I've decided to give you ladies and gents a break from me waxing poetic about diarrhea.
Instead, let me tell you about a wonderful photo shoot I had with the delightful Tamme Stitt Photography
in Kingston. Tamme is the same kick-ass broad who took my original "fuck cancer" photos, and she's the kind of gal who makes you feel totally comfortable from the get-go - which is good because I was very bald, and I was very topless for a good portion of the shoot. She's also super patient, which is also a good thing because not only are my children spastic, but my 4-year-old son, Fiorello, constantly interrupted her photo-taking to show her yet another stink bug carcass he had uncovered in a nearby window. She graciously photographed all of the deceased.
So, for these keeping count, Tamme had to shoot hyperactive children, a bald head, reconstructed breasts and stink bugs. Man, if that doesn't show a photographer's range, I don't know what does.
Anyway, I know a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll stop yammering and let you have a look for yourself. Word of caution: The very last picture is of my reconstructed breasts. If you think you might find this offensive or nightmare-inducing, for God's sake, DON'T LOOK! (Although, if you're easily offended or skittish, what the hell are you doing on my blog anyway?)
Me and my family
There's nothing more important to me - they're the reason I'm fighting so damn hard to make sure my cancer doesn't come back.
|Everybody, this is Nora. She's not impressed by anything. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.|
|When Nora saw my bald head for the first time, she smiled, then shared some of her toys with me. Clearly, I was finally her equal.|
|Nora calls me Mimi - a variation of "My Mommy." It's precious - except when being screamed at 5 a.m. |
|I seriously couldn't ask for a sweeter kid than Fiorello. The thought of him starting kindergarten in the fall keeps me up at night more than thinking about a cancer recurrence. I wonder how lenient NY penal code is for chemo patients who beat up their son's bullies. Hmm.|
|Before bed, Fiorello always gives me a "big, fat yum-yum kiss." Thanks to my chemo, we have to be a lot more careful with these kisses and their associated germs.|
|Most of the time I don't wear the $750 worth of wigs I purchased. |
I've grown weary of my son introducing me, "This is my Mommy. That's her wig."
|This is my husband, Sal. He's pretty much the most amazing spouse ever.
He keeps shit running in our house and prevents me from going insane.That's a full-time job right there!|
|The one thing that's really pissed me off about cancer is that
it's kept me from spending as much time with my family as I would have normally. I
couldn't pick up my daughter for a long time because I was healing from
surgery. The reality of having to hold down a job while battling
chemo fatigue has forced me to put Fiorello in daycare full time and
ship Nora off to her grandparents five days a week. I can't remember if I
said this recently but... FUCK YOU, CANCER!|
|Through it all, we manage to keep a sense of humor, which, in turn, helps us maintain our sanity. Sort of.|
Knitting and stuff
Say the words "cancer" and everyone who's got the talent will immediately whip out their knitting needles and go to town. Seriously. I've never had anyone knit me anything in my life; now, I'm suddenly the proud owner of a menagerie of skull coverings.
|Swear to God, this yarn was the exact color of my Cabbage Patch Kid's
hair. Wonder what she's up to. She's, like, 30-something now. Wait.
Maybe...I'M HER! (Hat credit: Samantha Gonzalez's friend, whose name escapes me)|
|My cover of "The 40-year-old Cabbage Patch Virgin." (Hat credit: Amanda Carmichael)|
|Nipple hat. You knew it was coming. (Hat credit: Jennifer Burns)|
|My attempt at Punk Rosie the Riveter is totally weak. Looks like I'm practicing my hand puppetry. (Hat credit: Amanda Carmichael)|
Now, just me
|My ode to "Pulp Fiction" Uma. Although, being a breast cancer warrior, I couldn't with good conscience put a cigarette in my hand and totally recreate the vibe. (Hat credit: Jennifer Schreiner)|
|Feeling saucy, feeling "Steel Magnolias." If I had hair, I'd totally be hitting up Truvy's Beauty Parlor.|
|Channeling my inner Garbo.|
|I know I joke a lot, but when the reality of cancer is always staring you in the face, you kinda have to...|
|Still to come: Nipple reconstruction and some contouring of the breasts to plump them up and fill in where they've settled. Then the spread in Playboy: Surgical Edition. (Boobies credit: Dr. R. Michael Koch, New York Group for Plastic Surgery)|
Love the hats! I suppose it isn't TMI to say that the reconstruction looks amazing! Capital knockers, indeed. LOLReplyDelete
Thank you! Dr. Koch did a wonderful job. If the surgeon thing doesn't work out, he could totally do Build-a-Bear Workshop.Delete
Gorgeous. As a BC survivor (of 13+ years now!), the mom of a 4 year old, and the wife of the man of my dreams (farts and all) I still understand the fear of recurrence and the absolute dread of not seeing my son grow up. But there are days that I have forgotten that I even HAD cancer. Thank you for sharing, and believe me it will get easier, this will be a memory for you.ReplyDelete
Oh, it makes my heart happy to hear of a 13+ year survivor. Seriously, at one point I would have been happy to buy some time, just long enough to see my kids get older and let them remember me. But now I say "Fuck that! I want to spoil my grandkids, crack them out on candy, then send them home with their parents." :-DDelete
These are gorgeous, and so are you!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Cathy! I've gotten so many great pics out of this taxing journey. Still, I want my damn hair and energy back!Delete
Heather- you are beautiful. This post just made me smile for so many different reasons.ReplyDelete
Aw, thanks, Bianca! If I can make readers alternate between tears and laughter, then I think I can say I've struck the right balance. :-)Delete
What a beautiful post. The pix of you and your family bring tears to my eyes, and they are tears of joy, Heather. Keep thinking about those grandkids, and your children's weddings, and paying for college, and living through their teen years, and growing old and gray with your man. You look gorgeous bald. And what great new breasts you got!ReplyDelete
Heather, you look beautiful in these photos, and they brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy for you, and for your dreams. Keep dreaming them, gal. You will see those grandkids, and those weddings. You will spend nights wondering how you'll get the kids through college, and through their teenage years. And you will grow old and gray with your man, and have time to look back on a long, rich life. Also, hot new breasts!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carrie! Some people took exception to the fact I posted a pic of "the new girls." But you know me - I don't give a shit. These are my battle scars and I wear them proudly.Delete
Beautiful pictures and a fabulous attitude! I recognized your sons pic and realized he and my daughter willow are classmates :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Jennifer! Yes, adorable Willow! What a small world. I'm sure Fio told her all about "Mommy's wig" and "Mommy's surgery," which he was not allowed to perform. :-DDelete