It’s That Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

I’m trying not to make it a Very Cancer Christmas but it seems I’m foiled at every turn.

My favorite things Christmas – cookie parties, cocktail parties, tree trimming parties involve drinking, refined sugar, and leaving the house – involve 3 things that are currently verboten.  Can’t drink on the meds, can’t do the refined sugar or dairy right now (just as a personal choice – and what is more glorious on earth than butter, sugar and flour in the form of cookies, seriously I think that is why the baby Jesus shows up this time of year.)  And the leaving the house?  Can’t drive for 2 weeks after the surgery.* I’m mostly stuck in my apartment not being able to lift anything over 5 lbs or extend to reach anything over my shoulders. A tyrannosaurus rex in pink paisley pajamas,  which I wear to keep the indoor frame of mind alive on a sunny afternoon.  A sunny afternoon ripe for Christmas adventures…

“I just wanted to bake snickerdoodles!!”

* From the surgery on the 2nd – expander removal implant on left, mastectomy expander placement on right – a post I haven’t written – I blame the meds!

Mushrooms

posted in: Food As Medicine | 0

I don’t remember where I found this information, probably from the National Mushroom Council…  But I thought it was fascinating.

“Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers.  In one recent Chinese study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (about one mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer. Even more dramatic protection was gained by women who ate 10 grams of mushrooms and drank green tea daily – an 89% decrease in risk for premenopausal women, and 82% for postmenopausal women.9,10 White, cremini, portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms all have anti-cancer properties – some are anti-inflammatory, stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell growth, cause programmed cancer cell death, or inhibit angiogenesis.In addition to these properties, mushrooms are unique in that they contain aromatase inhibitors – compounds that can block the production of estrogen. These compounds are thought to be largely responsible for the preventive effects of mushrooms against breast cancer – in fact, there are aromatase-inhibiting drugs on the market that are used to treat breast cancer. Regular consumption of dietary aromatase inhibitors is an excellent strategy for prevention, and it turns out that even the most commonly eaten mushrooms (white, cremini, and portobello) have high anti-aromatase activity.”

Mushrooms then.  Well that’s easy.  I like mushrooms, much unlike my father who loves to say, “why would you eat anything that is kept in the dark and fed shit?”  Or my best friend who is violently opposed to their texture – not their flavor which to her is like eggs – also created by the devil.

Part of my problem with mushrooms is that I grew up eating your classic button mushroom (mostly on pizza of course) – venturing on to the portobello when I got fancy.  But cremini, shiitake, maitake, oyster, enoi, hen-of-the-woods…??  Help me!  But saved by the web – I found at least this great shiitake recipe to aid in mushroom consumption. Then I used a protobello that I had already roasted… But it is delicious!

Shrimp Coconut Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 can Coconut milk
3 cups shrimp stock/chicken broth/(I used mushroom broth)
1/4 cup chopped fresh lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
2 Tbs. peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
7-8 dry Shiitake mushrooms, previously soaked in water (overnight) (Yeah, I sliced 2 portobellos I had roasted)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Lb. medium fresh shrimp, peeled (I used frozen – just threw ’em right in there)
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish:
Crushed Red Pepper
Spring onion

 

Directions

1.             In a large pot, combine the stock, already soaked mushrooms,  lemongrass, and grated ginger.

2.             Bring to a boil and than reduce the heat and simmer for about 7-10 minutes. Add the shrimp, coconut milk, and cilantro, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve with rice.  Or not.

Note: You can remove ginger slices and lemongrass before serving. You can boil mushrooms for 20 minutes in a separate pot if you like more tender, or use fresh!

 

 

Searching for the Perfect Pair

posted in: Best Of, True Tales | 3

My plastic surgeon told me I should pick out a pair.  “Of boobs?  I just want them to look the same,” I told her.  Well, apparently boobs are like snowflakes – each unique and beautiful in their own way.  She told me to do a little research, and let me tell you – it’s a whole new www.world out there without the Google searchsafe on… but more about that later.

So – here are my favorites.  Please vote for your favorite 3 – choose wisely.  I resisted photoshopping my head on but could not resist adding comments.  And fig leaves.  Thanks in advance for your time, care and attention to detail.

 

 

#1  “Whaaat uuuup?  Welcome to my hizzy – Pacific Palisades in the Park!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2  Wait, I’m getting something…
“Answer: Shoo-be-doo-be-doo.    Question: What do you look for when you’re tracking a shoo-be-doo-be?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 3 “I thought this thingy would help me float!   Get it off, get it oooffffff”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4  Just have a sip from the little bottle that says “drink me” – and you too can fit inside my crate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5  I got this tattoo after seeing Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6  Turn on the wind machine, I’m ready, NOW!  Don’t make me climb down off this couch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7  The Russian au pair isn’t familiar with American beach customs..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8  Secretary of the NTS (Naked Tourist Society) shows the gold domes of St. Sophia Cathedral her …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Did someone just yell “Four?”  Well that’s just stupid – “five!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10  “What did I forget this morning?  What… did… I… forget…?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11 Look – my shirt looks like a shower cap when I wear it like this!  Look!  I can also make sock puppets, watch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#12  My intergalactic belt came with batteries!  Wait, I think I’m getting a message!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#13 Wall smells good.  Like licorice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skipping to #15 – #14 was just too skinny.

 

 

#15  “You have 30 more seconds to finish the shot.  I have to get back to the Hadron Particle Collider to check on my experiments!”  (auditioning for the next great James Bond villainess Ima Trampskya.)

 

 

 

 

 

#16  This is the nicest dorm room I’ve ever shot porn in!  Where did you get these sheets – IKEA?

(I think these are too big.  I just want to show my plastic surgeon – too big.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#17 This is a picture of Artemis that my friend sent me from Athens.  She has 28 boobs!  Go big or go home, right?

 

 

 

Porn Boob and Sad Banana Go Back to Work!

I’ve booked a small part on a medical drama (yay!) and I’m stopped at the light on Laurel Canyon and Ventura when I get the call from wardrobe.  “I’d like to go over your sizes,” wardrobe guy says.  “Sure.”  And I answer him – height 5’2″, weight, about 125, shoe size 7, pants 2-4 petite, “I’m wearing a 2 now and they are just fine.”  I know the next question – it’s going to be “bust” so I attempt to just say it as if I’m simply giving him the answer to his next question, “and I’m going through a breast reconstruction so one of my boobs is a lot bigger than the other, something I remedied in the audition with a gummy boob, so I’m not sure what my size card says – probably 34B, but I’m sporting a C well, D, a C/D rack these days.”

I hope he is one of those very gay wardrobe guys – callous, sassy, couldn’t care less about women much less breasts, who has seen everything, kind of wardrobe guys.

“Ok, well, you’ll be wearing scrubs – so it probably won’t matter,” he says.  Oh, crap – maybe I didn’t have to mention it…  TMI.  I shouldn’t have said anything.  I shouldn’t have – except for the fact that I have a 600cc boob!  A boob the size of a baby’s head, a porn boob – a size D hooter – and I haven’t changed my size cards in the system because, well because!   I say – “well, you certainly would have noticed tomorrow.”

“Do you have time to come in for a fitting today?”  He asks.  I wonder if he would have asked if all this hadn’t come up.

“Sure,” I say – “when’s good?”

I get there early and am left in the waiting/fitting room where I see my info tacked up with the other cast info sheets.  Under “bra”  it says 34 – then the B is crossed out, then it says C/D then it’s circled with an arrow and a note in all caps “PLEASE ASK TOM.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I wonder what poor Tom said because everyone is supernice at the fitting.  I mean suuupernice.  “How is your day going?”  The costume designer asks.  “Pretty good – how’s yours?”  And now I’m definitely little paranoid.  I mean you get all types in production, but on the friendliness chart a lot of times the wardrobe department falls into the less than hospitable category.  I don’t know if that is because they have to deal with actors lying about their measurements, the fumes from the steamers, or the fact that they are just generally overworked and overlooked, but yeah – usually you need to watch your step – they don’t call ’em wardrobe mistresses for nuthin.’  I end up in a size small super cute set of green scrubs.  Sweet.  Can’t wait to shoot.

Porn Boob and Sad Banana Go to Operation Smile Gala

It doesn’t matter if you call me at almost one o’clock on a Friday afternoon with an invitation to go out that same night.  Not if it is a $10,000 a table benefit at the Beverly Hilton.  “Yes I’m free.” “Sure,  I have cocktail attire!” And “yeah, I know what Operation Smile is and am proud to be a part of supporting such an amazing organization!  It’s for the children!”

Well, maybe I had something to wear.  I hadn’t taken Porn Boob out to a semi formal event.

I pulled out my favorite cocktail dress.   Strapless.  Wow – even if I could zip it over porn boob I had no real solution for Sad Banana side.  I’d been delaying a trip to Santa Monica to Intimate Images the all things cancerous “lingerie” store for a cutlet, making due with the addition of at first, a half a strapless gel bra, then both sides of the gel bra, then both sides of the gel bra, and a sock.  (Dear God, was this thing growing on it’s own between appointments?)  It was working  just fine – especially when I put a sweater on too…  One D cup and a B minus – in a room full of world renowned plastic surgeons – who would notice?  Crap.  There would be more boob jobs than plates there.  Though I do believe I would be the only one with one jobbed.

Nothing in my closet was going to work.

I could do this – it could be like my own personal Amazing Race task.  “With 4 hours on the clock you must successfully navigate through Los Angeles rush hour traffic (it’s Los Angeles, on a Friday rush hour lasts all day), procure a dress suitable for a red carpet celebrity event, milk a camel, stay within a reasonable budget and reach your apartment with enough time to remove all unwanted hair, apply, wash off, then reapply “smokey eyes’ eyeshadow and achieve salon worthy updo hair.”  Okay, there was no camel milking involved but it’s about as likely a scenario as me achieving a salon worthy updo.

I headed to “It’s a Wrap” – a fabulous “thrift store”* where TV and movie clothes go to die.  I love the place, it was especially good to me last fall when I was lucky enough to be the same midget pants size as some actress from “The Starter Wife.”  I knew there’d be some good stuff there from the soaps where women seem to live in a world in which there is no event inappropriate to wear sequins.  “Hmm, pulling the plug on my fake twin’s lover’s father today – what to wear – what to wear…  Wish I hadn’t worn the aquamarine ruched to visit my wrongly accused lover in jail.”

Eleven dresses and 45 minutes later…  After a scary moment in the dressing room when porn boob had me trapped.  The combination of her size and my limited mobility had me flailing about in the phone booth sized dressing room in a really cute white sequined dress like I was Teller in the middle of a Penn & Teller act.  I seriously thought I was going to have to get someone to help me.  Oh, the explaining I would have to do…  I found a dress.

For the stellar price of $20 I ended up with a sassy emerald green satin number that I was not in love with – but it would do.  A dress that I realized I pretty much hated as soon as the clerk handed me the “All Sales Final’ sales receipt.  Crap – “Deal or No Deal” called – they want their dress back. I think it was actually one of the dresses from the show – I mean why else would there have been 20 of them there…  Crap!  I needed something sassy, something sophisticated, something I could feel comfortable chatting with Matt Damon in, say he should show up and magically not be married, not something that looked like I should be carrying a briefcase with dollar amount signs in it!

So – Nordstrom Rack, I had time.  There I found the unlikely, but genius answer to my prayers – a one shouldered, asymmetrical black and white cocktail dress – tight enough to support Sad Banana with a large cream bow cascading from the shoulder over Porn Boob.  I know it sounds like it would be an error to decorate my Mt. Everest in a attempt to hide it, but it worked.  I would have to cheat and not wear one of the obnoxious surgical bras I’ve been trapped in since August – that I’m supposed to wear 24/7 – oh, and I have to sleep on my back or suffer a life long uniboob, and being a side sleeper, sleeping on my back feels about as natural as sleeping hanging upside down from the ceiling like a bat.

But here you go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on the Red Carpet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funny enough, Mark Burnett, reality show mogul and Roma Downey chaired the event.  They’re married,  who knew?  They were lovely and gracious and pretty much the only ones to sign almost all of the silent auction bid sheets.  They probably ended up with a dozen Picasso lithographs.  So if you are a friend of theirs heads up come Christmas…

We ducked out early and ended up downstairs at the legendary Trader Vics.  Classy.  An older gentleman introduced himself to me at the bar saying that he had just had to say – he loved my dress.

*I say thrift store – but it’s no Goodwill.  Nothing there is actually cheap.  I wish.

From “The Art of Uncertainty” by Dennis Merrit Jones

posted in: Wisdom To Heal By | 0

“We were born fully equipped to break free of past confining conditions that no longer serve us.  And it is our destiny to do so.  That inner impulse, that yearning to explore beyond the boundaries of our daily life permeates every living thing, and its voice perpetually whispers in our inner ear, ‘Grow, grow, grow…’  But, there is another voice that often speaks much louder, the voice of fear.  It shouts, ‘No, no, no…  Stay right where you are.  While you may not like it, you risk nothing by staying put.’  But, unfortunately, that is the big lie.  There is great risk in resisting the divine urge to grow.”

How’d You Find It?

posted in: True Tales | 0

“How’d you find it?” the med tech asks.

The room is dark.  She’s young – twenty something, is wearing a ton of eyeliner, and has lots of piercings.  I figure she’d have more, but couldn’t wear them to work – Cedars Sinai being a world class hospital and all.  I wonder if they have a rule about the number of piercings or tattoos  employees are allowed to have – and do they have placement rules?  I mean I’m all for freedom of expression but when someone is sticking a giant ultrasound wand 4 feet into my uterus I’d rather think of them as a clean cut conscientious studious type than the girl with the eyebrow bar and Pendragon tattoo who missed class because she was in line to get help Kat Von Dee break her Guinness World Book record.

She’s asking how I found my cancer, the cancer, it.

“How’d you find it?”

She asks like she’s asking me if I have plans for the weekend, were there any movies I wanted to see?  I’m annoyed.  How’d I find it?  How’d I find it?   That’s a sucky question – an awful question to ask someone if you think about it.  I mean you are asking that person to revisit one of the worst moments of their lives.  It’s like asking – “where were you when you found out your father died?”  People don’t go around throwing that out like “do you think there are blueberries in this?”

It’s usually the first question I get – some people ask because they really care about me, but I think it is actually because most people immediately make it about themselves.  Would they find it “before it was too late.”  My friend A. thinks I  should tell everyone I found it myself – like I’m a public service announcement or something,  “be sure to perform your own self exams every month!”  Not my job – hang a sign in your loved one’s shower, or just offer to feel her breasts regularly.

But when eyeliner asks, it feels like she’s slowing down on at an accident to get a good look.  And you know what, she really doesn’t have a right to know, even if – maybe especially if she has a giant plastic wand 3 feet into my crotch – it’s still not small talk.

Maybe I’m annoyed because I wasn’t expecting this.  When my oncologist didn’t like the blood work on my abdomen and had me make the appointment to check it out, I was expecting one of those over the stomach gooey gel exams you see on pregnant women on tv and I’m shocked when she pulls out R2D2 and tells me to go into the bathroom and remove everything from the waist down – without locking the door, please.

So maybe that’s why I want to be crappy to her when she asks “how’d you find it?” as she’s heading up my paper skirt.  I should probably value the “small talk” but I am quiet.  This is out of character for me because I am usually extra charming to medical staff.  Some combination of my usual wanting to  liked and really wanting them to do a really, really good job.  She is in charge of checking my uterus for more cancer after all – wouldn’t do me good to cop an attitude with her, now would it?

 

 

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