Month: August 2014

Conversations with cancer: Twilight Zone or Friend Zone?

As I’ve always mentioned on my blog, dating in general is pretty difficult, but add cancer into the mix and it’s damn near impossible. Today I decided to ask my cancer what his thoughts are on the matter.

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Tales From the Diagnosed: Breast Becomes Her.

While interviewing over 150 cancer patients for a new stage show I’m developing. Leanne’s’ worry free attitude was very refreshing, silly and cathartic.

Leanne:

Saturday night I was hanging out at a friend’s house
enjoying a barbecue with a small group of friends. We
were enjoying lemon margaritas and getting silly. We
were taking a picture and one gal jokingly put her hand
on my boob. Because, you know, it’s not a real boob.

The next thing you know, I whipped out one of my
prostheses and all the gals were poking and squishing
it with interest. The two guys in the room, however,
suddenly became very uncomfortable. This was really
funny to me because it doesn’t even look like a real
boob.

(At that moment during the interview she reaches under her shirt and
grabs the prosthesis and begins to play with it.)

making_things_difficult

 

It’s a tan, rounded pyramid shape with an absorbent pad on the side that touches your skin.

If it was lying on a table and you had no prior knowledge of breast forms

you probably would have no idea what it was. And yet

the guys were embarrassed and uncomfortable. Now I was
always a modest person about my body, I never talked
about boobs this much before. But then cancer engulfed
my life and now the words “breast” and “boob” are part
of my daily conversation.”Breast cancer isn’t like
getting lung cancer or skin cancer or liver cancer. You
can talk about your liver and no one gets embarrassed
or uncomfortable. Mentioning your lungs over dinner is
never crass or inappropriate. But breast cancer? It’s a
private, very feminine, and sexual part of your
body. It’s kind of weird. And kind of funny.
Especially when men get embarrassed about it. I could
talk about a liver transplant and no one would care.
But I talk about breast reconstruction and it’s
suddenly embarrassing conversation. Women don’t seem to
care because they all have boobs.

(Well okay, most of

them do – currently I am one of the few that don’t.)

Boobs aren’t a big deal to women. You mention boobs in
mixed company, though, and the men don’t know what to
do. Is it okay to talk about it? Do I laugh? Do I act
interested? Do I act aloof? What’s appropriate? If I
look at her chest am I a pig even though they’re fake
inserts? Is it okay to notice? What do I do?!! Last
summer I went a good month after my mastectomy without
a prosthesis. My chest was too tender so I waited until
I was fully healed. Right after I got it, though, Bill
and I went out with another couple to the movies. The
guy was a longtime friend and even he wasn’t quite sure
how to handle it.”Suz, ummm, I don’t quite know how to
say this… you look nice??”Poor guy. So a note to the
men out there: I can’t speak for all breast cancer
survivors, but as far as I’m concerned you can relax.
You aren’t going to say or do anything to offend me.
When I got breast cancer any hang ups I had about
talking about boobs went out the window. They had to.
Which actually isn’t such bad thing. I think our
society has given far too much power and intrigue to
breasts. Yes they are beautiful and desirable, but they
are also a normal part of the human body. Let’s lighten
up about boobs, shall we? Instead, let’s laugh about
them and have some fun.

Conversations with my cancer ridden body: Shakespeare had cancer!?

Today we hit 50% of our fundraising goal! Thank you so much for all the love, support and donations!  Words can’t describe how honored and thankful I feel….  Even though most of you don’t know who I am , several of you donated anyway. All I can simply say is Thank you, thank you for believing in a world where we can use laugher as a way to heal, communicate and educate.  That means the world to me!!! As a special bonus we are releasing one of the many conversations with my cancer ridden body videos. Come watch me argue with the physical manifestation of Cancer.

Also Don’t forget to DONATE Now! 50% is great, but it only counts if we hit 100%. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ashes/chemosabe-the-web-series

Tales from the diagnosed: A Ball to remember.

Hey guys, as most of you know I interviewed over 150 cancer patient to help a new stage show I am doing here in New York. I wanted to share some of the interviews with you, because I feel it’s important to hear everyones story; from mothers, to fathers to friends to even the suicide hotline.

Frank

Feb 2001 I was headed to Hawaii and decided to get a tanning session to avoid burning on my trip. Got out of the tanning bed and noticed my left nut was hanging lower. Felt it and it was maybe 10-20% larger but felt hard at the bottom ya know, less squishy. So like any self respecting hypochondriac, I Googled testicular cancer and Called the doc on Monday, appt Wednesday. Had it removed Monday. Two weeks of radiation. Six weeks later, I suddenly lost ALL hair on my torso in the shape of CA to include key lymph nodes. Three months later it grew back just as quickly. Tired for a year. I have 9 permanent tattoo dots for radiation alignment. Scary at the time with young kids. There was one funny part. Had to lie face up on a table feet together and knees apart for 90 minutes while a pretty young Asian technician X-rayed me and drew on me to tattoo my dots and create my X-Ray lens. At the end she had to scrub off all the markings with soap and warm water. One is on my pubic bone. I was furiously thinking about baseball to divert my attention. Atleast she tried to make small talk though, she eventually blurts out “has anyone ever told you that you look like Toby Maguire?” (This was shortly after Spider-Man 2 came out, and yes I did). To this day I don’t know if she was just nervous or legitimately trying to flirt. My ball and I will never know…

Also guys. In addition to the Cancer Chronicles I’m developing for the stage. Please check out my Kickstarter for my new web series “Chemosabe” 

Check out our new prologue as well!

 

 

handbook for the recently diagnosed

 

recently deceasedI wish there was a handbook for the recently diagnosed! Oh there is, it’s called CHEMOSABE!
DONATE NOW! We are 300 dollars away from making our daily goal. With YOUR help, we can continue to tell truthful, humorous stories that touch upon the lives of people who are affected by cancer.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ashes/chemosabe-the-web-series

Check out the new prologue on our kickstarter page!