It’s Dalai Mama

ImageToday not as good as yesterday. But I got to go to my friend Karen’s house and wrap myself up in her red blanket. Coincidentally, the Dalai Lama is coming to Portland soon. And without even trying, I’ve captured the look! Nothing against the Dalai Lama, but I can’t wait to look like myself again. I’ll never whine about a bad hair day again.

Tomorrow is plastic surgery day. No idea how this will go, but I’m pretty sure Brian is envisioning being invited to “shop” boob sizes from stacks of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues and Victoria’s Secret catalogues. I’m envisioning rifling through a plastic bin full of water balloons. Now that the reality of surgery and reconstruction is here, I’m not as excited. It’s sad getting a big part of your body lobbed off. I worked hard for these boobs, starting with Judy Blume’s “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” Then, there were multiple training bra stuffings in sixth grade. Having two kids netted two cup sizes bigger. I was just starting to like these boobs. Bummer. 


1- Steven’s team won their last game today, which is pretty rad considering they lost most of the games over the season. His team played hard and deserved another great win.

2- Loy and Sharon just stopped by with some groceries. Thanks, guys!

3- Our super-cool neighbor Sarah brought over a HUGE Mason Jar full of fresh tomato-ginger soup and a pitcher of apple-beet juice from her juicer. My body’s teeming with toxins. Even my molecules are excited about fresh-made soup and juice.


One day near normal



Today felt like getting a day off from jail. I woke up 33% less dizzy and sick. First, we went to Steven’s early basketball tournament, where I was well enough to stand up and scream when he sunk a clean three-pointer. Next, magic acupuncture with Tracy Anderson. Then, I headed to my pal Trina’s house and got to talk to her honey Ed and his mom. We sat around the kitchen table and talked like normal people. Trina and I went to the Artwalk, then to St. Jack for some mussels. Just like normal people! I told the server I couldn’t really do cocktails. So she made me a grown-up Shirley Temple with mineral water. So nice of them. I feel maxed out on toxins, so mineral water is about all I can handle. The whole time I was enjoying being like normal people, I couldn’t help but think I’m the snowman in the snowman book. Eventually, the sun is going to come out, and I’m going to melt. Lucky for me, I melted after I got home. So happy for one day of relief from chemo. So, so happy.


1- I got to go out into the world today. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

2- Debbie gave me fresh juice she made herself. I’m hooked. 

3- Steven’s team fought hard and won their game. So proud of them.

Mahalo in tropical SE Portland









Nothing says Aloha like moss-choked Portland…until now. In my obsession with Hawaii, my friends are making it happen! Kate brought over a mango, pineapple, papaya, plant and retro card. Then, Lisa shows up with Hawaiian dish towels and earrings. Aloha, yo! It’s like being there. We’re going to get there somehow. Thanks Kate and Lisa for jumpstarting my fantasy of healing the whole family in Hawaii. Feeling slightly better today. I took the dog for a walk, and she moved really slow for me. Still feel dizzy and found out that I’ve got chemo-induced “fake” menopause. That’s what the hot flashes are about. This party just keeps rocking. 


1- When I woke up from a sleeping-pill induced night, a white paper bag sat next to my face. Oh no, did I eat take out in bed…again? Nope, Livvie had drawn “I love you, Mom” on it and left it in bed with me. Best girl ever.

2- Best quote I’ve heard in a long time: “Now I know what Yoda looks like eating chocolate,” said my hysterically funny friend Molly. She was referring to me nibbling on a piece of chocolate with two squirrel-like hands, a robe and Yoda bald head.

3- The kids overheard us talking about the mastectomy and reconstruction. Boy are they confused. Especially Steven. Why would anyone want fake boobs? he said. Uh, Pamela Anderson. Speak up any time.




Zombies are more productive

A blog is supposed to be daily, but I just couldn’t hang after Round 4. The only way I know how to truly express the level of SUCK is to overuse the letter U. Here goes: Round 4 suuuucked. Every side effect took over from cranked up ear ringing to the complete inability to deal with anything. Even sleeping irritates me. My mouth feels like the inside of a sweaty 1970 Samsonite. Out of nowhere, my scalp erupts into blowtorch heat and beads of sweat. I’m constantly thirsty, but water tastes really bad and burns my throat. You suuuuck, Weird Cancer Guy. Good thing chemo has turned you from overweight fat man to sand. At the end of treatment, it will be worth it.


1- Sturkie Circle of Friends is on the scene. Look out Weird Cancer Guy, Trina is organizing an auction with our friends and you’re gonna get it. Trina also makes a mean smoothie – she made me a whole bunch. Those smoothies love me so much, except for that one calling me a tart.



2- Ravens won! I still remember when Irsay, the owner of the Colts, creepily snuck the team out of Baltimore in the middle of the night. So happy to see my hometown win. Thanks, Anne and Max, for duding me up with Ravens gear! I felt too sick to go to a party, so we watched from home base.



3- A totally sucky day got turned around yesterday when a box full of hilarity showed up from my friends Jen and Matt in New York. Who doesn’t need Happy Gum for Your Crappy Life and SPAM mints? Jen and I have been friends since shoulder pads were hot.






4- Sari and I went to Look Good, Feel Better, a make up class sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Learned some valuable tricks, like I really should wear make up.


Reporting live from Ski Bunny

steven on newsLiving in Oregon is the coolest ever. Today, we headed to the Ski Bunny sled hill near Mt. Hood with two other families. A KOIN 6 news team was there, capturing all the extreme-sports level sled action. Check out Steven getting interviewed. It was great getting actual fresh air and playing in the snow. The best part: snow has nothing to do with cancer. With all that gear on, I didn’t get a single weird look. Afterward we went for a nutritious lunch at Dairy Queen, where I spotted a guy with a full-on wig. That’s what I notice now – wigs. For men, is it called a toupee? I don’t think he had cancer. He was rocking the Don Ho look, and it was working for him.

Now I’m about three levels lower of exhausted, and I didn’t even sled. Round 2 has brought on massive ear ringing, bloody noses and extreme tiredness. I feel heavy, but hollow. Hungry, but full. I have been making myself take the dog for walks to get moving. The eating thing is getting tougher because everything feels like it’s stuck in your throat. Chemo is some weird, weird shit. But I have to embrace it because it will save my life.


1- My friends Loy and Sharon gave me a good luck necklace that I definitely need.

2- Thank you Raggetts and Drydens for going with us today and giving the entire family a day sans thinking, living and breathing cancer.

3- Brian, Steven and Livvie looked much happier today. That’s always a huge positive.