Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm wondering what happens after cancer. It was almost easier to battle breast cancer than to think about 'the future.' What I mean by that is--chemo, the surgeries, the follow-ups, the doctors' visits, the hospital stays, etc. were essentially my full-time job.

Though I've continued to write my columns and other articles, I'm now pondering exactly how I can consolidate my past six-month cancer trip into an actual body of work. I have the footage, the writing material and an artistic vision, but the question is: What makes my story different than all the other cancer books, shows and documentaries? (Perhaps your opinions may help me here.)

Is it my humor? The fact that I've been so open about it to the point that I've shown you both photos of my mutilated tatas and a shot of me and my pink pee pee? Maybe it's the odd phenomenon that I didn't have more than the slightest emotional hiccup over losing my breasts? (I think I lost them in a Bergdorf's dressing room.) My luck in terms of my support system and medical assistance? Or, ladies, is it my MO of dressing for chemo as if I were having a ladies' lunch?

As the person who's living the story, I'm too close to it to mine the gems, which is a common experience for writers. I'd like your input nonetheless.

I'm still chilling at the parents and cancelled my trip to Chicago for tomorrow. It's just too much right now, this close to the July 16th surgery. For 30+ years the 4th has been our version of a family reunion. It started as a fraternity reunion for my dad and his college buddies and blossomed into three decades of partying it up on a beach somewhere each July 4th weekend. The result is a delightfully tight-knit group of parents and children who look forward to a tradition that most people don't have the pleasure of experiencing.

Basically, it's a big, Jewish boozefest with all the essential accouterments. First it was my parents and their friends partying when they were my age while my generation was still in strollers. But it's more fun now that two generations of all the families get sloshed together. And the adults --senior citizens now--drink us under the table and end up four sheets to the wind dancing around with washcloths on their head. This year, mom forgot to eat before downing some Grey Goose, so the entertainment portion of Friday night was provided by her. The supporting cast member award has to go to the other Nancy, whose exact comments will be kept in the vault per her request. And no, you cannot have my shoes along with my bras, Nance. As if.

Jew Crew holiday get-togethers, in my experience, usually translate to too much liquor, too much food and lots of bitching about Bush. Good times.