Brigitapalooza 2008 Update

Right coast, left coast--REPRESENT! WOO!


Grossest/Most Bizzare Headline of the Day:

Blind Irishman sees with the aid of son's tooth in his eye.


Cue the MacArthur Genius Grant!

I bought Little Miss a potty a week or so ago because I really believe you can start the toilet training process way early. I've read a little about elimination communication and while I understand there's no practical way for us to do it perfectly (between day care and my not wearing her in a sling 24/7), I think every "catch" helps.

That said, I've been putting V on the potty in between diaper changes for the last several days. I thought she was doing great when she would do the occasional tinkle (4 times in total so far), but this morning? I almost jumped out of my skin with happiness when picked her up and I saw the mother of all poops in there!


Now, back to your regularly scheduled cancer jabbering.


These Pretzles Are Making Me Thirsty

New poll! Please note, Warm Busch Light was left out of the running on purpose to keep the contest a fair one.

Notes from Meeting w/ the Head Lead* Doc

Jody and I had a post-chemo/rad check-in with the doctor heading up my treatment team today. Basically he wanted to make sure I was feeling ok and that I will follow-up with him on the outcome of The Thing That Will Not Be Mentioned** that I got looked over for yesterday.


  • There is a possibility that my lower anterior resection can be done laproscopically. For reals?! Still, I'm pretty much resigned to having a 6+" scar running down my belly. Battle scars and all that.
  • Chances of my getting an ostomy: 100%. Having my output rerouted significantly decreases my risk of post surgical complications.
  • Chances of having an ileostomy (vs. colostomy): 100%. The logic behind putting the ostomy further upstream from the actual anastomosis is that they're apparently easier to set up and take down. I was kinda hoping to have something a little further downstream, but whatever it takes to get my Humpty Dumpty guts back together again.
  • Speaking of the "take down," that is done post chemo, so I'm going to be Lady Ziplock for a while. Gah.
  • He confirmed that the chemo/rad treatment seemed to do a number on my tumor. We don't need to talk about how he came to that conclusion...
Long story short, my job is to TCB until surgery. I've already filed our taxes and am getting a good head of steam up for putting stuff up on eBay, so I've got that going for me.

Which is [k]nice.

*Not "head" as in shrink (thanks HH)
**It's probably not what I feared, which is too icky and unsettling to actually mention in print, but there are some things even I have to keep private, especially when it involves them privates.


Not Just An Astrological Sign Any More

I really wanted to buy this for Little Miss the other day:

...but (1) I hate that whole awkward "is that a boy, or...?" dance you do with strangers when you dress your kid in unisex clothes and (b) for as cute and well-made as the onesie is, I like looking at my daughter too much to dress her in this and find myself quickly looking away every time I see the c-word.

Jody's a cancer, too.

"Hey Cancer! Leo beats crab, beeyotch!"

Button-Popping Full

Today Sailor Jody, Little Miss, and I were out and aboot and decided that our big event of the day should be lunch at this Mongolian BBQ-type place. Once we got our table, I got busy feeding the wee one, so Jody fixed me up a bowl of stir fry.

Godbless'im, it was tasty and all, but I had an appetite and wanted to check out the fixins bar, so I went back for seconds and made myself a fanFRICKINtastic mess of veggie goodies.

It was waaaay too hot--temp and spice--but I still stuffed my gob with as much noodley goodness as I could, chasing it all with glass after glass of water to put out the flames raging on my palate.

I am still full.

I have decided I'm going to put on a few lbs (preferably muscle, but I'll take what I can get) prior to surgery, because from what I can gather you drop weight like a hot rock while recovering and I cannot afford to lose 25% of my body weight like some cancer folks that have gone before me...

Brigitapalooza 2008 Evite is Live

If you didn't get one in your inbox, leave a comment and I'll send you the link. :)


From One Hot Bitch to Musty Matron in 90 Seconds Flat

I got my hair did (read: cut & color) by my favorite-est stylist this morning. Ooh! I was lookin' good. After that, I walked across the [pedestrian] mall to Macy's, where I had a bra fitting for the first time in my life.

Remember how I've been going on and on (and ON) about how my boobs have shrunk since nursing? Turns out that the right size for me now is actually one cup size larger than what I had been wearing pre-pregnancy.

In other words, not only was I wearing bras that were the completely wrong size for me, but they were stretched all to hell on top of that. Lovely picture, no?

The moral of this story: If you're postpartum, get your boobs measured. While you're at it, you might also want to have your GP test your thyroid levels as it's not uncommon for a woman to become hypothyroid after having a child. Unfortunately, Macy's can't do this for you at the same time.

Think about it--both your energy level and metabolism go down when your thyroid craps out. Wouldn't it be nice to kill two of those yucky pre-middle age birds with one easy, caffeine-free stone?


Brigitapalooza 2008 Vol. I: Chicago, IL


  • Who: You
  • When: March 21-24 (aka Easter weekend)
  • Where: Chicago, IL
  • What: Soaking up all the culture, camaraderie, and liquor that the city has to offer
  • Why: Because my ass cancer is not the boss of me
Stay tuned for an official evite, but in the mean time, let me know in the comments (1) if you're thinking of attending and (b) ideas for group activities.

Priorities off the top of my head include hitting the Museum of Science and Industry (great childhood memories), the Chicago Diner ("vegetarian soul food"), video games, and alcohol.

Not necessarily in that order.

Rock On, Rockstar

Fifteen some years ago, I would drag myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 9 o'clock on a summer Saturday morning to start calling (more like redialing and redialing) Ticketmaster to get tix for some iteration of Lollapalooza.

Today, I was out of bed before 6am and had to *wait* three hours for web registration to open up to get Violet and I on the Book Baby list at the local library.

The body may feel every one of my 33 [oft misspent] years, but the mind is running about a decade behind.


Please Forgive the All Caps, But...


Holyfuckingshit, I am so over this weather.

Understand: this is not one of those "oh, boo hoo, I don't get to go anywhere for spring break" winter complaints, this is sub zero temperatures for weeks and weeks on end, freezing rain on top of seven total feet of snow and counting, icicles hanging off of the gutters that would split a person in two if they were to detach from the house.

If I could get five minutes alone with Mother Nature in a windowless room (or alternately, a dark alley), I would wreck that bitch.



Many heartfelt and lip-smacking thanks to Kris for her fantastic care package that arrived in the mail the other day, complete with a kangaroo-cute tea towel, some choco-licious Tim Tams (I'm going to have to root around the "ethnic" aisles of my local grocers for these), *and* one fan-frickin-tastic cross stitch, which was prominently displayed in our home shortly after it was modeled by our wee one:

Now I just need to work on leaning to cross stitch myself, so I can juxtapose "Be the change you want to see in the world" with "Hell is other people..."

Thanks again, woman!! Shoot me a line to give me your updated "stuff I miss that I can't get over here/down undah" list. xo!


A Wreck Up from the Neck Up Waist Down

Let it be known that not a single living creature in this house has a problem-free pelvic area:

  • My tumor (duh)
  • Little Miss' intermittent diaper rash (really not bad at all because I am a cloth-diapering crunchy earth mamma wannabe)
  • Cleo's wonky hips
And the latest victim in need of a remodel to the downstairs is our patriarch, leader, and sugar daddy, Sailor Jody.

Some 3+ years ago, Jody got a little overzealous on the leg press and strained something adjacent to his babymaker. When it didn't get better within a reasonable period of time (and was actually made worse by our moving ourselves from Newton to Central Mass, worst idea EVAR), he went to see a doc that said the two treatment options were:
  1. Have surgery and recuperate for 6 mos.
  2. Rest for 6 mos. and see if it gets better on its own
Since the time frame was the same, we went with option #2. Didn't work. Then we moved, I got pregnant, he switched jobs, the baby was born, etc. etc. I don't know if we finally felt settled or we were all "well fuck, you have cancer, I might as well get surgery" (it honestly made sense at the time), but Jody got his southern hemisphere worked on on Tuesday.

The surgical treatment for his condition (athletic pubalgia, aka athletic hernia or Gilmore's Groin) is the laproscopic insertion of mesh to the affected area. The tissue eventually grows over/into the mesh, reinforcing the muscle.

He had three incisions, starting at the belly button and going south from there. The surgeon said that the procedure went well, everything looked normal, and he seems to be doing fantastic, already back to the daily grind with work (it helps that he works from home...).

Between his bionic groin and my shrunken boobs, we are going to run the hell out of the bike trails come this summer. Assuming that I actually do feel normal during my off weeks from chemo.


My Cancer Anthem

Take Your Medicine -- Cloud Cult

You can take it in stride
Or you can take it right between the eyes
Suck up, suck up
And take your medicine
It's a good day, it's a good day
To face the hard things...
Thanks, psorr!

Hell Hath No Fury...

...Like a eBay-savvy, Internet shopping-addicted, sleep-deprived cancer patient that gets *stiffed* by a seller.

Bitch, I have nothing better to do with my time than stalk your every move on the Internerd (made easier by the fact that you use the same login/handle/alias on the myriad mothering/cloth diapering message boards for which you've registered) and if I don't get my proverbial two dollars (ok, more like $90), I will be filing an Internet Fraud report with your local police department.

You've been warned.


That Counted Chicken Didn't Hatch

Getting out of bed this morning, it hurt to walk around, with the balls of my feet feeling like they're burning. It's not terrible, but I guess I didn't dodge that hand foot syndrome bullet after all.




ETA: Well, with the chemo/radiation portion at least. I still have surgery and IV chemo to look forward to...


New Poll!

By a generous margin, you guys voted that my power animal should be a bear, a godless killing machine. Woo!

Speaking of power(s), the new poll is to pick the best super power. Super powers that I thought about including are:

  • Controlling the weather (boy would I have liked that yesterday)
  • Talking to animals
  • Water into wine
That whole healing/regeneration power would also be kinda handy right about now.


Funniest Thing I Heard On CNN Radio Yesterday:

Quote from a registered Republican "Man on the Street" pertaining to his thought process re: his Super Tuesday vote:

"Well, I think Iraq is going to take care of itself..."
Holy fucking crap, I almost crashed the car I was laughing so. Damn. HARD.


Care Package Rundown

"Oh, you shouldn't have (but I'm glad you did)" shoutout to Tricia & psorr who sent me a fab package of delicious carmels, a copy of The Stranger, a Best of 2007 mix CD, and a cap from one of the greatest coffee houses in Seatown, Caffe Ladro, which Sailor Jody and I have been known to call Cafe Lardo on more than one occasion. Because we're sophisticated like that.

And let's not forget about the awesome Wonder Woman card...I'm going to have to start a collage of all the great cards and other kickass ephemera I've received thusfar.

Also, many thanks to the anonymous person who sent me the Colon Club care package, including a bunch of blue ribbon temporary tattoos, a roll of TP emblazoned with "Wipe Out Colorectal Cancer!" and a copy of the 2008 Colondar.

Great stuff--Thanks again for thinking of me!


Scenes From Radiotherapy:

This couple comes into the waiting area, with the woman sitting on my left and the man sitting in a chair to my right. I don't know which one is the patient and which one reeks of smoke, but smelling that smell, especially here, makes me want to jump out of my skin and scream "what the fuck are you doing?!"

They should really keep hugely pregnant nurses separated from those of us whose treatment is frying our babymaker.

This is the last place you want to run into someone you know.