Category: Silliness - The Funny Thing About Cancer
 
So lately I've been thinking more and more about getting my nipples done.

No, I'm not doing actual nipple reconstruction that will leave me with a bump for a nipple.  This would leave me with permenanat "high beams" or "tic tacs" in my bra... and I'd say the lack of worrying about my nipples showing through clothing is one of the few good things of cancer.

So no actual nipples for me.

Instead, I'm interested in doing "3D nipple tattoos".  Don't worry, they hopefully won't require special eyeware to "see" the 3D effect.  Instead, the tattoo is hopefully so well done, that most people won't notice that I'm nipple-less.

Still confused?  Here is a photo of work done by Vinnie Myers (a tattoo artist who does this alot):
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Tattoos and images from Vinne Myers
Disclaimer 1: those are not my boobs.
Disclaimer 2: I will not be posting photos of my boobs... my husband would divorce me if I did so.

Anywho, those are just tattoos!  There is no actual nipple!  Anyone else think that's kinda crazy?

So that's what I deam of getting done someday.  There is just ONE problem.  There aren't many 3D nipple tattooists out there.  Seriously.  I'd say less than 20 that advertise any experience with this in the entire US.

And I really don't want to have gone through this entire reconstruction process to have someone mess up my foobs with bad tattoos.

So I'm currently hunting for the perfect tattoo artist. 

But the conversation is kind of awkward.  You call the shop and here is what the conversation goes like:

Me: Hi!  I'd like to get a tattoo.
Tattoo person (whom I imagine is hairy and biker-y): Ummm.  OK.  Of what?
Me: Nipples.
Tattoo Person: Nipples?
Me: Yes, nipples.
Tattoo person:  Ummm... Okaaaaayyyy.

OK.  I'll admit it, I haven't actually called any tattoo parlors.  In part because I've convinced myself that my initial conversation will go exactly as I've laid it out above.  I'm sure that I'm totally wrong.  And that most tattoo parlors are used to getting strange requests.  And yet, the thought of making that call makes me mildly ill.

So I'm relying on email instead! 

I emailed an artist just today.  Her name is Megan Hoogland and she is an award winning tattoo artist.  And she lives in... mankato?  I have no idea how I managed to find such a gifted tattoo artist in our small-ish town of 40K people, but I'm hoping she responds with something other than "nipples?  That's the wierdest request I've ever gotten..."

Anywho.  I'll let you know how my "interviewing" goes.  And I'm sure I will blog about any upcoming tattoo parlor trips before they happen... if I ever get up the guts to get it done.
 
What?  Your doctors don't tell you to do that?

My doctor did.

OK, maybe not in those words.  Allow me to explain.

Next Friday is my exchange surgery.  This will effectively complete the major surgeries of my reconstruction.  If you could see me right now, I'm doing the running man.  And my boobs aren't moving b/c they're awful expanders that are hard and never move and I can't wait to get rid of them!!!!!!!!

Yes, I'm excited.

Since my surgery is next Friday (the 9th), my surgeon wanted to meet today to look at my boobs.  Seriously.  He missed them, it'd been a couple of weeks since he last saw them.  OK, I'm joking about that part.  But I do mean it when I say that he wanted to look at my boobs.  Basically it was a meeting to discuss what I want the final product to look like.  Is there anything that I'm currently unhappy with that we can fix? 

So I took my top off and he measured and poked and asked questions and then showed me implants so I could get an idea of size.  People, let me just take a second to say... I have INSANE boobs right now.  I have over 700ccs of fluid in each breast currently.  I think I knew that, but when confronted with an actual implant that is THAT LARGE I was like "CALL BAYWATCH!  I'M READY FOR MY CAMEO!"

Anywho, back to the story, we discussed size, some changes, implant shape, etc. and then he took about a thousand photos so he can review them before surgery and remember what we want to do (which I took for code meaning that he's proud of his work and he wants to show it off to other doctors).

And then before I left, he gave me some homework.  If I can find a photo of some boobies that I like and want... he will hang it on the wall of the operating room and do his best to match 'em.

Soooo... basically I need to go buy a playboy? 

And once again cancer has brought another first into my life.  The first time a doctor has ever recommended porn as part of a treatment... never saw that one coming!
 
OK.  Not really.  My hubby would KILL me if I posted pictures of my foobs on the internet. 

He actually explicitly told me I was not allowed to post pictures of my foobs online. 

Apparently he's noticed that I have no problem showing them to anyone that asks.  OK.  Maybe they don't ask.  Maybe I offer to show them.  But I know they WANT to ask... because why wouldn't they?!?!  Foobs are FASCINATING!  Admit it.  Right now you're thinking "I am kind of curious to see what they look like." 

No?  Oh.

Point is that I'm semi-obsessed with my foobs.

That obsession is lessening over time... very, veeerrrrrry slowly.  But, on top of that obsession, cancer also has removed any and all prudishness I might have once laid claim to.  So obsession + no modesty = lots of people seeing your foobs.

You think having a baby makes you less prudish because you have, like, 10 people in a small room staring at your vagina waiting to see what comes out?  Well wait until you get cancer and spend MONTHS whipping your boobs out for people to see.  Suddenly, boobs are no longer sexual, they're a science experiment. 

So now I like to joke that cancer has another, lesser known side effect... complete decimation of any and all semblance of modesty.  They should list that on those medical websites.  "Surgeon General's Warning: Breast Cancer causes intense desire to invite everyone (including strangers) to look at and possibly even feel your boobs."

I definitely didn't read about that in any of those flyers they leave laying around the Breast Clinic.

For those of you that know a survivor... consider yourself warned.  You might stop by for a quick visit and walk away having seen more than you ever expected!
 
Remember how I told you that they use a caulk gun to fill my boobs?

Well I finally got proof.
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It's LITERALLY a caulk gun. Thought I was joking huh?
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And here it is loaded with the syringe. Funny looking huh?
 
That's the sound of me falling off the wagon.

The Crazy, Sexy Diet wagon.

I was doing so well.  Then I went to visit family.  And family came to visit me.  And there are only so many ways you can make salads before your guests go "seriously, stop it with the salads!!!"  OK my sister in law didn't actually say that... but I felt bad offering her nothing but lettuce during her stay.  Especially since she's been helping out getting some home improvement projects done.

Somehow in my head, good, hearty food is a better payment than leafy greens.

Or maybe I was just craving junk food so I'm using my sister in law as an excuse.... maybe...

So I'm relishing a few days break from my diet.  I'm sitting here drinking coffee, eating a sugar laden muffin and avoiding vegetable juice for a day or two. 

And to be honest... it's almost orgasmic.  I'd forgotten how good coffee can taste.  Although after 2 weeks without caffiene, a LARGE coffee was probably a poor decision.  Since I now feel like I should run around my office at least 4 or 5 times to get out some of this energy!!!!! 

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I might have to write another blog this afternoon when I crash from this caffiene high... but for now I'm just going to enjoy myself :)

Why does being bad always feel so good?!?!?!
 
OK, so maybe saying I'm like a super model is kind of like comparing vanilla pudding to creme brule.

BUT, here is what I mean.  You know how you look at models in magazines and think, they are SO BEAUTIFUL!  And then you remind yourself that they actually have a team of professionals that make them that beautiful?

Here's an example:
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That's Tyra before and after makeup.  Before, she's cute.  After, she's stunning.

Being a cancer patient is kind of like that.  The other day Chris and I went out on a date.  My eyebrows are thin, my eyelashes fell out, I have no hair... so I had a little work to do.

First I put on my make up and darkened my eyebrows, then came the fake eyelashes... and then the fake hair.  And suddenly I looked like a normal girl again!  And I thought to myself, this must be how those supermodels feel.  You sit down in a chair looking pretty and 2 hours, lots of fake hair and makeup later, you're a knockout!

Here's an example of my transformation (excuse the lousy photography):
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Just goes to show that with alot of make up and some fake hair, just about anyone can go from drab to fab! :)
 
I'm giving up soda and coffee this week.  It's part of the diet.  It sucks.  Here is a little something I wrote about it in the midst of my angst:

Soda, how I love thee!
Your bubbles, they tickle my tongue! 
Your sweetness, it makes me smile!
On those days when I'm feeling run down and tired, you are there to pick me back up and keep me going.
Oh soda, how I love thee!

Coffee, you are my friend.
After a sleepless night, you perk me up.
After a long weekend, you keep me awake during those long days of meetings.
And on one of those frigid Minnesota mornings, you warm me up from the inside.
Yes, coffee, you are my friend.

But ALAS!  Now, we must part ways. 
Because I know you are NO GOOD for me.
NO GOOD AT ALL!
Soda... your processed sugars and chemicals are not welcome anymore!
Coffee... take your caffiene elsewhere!   You delicious temptress!

Oh... but I shall miss you.

*sigh*

I shall miss you both.

Goodbye old friends.

Goodbye!
 
Now that chemo is over, I'm trying to celebrate the last...

For instance, today should hopefully be the last Crappy Chemo Monday I have.  Mondays have traditionally been the day when I can't keep a thought in my head for more than 2 seconds and have a difficult time doing any work.  It's like having ADD for a day. 

Otherwise known as "shiny object syndrome". 

Here's an example of what my Monday thought process looks like:

Me: OK, I'm going to sit down to do some work.
           *Opens Windows Explorer to find the file that I need for the work I'm going to do*
Me: Wait... what did I need to do again?  OK, think... think... think!  Oh yeah, I was going to work on targets.
            *start to look for the file I need... about 2 clicks into the "hunt", I'll get an email*
Me:  Ooooohhh, look, an email!  Lemme read that.  
             *reads email, it's a company wide email about travel*
Me:  OH!  I almost forgot I need to book that house for that trip to San Fran with my friends in the fall.  I should go look and see what houses are still available.
             *opens the website to look at houses.  Looks at approximately 1 house*
Me:  I wonder what airfare looks like.
             *opens up website to look at airfares*
Me:  Hmmm... the whole goal of this trip is to run a half marathon... maybe I should research a good half marathon training program.
             *googles half marathon training programs*
Me:  I wonder if I'll be even recovered from surgery fast enough to DO this thing... *sigh*  I wonder what surgery is going to be like.  I wonder what my boobs will look like when this whole shenanigan is over.
            *opens google and types in "mastectomy results"*

And THAT, my friends, is how I go from doing work on a Monday to looking at pictures of post-mastectomy surgery results (aka boobs) while at work.  Don't worry, I usually don't actually look at the boobs.  I usually catch myself before I ACTUALLY go down that road with a "GET BACK TO WORK!"

But this is the cycle I go through about once per hour.  Start to work and get very easily distracted.

For an entire day.

If this is what real ADD is like, I have NO idea how any one with ADD gets anything done. 

My coping mechanism for Mondays was to make Monday my "meeting day".  I'd schedule meetings all day.  Because when you're talking to a person, you HAVE to focus.  Well, you don't HAVE to, but it's darn hard to start googling things when you're not at your computer :) 

So here's hoping that this is my last Crappy Chemo Monday!  Forever and ever! 

If you need me, I'll be googling something random.
 
OK, so this particular "activity" wasn't really motivated by boredom. 

More by my strange sense of humor.

First, a little background.  When I was first diagnosed with cancer, one of my coping mechanisms was to try to find a way to make cancer funny.

The first two things that became big jokes were 1. Nipple tattoos and 2.  Looking bald and badass.

What do I mean by looking bald and badass?

Well, I thought it would be fun to put on some fake tattoos, maybe a fake piercing or two and go  out on public.  And take lots of photos.  Mostly because I don't plan on ever being bald again, so I might as well get some awesome photos to show the grandkids someday of when their grandma looked like a badass chick.

And I thought it would be funny.

I told you I had a strange sense of humor.

And since the hair is starting to grow in, time was getting short for me to take advantage of this opportunity.

So this past Sunday, I did it! 

Thanks to the steriods they give you before chemo, I couldn't sleep and was fully awake by 5 am.  Chris, Caleb and I were planning to go to the cities to run some errands.  And I figured that the trip to the cities was the perfect opportunity for me to let my freak flag fly!  So I got up, showered, pulled out my stash of fake tats and went to town!  (No, I don't normally have a stash of fake tattoos lying around, I had purchased these a long time ago in preparation for this day)

A few hours later, we were in the cities, running some errands and the game was on.  Let's just say that people are alot more prone to staring when they see someone like THIS out in public chasing around a 2 year old.
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And honestly, it was refreshing to have people just openly stare.  Up until this weekend, everyone who sees me bald does the whole "look-but-pretend-I'm-not-looking" thing.  So it was just kind of a nice change of pace to have people gawk.  

Chris and I had a ton of fun with it.  I had lots of little kids just openly stare.  One of them very politely told me, "You don't have any hair." (it was cute)  And the response from adults was varied.  I heard one guy say "That's just WRONG!" but there were other dads that struck up some conversation while we were waiting in line to ride some rides at the Mall of America.  And one nice teenage checkout clerk told me I had a really nicely shaped skull. 

I was just a very entertaining day.  My mission was accomplished.  I had fun and I got some great photos.  Enjoy this brief glimpse of me as a pretend rocker chick!
 
So good news.  We are WELL on our way to meeting our $2,500 goal for fundraising.  We already have over $1000 collected and we're planning on having a fundraising dinner next week. 

This has been so much fun.

I really mean that.  It's been fun to see my coworkers just take this whole fundraising thing to the next level.  In FACT 4 other men offered to shave their heads as well!  So it's on a bit of a graduated scale.  If we raised $500 by last Friday, my friend Warren would shave his head.  If we raise $1000 by this Friday, 2 more guys lose their hair.  So you get the idea of how this works.  In the end, it'll be 5 bald men... and EVERY SINGLE TIME I think about that, I laugh. 

It's awesome.

And it's STILL growing.  So now our communications manager is contacting local press to come be apart of it.  For two reasons, first to get more publicity for Hope Lodge.  And second, so we have loads of video and photos of the baldness :)

Thus, my old boss decided that maybe we should get some shirts made up for the baldies.  You know, since they'll be on TV and all.  My coworker Sarah (the brains behind the operation) and I were charged with coming up with some great slogan for the T-shirts.

Not being terribly inventive right now, I went onto the internet to see what I could find.  And boy oh boy, there were some GREAT ones.  And then there were some even BETTER ones that were wildly inappropriate.

Here are some examples of the ones we thought were both appropriate and entertaining:
1. Don't let Breast Cancer steal second base!
2. Bald... it's the new blonde.
3. I'm having a NO HAIR day.
4. I lost my hair, not my sense of humor.
5. Does this shirt make my head look bald?

Some that were not so appropriate, yet very entertaining:
1. Save a life, grope your wife.
2. F*ck cancer!
3. Chemo: about as cool as a honeymoon handjob.

And ones that I just find entertaining for myself:
1. I lost my boobs... I think I put them in my purse somewhere.
2. Looking for an assman.
3. I have chemobrain, what's your excuse?
4. I pay my oncologist BIG BUCKS for this hairstyle!
5. The chemo made me do it!
6. Of COURSE they're fake... the real ones tried to kill me!

I'm sure not all of these makes sense to y'all, especially considering I haven't yet touched on topics like chemobrain (chemo makes you dumb... D-U-M).

We're not quite sold on ANY of the sayings above for our Cancer Boyz, so if you come up with any others that are funny, please feel free to post them here.

On another note, remember when I asked for funny hat suggestions?  Well someone put a link to THIS in my comments section.  Yes.  It's a knit cap that looks like a BOOB.  Do you think that'd be inappropriate as a gift for all the guys shaving their heads? :)