Sunday, July 30, 2006

Living Unafraid.

I'm poppin' the top off a cold can of philosophy today: do you sometimes hold back on life because of fear? What is that "dream of doing someday" and what's that in your way blocking you?

A friend from Australia wrote me wondering whether my perspective on life has changed. He mentioned the movie "Last Holiday" starring Queen Latifah who plays a woman who finds out she has three weeks to live, so she cashes out her 401K and travels to Europe to do the things she's always dreamed about.

Then there are the lyrics to Tim McGraw's hit song "Live Like You Were Dying":

He said I was in my early forties
with a lot of life before me
when a moment came that stopped me on a dime
and I spent most of the next days
looking at the x-rays
Talking bout the options
and talking 'bout sweet time
I asked him when it sank in
that this might really be the real end
how's it hit you when you get that kinda news
man what'd you do

and he said
I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.

My health problems certainly made me face the issue of living life to its fullest. I do take risks, I get out and enjoy life, but I do it in spurts, because my doctors haven't said those infamous words: "You have __ weeks to live."

I wonder why I have to wait for those words before I live life without regrets.

To quote the Queen: "Many of us are kind of just living in fear or not taking advantage of those dreams we always had or not telling the people that we love that we love them. So it's just like you wonder, 'What would you do if you only had a few weeks left to live?' "

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ernie's F.A.T. Chance

(pictured are Ernie and six cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery in New York)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Baby Got Back And Front And Side And Other Side

Mercy me! I caught a little bit (rather a huge slab) of Monique's F.A.T. Chance the other day which was a pageant for, as you can guess, overweight women. "F.A.T." is short for and I quote, "Fabulous and Thick."

As I continued watching, I realized they had something that I didn't: plenty of self-confidence despite their body shape.

(True story!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Second Opinion.

Oh, I don't know where to start. I don't even know how to say it all, it's all so...


difficult to deal with

difficult for loved ones to hear

*The new tumor(s) found are not in my brain. They are right outside the brain in my cranium. According to the doctor, "the horse has left the barn," meaning it's left the primary source and can now multiply on its own in other areas in my body (back, arms, central nervous system, anywhere it wants). As it multiplies, it causes problems, like loss in hearing, vision, mobility and

I'll just stop there. I don't want to talk or write about what else it can do.

*At this stage, there is no cure. Only possibilities to prevent it from growing rapidly.

*The spread may start anywhere to a month to five months.

My mom and dad didn't take it so well. Maybe because they mistakingly think it's their fault. My sister cried when I told her. Paul's very strong and supportive- his game face is encouraging.

I'm done with this entry.

Happy blog entry next time.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Toront-over And Out!

We're leaving the land of strange restaurants and shops (with Banana Republics between them) this afternoon. We've had a great time relaxing here. Tomorrow, I hope to post the second opinion we received from a doctor at John Hopkins in Baltimore regarding follow-up treatment.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

How To Make Toronto

*3 cups diverse population of Australia
*1/8 cup American retail Williams Sonoma, Best Buy, and Pottery Barn
*1 (12 0z.) package of small town friendliness
*5 tablespoons mild summer weather

1. Combine Australian population and American retail in a medium sized bowl. Blend at high speed, pausing now and then to scrape down with a rubber spatula as necessary.
2. Discard any solids and gently fold friendliness evenly with wooden spoon throughout mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Sprinkle mild summer weather generously on top.

Chill thoroughly before serving.

Serves me quite nicely.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Could These Two Look Any More Related?

Those who answered "no" will be reported immediately to the crazy police.

(Pictured are Paul and his aunt Paula who visited last weekend.)

We're off to Toronto- send me an e-mail at if you need me to pick up something for you in Canada!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

We're Such World Travelers!

In our head!

As a way to forget about the brain tumor and the sons and daughters it birthed in my head, Paul thought of whisking us away this weekend.

Airsavers this week posted really cheap fares to the Bahamas and Virgin Islands, but it's hurricane season there. They also had cheap flights to Miami. With the 100 degree weather we had last week in DC, Paul had enough of hot weather.

Then there were non-stop flight to Provincetown. Hotels were triple the price of airfare. We looked at Chicago, New York, Colorado, our list of destinations kept going. Such dizzy indecisive queens.

It's 3:00PM, and finally, we've got non-refundable flights and hotel reservations to Toronto, Canada!

Don't mention to my parents- they haven't a clue I'm going!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happy Bunny Is So Funny.

Here is a collection of philosophical sayings from Happy Bunny:

*I think it's cute that you think I'm listening.
*The voices in your head aren't real. They still have really great ideas.
*Shouldn't ugly people be more friendly?
*If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Unless it's about someone who can't hear you.
*You're funny. Looking.

And my favorite:
*Buy me stuff and I'll be nice.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Word About The "Man"

"The Man" I'm talking about is Paul. If you want a nice, soft and gentle hug from "The Man," you ain't gettin' it because he's nothing but 100% muscle.

Paul has been there for me 110% during this hard time in my life. Instead of throwing on running shoes and heading off in the other direction, Paul looks this stuff in the eye and presses into it with an amazingly positive attitude. I sure need it because I am having a really rough time with it, more than I will ever let any of you see when we're hanging out.

A few of you think "Good, because that's what Paul's supposed to do," or "He better, after what he did to you." People, give it a break. Build a bridge and get over it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Project Runway

Hmm. I wonder what all the hype is about the show. Now I'm a fashion 'ho and have sincere desire to know good and bad couture, but I found last week's season premiere a little dull- thank goodness I taped it (I miss you, TiVo), because I watched up until the designers knew what materials to work with, and then fast forward to where they presented the finish product. All in all, I shaved about twenty minutes.

I think I can identify more with Mo' nique F.A.T. Chance.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Summ-er Saying It's Over.

I went to the mall to sulk and lo and behold, J. Crew had cordouroy blazers, and Abercrombie was selling coats with plush lining. Um- wasn't 4th of July last week? Is it not still summer? Why are all the beautiful pastel color shirts 50% off?

What a crying shame. Watch them put scarves and mittens on sale next week.



I'm just numb about it all.

I don't have much to say. It's all a bad dream.

People call and e-mail me (thank you, your encouragement brings me to terms with it). I usually just deflect and talk about everything but it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

July Brain Tumor Update

After having several MRI's done on my head and back, they have reached a conclusion: I have cancer cells in my spinal fluid, which is manufactured in the brain, spills down the neck, and goes to my spine. These microscopic cells attach to parts of the body, such as brain tissue, multiply, and start tumors to grow.

The doctors speculate that at this time, I have these cancerous cells not only in my brain, but also in my spine. They conclude that the best type of treatment at this time is full-blown radiation on nearly every part of my brain and everywhere on my spine.

Side effects: complete loss of hair on head, loss of eyebrows, insomnia, nausea, weakness, and significant fatique worse than what was experienced while I was on chemo.

I'm at a complete loss of words, except one: "Why?"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

And I do too, but I'm gettin' my next Prada fix at 50% off.

The urban myth is shattered: two Prada outlet stores really exist in America. One is in New York, about a half-hour away from Manhattan at Woodbury Commons Premium Outlet. You can find out what they have in stock by calling them (845) 928-3706. The other one is in California at Desert Hills Premium Outlet, an hour away from L.A. Their phone number is (951) 849-4775.

Here's an example of their great prices (or just how high original prices are jacked up). I want a Prada brooch in the shape of a heart, which retailed for $150. They had it for just $65.

In other important and life-changing news, I had an MRI done on my spine this morning. Results come in Wednesday letting us know if the cancer has spread to other parts of my body.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

And so do I, but I don't have an 80's haircut. Here is the Editor-In-Chief of Runway Magazine, Marinda Priestly, who *is* the pinnacle of fashion, yet she lets Mary Lou Retton cut her hair. Pitiful.

I loved the movie. Purses, shoes, and accessories a la Sex And The City.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm Back!

It's on, it's alive and in full-effect mode. Thank you for checking in amidst the lack of entries.

Let's kickstart it with the headlines:

PAUL AND I GOT A FREE CAR. We flew out to Kansas to pick it up and drive it back. We drove through Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio in one day, followed by West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland the next. 1,153 of our own miles on this banged-up Cadillac Allante (the Allante pictured is not ours.)

LATEST NEWS ON BRAIN TUMOR: I am no longer on chemo. I had an MRI done last week. The doctor called me with the results and said that chemo has not worked. He found a new tumor in my brain. He asked me to get an MRI done on my spine this week to see whether it has spread to other areas of my body.

Yup. Stunned, yet not too surprised. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it. The doctor guesses that perhaps another chemo drug, maybe radiation again, and I guess anothera craniotomy is still a possibility.

I'll know more next Wednesday when we meet to talk about it.

Again, thanks for sticking around.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bill & Ted

It's really Paul and Ernie's Excellent Adventure. The lack of blog entries lately (sorry!) is that we're driving cross-country from Kansas to Washington, D.C. We flew to Kansas late last week to pick up a free car (long story) that we now have to get back home. We've passed through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and now Ohio.

More details to follow...thank you for being patient, and Happy 4th!