Wednesday, October 28, 2009

dreams and quotes and things I don't want to forget.

I had a horrible dream last night that Jason and I were spooned next to each other on a metal table in a dark store front at night. It was my surgery day and this doctor I didn't know came in and said "it turns out we are dealing with something MUCH bigger than we thought". Just the way she said made me wake up with chills and tears. I woke Jason up with my reaction and told him the dream and he simply said (in classic Jason high/silly/reassuring voice), "don't dream that Crescent." That was all I needed to hear for some reason. I fell right back to sleep and had great dreams the rest of the night.

Just wanted to remember that.

Still waiting for the surgery date but it will for sure be the week of the 9th. Although that is conflicting with a procedure my poor mom needs to have done too so I'm feeling a little anxious about making all that work. I would be totally understanding if she can't be here for this but it will break her heart. So we are working all that out. All of sudden I am thinking of all these things that need doing. Hotels for family. Forms for leave at work. Hiring a temp and then training them. Getting my work stuff all pulled together in general. Buying weird surgery bras. It's a lot.

Some of my favorite moments of this whole thing has been the emails from my family. Here are some of my favorite excerpts in and out of context.

Kendra in reply all to my family email I sent today: "And can I get a YYYAAAAHHHHOOOO for all of the good fortune coming our way! Next on the agenda, I win the lottery. And everyone will prosper. When this happens, I will be buying new robes and boob pillows for EVERYONE!!!!"

Mom: "No shit, Sherlock. Calvin and I just lay in the bed, saying nothing, just holding hands. I have never been so stressed except for your accident. Oh, and you just get your hair done, Little Missy, and I will see what I think about it. Love, love, love, Momma"

Jacy after hearing that my blood levels may have shown cancer spread: "I guess this is what they mean when they say the diagnosis and treatment journey is a roller coaster."

My dad has said many great things but mostly via phone. My favorite so far was when I called him yesterday to tell him there was no spread. I couldn't get it together but squeaked out "all clear daddy" and then lost it. He said "All clear? Are these tears of joy? Or is there a but coming?" with total ALMOST relief but a tinge of panic in his voice and I laughed and said "No butts coming dad." and he held the phone away to tell my mom and said "All clear! No butts!"

Favorite Jason moment is hard to pick. He has said some hilarious things. Some profound things. Some heartbreaking things. And, like a magic trick, has known exactly when to not say a single thing.

I guess the best was Monday when he was driving me home and I made the mistake of telling him about the guy in the waiting room that told me not to use my cell phone. He was THIS close to turning the car around and finding him and doing god only knows what he was so angry.

Then I told him about the old black guy and what he said about "we do what we gotta do to stay well" and of course started crying. I cry a lot lately for good reasons mostly it seems. And Jason put his hand on my knee and said "God dammit Crescent. You always do that. Restoring my faith in humanity....dammit."

OH and my dad just sent an email that FOR SURE has his best quote so far. It was in reply to a family email I had sent out about what all I need for surgery and Kendra's earlier quote. And me misspelling "circumstances". My dad LOVES my typos and misspellings. Always has. I once put a sign on my door as a pre-teen that said "Please konck before entering". That was his favorite. it is.

Dad: "C., done deal on stuff needs. K, ,lottery is a great idea. Wonder why more people don't have it? Here is a toast to good fortune and blessings and to weird circumstandes or circumfloppies."

I have lots of great ones from friends that I will post soon too.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here We Go!

Sorry for the blog delay but I've been too nervous about the tests to write. The great news is that they are all clear!!!! Bone scan - clear. CT scan - clear. chest x-ray (crayon hahahah) - clear! Genetic test - negative.

I am one blessed little to medium sized chica, I tells ya.

So lumpectomy (partial mastectomy) and lymph node removal in two weeks. Then radiation. Then chemo. Then hormones. Then I'm having a friggin baby world! You hear that universe!?????? I thought so.

I have felt the love and prayers and vibes and worry and wishes and I know they made all the difference.

Yesterday was hard and for blog sake I feel like I should recount it but I'm too happy. Let's just give it a bullet point and picture and call it a recap eah?

  • Barium made me throw up

  • met an old black man with cancer that broke my heart but also totally inspired me

  • some dillhole told me to get off the phone while I was talking to my dad trying to update him on my EFFING BREAST CANCER TESTS! and then started crying which made me mad but I cry when angry for some reason.

  • The food in the cafeteria was good actually.

  • Jason and I were just wrecked at the end of the day. So much worry and no sleep and whatever just had us down and out.

  • And this was the only picture I could muster the energy to take and speaks volumes about how I felt yesterday. Oh yes....I felt VEWWWYYYY SOWWY FOR CRES CRES yesterday. Gag. I snapped out of it though.

But that is all over with and I am ready ready ready for next steps and healing.

FUNNY STORY - Jason and I went to watch football, like we always do, at Gannons and I wanted to read some papers. Like REAL papers not on my iPhone. I'm like my Dad that way. We live for a good paper read. So I went on a hunt for as many as I could find and started at the Jewel. I asked if she had The Onion and she said "no we don't carry that anymore" and in my flustered disappointment I simply replied "Steaks". I meant thanks and s'okay I guess but I said the word steaks. STEAKS. Then I knocked over a Fanta display and got the hell out of there! (last part not true)

Friday, October 23, 2009


You want to hear my most irrational fear from all of this? That I'll be TOO positive and funny and then will end up dying like every "plucky, positive, fighter" in every GD movie and book. So I think I will try to think something REALLY mean at least once a day just to keep my edge. Like sometimes on the train I don't want people to move at ALL. Like they have every right to open up their purse or whatever but I just want them to be totally still and feel like pushing them really hard.

THERE! Now I won't die. Phew. That was easy.

SIDEBAR: We should also consider these are the same things they say about serial killers too know.....sleep light and all that.

"Real nice fella. Kept to himself. Always smiling."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just a swingin'

Feeling MUCH more stable today. I'm sure that will change again but I'm going to enjoy it for now. I changed primary care doctors today. I see her next Friday to discuss anxiety and therapy and nutrition. I'm really looking forward to it. She is the doc to two of my best friends and they adore her. My current doctor hasn't had the time or inclination to even call me to say "Oh crap. Sucks about the cancer " after over ten years of being her patient. So that's done. I need to take care of myself on all fronts and this is a good step in that direction.

God Calaban. Try and relax for once why don't you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

nothing but net

Started my day by dropping a pumpkin seed down my cleavage.

Ended day by dropping a giant chunk of apple down the very same cleave age.

Shit....maybe these breats are more trouble than they are worth!!!!

so basically when I stand up and shake out my bra it will be like a fall festival all over the floor. I hope a pumpkin and Freddy Kruger mask don't fall out too. Or maybe I do. That would be extra funny and impossible.

High Anxiety

I'm feeling a little nerved out this week but that's normal, I'm sure. My blood work showed some slightly elevated calcium levels so I have to have a bone scan and a ct scan and a chest x-ray and more blood work on Monday. The surgeon said it's just to be super careful and make sure we don't miss anything like other tumors in the body. I was so hoping to be done with the tests so I could just get to the surgery but that's not what this adventure has in store, I guess. AND she's right. If there is more out there let's find it and get it now instead of waiting until it's too late. But let's all really hope and prey that it's all clear. I really want that. Obviously.

I spent a few hours last night with a dear friend that had a double mastectomy and reconstruction last March. She shared her story and even let me see and feel the new breasts and they look really great and felt like...well...firm boobs! She is so strong and honest about it and open. I really felt blessed to have someone like that to talk to. I have to say I woke up leaning in the bi-lateral mastectomy direction for the first time since all of this happened. I just don't want to ever go through this again and if that means out with the old and in with the new, so be it.

What else....oh the Wilco show was great. The first song, Via Chicago, brought the tears pretty hard core for me AND Jason. It's always been a pretty resonate song for us......the lovely melody playing constantly but then the crashes and dissonance of life rearing her ugly head while you are just trying to enjoy your songs. It was intense and profound to say the least. We just kind of held each other and let it out and felt we always do.

Thankfully the rest of the concert was a little less emotional for us. I mean it was but in a happier way. It's funny because when I walked into the concert after a fun dinner at Publican with out of town friends I thought "Awesome. Wilco, fun night, let's just not think about the cancer tonight, Crescent." Of course it was all I thought about. Especially after that moment with Jason. But that was alright. Good even. And I reckon that will just be the case for awhile. How can it not be?

It was the first time I've been able to listen to music since this all started without shutting it off the second it turned beautiful or sad. So there's another good step because I don't want to lose music. I want to use every drop of it to guide me through. And what better way to realize I can listen to music again, even if it does break me down a little, than a Wilco show. The band that kind of feels like just mine and Jason's right now even though we have to share them with the world. I was hoping, and still am, that Wilco would kind of be the soundtrack for me being pregnant this spring or summer or winter or fall, but for now it appears it's going to be our soundtrack for getting through this, and that is also fine. It's all good traveling music regardless.

Look at any clock telling time
Sing some strange verse
From some strange song of vines
And you'll be where you want to be

Man. Might be time for a Xanax ladies and gentlemen. But it feels good to get all that down. It's all been on the spin cycle in my brain the past few days.

OKAY FUNNY TIME!!!!!! I'm sure most of you have seen this but it cracks me up. I love when the boyfriend cat quietly says "right". Can you believe cats can make those sounds? I feel like it would feel good to do that. Get some toxins out or whatever. Plus be TERRIFYING!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

this house is CLEAN!

Yesterday Matt, Erica, Tonya and Megan sent me and Jason away to watch football and proceeded to clean the living S out of our apartment. Then Anne got take out from my favorite Italian place in the world, Caro Mio and we all hung out in the sparkly clean home they made for us. What a gift. I woke up this morning and walked through the apartment again and felt like a new person. Every corner is clean and organzied. Except my room but I have to take care of that little war torn Kosovo myself.
Tonight is the Wilco concert with Jason. We are soooo excited! Then home to admire my apartment some more!
Chest x-ray this week but that's it as far as appointments go.
Funny time. I was texting my middle sister, Kendra, last week about the chest x-ray but apprantly my iPhone thinks that when I type x-ray I MEAN crayon. Makes sense. Wut???
So she was all freaked out asking people at work about it. "My sister has to have a chest crayon! Do you know what that is? Is it painful?"
We got it all worked out now after much laughings.

Friday, October 16, 2009


FINALLY some GOOD news! I saw my surgeon's number come up on my phone and almost puked with anxiety. BUT listen to this!

MRI shows no other masses or spots in either breast. (breat....I actually typed that again but fixed it!)

AND the tumor is a little smaller than they thought! 2cms. Still have a long road ahead but dang....that felt good to hear.

Next step is waiting for the genetics tests.

Man. That was a great moment. I cried harder than I have in days in the work bathroom but in the best way ever.

It's all this love I've been eating I'm telling ya!

In other cancer news Jason got me a giant jug of Kombucha that we are going to try tonight. Romance! hahahahah It's supposed to be good for cancer.....treating it...not giving it to you. I will report bag on how much it makes me gag or not tomorrow.

Love, love, love,

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Ahhhh Jason. There has to be a word for loving someone as much as I love him but I just can't find it. We had the MRI today and the blood work. Incidentally, they were playing Thriller in the blood lab. What? Yes. It's true.

Anyway, twice today J and I have talked about the real deal. The mastectomy. First I should say that I was worried that Jason would shut down during this journey. That he would just go into "guy mode" and get me where I need to be and say as little as possible. The opposite has ended up being true. He has talked and talked about his feelings. He has cried with me. Made me laugh. Made me think and loved me in a way that takes away a single doubt about true love. Dramatic? Yes. True? You know it.

We just had an hour talk about everything and about five times he said "You know all I care about is you being better, right?" and I said "Of course. But my vanity and sense of being a woman is killing me with the decision making." He said "I know. But you will always be who you are and that is all I love.".

Then we talked about how lovely really loving someone is. And it is. I know a lot of you have that with a partner but I also know a lot of you have that with friendship. It sounds SO over the top but that's really all that matters. Just love as much as you can and be loved. It is like the best medicine the universe has to offer.

Today was fine. Something weird happened in the MRI with the saline in my I.V. where I was certain I was gonna barf all over the MRI machine but I got it together. Then I had some blood work in the Micheal Jackson Memorial Blood Lab and then got some nuts and iced tea and in a weird way felt like a million bucks. Another thing off my list. Step by step this will be okay.

Okay time for bed. I just promised myself I'd blog every day until this is okay again.

Love to all that have sent gifts and notes and comments on here. You are all outstanding people. Love love love to all.

Nigh nigh,


PS - I was just asking Jason for a funny end to this entry and said "J. Didn't we make a funny cancer joke today?" and he replied, in his classic Jason voice...."I would NEVER make a cancer joke, dude."

Lies. He's still hoping Make A Wish will call and get us a new TV. LIES!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yeah blog is pink now... lame. I feel like a lemming. BUT it just seems the right thing to do until the storm passes.

Revelation of the moment. I was thinking about the second to worst case scenario last night, which still involves me living and breathing and having a long life. Bi-lateral mastectomy and chemo. I'm terrified of those two things but will do what I have to do. Obviously most of that is vanity. I don't want to lose my boobs and hair. At all. Who does? No one. That's who. BUT it washed over me while I was on my walk home from the train that no matter what, my inside REAL self is solid. I like who I am and how I feel inside pretty much all the time these days and nothing can shake that. In fact I can almost feel that me getting stronger and more aware as I move through this experience. Thank god. I can't imagine being worried about the tertiary as well as my spirit guts. My core is happy and peaceful and is loved and loves. My hair will grow back and I'll just get a set of circa 1998 C cups and call it a day. I mean I realize it's harder than that but knowing that those who love me love ME while facing all these ugly possibilities just makes me want to be the best person I can be forever. I can do that without hair or boobs for a few months.

That being said, (I hate that expression) I still am doing my nightly mantra of "lumpectomy, radiation, hormone reoccurring anything". I say that 5 times before falling asleep. That may not be the healthiest but I'm just one man for god's sake!

Now on to more important things. I've had a lot of calls, letters, emails, Twits asking.....

"Hey crescent. Long time/First time. Sorry to hear you have cancer and all that but what we REALLY need to know is how Calaban is handling all this trauma in the home?"

A: He's a wreck. Can't eat....can't sleep....worried sick.

I mean look at that torment on his face!!!! First he loses his job, then he falls off the wagon and now THIS! We are screening therapists in the Hamptons this weekend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


One other funny thing. I have ALWAYS had a problem typing the word BREAST correctly. I always type BREAT or BREATS. Now that I have to type it all the time I realize what a real problem this is.

But it adds some levity. Breat cancer. hhahahhaha.....oh whoops......nope. Still not funny. (come's KINDA funny. admit it.)

The Why (M...C...A..)

I took last night home alone to do some crying and sleeping and Project Runway watching and thinking. It helped a lot I think. I woke up today and feel like I understand why this is happening more clearly.

I haven't lived a healthy life for years and years. Not like John Goodman unhealthy, but never really paying attention to what I eat or drink or don't do. I was very healthy as a teen and even early college but then just threw all that out the window in the spirit of "living in the NOW dude". Not saying I did this BC thing to myself but nothing shocks you into reality about your body faster than "you have cancer". I keep having these waves of feeling really sorry for myself but I found today that when I focus on what changes I'm making to my health I feel better instantly. It's a positive to focus on that has nothing but good results. For the first time it doesn't feel like "oh crap. I guess I should get healthy and lose weight....sigh" it's more like "this is it. go. do this now." Plus I need to be strong in body and in spirit for this journey ahead.

I like it. It's being forced on me by the universe or fate or whatever, yes, but I'll take it. It's time.

Okay....hmmmm....something funny now.....

OH! This is a good one. I accidentally blew a kiss to a vendor as she left today! I was on the phone with my dad talking insurance and recovery and water heaters and what not and she left a card on my desk and started waving and for some reason I blew her a kiss. I was so embarrassed but then....SHE BLEW ONE BACK! It was so funny. It all happened so fast.

Monday, October 12, 2009


that just made me so angry I almost had to talk a walk. "battle scars" from lipo???? Wow. wow. wow. I just found a good place to aim my anger for a few days. hahahahahha


So met with surgeon on Friday. It was right out of a movie. Big doctor-ey office with bookshelves and wood. Giant desk and Jason and me on the other side trying to keep our crap together. (yes even CANCER won't get me to cuss on my blog!!!)

The visit started out with the surgeon (she is amazing by the way. we love her.) saying, "well I guess if you are going to have to have breast cancer this is the one to have. That is good news. MORE good news is that the cancer is hormone receptive which means I am a candidate for hormone replacement therapy after radiation and chemo (still hoping no chemo but most likely will happen).

Next steps. Thursday is genetic testing and MRI. The genetic testing will be a big factor in the surgery decision. Most women who test positive end up doing a bi-lateral mastectomy (both sides) so we are hoping I don't have the gene. The MRI will determine if they are missing any more masses and the actual size of my current tumor. As of right now they think it's under the 4 mm mark which is good but can't be sure without MRI.

Once we get all these results back we (I say we because Jason is my team mate on this and I couldn't do it without him) decide what kind of surgery I will be having. No matter what I pick they will remove the sentinel (main) lymph nodes at that time to see if it's escaped at all.

So that is where we are now. Friday was terrifying and sad but once we were able to get it together a bit we both realized there was more good than bad news and that we just have to take it day by day.

I feel like I should say something funny now. Um. OH I have one. On Saturday one of my best friend's sisters sent me a giant flower arrangement with "fight it" wishes attached. It was like almost as big as me. For real. Ask anyone. Anyway, Jason woke up after me and I told him to go look in the foyer at the flowers and I think he wasn't quite awake yet because he said "WHOA! that is the STEINBRENNER of PLANTS!"

No idea what that means but it made me laugh very hard.

Friday, October 09, 2009

welp....'s cancer. BUT it's only stage 2 which is way better than stage three. I meet with the surgeon tomorrow to see what's next. I'm doing okay actually. Three things that have been lovely since I found out.

1. Jason.
2. My oldest sister telling me that my she and my middle sister "are sisters again" thanks to this. That made my birthday. They are always great but have had some hard times and found each other again through this. I think I might have cried harder over that than anything because it made me so happy.
3. The realization that I have more love in my heart and in my life than I ever imagined. That will get me through.

I'm ready to fight. Up for it all. Feeling lucky and amazed that I'm, literally, facing my biggest fear and it's really not that bad. I'm scared but ready. Sad but joyful. Certainly the furthest from alone I've ever been. Let's get it done.

Love to all,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Oh Tom Petty...

you were so right. The waiting is the hardest far. Let's pray it remains the hardest. I have never felt so anxious 24/7 in my life. It sucks. Not as much as cancer would suck of course but I'm hoping for good news.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Biopsy over. Was kind of a nightmare but that's just because for some reason the novacaine didn't work the first round but none of us realized that until the cut was made and the needle went in. I actually screamed. I haven't screamed in pain in a long long time. BUT it's over and I loved the doctors and they were so great and sorry that it went down like that. I'm fine now for the most part. Just a little sore. They are pretty sure that surgery is the next step but who knows. I'm fine with that really but they better knock me out.

Jason took me to Naha for a super fancy lunch afterwards and that was really wonderful.

Results on Wednesday of next week. So until then I'm just going to relax and enjoy my weekend home in Stevens Point.

Lots of love,

PS - my experience is so not the norm so if any of you ever have to have this done you have pretty much a 98% chance of no pain at all. Mine was a fluke. A seeringly, painful, fluke.