Play the $50M game

Posing as Livvie, Xena tries to get loaded into the car bound for Timberline.

Well hey! I’m still here, just really busy. In fact,  I’m working on a speech called “Don’t Let Your Sanity Check Bounce” right now. I’m giving that speech as an audition on Friday and ran across this game we love to play. Here’s how it goes: You just won $50 million in the lottery. What are the first three things you would do? How pathetic are mine:

1- Finish the basement so the kids have somewhere to go. Anywhere.
2- Pay off debt.
3- Fix that stupid tear in the kitchen linoleum that the dog made while searching for invisible kibbles. Even better, rip the entire kitchen out and start over.

A list like that means I don’t have any real problems. Real problems are ones that can’t be fixed with money.


1- Just got back from our annual tri-family event at Timberline, where it dumped like 17 inches of snow. Last year, we were frozen in fear from just learning about cancer while our friends rallied around us and gave us warmth. This year, they planted a rubber chicken in our luggage and claimed we owe them a family dancer number.Image

2- The kids got to meet the author of Wimpy Kid yesterday. (Thank you, Jillian!) Image

Lucky for me, they never said, “Hey, you’re a writer, Mom. How come you don’t have a tour bus!”

3- We took the kids to see A Place of Truth, Barrett Rudich’s documentary. Look at the glowing report they gave the film festival.


On your mark!

Karen Lenore rocks! Look what she did – made all of these t-shirts and donated all the materials. Martha Stewart’s got NOTHIN.’


Get ready. Set. Walk! That’s right, Team AC/DT (Abernethy Cancer Dream Team) is going to tear up the asphalt! We are going to walk so fast and beat the clock during our untimed race. Pretty sure there won’t be any Olympic fist pumping action with all those people. Plus, wearing a mullet wig might cause me to walk into a pole. As for fundraising, we didn’t even remotely hit the insanely high goal I set ($10,000 – what was I thinking?!) It should have been more like $1,000 because we’ve raised $400. This is going to be a blast.



1- When we went to Livvie’s back-to-school night, this was on the wall. I stood there gulping for air like an out-of-tank goldfish while Livvie barked: “Do not cry, Mom! It’s WEIRD.” If anything can make cancer worth it, that can.

2- Got my first booking for 2014 to talk at a radiation/oncology meeting for Legacy. I am so excited about this because the people at Legacy are incredibly awesome. They made the whole cancer experience more positive than negative.

3- It’s the weekend! So go have yourself a good one!

Hi, Honey, I’m home!

ImageThe kids went to camp; we went on vacation. We needed a reset and hours of uninterrupted conversation. We took the dog with us. For the first two nights, it was like having a two-year-old jumped up on espresso…in a cage. She calmed down when we let her sleep with us. Very romantic. When we went to pick up the kids at camp, Livvie was all, “No you did-int.” I was all like, “Okay, Miley. Where’s Livvie?” One week and now she’s a teenager? She told me she didn’t cry at Camp Kesem, a camp for kids who have family members with cancer. The kids and counselors cried when they talked about parents with cancer and a three-year-old who had died. I wonder if the emotion of having cancer this year will hit her or me. I keep going and going, then one day something mundane happens and I lose it. One time, I lost it because I got a new haircut and looked like Toni Tennille during the “Muscrat Love” years. My dad needed bypass surgery. That’s why I was really crying. For now, I’m just happy to be a part of my family again.


1- We’re all home together, having a great time as always and getting ready for the hap- happiest time of the year: Back to School!

2- Getting ready to paint my “Cloffice.” Check it out, someone else has a Cloffice! This was in Martha Stewart Living. I’m keeping Clever for a Reason, my freelance copywriting and marketing strategy business going.Image3- I get to have another birthday soon. I’m more excited about this one than any other  and vow to never whine about another birthday again.

Bald is the new bling: Komen Ladies on AM NW

Bald ladies on AM NW

AM NW interviewed all the baldy women who are appearing on Race for the Cure ads. This is my third time talking to KATU, and I’ve got to say they are super nice. After Brian saw it, he said, “You all are so positive because you have to be.” The biggest negative I’ve experienced is watching my family in agony. Other than that, it’s been life-changing in a positive way.

As for Race for the Cure, Sept. 15th. Boy howdy do we have a lot of room on our team for you. If you want to join, go to:

Enter AC/DT (Abernethy Cancer Dream Team), then run, walk and hang with us, baby!

Hurry! The deadline to register is Sept. 12th.

Done! Done! Done!


About 20 minutes after my last radiation, I went to pick up my kids at my bud Julie’s house. They had cider and champagne waiting – so nice! Steven was super emotional and made a toast saying: “Thanks for being so strong for us.” Livvie cuddled up next to me. I told them it’s okay to be kids again. Then, they ran away and hid.

Even though cancer is over, I’ll probably keep blogging. Not sure about what exactly. Probably my warped view of the world. In the meantime, I’m unplugging for the rest of the week. See you next week.


1- One of the leaders at radiation called me about a speaking engagement, then stunned me saying: “Every day, we looked forward to the sun coming in. That’s you.” That is so incredibly nice. I almost bawled. If I thought of myself as a planet, I’d probably pick Uranus. Ew. That sounds totally wrong. I like the sun better.

2- Look what me bestie Lisa did. Then, she took me to Barefoot Sage, the opium den for feet. Thank you, Lisa! She’s been there every single step of the way. I didn’t even know it was her birthday yesterday. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA! You’re so not off the hook.


3- Steven’s friend J said my hair looks like Will Ferrell’s. I’m worried it will fuzz straight up like a Q-Tip. I’d love to have Will Ferrell’s skin right now. I’ll bet he doesn’t look like he stuck his man boob into a vat of acid.


4- I am so grateful to everyone who sent cards and flowers, called, donated money. You have no idea the impact every thing you’ve done has made. Thanks to you, I had enough power to defeat cancer. Thanks for helping me stick around for Brian and my kids. I can only hope to be as good of a friend as you all have been for me. Thank you.

Back awaay from the keyboard

And the oven. And the car. Five weeks of radiation has finally taken its toll. Yesterday, I sent out an email to everyone I know, including the entire elementary school list, vowing to: “increase the changes that another family will get breast cancer.” Nice. While I was at it, I  spelled my own Race for the Cure team wrong. No wonder I didn’t get interviews for those senior copywriter jobs.

Now I’m in a mood. It’s a perfect day outside, but I’m sad because I don’t feel like going out there. Brian said: “There will be a whole lot more perfect days because you’re going through this right now.” That’s true. For now, my skin is absolutely destroyed to the point that everything I do sends shards of breathtaking pain through my chest. Plus, I can’t let my arm down because the skin will touch each other, which is freaking blinding. Monday is my last day of full-area radiation. Then, I get another week and two days of a different kind of radiation. For my next act, I put biscuits in the oven and entered 15 hours. It’s Einstein day here at the Sturkies.


1- Went to the 99W Drive-in with the family last night. SO love that place. (Despicable Me 2: Excellent. Grown Ups 2: Seriously. Beat me.)

2- The kids discovered the Vine app and keep making mini movies. I might not ever see my phone again.

3- I caught the biscuits before they erupted into flames. So thankfully, I’m the only one well-done around here.

The word “awaay” was an intended typo, in case you thought I was at it again.

It’s PMS983

There’s a new color where I’ve been getting radiated on one side of my chest and under my arm. It’s like busted-up plum/got fried in a microwave. The worst part is it itches like crazy. But if you succumb to going all Wolverine and scratching it, the entire thing erupts in burning. I put the cream I’m supposed to be putting on it. But in social situations, I contort my body in embarrassing ways to scratch the burn. Since it’s strategically located on my BOOB, this is not an easy task. Tonight I’m going to a Komen BBQ. The other women there will no doubt understand when I look like I’m dirty dancing with art-less walls, unsuspecting pencils and possibly hot grills. Not sure if fighting fire with fire works in this case.


1- People are signing up for our Race for the Cure Team, AC/DT (Abernethy Cancer Dream Team). Steven says he’s going to run. I say run in place, it will be so crowded.

2- Livvie is in survivor camp. Now we’re TOTALLY ready for a zombie apocalypse.

3- Got denied from two jobs I applied for which feels like the universe saying: Keep your own business going, you fool!


Talk squawky to me

I love a bitch fest as much as the next guy. So why am I not feeling the phone vibrating my ear drums as I hear about another less-than-cranial move by a husband? Where’s all the talk about parenting angst and general unhappiness? And what about the searing deception when movie boyfriends suddenly get married? I’m talking about you, Daniel Craig. I’ll tell you where all the hardcore bitching is – it’s nowhere is where it is. Because my friends are PROTECTING ME. They think having cancer trumps anything they’re going through. But it isn’t true. I swear! No wonder my summer is so quiet. I feel so peaceful, I almost watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane again, for crying out loud. I’m getting ZERO service again at coffee houses, which resets my over-40 status to invisible. No more special cancer treatment for me. So bring it on, ladies. Make me want to eat chocolate and swill martinis. I can take it!


1- Here’s one cool thing about radiation. I come home wiped out and get to take a nap while Brian makes dinner.

2- Got to hang out with Steven at a cafe just in time for a mime with a guitar and like 200 toddlers. Singing “You are my sunshine” as an alien trapped underwater ROCKED.

3- Had coffee with my pal Mary, who refreshed my senses with a full download of a truly crappy day.  I needed that!