Showing posts from December, 2012

eleven books, seven movies and one crappy, love-filled year

I just opened the beat-up little notebook where I write down all the movies I see, to ponder what might make my Best of 2012 list. Instead I flipped to a page where I’d written “ovary removal timeline.” So that tells you most of what you need to know about my 2012. That said, surgery (on the boobs—the ovaries will have to be a New Year’s resolution) went really well. As I’ve been telling anyone who asks how I’m doing, the same genes that gave me cancer and anxiety also gave me flexible pectoral muscles. So while I feared weeks of needing help wiping my ass, the pain was more along the lines of a really rough work-out at the gym, and I found myself saving my Percocet for when I had cramps a few days later. (No more of that once the ovaries are out—woo-hoo?) Also, and more importantly, four different tests to look for lymph node metastasis came back negative. The cancer appears to be confined to one giant-ass tumor—I’m looking for a point of comparison size-wise, but I refuse to

credit, blame and feline dental hygiene

1. heavy objects On Tuesday I looked at my day planner and saw that I’d written “no food or water after midnight.” I was confused. I’m not having surgery until the 19 th (send good vibes that day, everyone!). Apparently I’m supposed to lay off booze and other blood thinners for a week prior—which really puts a damper on holiday cocktail parties—but food and water? Then I realized this applied to Ferdinand. I’d made an appointment for him to get his teeth cleaned as part of my long Get Shit Done While I Can Still Lift Heavy Objects to-do list. So I ruthlessly denied him the meal known around our house as Second Dinner and drove him to our beloved ghetto vet in Lincoln Heights the next morning. Ferdinand's gleaming smile. Sort of. When I picked him up, the veterinary assistant—a woman I really like, because she’s friendly and smart and quick to hand out info sheets on how to read your cat’s blood work—said, “He did great. No extractions, just a lot of tartar.” “

my strange addiction to my strange addiction

I started bingeing on Mad Men a few months ago and finished season four, the last Netflix has to offer, Tuesday night. I love the show for all the reasons critics do—the writing, the exquisite muted painting that is each art-directed frame. All the characters simultaneously perpetuate and are broken by the worst of what mid-century America has to offer. There’s a great scene in which sexpot Joan and career girl Peggy smoke a cigarette and finally admit to each other that they work with a bunch of pigs who take them for granted. But it’s not just the girls who have it bad—Don has the instincts of a good man, but he’s always pushing them down with his desire to be the cool guy in the fedora. But the real reason I like the show is because everyone is so wonderfully unhappy. Advertising preys not only on people’s existential dissatisfaction, but on their insecurity as well—their belief that just beyond the gate, other people are happy. All the fucking time. And that gate is a Lucky S

some thoughts on gender, boobs and belly fat

I stand by my promise not to turn this into Cheryl’s Cancer Blog, but I do have to share one of the weirder and funnier parts of this process so far: my visit to Dr. L, plastic surgeon. (Why does he get just an initial? I don’t have anything really bad to say about him, but in case any of my doctors Google themselves in their minimal spare time, I don’t want the surgical equivalent of a waiter spitting in my food, you know?) Although I mentioned the exciting prospect of new boobs in my last post , I feel compelled to add that reconstruction shouldn’t be a given. One of Meehan’s friends was disturbed that doctors always mentioned plastic surgery before her health. And I just read this post over at I Blame the Patriarchy , about the compulsive feminization of women, breast cancer survivors like the blogger herself included. But I’m getting new ones, even though Dr. L informed me they’ll have pretty much no feeling, which is totally unnerving (literally—ha!), because I want to l