So what does a high maintenance gal (I’m allowing myself to be like this specifically for this adventure, because there have to be SOME perks to fighting cancer) do before the Big Boob Off? I got a gel manicure/ pedicure and had my ultra hip hair stylist give me “show hair” to add some flair to my surgery.
And then I remembered that sexy blue cap I would have to wear… So we decided to get creative and make sure we had something especially stylish for the big reveal when the cap came off in the recovery room. Lots of braids mixed in with the bed head waves.
On July 26th I showed up at Cedars with a posse. Family and friends took over the waiting area with Starbucks and muffins (none of which I was allowed) and Chip gave me the best back rub of our entire marriage. When the surgeons ran late and I was stuck in the pre-op area connected to an IV and heart monitor, Chip then gave me the best foot rub of our entire marriage. It’s interesting how life and death situations can bring out different and unexpected sides of people. I don’t think I’ve ever loved my husband more – and it’s not because of the back/foot rubs (but those helped).
My bilateral double mastectomy with tissue expanders (another perk – I’ve decided to upgrade and never have to worry about those “chicken cutlets,” specifically the one that fell out of my bra at the Mint in 1999) took about 9 hours. My oncological breast surgeon, Dr. Lesley Taylor (who was 7 months pregnant) and my plastic surgeon, Dr. Jay Orringer are my heroes. Not only did they save my life, they have also given me the emotional support and empowered me with knowledge to get through this challenging time. They’ve inspired me with their passion and dedication to their profession/craft. They are artists in their own way. I also need to give props to the nurses on 8th Floor South East – they rock.
I’m not really sure of all the details post surgery and through the weekend because there was little drug button that I could push whenever I wanted to…and I pushed it a lot. But I do remember that by the evening of July 26th, I was propped up in my hospital bed with two little monkeys, gifts from my Mommy. She named them Booby A and Booby B. I immediately renamed them Little F*cker 1 and Little F*cker 2.
Something about breast cancer has affected my language and speech patterns. It’s kind of like Tourette’s Syndrome, but not really. I swear a lot. I’m going to try to get this under control before I get on stage again, I promise.
On July 31, I got the best news possible: The cancer was completely removed by the surgery, there was no evidence of any significant invasion, and my lymph nodes were clear. I will not need chemotherapy or radiation. Yes, I’m one of the lucky ones. There is no limit to my gratitude, and I believe that the power of prayer and healing, positive thoughts from so many people contributed to this successful outcome. I am truly blessed.
Interesting timing…look what finally came to life one year after we shot it: The Dr.’s agree, I’m “Wonderful” 😉 (Click to watch the video)