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.
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.
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
(At that moment during the interview she reaches under her shirt and
grabs the prosthesis and begins to play with it.)
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.
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
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.
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!
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. This is a story about a mother coming to terms with losing her son.During the interview she was cleaning his room.
Life Is Never the Same. I Will Never Be the Same. Those
are only two of the many things I’ve learned since I
lost my son to Rhabdomyosarcoma.
*She starts folding his clothes and putting them into
garbage bags to donate to the goodwill*
Another thing I learned is that God DOES give us more
than we can handle sometimes. If God didn’t give people
more than they could handle we wouldn’t see people end
up in rubber rooms with drool puddles beneath them. We
wouldn’t see people drink themselves to death just
trying to numb the pain. We wouldn’t see parents give
up on life, on themselves and all those that love them
but don’t understand their grief. So, sometimes…God
does give us more than we can handle.
* She goes back to folding again*
I just had to get that off my chest, because if I had a
nickel (okay maybe a dollar with the economy the way it
is today) for every time I’ve had that said to me since
my son died..I wouldn’t be struggling to put gas in my
car and pay my rent every month. I have other children
to live for. And I do thank God for that. If it were
not for my twins who are 5 years old, I honestly can’t
say that I would be able to find a reason to get out of
bed in the morning, much less decorate a Christmas tree
or ice birthday cakes.
*After folding the clothes, she takes the banner
that spelled his name above his bed down, along
with clearing out the rest of the room *
My son was diagnosed with this horrible disease a month
after his 8th birthday. He had an inner ear infection
which wasn’t responding to antibiotics. We went to have
tubes placed in his ears to drain the fluid and that’s
when the mass was found in his right ear. It was
biopsied and I guess I knew even before I knew..a
mother’s intuition..that it wasn’t going to be good.
Nothing could have prepared me though for just how bad
it was.Have you ever even heard of Rhabdomyosarcoma? Me
either. I just remember thinking when I was writing it
down on a piece of paper, that it was the ugliest word
I had ever heard.
She picks up the broom and begins the sweep the
He was admitted the very same day to A.I. Dupont
Hospital and Chemo began almost immediately. I remember
his doctor telling me that although this was a very
aggressive disease, it had already metastasized to his
lungs and that there was no need to make plans for
*Stops sweeping to get the dustpan*
He was wrong. If I had known then, what I know
now..about the disease..I’m not so sure I would have
put my son through all the anguish the last six months
of his life turned out to be..especially the radiation.
I think I would have just spent the time I had left
with him doing all the things he so looked forward to
doing. Things we’d lay in bed and fantasize
about…..But, hindsight’s 20/20 or something like
that. You know…This is the first time I’ve been able
to talk about my son;the first year I couldn’t even
speak his name out loud. I can do that now. Baby
steps,it’s all baby steps,but right now..it’s time to
go play with my other children..lots of hugs and kisses..there are never enough of those. Another thing I learned.
Thanks for reading guys, if you’re New York in 2015 make sure to look out for the Cancer Chronicles.
Yesterday we talked about Laughter therapy and the good it can do for you and others. I was very fortunate that I found theater at a young age. When I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24 I was devastated, I was scared and I was alone. While on my journey towards self-awareness and healing, I began writing, Chemo: A Love Story, at first it was a story filled with anger, bitterness and hopelessness . With time and and memories of people past and present it became a story of Hope, laughter and Chocolate pudding. I originally made it to heal myself and to celebrate the human spirit, now, it has made it into several film festivals around the U.S. It tells the story of two cancer patients who fell in love in the hospital and decide to make it work.
Now for some shameless plugging!
Well I’m at it again this time for my first feature film Ashes, which tells the story of 3 siblings who go on a road trip to bury their fathers Ashes.
Monday we start a new campaign for the feature film Ashes. Hope you will Join us on our journey to help make our project become a reality! We will be releasing the pitch video tomorrow morning! In the mean time check out Chemo: A Love Story and check out the Facebook page for Ashes