Friday, December 23, 2005

CHAPPY CHANUKAH

for my friends of the candle-lightin persuasion, please enjoy these groovy holiday tunes

mmm, mmm, good!

I'm warm from my mottled bald head down to my cashmere ped covered toes thanks to the fine home cookin' of delisht nutrionisht meg grosswendt. She fixed up a mean lentil/mushroom stew for me, delivered in vacuum-sealed pouches no less, accompanied by scrumptious cashmere peds from Land's End.
How, you ask, may I enjoy such healthy, wholesome meals? Meg, send yr website or email here and I'll link to you GRATIS.

Spent a long time scrubbin my noggin this am in the shower - all that luxurious stubble down the drain. So long GI Jane, hello Kojak. I used my electric razor (purchased after the surgery because I have to be extra careful about nicks and cuts and getting infected especially near my left arm) to go for the full monty but ran out of patience. So it's just a scruffy mix of nubs & anemic white skin - like those aliens on Star Trek that had really big brainy heads (that my sister and I giggled at cuz they looked like heineys-sp?).

On that silly note, think I'll go out in daylight soon before it's gone, soak up some Vitamin D.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Deb Reese where are you?

Deb if you read this, pls write back to me here w/your email address!
I have been soooo lazy that I haven't figured out how to unblock my mac.com account, but I've written to you at yr verizon email. Did you get it?

YES!



Despite the fact that this was written on the flesh formerly known as my breast before walking into surgery, I share this photographic affirmation with you all - YES!

- to a shiny new year
- to family and friends and doctors and strangers marinating me in their well wishes
- to peace on earth good will toward everyone

(and Yes! I finally bothered to figure out how to post fotos - thanks Karrie)

LAST AC

Good thing I got that AC treatment in before the transit strike - altho they say it's ending tomorrow.
Even Bloomberg mentioned the poor people who couldn't get to their chemo treatments due to the strike.

I must have used every ounce of strength up with my intrepid shopping at the Craftacular on Saturday [got some great fabric from ReproDepot, mypapercrane stuff, and this cute ghost painting by another girl whose name i don't know (note:
sign the back!)] because I've been totally pooped all wk. Like they told me, the fatigue is cumulative.

I slept Sunday thru Wed and barely left the house - doing xmasy stuff and hanging w/girls. Molly made it in today so I went out and tried to get a few things at the Strand but was in a total daze. Now I've sent Tuck and girls off to an xmas party and I'm having a date w/my new couch.

My scalp is feeling sore again and the little stubble I had comes out in my fingernails if I scratch my head. My head's looking a bit mangy now. Guess I should walk get me to a barber shop and shave it clean but I'm attached to those 2cm long hairs. The other new side effect is a constant eye tearing...kinda got a handle on that by smearing my face w/vaseline - so I've got bright red, chapped skin around and under my eyes that shines like -- well, insert your holiday metaphor here.

I'll spare you details of the digestive tract issues...

Still, the nausea has never gotten as bad for me as it has for many friend. I feel lucky so far. Crossing my fingers re: the taxol. Treatment will be Jan. 3rd and will continue every other Tuesday (4 sessions in all). My doc is switching her days to cover for Larry Norton's patients which means I'll probably have a 3 hr wait to see her rather than a 2 hr wait. I was amazed looking at Michelle's farewell chemo photos - my team will probably just give me a squeeze as they run to the next patient.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mommy Long Legs

Who says cancer has no perks?
You know, people always knock it, but my backside is here to tell you that sometimes the big C pays in mysterious ways. It is seated right now on the fluffy cushions of a beautiful new sofa, surrounded by lovely throw pillows and covered in a blanket which resembles a flayed poodle hide (feels great!).
Thank you to all the gang for chipping in and making me so comfy and cozy! You've finally stifled my incessant caterwauling about the former revolting sofa. And even Tucker likes it!
Can you believe that? An embarrassment of riches I tell ya. That is what cancer can be sometimes.

Don't ask me what it is tomorrow tho -- as I've said. Last chemo of 2005. Last AC. My fuzz is still there but comes out all over my hands when I try to oil my itchy head (grease it up w/some crisco every now and then). I hope I get to keep my eyebrows and eyelashes but I'm not counting on it (according to some friends). I haven't worn the wig since Thanksgiving day and don't intend to. I love wearing a variety of scarves - found some Liberty of London silk paiseys at a thrift store the other day to add to the collection. Was very disappointed that I lost an ebay auction for a totally psychelic scarf of large giraffes which I didn't realize I absolutely NEEDED as much as oxygen itself until it was cruelly taken away from me (by a bid of $5.24 no less).

ebay is a form of crack. i hate biddings and auctions and the whole sport of beating people out of something at the last second that they thought they'd already bought. and ebay is based on people giving the least possible amount of info on items so that you might mistakenly think something is better than it is, but the seller has not actually said so in so many words. ugh. almost everything i bid on for xmas gifts, i did not "win." I didn't want to "win" anything! I wanted to BUY some gifts. If i go to a bazaar in Fez or a market in Beijing or Bombay, I'm going to write SUCKER on my forehead to make it easier.

must get some sleep since i was up until 3 last nite between the compulsive surfing and jo coughing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Plush Gush Geiser!!

My prayers for plush have been answered - I'm going to Wburg on Saturday to Bust Magazine's CRAFTACULAR
www.mypapercrane.com will be there w/the toast, donut, cupcake, etc. dolls. get 'em before they're too hot.

OK, maybe I got a little carried away by the plush the other nite.
but get a load a this!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

PLUSHIES FOR EVERYONE!

the best thing about Xmas shopping is that i get to obsessively surf the net for obscure gifts
(the sad part is, it's gettin kinda late)

my fave for every kid's xmas list are plushies or cuddlers or weird crazy cute dolls made by crafty folks all over creation!
I especially love the food dolls: Mr. Pickles, Burnt Toast, Mean Larry Lambshanks...
ck out the links in sidebar!

MARK MY WORDS --
a few (very very few) of you knew my previous blog - attnshoppers.blogspot.com (which i abandoned as i do most projects)
there i forecasted the sales potential of giantmicrobes.com - which are now featured in MOMA's SAFE show!!!! coincidence?

listen, forget ugly dolls (which have actually been out for years but are suddenly really popular - i pitched an article on them 2 yrs ago - or maybe i MEANT to pitch an article and never got around to doing it? well, anyhow) because these one of a kind dolls are totally genius/unique (for now, until they're in a MOMA show) and i am letting you in on the ground floor.
no, i am not accepting kickbacks from any of the dollmakers (yet)
just a fan

if you still doubt my shopping prowess...
i was researching an article yrs ago and found these cool industrial designers who made ceramics and furniture and stuff and i spread their good name around and they have gone on to develop into OEUF -- a company that makes lovely baby stuff

but i digress - back to the dolls !
support the cottage industry dollmakers! the pierced! the tattoed! the marginalized! the deranged!

also, if anyone knows about dammit dolls (which i used to buy in the Senior Ctr in downtown Yellow Springs), pls send comments...i gotta do some more research (but it's 1:30 am)

oh - last AC chemo is this Friday! then no more til 2006!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Holy Breast Biofeedback, Batman!

New device gives new meaning to the Promised Land
Chat with your peeps whilst diagnosing BC!
Sign me up for the friends and family plan - unlimited minutes!

F*** CANCER

AHA
the mystery benefactor has been identified!
i received a very homey little sewing sampler from subversive cross stitch for my bday (yes, a while back)
and have just discovered that it was the thoughtful JK Hunt who sent it
thanks! crafts and profanity together at last!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

chemo-sabe

catchin up on the 2nd chemo - slept the whole day after my big nite out...but that was a wk ago?
then worried about the wig and impending hair clumps.
the short version is that i got my head shaved by the beloved Heart -- exactly the day that the MSK nurse said my hair would fall out. the nite before there were an alarming number of hairs on the pillowcases and a scarf. i really didn't need more than one giant clump.
i went w/rie who - serendipitously - had her head set on bright red hair. so we were the cueball and japanese cartoon character superduo. Heart also cut cool shaggy layers into my cheap wig but it was like wearing a 50s crinoline slip on my head.
i wore it to thanksgiving lunch at my mom's asstd living place but that was it. fit right in. scarves from then on.
(thanks to eva and kirsten for the fab assortments)

mouth sores and a cold head dominated the holiday wkend along w/impending sniffles. then, i get back to nyc (from riverhead house) and warmed up. sores cleared up, energy returned and felt fine again.

then -- chemo #3 on friday the 2nd (happy bday Ray) - accompanied by my trust companion, B.
an uneventful chemo except for the fact that maria stopped by and gave me an incredible pair of peach moonstone earrings (don't be jealous of my cancer)!!

wow, it was like the chemo fairy came to visit.

thanks to Nes for the good mojo!

shot yesterday. saw the beautiful bald, asian woman getting her last neulasta at the 'injection clinic'.
went to dance theater workshop yesterday to a fun xmas performance w/kids and friends. cracked nutcrackers.

today, sorted thru kids toys upon threat that they would not receive new ones for xmas unless they reduced their inventory. then i slept for 4 hours. i never knew how to nap before, but i'm becoming quite proficient. making up for all those nites of breastfeeding years ago?

that reminds me -- TMI warning -- the feeling i'd get after the tissue expansions reminded me of a milk letdown sensation (not the pain - the initial weird feeling). seemed such a bittersweet twist on it all.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

catsup

i will catch y'all up on the thanksgiving mouth sores, constipation and freezing noggin if you insist. [i'll even throw in some more tasty bits - like the new exciting mouth flavor i like to call "I just-chewed a big ball of tin foil"]

i got spoiled with no internet access over the long wkend. actually read some books. and not just the wynonna judd autobio.
re-reading 'bird by bird' so i can practice my "typing skills" or "data entry" as i like to call 'em. nuthin hifalutin like "writing"
ugh
that's for people like brett easton ellis or anne rice or, um, people who CAN actually "write."

my favorite blogger

before you think about calling me "brave" or "strong" -- instead of "big, baldy baby" (Lou's favorite term) --
ck out this badass story

don't know this woman but i am obsessed w/her blog. read almost every entry - the fotos alone are amazing. have no idea what all the climbing lingo is about. makes me vaguely recall finishing those five hour marathons. whoopee.

not putting myself down...just digging her power.

[and hello? maybe i should learn how to post fotos to this ugly thing in addition to washing every sweater i own and looking up herbal moth-proofing recipes on the web? ooowee, moth-proofing sure does take a lot out of a gal]

NOW HEAR THIS

Time for me to pontificate a bit...
Being the cancer queen and all up here on my throne
(which is actually a disgusting 10 yr old sofa that i paid $400 for at the Door Store --completely stained, cushions ripped and polyester fiberfill poking out, arms reduced to fabric-covered wooden planks w/no stuffing, springs showing thru the back)

If you have not had a mammo - even a baseline one - you need to go do it. Insurance or not. Figure out a way.
ANd if I may borrow from my spouse's cancer - go get a colonoscopy while you're at it. The prep for it is yucky but you're out for the procedure so it's no big deal.

The reason people die young from cancer is that we don't expect young people to get it. (don't know if this is true at all, just sounded reasonable).
I, for instance, did not rush out on my 40th bday to get my mammo. I waited until the summer, until I found a very definite lump, and then I waited a few wks more, and I got the mammo, the sonogram, the needle biopsy all in one big shebang. And by 41 I had one breast. So there.

And while I'm at it (and since I used to be at it - and reformed users are always the most obnoxious), quit smoking for crying out loud. I don't wanna be pushing anyone around in their wheelchair w/their oxygen tank in the future (did it already with my father-in-law - no fun).

OK, now I need to get me to a dermatologist to ck out some mole on my back. My last favorite carcinogen - the sun. (oh, not counting hair dye, etc)

Friday, December 02, 2005

guess who's not coming to dinner

i thought this letter was very touching in many ways...

[Letter from Sharon Olds refusing to participate in the
National Book Critics Circle Award in Washington, DC., after
invitation from Laura Bush. This was circulated to his
colleagues in the English Department by Prof. Don Daikin,
Professor of English at Miami University Ohio - mod.]

Subject: Letter from Sharon Olds to Laura Bush

Dear Colleagues,

I think you will interested in reading the open letter from
the poet Sharon Olds to Laura Bush declining an invitation to
read and speak at the National Book Critics Circle Award in
Washington, DC. As you know, Sharon Olds is one of most
widely read and critically acclaimed poets living in America
today. Read to the end of the letter to experience her
restrained, chilling eloquence.

Don
======

Laura Bush First Lady, The White House

Dear Mrs. Bush,

I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your
kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book
Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the
Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House.

In one way, it's a very appealing invitation. The idea of
speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is
inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting
for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that
poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the
pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers.

And the concept of a community of readers and writers has
long been dear to my heart. As a professor of creative
writing in the graduate school of a major university, I have
had the chance to be a part of some magnificent outreach
writing workshops in which our students have become teachers.
Over the years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a
women's prison, several New York City public high schools, an
oncology ward for children.

Our initial program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the
severely physically challenged, has been running now for
twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships
between young MFA candidates and their students--long-term
residents at the hospital who, in their humor, courage and
wisdom, become our teachers.

When you have witnessed someone nonspeaking and almost
nonmoving spell out, with a toe, on a big plastic alphabet
chart, letter by letter, his new poem, you have experienced,
close up, the passion and essentialness of writing.

When you have held up a small cardboard alphabet card for a
writer who is completely nonspeaking and nonmoving (except
for the eyes), and pointed first to the A, then the B, then
C, then D, until you get to the first letter of the first
word of the first line of the poem she has been composing in
her head all week, and she lifts her eyes when that letter is
touched to say yes, you feel with a fresh immediacy the human
drive for creation, self-_expression, accuracy, honesty and
wit--and the importance of writing, which celebrates the
value of each person's unique story and song.

So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to
me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start
up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some
books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of
Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way,
even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep
feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare
my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another
country--with the resultant loss of life and limb for our
brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home
terrain--did not come out of our democracy but was instead a
decision made "at the top" and forced on the people by
distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the
fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and
religious chauvinism--the opposites of the liberty, tolerance
and diversity our nation aspires to.

I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order
to bear witness--as an American who loves her country and its
principles and its writing--against this undeclared and
devastating war.

But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I
knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me
as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded
actions of the Bush Administration.

What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be
taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents
the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its
continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary
rendition": flying people to other countries where they will
be tortured for us.

So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel
anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds
and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the
shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not
stomach it.

Sincerely,

SHARON OLDS