Boob Juice

Implants= in! That second reconstructive surgery was a piece of cake! I haven’t had any pain. I can tell that I have drains sewn into the sides of my torso, but they don’t hurt. The incisions along my breasts don’t hurt. I feel just fine, so it’s annoying to have to take it easy. When I woke up in the recovery room, there was a man snoring his head off, and I calmly told the nurse, “I become irrationally angry at the sound of intense snoring,” and then politely added, “Do you know when my room will be ready?” While being wheeled from recovery into my room, I chatted with one of the nurses who had recently finished chemo for breast cancer. She mentioned a 30-something pharmacist who used to work at Mo Bap who was undergoing chemo for breast cancer, and I said, “Alison ****?” And she said, “Yes!” and I said, “That’s my girl! We have the same plastic surgeon!” So many St. Louis moments during this cancer process. Turns out Alison was downstairs getting her chemo while I was having surgery, and she saw my post on Facebook about being at the hospital, so she came up and saw me in my room. Alison is lightness and goodness. Because of her type and stage of breast cancer, she had to undergo radiation and extra chemo, but she’s positive and vivacious, and I’m grateful to have met her. She’s going through this having two young kids, so PROPS to her. So many props.

Because I’m Jenny Who Shares Too Much Information, I’ll just put it out there that the worst part of this recovery was when I didn’t think to take Miralax after I got home from my one night in the hospital. Painkillers=constipation. My sis, bro-in-law and their kids live with us right now while they wait to move into their new home, and if B-I-L didn’t feel like we were family beforehand, I’m sure he does now. Thanks for giving me one of your daughter’s suppositories, Joe, and for listening to me moan on the couch about the brick-sized stool that refused to leave my body. The other struggle has been that my Tamoxifen-induced hot flashes are extra hot and flashy because I have to wear a vest-like bra. But fuh real, doh, this surgery was a breeze. Drains come out on Thursday.

I’m bored and restless and drinking wine—>

“Boob Juice”

You’re red. With a tinge of yellow. 

You flow more heavily on the right side. Is it because I’m right-handed?

Why are more people right-handed? 

The left hand is the Devil’s hand. That’s the wicked side.

That’s where the tumor grows.

Boob Juice/ A Moose Named Goose/ A Girl Who’s Loose/ Don’t Get Caught in a Noose/

Cancer/ Tiny Dancer/ A Reindeer Named Prancer/ I’m a Lancer

“The Picture My Ex-Boyfriend Made Me That You’ll See in This Video”

That picture behind me in this video/

My ex-boyfriend made that for me for my 21st birthday.

He painted a picture of the Venice Cafe where we had one of our first dates/

The columns are three-dimensional.

He made the frame from scrap wood out of a garage being torn down in his neighborhood

It hangs on the wall in what was my mom’s office before it became my convalescent chamber

I wonder if anybody will ever love me like he did. 

*Warning, if bodily fluids gross you out, don’t watch this video!


Making Up for Lost Time

Been having a lot of fun. Went harder this past month than I have in quite a while. Adventures in Alaska, New York, Arkansas* (from the mountains/ to the prairies/ to the oceans/ white with fooooooooam!) (I had to Google that last bit). Lotta food/lotta dranks. For a few days there I felt 23 again. The Blonde Brigade sans Janelle went to see Streets of Laredo at Off Broadway, and it was a free show on a Wednesday night; there were maybe a dozen people there, so I felt really bad for the band (I have a problem with feeling bad for people). After the show the band members came and socialized with the audience, and we invited them to go do karaoke with us. They seemed pretty enthusiastic about it, but alas, they never showed up. Instead, this dude Justin, who had just moved to The Lou for a Urology fellowship, was at the show and seemed to take a-liking to Caron, so he came with us. I sang Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” as well as Digital Underground’s “Humpty Dance.” Digression–> I’ve always wanted to karaoke The Doors’ “Back Door Man” because it’s so not what you would expect. I have this whole fantasy in my head where I grab the microphone, and the crowd’s expecting me to sing, like, something by Journey or the Dixie Chicks, but instead, that gritty, hard guitar build-up to full drums and organ gets going, and I’m all “OOOOOH YEAH, I’M YO BACK DOOR MAN!” and I’m doing the Jim Morrison gyrate, swingin’ that microphone around like a big dick. #imateacher #iteachyourkids Then I exit the stage and slap some douchey guy on the ass and yell, “Buy me a drink, bitch!” (Geez, I just don’t understand why you’re still single, Jen.) Anywho…When it became obvious that the Streets of Laredo band members were not coming to sing with us, I suggested we get pancakes at Uncle Bill’s. I ate all of mine and half of Caron’s. Got home at about 2, and thought, “Ya know, being childless is kinda great” #infertility. Two nights later I went and saw The Black Lips with Ron, and when the show was over, I thought I’d ask them if they wanted to go do karaoke with us. I walked back into their dressing room because there was no one there to stop me, and I asked if they wanted to go sing karaoke with us. The lead singer shook my hand and said they were actually planning on going bowling; the guitar player asked me if I had any Adderol. Then their manager came in and kicked me out. Now I kinda have a complex because I’ve been rejected by two bands in one week. Oh well.

Last time we talked I mentioned that I had made a friend on the train in Alaska; we bonded over the fact that we’ve both had mastectomies. She was encouraging me to pursue 3D nipple tattoos (as opposed to having surgery to get nips created and attached), and not long after her Alaska trip she was going to be visiting Vinnie Myers, the preeminent nipple tattoo artist whose studio is in Baltimore. She said she’d send me pics, and she did. They look great! So real! But I still think I’ll go with the nipple surgery (because Big Mac said he’d remove a little belly fat during the process). However, I haven’t completely ruled out the 3D tattoo possibility (Meet with Vinnie; get some nips; eat some crabcakes, see Edgar Allen Poe’s house. It could be a fun weekend). Speaking of fun…I get my implants on Friday! This surgery will be much less intense than the mastectomy. They’ll open me back up, scoop out the expansion material, and put in dat silicone. I’ll stay in the hospital one night and I’ll have two drains for a week, but I won’t have the same level of pain as I did with the mastectomy. The part that I dread the most is having to sleep on my back. Back-sleeping is the worst. You know what else is the worst? HOT FLASHES (#Tamoxifen). Yowza. I think I’ll be wearing nothing but tank tops for the next 10 years. And my hair: my hair is totally grey. AND it’s wavy/curly which is SO not attractive. I dislike the curl more than the grey. Yesterday I got out of the shower and ran my fingers through the sides of my wet hair so that it would stand out (because you may as well have fun with the fact that you have the ability to look like Grandpa Munster). My mascara was dripping, and I started to laugh. I looked just like a lemur. I ran downstairs, bugged out my eyes, and shouted to my sister, “Dude. What animal do I look like?” and she laughed. “You look like a lemur.” This was me:

I’m debating what I’ll do with my hair. I like it short, and I don’t mind the grey, but as my locks grow, so do my concerns. If I don’t tame my wispy side hair, I end up looking like an unkempt old man. I was always Jenny With the Good Hair, so I’m having to adjust to life with terrible tresses. I’m probably going to have to make an appointment with my girl Erin at the Drew Henry Salon before too long. (“Heeeeeeeey Erin, I was bald for a while, but I currently look like Paulie from The Sopranos. Help. A. Girl. Out.”) In other cancer-related news, I was watching t.v. last week when my right foot grazed my left foot and I felt a funny sensation: my left big toenail fell off! Taxol, one of the chemo drugs I took, is really hard on the nails, so I’m lucky that I lost only one.

In Arkansas I had a moment that I knew would eventually happen. I walked into a restaurant and saw a man who was going through chemo (bald head, no brows or lashes, faint dark circles around his eyes), and I was overcome with a sense of camaraderie and a desire to hug him. I wanted to rush over to him and give him a big squeeze and buy him a beer and tell him, “I feel you, bro. I FEEL YOU,” but I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Plus, I once had a student with Alopecia who wrote about how people always thought she had cancer, so I remembered this and played it cool.

Stay hydrated, ya’ll. It’s hot as hell out there!

For your listening enjoyment: 

*Northern Arkansas is beautiful. Ozarkland. I revisited Crystal Bridges Art Museum, which was built to display the Walton’s collection of American art. There are so many great pieces in their collection, and the space itself is my favorite of any museum I’ve ever visited. Plus, Eureka Springs is a quaint, trippy little town with good food (and an amazing blood orange margarita). I highly recommend a weekend jaunt.

Band Name: The Basic Bitches (We’d wear yoga pants and Uggs and drink Pumpkin Lattes but perform hard punk tunes and not shave our armpits.) #irony