goes playboy.

You can check out my Chicagoland photos on Facebook here. The houses that you see you'll recognize from Ferris Bueller's Day off, Sixteen Candles, Home Alone and other Brat Pack flicks filmed in the areas where Dana lives. I'm off to board my flight and ponder my pubic hair dick nipples.

I love my life.

Oh, and it's even better now that I just realized that I posted an excerpt from the memoir and you guys had absolutely no comments. Lovely. Why the fuck do I bother with this blog? I think from now on I'll only be posting weekly.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

One-Year Cancer Free

It was one year ago today. I'm on a plane to see Dana to celebrate the anniversary of my diagnosis. What a year! The most educational and enlightening period of my life. This is an excerpt from the memoir about the D-day. It's unedited. But I hope you enjoy.

Excerpted from Cancer is the New Black.

December 4, 2007
So this is Cancer.
I know the instant I hear the woman’s grave tone. To this day, I don’t remember her name or title. I’m sitting at Tom’s kitchen counter, in one of only four chairs in the whole apartment. South Beach, 5th Street and Euclid. A few blocks from Ocean Drive and Collins Ave. I’ll never forget this barstool, this counter, this kitchen. Rene, who I just met, is taking a turntable out of the front door. Tom is helping him. I’m wearing jeans—Rock & Republic. I can’t remember any other piece of wardrobe; odd for someone who remembers what she wore at all of life’s pivotal moments.
I do recall that I’d showered, shaved, applied some makeup. I looked decent.
One phone call, one sentence, changes your world.
“Stephanie, when can you get to the doctor’s office? He wants to see you as soon as possible.”
“Uh, I dunno,” I say through a fog of a million thoughts at once. Thumbing through one of my Filofaxes. The purple one. “I can come tomorrow?”
“Is there anyway you can get here now?” The tone has changed. Graver.
“Now honey.”
NOW. Three letters that translate immediately into six. Six with a stigma. The big C.
“Yes now, the doctor is on his way in just to see you.”
Fabulous. Even in dire straits I get the VIP treatment. I hang up, in shock, obviously. The last time I was in shock: watching the Twin Towers ablaze from a corner in the Village. Mom—still in town, packing up her things at my apartment, getting ready to hit the road in minutes. Rene is gone. Tom catches my eye, grasps my fear, sees and hears me at my rawest.
“What? Okay, calm down.” Her voice gets weak and slow, I’ve heard it before, when I called in the middle of a hurricane to tell her I was being sued.
Tom sits across the room, rooted in his chair, looking like his world just fell out too.
“Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it,” says Mom. No, “I’m sure it’s not cancer, you’ll be fine.” Jewish mothers.
“Get the Xanax. Now. While I’m on the phone. Second bathroom drawer. Got em? Now put them in your purse please. Are they in? Okay hurry and pick me up at Tom’s. Behind China Grill; I’ll be outside.”
I hang up, still shaking. Tom comes to me from across the room, panic stricken, the color completely drained from his face. He sits down across from me, takes my hand.
“What? What? What happened? Steph?”
“The doctor. Just called. On his way to the hospital just to see me. Now. Omigod I have cancer. I have cancer. Cancer.”
“You do not have cancer. Hey, don’t panic.”
He envelops me. I cry into his shirt. He strokes my hair. I step back, look in his eyes. Even Hudson, the dog who hugs you, is whimpering.
“Stop. Take a deep breath.”
I return to my kitchen perch. He sits down across from me, holds my hands.
I’m panicking. The tears streak. The shallow breathing starts, the panic attack rears its frequent head again.
“It could be a million different things.”
“No. There are not a million things to go wrong with breasts. It’s cancer.” Fucking men. All they know about breasts is that their hands and mouths like them.
“Think positive, please,” he pleads with his eyes, his brows.
“The doctor doesn’t call the day after a biopsy with good news,” I’m flippant. “He’s coming in just to see me. Aren’t I special?” The first laugh. My sense of humor—immediately I know this will be one of the strongest weapons in my cache.”
“Stay positive. Think positive. Focus on me.”
I focus on his green eyes. He looks as stricken as a mother would be, a father, a brother, a husband. I won’t forget this look, this hour, these minutes. I know that instantly.
“Whatever it is, we’ll get through it. You are strong. We’ll get through it,” the conviction in his voice—the first sense of calm and comfort.
“I have cancer. I’m 32. How can this be happening to me?” I sound robotic and detached already, I can see myself, the room, Tom, me; all of it in slow-mo.
Tom and I have known each other three weeks. He’s not my boyfriend. But right now he is everything. This room where we’ve laughed, argued, planned for our bright futures that we will craft as a “dynamic”—his favorite word—team. He is, at this moment, the one thing moving while time stands still.