Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tatted Up

May I say, HOORAY!! I'm officially done with all the Foob procedures, now that I got my ink this week. The Fipples are fully tatted up, although not available for viewing under the big square puffy bandages (see Fipplegate posting). However, only a few more days to go and the year-long process will be complete.

I do need to share deets on the tattooing process, since it was a completely different experience than a regular "Hi, dude, can you put a big ole tramp stamp heart & flower thingy on my lower back and try not to give me hepatitis" type of tattoo. A medical tattoo means you get to first select your shade from the Martha Stewart Paint Chip catalogue. Seriously, I got to pick my shade from a series of chips: Flesh, Tan, Pink, Brown, etc. I wanted to call in reinforcements from a decorator. How was I supposed to know what shade to pick?! I went with a basic Flesh shade. Then, the PA took a makeup brush and painted the shade on the Fipples. Finally, she brought out this tool which I think she borrowed from my dental hygienist. Instead of buffing my teeth to a shiny white luster, she sandblasted the color right into my skin. (I was pretty numb, so no pain.) 45 minutes later, voila!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today was the day I was supposed to get my fipples tattooed. The final step in a yearlong process! Totally exciting. I thought about what shade-- maybe a nice bright magenta for spring? I also thought about what shape-- should I be bold and choose a heart or a star instead of some boring circle? I arrive and am ushered in to the onsite surgical room. The Physician's Assistant comes in (I know her from all of my prior appointments) and she gets right to work. We decide on a rather innocuous flesh shade. She takes out a super long needle and gives me some local anesthetic on the right Foob. NOTE: One benefit post surgery is that super long needles stuck directly into a Foob don't really hurt! Not a ton of sensation. I ask her about restrictions, i.e. no swimming, etc. She tells me that I can't take off the big square puffy bandages for one week.

HOLD ON! I was not informed that there would be big square puffy bandages involved in this procedure. I did get a tattoo about 20 years ago in a seedy Chicago tattoo parlor and I really don't remember any bandages. Perhaps not the best comparable? Anyhoo, I was pretty perturbed because this weekend is the 10 year wedding anniversary trip to New York City. Big puffy fipple bandages do not work with my chic wardrobe selections. Big puffy fipple bandages are not really a major aphrodisiac either.

Luckily, the PA was really, really cool and rescheduled me for next week. So, my numb Foob and I drove off, tattoo-less but looking forward to a fab NYC weekend.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Unicorn, Universe, Uterus

My kids are an endless source of material for me. Witness the interaction in my car on the way to lacrosse practice. In the backseat are Jacob (son, age 7), friend Justin (also age 7) and Will (age 5). They like to talk about bodily functions (poo, farts, etc.) and sports. I believe these topics will continue as mainstays of their conversations for the rest of their lives. Justin volunteers, "I had my adenoids taken out." Jacob counters with, "Well, my mom had her uterus taken out." Uhhhh. Hmmmm. That's awkward. I brightly interject, "Who wants ice cream after practice?"

Then, I hear from Jacob later on that they are learning the long "u" sound at school. Last week was the long "o" sound. The children come up with lots of "u" words, write the words down, use the words in sentences and so on. Jacob says, "You know, Mom, like Unicorn, Universe and Uterus." I'm sure the first graders in his class were amazed and delighted to learn so much about the female anatomy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Points to ponder

Or, Where Have All the Bonbons Gone...

I’m sure that one of the first, if not THE first thing that people think of when they find out they have cancer is this: What’s in it for me? I mean, that’s not just me, right? For example, at Superdawg you get a free hot dog on your birthday if your last name ends in “ski”. They realize that as with everything, there's no point to it if you can’t parlay it into some kind of benefit.

To this end, folks informed me early on that apparently there are some triathlons where we get preferential bike racks, which almost makes it all worth it because really, what’s worse than having to get to transition at 5AM just to get a good spot on a rack? Or you're in a special swim wave, thus lessening the number of people you have to pummel in order to clear a path in the water. I know you similarly competitive folks out there are with me on this. As an aside, is it then wrong of me to employ my standard “elbows akimbo” racing posture, “gently” moving people aside if necessary? It is still a race, after all.

Another question that comes to mind right away is: What the hell does one say to people? And when? Now, I kind of took care of this by putting everything out on the blog – and as I tell my friends, my rationale is that I’d rather have people know that I’m undertrained AND have cancer, rather than just think I’m undertrained. The problem is that I sort of assume that most people already know what the deal is, by osmosis. So when I go traipsing into the bike shop, for example, I wind up having the following conversation with YCBG (Young Cute Bike Guy) Matt, which right away starts to sound like some weird Short Bus version of “Who’s on First?”

YCBG Matt, with obvious adoration in his voice: "Tasha, how are you? What’s new?"
Me, with a bit of nervous laughter: "Umm, what’s new?"
YCBG Matt: "Yeah, what’s new?"
Me: "Oh, the usual I guess."
YCBG Matt: "What have you been up to?"
Me: "Same old stuff in some ways. Training, cancer, all that....."
YCBG Matt, with a deer-caught-in-headlights look on his face: "Wha....what? Cancer?"
Me: "Well, yeah. I found out I have cancer. I thought you read my blog?!" I wail.

Now, I felt kind of bad springing this on him, but in my defense I was caught a bit off guard. The truthful answer in this situation to having someone you know ask “what’s new?” is clearly not “oh, nothing, saw the Sox play the other day, and how ‘bout them Blackhawks.” That’s a little incomplete. But perhaps blurting out the truth wasn’t the best either. Though I’m not sure what would have been.

But back to my original question. As I tell my friends, here I’m almost coming up upon the 2-year mark since I was first diagnosed, and I have YET to have bonbons heaped on me as a sign of support. A Fuck Cancer cake, boob-decorated cookies, sure. But no bonbons. Well, okay, just a couple of boxes. Anyway! Now, I’m sure there are those of you who are thinking “But Miss Tasha, you really don’t need bonbons, since you’re already shaped like a triangle.” To which I respond.....I say......well.....okay, maybe you have a point. Never mind.