You all know I have an editorial assistant now right? He's awesome, as you can see by the following, which is what he extracted from one of my 20 cancer video tapes. These video logs will provide me with much of the dialogue for the memoir. This one in particular takes place while Dana and I are having lunch with Lisa, who is also a 'survivor,' and is the wonderful, amazing, cancer beauty tipstress who gave me the advice about shaving my hair post-chemo. Lisa, Dana's cuz by marriage, also accompanied me to Ralf's the day he shaved my head. (Excerpts of that video TK soon.) Anyway, this is the first tape Massistant has logged, it took place at Islander's Market on Brickell Key, January 2008. I'd yet to have any surgeries except for the lumpectomy. (I'm not sure whether Massistant wants me to use his name, but I kind of like that term now.)
A little contextual info about Lisa. We come from very similar backgrounds and mentalities. Both daughters of Nancys, who in turn were daughters of crazy-socialite mothers. Nancy R.'s mama notified her of dinner via servants ringing bells; Roxy notified my mom of wake-up-for-school time by having an answering service call the house. Both families believe in the power of retail therapy. Lisa is married, lives in CT, was treated at Sloan and has no children. This was our first meeting, and we got along swimmingly. Okay here goes, haters remember, if you choose to insult this post, you're not only insulting me but Massistant as well, who is a harmless, 21-year-old college student, so step off!
It's like--agh--I don't know if
I'll be able to use that word [survivor]
because I just think of the
Holocaust, you know what I mean?
That's what makes it funny.
You're a 'Breast Cancer Survivor.'
Because you realize that right now
you no longer have breast cancer,
you are perfectly healthy.--
I FEEL perfectly healthy.
And NOW you are a 'Breast Cancer
Well yeah--I don't like to jinx
myself, so I'll wait.
'Til when you're 90!?
Until at least I'm in treatment.
But umm... Anywho--So basically,
whatever Larry tells me.
If he says, "Listen, I want you to
go see the surgeon, the
Larry Norton; The Anna Wintour of
The Anna Wintour of cancer?
Anna Wintour is my idol.
Steph makes some odd noises and laughs. ........ cut to diff convo
Did you see Sex & the City when she
was shaving her head?
Don't do it yourself. That was like
the most insane thing I had ever
seen. But my husband was kinda like
that guy, he's like, "Do you want
me to do it? I'll do it right now."
I WAS BALDING and everyone made me
realize it was no big deal. I gotta
be honest, it took me like an
entire day to look into the mirror.
. . . .
This is what you have to do: Do
things to make yourself feel
better. Go on spa days--
Oh you don't have to worry about
that with me. As soon as we found
out I asked. When are you going on
spa days, when are we going to
Neiman's, what are you gonna buy
And here's the other thing.
Somebody told me this. I thought it
was the stupidest thing and I did
it actually. I went out and I
bought all these different sweats.
And I threw them all out.
I'm telling you, this is really
fun. It's so fun. I got presents
all the time.
I got a Marc Jacobs bag. It's like
a single girl's marriage.
Child starts a barrage of screams and cries next to Steph,
Lisa and Dana. The conversation ends, the tape stops.
EXT. SAME RESTAURANT PATIO - SAME DAY/DIFF CONVO.
The tape starts again. Right before Steph speaks the child
starts screaming and crying once more.
This is why I don't want kids. I
asked the doctor, do you just want
to take my ovaries out!? Because
really... I would not mind.
When I lost my period, I started
getting symptoms of menpause.
I walk in and have my sense of
humor. I'm my normal self and she [that woman Elisa Krill-Jackson, the first oncologist whom I later fired after finding Michael Schwartz]
is very sour. "You have cancer. You
need chemo. You're gonna die."
I always try not to say this is
fun. But it is and you can make it
It's freeing in a way.
It is. Guess what? I don't have a
biggest fear in life anymore! My
biggest fear in life is putting a
bikini on because of my stomach!
And that's great!
It opens up a lot of weird doors
CUT TO ME ASKING LISA ABOUT CHEMO TREATMENTS
Is it painful or is it just like an
It feels great! You are drugged up!
They give you valium.
Is it boring?
Eh. Bring a book, bring friends,
watch TV. I always felt I was the
healthiest person there. We'd
stroll in and talk about our last
shopping trip. It was quite fun
I know. People think I'm crazy when
I say that. But you can quote her
on that [to Dana]. "It was fun"
It was fun.
It's like an adventure.
I never felt sick, never.
I mean, I'd feel shitty one or two
days. Just tired and whatnot.
Yeah...I'd have to say, the hardest
part of the whole thing was writing
thank you notes to people.
[Note to readers: I think only Jews who were raised with the edict that not writing a thank-you note is tantamount to living in a trailer would say this.]
Yes! I have a pile of thank you
notes with names on the front and I
can't sit down to write them. I
can't call my parents or my parents
friends anymore because I know they
are so emotional. I'm like "MOM, GO
SEE A THERAPIST! STOP THIS I CANNOT
HAVE YOU FALLING APART EVERY TIME
WE ARE ON THE PHONE!" When I have
good news she starts crying. I'm
like "MOM! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE,
CALL DR. LAURA AND GET YOURSELF AN
Dr. Laura from the radio?
No. Dr. Laura, she's my therapist
in LA. Well I thought about this
because my parents are so resistant
I told them I'm not going to talk
to them until they book a therapist
Fin. For now. PS. My boobies are better. Scar tissue irritation apparently.