Celebrate a new book packed with inspiration about real women

she inspires image

Not that any of you guys are fake. It feels like a long time ago when I was lucky enough for photographer Andrea Leoncavallo to include me in her book, “She Inspires 365.” I had hair then and lots of it. Andrea’s the one who’s the inspiration. She photographed one woman each day for 365 days and filled a beautiful book with their images and stories. A few of my super-rad friends are in this book: Jackie Mathys, Joanie Quinn, Debbie Dodds and more.

Join us for Andrea’s book launch party. Here are all the details:

Book Signing Event
Saturday, April 18, 2015 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Cultured Caveman
8233 N. Denver Ave.
Portland, OR 97217

Light refreshments from Cultured Caveman will be served. Prints from the project will be on display. Buy a book, and you get a FREE raffle ticket to win a gift certificate from Mother’s Bistro & Bar. If you are already receiving a book because you donated to the Kickstarter campaign you can come pick up your book and get a FREE raffle ticket :).

Hope to see you there!

The power of bathing suits

IMG_3727Every once in a while, I terrify myself. That means putting on a bathing suit. And for extra terror, it means getting in front of a camera in a bathing suit. Pre-cancer, I wore a Popina Swimwear retro bathing suit for a KATU story. This time, I was asked to “model” for a story in The Oregonian. I’ve got some fab new post-cancer pineapples (Thank you, Dr. Zegzula), but what if the rest of me looks like Jabba the Hut? I was about to find out.

Going to Popina Swimwear is such a positive experience because they have a gigantor range of suits, and they get it. The owner, Pamela Levenson, and her staff, know how to flatter whatever body part ails you. As a muffin-top-challenged, late 40-something woman, it felt great to hear: “You’ve got great curves. Now here’s what you do….”

They made me look great in a sweet streamlined tankini. The whole experience was refreshingly empowering, not terrifying. Do I look like an 18-year-old gymnast I used to be? Hell no. But seriously, who cares. Maybe this is the summer to enjoy just being around and quit wasting time fearing things like showing skin.

Calling all breast cancer survivors


I won’t be wearing the hat. It costs too much to rent.

Breast cancer sucks. Let’s make fun of it at:

The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) “Laughter Therapy” event at Mint next Wednesday, Jan. 14. (This is an event just for breast cancer survivors.) YSC is providing yummy appetizers and Mint’s the place with the freshest-made drinks in town. I’ll be grilling cancer and sharing how being a comedian helped me cope…a lot.

Facebook’s got all the details right here:


In other news, I’ve joined the rest of American women overloaded with full-time employment, wife, mother, kids’ sports, blah blah. And you know what? It’s awesome, except for how information deflects off the windshield of my brain like a bug out of luck. I do really, really hope to bring back “Waiting for the Brazilian” somehow!

Update on Thursday night

Just to let you guys know, Thursday night at Mint is just for cancer survivors. I apologize for any confusion! So if you’re hopefully not part of that group, don’t go! Also, as much as I wish the event were another Brazilian show, it’s actually not. It’s more like girls’ night out with a side of cancer comedy. I am super sad “Waiting for the Brazilian” didn’t officially take off and am thinking of ways to get it going again. If you have any ideas, I’ll take ’em! Have a cozy Sunday!

Calling all breast cancer patients and survivors

Nothing deserves to get made fun of more than breast cancer. Join me in poking fun at a sucky time and drinking the freshest alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in town.

Next Thursday!

Laughter Therapy with Young Survivor Coalition Event

Mint 820

Click that handy link below for all the details:



One scan, two needles and two doctors

Haven’t heard from me in a while, but I just had to tell you: I got a C-scan today and it was clean! That doesn’t mean I’m out of cancer danger forever or anything. It just means that they thought they saw another hot spot, but it’s okay. Whew! Meanwhile, we’ve got one more mom going through breast cancer. I wanted to be the last one. I really did. My thoughts are with her all the time, and I’ll get my chance to return all those casseroles people brought us.

In other news, I work full-time now. “Working” as a stand-up comic is like “working” at a lemonade stand. It’s nice to join the rest of the world working my butt off and racing around all weekend getting groceries and laundry. The kids get bummed once in a while until I remind them about those new shoes I can now buy them.

Hope all of you are doing well. Thanks for all the support and love you gave us. Now it’s my turn to return all I can.

Fun at Radiology/Oncology

Waiting for the Brazilian Video

Hello, Everyone! It’s Jacki, the most infrequent blogger ever. It’s getting close to that time when it will be a year total since I had cancer. Every couple of months, I have to get checked by oncology and radiology/oncology. Yesterday, my turn to flash radiology/oncology. The doctor says: “You’ve lost weight.” Even though no one else was in the exam room, I still turned around expecting to see someone skinny. Not sure how I lost weight; but hey! Okay. Kickin. I do keep my eating pretty well in check. Then she rocked my false sense of security with this one: “Good, keep eating well and working out because we’ve got no other methods to help you.” Holy sh&^T. I almost broke into a sprint right there. As far as mental health, she assured me that it’s completely common for people to get through this, then emotionally crash. I’m on the other side of that action now. Lucky for me, I have dealt with so many depressive levels before that I knew I had to go to the doctor. It’s not something you can fix with your mood. Lucky for general public safety, no one told me to “cheer up” during this time.


1 – My girl hits TWO DIGITS today! I can’t believe it. Her whip-smart humor amazes me everyday. Then, there’s her kindness. I’m so appreciative that she’s my daughter.

2 – It’s sunny and warm outside. No really. The sun is out in Portland.

3 – Jim Clark, owner of HiveFX, saved my hide. I had been trying to edit the Brazilian show video, and it pretty much trashed my laptop. He loaded on a real system and edited it down to promo size. Now it has like a 150% chance of selling. Thanks, Jim. You so totally rock. Check it above.


What happened to your blog?

Underground. That’s what happened. I went underground. Maybe it’s the super-public way I dealt with cancer. Or maybe it’s just standard PTSD after going through such an ordeal, but I plummeted straight down into eighth-grade-level depression. That combined with near constant anxiety attacks shut me down. I’m coming around, after going to the doctor and all that. I take comfort from my cancer friends who are reporting the same thing. Looking forward to getting my full personality back. In the meantime, even THINKING about my show, “Waiting for the Brazilian,” going on the road makes me so excited. The thought that Beto and I could make more cancer survivors and families happy makes me feel like every bomb, every late open mic night, every TIME OUT show, was worth it.


1- Check out what Barbara Christenson, who represents women speakers at the Speak Well Being Group, wrote on her blog about the show. Awesome!


2- When I went to get gas today, I discovered that somehow my gas cap was missing. I remembered who pumped my gas (in Oregon they still pump it for you) and went over there to ask if they found it. The owner of Division Street 76 was so nice, he found me a replacement at an auto parts store up the street and handed me a $10. He said, “You’re my neighbor. I want to make this right.” The thing only cost $9, so I went back and gave him his dollar. He laughed and said, “You didn’t have to do that. You made my day.”

3- Brooklyn Nine-Nine is on tonight. It’s a show you can watch with your kids. Hilarious. Plus, Andre Braugher from Homicide plays the straight man, except that his character is gay.


Tribute Thursday: The Boland Family


Trina, Heather and me


The first time I saw Heather Boland, she was tearing up the elliptical at the gym wearing a scarf to cover her bald head courtesy of cancer treatment. I didn’t know Heather yet, but had heard she was battling cancer. A quick burst of an inhale followed by sadness and “Oh God, her kids are so young.” I didn’t think it was my business to say anything to her, but I’ve changed my thinking on that now. A year later, we met in our boys’ kindergarten class. All of our kids aligned perfectly. Two best friend boys and two best friend girls. Heather and I were in that void where there’s not enough money for childcare to work, so we took our kids around and got to talk…a lot.

One day, she practiced her speech about her experience with mouth cancer for Trina and me on my porch. Finding out. Her husband Tom leaning over, grabbing her hand. Worrying about being there for her kids. All three of us were in tears. Soon after, Heather and her family moved to Boston. We were devastated. I found myself in a deep depression, missing them so much. A year later, Steven was still drawing storybooks called: “My Best Friend Tyler Lives in Boston.” Brian flatly said: “I’ll give them two years. They’ll be back.” Okay, psychic guy. They are back, just in time for my cancer adventure.

This time, Heather leaned over and put calm hands on my hands. “We are going to get you through this,” she said. A part of my fear fell away when she said that because she had made it through. Despite taking on a demanding full-time job, she checked on me and brought us our favorite food from Jade Teahouse. They took our kids for day-long playdates. She texted me all the time. Having help from the Bolands through this was an ever-steady presence of warmth. Plus, the kids got to experience lots of play dates from their good friends Tyler and Tegan. And, Tom gave Brian comfort that can only come from someone who’s been there. So happy you guys are back! So thankful you’re our friends.


1 – “Waiting for the Brazilian” Comedy for a Cure show is almost here! Next Tuesday night. Harvey’s requires a two-item menu minimum, so I’m going to have dinner down there before the show. Doors open at 6 if you want to join me. If you are a cancer survivor, call Harvey’s (503) 241-0338 and get your FREE SEAT.

2 – Livvie’s team is in the final four of Battle of the Books! Today’s matches will determine who goes on to the next level from her school. I was a big proponent of making Battle of the Books a contact sport. Sadly, I was the only one.

3 – Last weekend, I overcame annual flashback sadness. Last year, I was in the middle of chemo when Liv and I went to the Evergreen water park. I only went down the slide three times with Liv. It was sad thinking about the depleted state chemo put me on, until I went screaming down the slide about ten times this year. Brian and I even got faux romance time, re-enacting the scene from Malcolm in the Middle when the mom and dad make out in the wave pool and Brian Cranston spits out a band-aid. You gotta grab those precious moments while you can.

Had it? Lose it


You know that day when everything sets you off? That’s been the last few days for me. The kids left rotting apples in my freshly cleaned car, then complained Ew, it stinks in here. We tried to take the kids for a fun day at a water park, but had to turn around when one kid got car sick. That was because air isn’t really a breakfast food. When Steven said he couldn’t eat dinner because he doesn’t like mushrooms, I let him have it with: “YOU MAKE DINNER!” Brian sent me out the door with a bottle of red. So I went to Maria’s house. But first, I stopped at Saint Honore to fetch chocolate. Maria’s kids laser-beamed on the box and kept lingering around to “talk” to us or “read” around us, thinking we’d share. Finally, Maria let them have it. “When you have a play date, I’m going to READ in the middle of it!” Awesome. There are so many reasons why she’s my friend. So this is an early Tribute Thursday…on Wednesday.

We met while our babies were squiggly slabs on blankets at a new mom group at Good Sam. We realized we lived in the same neighborhood and started hanging out immediately. It was that foreign land of leaving full-time employment and finding yourself a parent. When I started getting pulled under by postpartum depression, Maria noticed and told me, saving me from going under more. I went to the doctor immediately and took care of that. More kids, soccer games, pizza nights and mom nights out later, we’ve stayed friends through it all. Maria delivered soy lattes to my door and hung out with me during chemo. Her kids were awesome too – Mae drew pictures for me. Her boys picked out a Star Wars warrior that looked like me when I was bald. I took it to chemo with me. Her husband Mark and Brian downed many beers during all this.

Last night, we were talking about financial struggle the families around here and probably the entire country are going through. We’re all in that together – trying to keep money coming in while being available for the kids. It’s just always a huge comfort knowing you’re so not the only one. It’s okay that you erupt once in a while, especially when you find a way to drop it and keep going. Thanks, Raggett family for being so amazingly loving, supportive and THERE for us.


1- Yesterday, an entire class of preschoolers rushed toward me on a sidewalk as if I were a walking ice cream truck. When I walked up the same sidewalk on my way to Maria’s, I looked down to see those kids had drawn hearts and “I love you” all over the sidewalk in chalk. Someone once told me kids are “master teachers of love.” True!

2- I’m in a WAY better mood today. So is everybody else in the Sturkie household.

3- I’m performing at the Spilt Milk show tonight at O’Connors in Multnomah Village. If you can’t make the Feb. 4th Brazilian show, this is a really good one. It’s small and the local comics are from my old show, TIME OUT. Plus, dinner’s good and I always love seeing Paul, our waiter.