This is the phrase I find myself uttering often. A dear friend, a colleague, or the lady at the makeup counter at Macy’s have found themselves in a conversation about my boobs. It doesn’t always start that way: a simple “how are you?” is a tricky question to answer these days. So by the time I’ve said “oh just killin’ this cancer” I can see their well meaning eyes start to cross. They completely glaze over as I’m detailing my fertility treatments (aka The Great Harvest of 2014), and before you know it, I’m drawing lines around my boobs with my fingers describing my future scars like a pectoral Picasso.
So sometimes I bail. “Oh, it’s a whole long boob story…”. Because it is. On September 24, 2014 at age 30, I was diagnosed with stage 2B ductal carcinoma: in-situ and invasive. Fancy words for breast cancer. Now as far as cancer goes, I have the Cadillac of tumors. It’s slow growing, highly treatable and not really interested in spreading. My doctor calls it an “old lady cancer.” I always knew I was ahead of my time! Picture a lump sitting in a BarcaLounger eating Cheetos and enjoying the warm, cozy studio apartment I’ve been providing for it on Left Breast Lane. No one would want to leave that, am I right? Well, sorry buddy. I’m the landlord from hell and it’s eviction time.
Which brings me to chemo. Let me be clear when I tell you I did NOT want to do chemo. I begged, coaxed and flirted with every doctor I have in an attempt to avoid this. There were vanity reasons, of course. I’m a Leo and we lions love our hair. But there are fertility reasons too. Chemo is basically an indiscriminate A-bomb that gets dropped in your body, nuking everything in its path, but I’ve got some eggs in there that I wasn’t quite ready to cook. So I put a couple of those suckers on ice (see aforementioned Great Harvest) as a back up plan. Ok, check! Now back to being vain!
There are many unknowns in chemo treatment. The side effects are gnarly but it wasn’t guaranteed that I would experience all of them. Except one. Hair loss. I’m an actress. I make my living with my appearance to some degree. So being confronted with the idea of my whole body changing has been a tough one. Oh, and for the record, telling me how beautiful Natalie Portman looked with a shaved head or sending me pics of a waify Anne Hathaway is not helping. They do not have cancer. They do not have the nausea, bone pain or paralysis. They are not struggling to feel like themselves at every moment of the day. They just look really good with a buzz cut.
Which leads me to the blog! I desire to feel as great as I can during this time. I still want to be sexy, to take risks, to challenge what even I view as beautiful. So I’m pulling out all the stops. This is not time to bust out a beanie and hide. I’m going to try to live as loudly as I can. Cancer is not just an old person’s game anymore. There are many young, vibrant and fashion loving women out there who want to look their best, even when we’re feeling like crap. On this blog, I’m going to share my beauty tips, fashion ideas and diet changes that have altered my life drastically. And I want your help. If you have ever been affected by cancer, tell me your tips! If you’re just interested in my journey, send a hello or a word of encouragement! But most of all, enjoy! 2015 is my year with cancer. Might as well make it a beautiful one!