Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Favorite Summer Driving Song . . . Do You Have One?

Today in NY we are finally getting a reprieve from the super high heat and swampy humidity. I woke up this morning to cool, crisp, light air outside and promptly opened all of my windows. A nice change from the constant running of A/C. As I felt the breeze blowing in I enjoyed the scent of new air roaming through the house. It was only 6:30 and I knew it would grow warmer later on but I didn't want to miss this cool morning.

It got me to thinking about how much I love to drive with the windows down on a cool day. I like to open the sunroof, roll the windows down and blast the stereo. Back in the day before I had a car with air conditioning I used the dreaded 4-60 A/C. My first car was a '75 volvo with a pathetic radio. That car was a lemon but to me it mean freedom (until I broke down in PA alone on interstate 81 . . . but thats a whole other story!) Driving with the music blaring, windows down on the highway felt freeing to me. It still does.

Certain songs are really good driving songs especially in the nice weather. For me that song was always Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard. So today when I was out on this beautiful day I played it over and over on my car stereo. I still think I will never get tired of that one!

What is your favorite driving song? What was your first car? What do you enjoy doing on the best weather days?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Going Gray Just For Fun?

In last year's post Gray Area I talk about trying to accept my graying hair. I decided to stop coloring it last year and am in the process of welcoming the gray and just letting nature take its course. I am still not sure how I will adjust to it as it has been strange to see so many grays popping up and taking residence all over my head. However having said it will always be better than when I was bald from chemo. That will always go down as my worst bad hair day (or rather no hair day) ever.

So I was stunned recently when I heard about celebrities like Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, and Kelly Osbourne dying their hair gray just for the hell of it. Apparently it has become a fashion trend these days. There are apparently twentysomething girls going to the salon having gray put in their hair. It has been seen on the runway as well. With all the women dying their hair to cover the gray it is refreshing to see it coming out in the fashion world. I don't know how long this trend will last but I found it quite interesting nonetheless.

You can check out this article all about it in the New York Post.

What do you think about these celebrities going gray for fun? Do you think this trend will last? Do you dye your hair? Would you ever consider going gray?

Friday, June 18, 2010

What's On Your Bookshelf?

Reading has always been an escape for me. An escape to another place, a way to meet new people, laugh, and travel even if it is all in my mind. These days my mind is way too busy so sometimes, actually alot of the time, and I need to shut it down. I try to go for fiction although I do enjoy some memoir. I go for the easy reads, nothing complicated for me, just light and fun. Sometimes though a good Patterson novel does the trick. I really enjoy his books. Such a fast pace, great story, and so easy to read with its 3 page chapters! My fav books by Patterson are Sail, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Lifeguard, The Beach House and Beach Road.

Today I wanted to share with you a new author I recently discovered. She of course is not new but new to me as a reader. She is Adriana Trigiani. She has written many novels. Most recently I have read 3 of her books. Two of them in her new Valentine Series including Very Valentine and Brava Valentine, about an italian american girl who lives in NYC and works in the family shoe business. I devoured those two books and will find it hard to wait for next February when the 3rd installment in the series comes out. I love stories set in NYC and also with characters who are italian probably because it connects me with my italian heritage. Her books are filled with humor and romance set in the backdrop of NYC. Can't get much better than that for me. Another good novel of hers that I just finished is Lucia, Lucia set during the early 50's in Greenwich village that follows the young life of an italian american seamstress longing for romance and that happy ending.

I for one still enjoy flipping pages in a book, using a bookmark and hearing the binding crackle in a new hardcover. I don't see myself ever going to a Kindle. Although that is so the trend these days with the progression of technology. What about you?

So, what are you guys reading these days? Would love for you to share!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sex and the City 2 . . . Breast Cancer Survivors And Hormone Therapy? I Think Not!

I am a HUGE fan of Sex and the City (SATC). So huge that the show was the inspiration for the title of my memoir Breastless in the City. I was pleased to see that the show addressed breast cancer through Samantha's character during Season 6. As a young single woman going through it myself I thought they handled the topic well and portrayed a realistic view of issues such as hair loss and chemo induced menopause. I applauded them at the time.

Having said that I feel that they have let down breast cancer survivors, myself included, with Samantha's menopause storyline in SATC 2. First let me say that I understand it is just a movie and should be fun BUT since they already addressed breast cancer in a show storyline I was disappointed that Hello! there was no mention of it in this movie. It was as if she had never had cancer. Samantha already went through menopause during her chemo and now she is going through it as a 52 year old woman like it was the first time. Every breast cancer survivor knows that hormone therapy is a no no. Most breast cancers are fed by estrogen mine included and that is why hormones are never recommended for us because it can increase the risk of breast cancer.

I wondered what the writers were thinking having Samantha slap on estrogen, other types of hormone creams, and patches to battle menopause symptoms. She became a walking advertisement for Suzanne Somers' book on bioidentical hormone therapy. Not to mention that they could have at least addressed the life after cancer that so many of us deal with. It was as though Samantha's life never changed. There were no checkups, scans, or emotional struggles related to her cancer experience. I really think that the writers missed an opportunity to bring to light the issues so many women with breast cancer face after the treatment is over.

I am only 40 years old but thanks to my chemo 9 years ago I have been in menopause for the past 2 years. Hot flashes galore, night sweats, crazy mood swings, and dare I admit it low libido. I deal with it. Some days not well but I deal none the less. Even on my most hot flashy days you will never see me slapping on hormone creams. . .

Did you see SATC 2? What are your thoughts on the movie? If you are a bc survivor what do you think of the Samantha and menopause storyline?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Twin Titties . . . A New Low In Breast Cancer Fundraising

When I heard about this I gasped. There is a bar in Minneapolis raising money for breast cancer by having women enter their boobs in a contest. I for one am not a big fan of the "T" word. I prefer "Boobs"not that a word change would have helped quell my disdane for this offensive breast cancer fundraiser. According to the Bootleggers Bar website the winner receives a Victoria's Secret gift card (not too predictable) and a bar tab gift card to encourage more alcohol consumption cause that is oh so healthy. The winners will also have their "dual" posted in the bar no doubt for all the men to drool over. Could this be more disgusting? Oh, but wait. . . it must be ok because it is all in the name of breast cancer research.

And I thought that the KFC debacle and the Men For Women Now Campaign were bad enough. I think that the gawking men are the winners here. This is just more exploitation of women cleverly hidden under the guise of breast cancer fundraising. Because what man doesn't want to help a good cause especially if it involves getting to see some boobs? I like to believe that most men are better than that . . .

Check out the complete article here on

Have you heard about this? What do you think? Are you offended by this "fundraiser"? Do you find the "T" word offensive?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Remembering Dad And Feeling Grateful To Have Made Amends . . .

Today marks the second anniversary of my father's passing. He was only 60 years old. It was pancreatic cancer. He used to tell me when I was growing up that he wouldn't live to see 65 years old. I told him to stop saying that. He never did. And then it happened.

I hate admitting this to anyone but mostly to myself. . . I stupidly thought that losing him wouldn't be as hard as it has been because we weren't that close. His drinking and depression came between us. I can tell you that this has been very tough both as a daughter and a cancer survivor. The survivor's guilt has always been with me even as I just celebrated my 9th year cancer free on 5/31 the same day as my 7th wedding anniversary to Lou. It is bittersweet to have just celebrated the other day and now feeling the pain of loss.
Here is an excerpt from my book Breastless in the City where I share our last conversation on his 60th birthday on 4/6/08 . . .

When he answered the door, I almost didn't recognize him. He had let his short crew cut grow almost as long as his beard. He had lost so much weight that his face was all sunken in. He was there alone. It was just the two of us. We sat and talked for awhile.

After some small talk, he said, "Next time around I will be a better dad."

I wasn't expecting that. I responded, "You did the best you could."

"No I didn't, I did what was best for me."

At that moment all the crap between us didn't matter. I don't remember who hugged whom first. I think it was me. As we embraced, it felt foreign and comforting at the same time. Then he said, "I love my little girl."

And I said, "I love you too."

Then the tears began and I was crying so hard I could barely stop. There were tears in his eyes too, which was a first. At that moment Dad and I had finally arrived at the place it had taken my whole life to get to and we were saying things to each other that we never had before. I don;t think either of us had planned on having that talk. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but I, for one, am glad it did . . .