Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tee Shirt Topics

Things that I want to put on a tee shirt:

1.) Is That A Port In Your Shirt Or Are You Just Happy To See Me? (Great to wear during the reconstruction process.)

2.) Ask Me Questions About My Estrogen Patch! (Arrow pointing towards the patch on my arm, which was put in that rather visible location by the Physician's Assistant before I left the hospital. I have since relocated the patch to a more discreet locale.)

3.) I'm Not Cold, That's Just My Fipple!

4.) Guess What, There Is No Such Thing As A "Good" Cancer

Which goes nicely with this one:
5.) Anyone Who Says Cancer Is A Gift Gets A Punch In The Face!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kung Fu Mama

I had a hard time coming up with a way to describe my mastectomy to my (then) kindergartner and pre-schooler without scaring the crap out of them. Kids, Mommy has this crazy-assed genetic mutation and is getting both breasts removed! And some other parts too! So, I concocted a story that would help them understand my limits (resting, no lifting, soreness, etc.) without really going into too much detail about the actual procedure.

Here's what I said:
"Mommy is going into the hospital overnight so the doctors can fix her chest muscles. She got a boo boo, but she's going to be fine. Mommy will need you to be her helpers and lift things that she can't lift. She will have to rest for a while but soon she will be back to normal."

OK, pretty reasonable. Next obvious question from the kids:
"How did you get your boo boo?"

"Well, I was lifting the uh, deck umbrella, and uh, putting it up high in the garage and I pulled some muscles." Not as well thought out by me. But the explanation seemed to work. The kids were great, didn't seem too anxious, and since I was home from the hospital 24 hours later, the story seemed pretty valid. (I do have some thoughts, to be shared at a later point, on the rather insane concept of returning home 24 hours after a mastectomy.)

But maybe it just wasn't exciting enough. My kindergartner was getting a ride home from school with a friend of mine. She called me a few days later and asked me what we told the kids about my surgery. I explained the story and she laughed.

"Your son told my son on the way home from school that his mom had to get surgery because she was stabbed in the chest with a giant beach umbrella."


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Questions, we get questions.......

Q: Okay, so I admit I'm kind of clueless. What can I actually do to help out a friend who's going through all this shit? I guess telling her I'm jealous of her free boob job is a bad idea, huh?

A. Well yes, first off, let’s start with what would NOT be a good idea. A few weeks ago they had one of those feel-good segments at the end of the national evening news, a little vignette meant to be inspiring or show us a bit of Americana, blah blah blah. This time, they featured a woman who goes around to hospitals visiting cancer patients, toting her little keyboard and a guitar, singing uplifting songs like “Wind Beneath My Wings” and so on. It was beautiful, touching, really warmed my heart to see that kind of selflessness..........and let me say this right here and now, that if there are ever any Kumbaya-singing wandering minstrels near me at any time, ever, you are very likely to see me arrested and cuffed to a hospital bed for assault with a deadly ham.

And yeah, the boob job comment? Bad, bad idea. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stupid Shit People Say

Oh, where to begin? We’re planning on making this a regular column of sorts – and if you’d like your own tales of dealing with stupidity/asshattery chronicled here as well, please email us! – because we can pretty much say with certainty that we’ll never run out of material. Today’s installment:

How are you doing? Are you terminal?

Seriously?? Are you terminal? You might as well just state the truth up front, that you’re a voyeur who watches nothing but reality tv shows and has a sick fascination with the bad shit that goes on in other people’s lives, and hey, seeing someone dying would be, like, way cool. Or something like that. Because I don’t know what other explanation there is for such a bizarre question.

Wow, for me that would be the biggest tragedy EVER, if I lost my rack. You must have kicked a lot of puppies in a past life or something to earn all that bad karma.

Yes, that’s exactly it. So even though I now volunteer with a Doberman rescue group, help older people with their gardens every year, and have a general saintly mien about me that’s beyond compare – it’s all to no avail. I’ll never get beyond the bad luck I’m cursed with from being Attila the Hun in a former life.

All the people I know who had breast cancer really feel that they turned out better for it.

Umm, no. No. I liked myself just fine before, thank you very much, so I don’t think the “new me,” the one with radiation fatigue, scars all over, lopsided boobs, and extreme bitterness from having to deal with the clowns at BCBS and their fraudulent practices, is going to be any better. Besides, what ever happened to just going to a day spa for self-improvement?

Anyone else care to chime in?