Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cocktails, I Mean, Cancer with Coco -- The MOVIE

Finally -- the casting plan for the movie is complete.  The screenplay will be underway soon but after much deliberation my sister's family and I have put together the casting for the movie. Of course, this is all subject to talent availability and hopefully Bono will be free to write the Oscar nominated theme song. Of course - this will be next year's feel good tear-jerker.  Assume a happy ending!

Coco - Courteny Cox or Jennifer Connelly
Ru  - Tina Fey or Patricia Heaton
Dave - Russell Crowe
Sarah - Selena Gomez or Kiera Knightly
Ellen - Anna Sophia
Noah - Justin Bieber
Dad - Bobby DeNiro
Carol - Helen Mirren
Alice - Doris Roberts
Cheek - Alec Baldwin/Kiefer Sutherland/Bruce Willis
Grammy  Flashbacks - Betty White
Mom Flashbacks - Dixie Carter or Elizabeth Taylor
ShiShi - Debra Messing
Patti - Ali McGraw
Jenni - Ashley Judd
Aileen - Julia Louis Dreyfus
Emma - Abigail Breslin
Loudoun - Will Smith
Tall R - Denzel Washington
Sir - Greg Kinnear
AA - Sasha Baron Cohen
Jeneral - Geena Davis
Susan - Laura Linney
John - Kelsey Grammar
Dr. J - Patrick Dinklage
Dr. B - William Holden
Dr. C - Patrick Dempsey/Patrick Wilson/Alexander Skaarsgard
Colette - Kate Winslet
Linda - Jamie Lee Curtis
Sandy  - Meryl Streep
Ed - Clint Eastwood
Kim - Raven/Beyonce
Le-La - Herself
Ron - Will Ferrell/Jim Carrey/Steve Carell/Ben Stiller/Adam Sandler/
Lori - Sara Jessica Parker
Aunt Sue - Sissy Spacek
Shan - Sandra Bullock
Lisa K - Nicole Kidman
Sher - Lisa Kudrow
Suzanne - Juliette Lewis
PKo'D - Robert Downey Junior
Karen - Victoria Beckham
Dave - David Beckham

Cameos: Bud Bonkers, Taco Denn, Jake  and friends.
Filming will be planned on location in Georgetown, New York, Boston, Coco Lounge, Camp S and Cave Hill Academy.

If I've missed any parts --PLEASE comment or re-cast yourself.  All proceeds from this independent film will be donated to research for LeioMyoSarcoma. - ENJOY!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be an OLD Woman

Gram  B-Day about 2004
The first thing a woman thinks about when they tell her she has cancer is her HAIR. Most women spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about their hair and how they should or should not wear it; long or short; color it or not to color it; trendy or classic; straight or curly; thick or thin. It's as much of our identity as our name, color of our skin, profession, religious belief -- it is, for most women, how we perceive ourselves.  Hair may also be what we hide behind or the message we send. 

I've gone through a great many phases of hair in my life. From that first time Mom put highlights in my hair when I was 13 years old, I've been hooked. Hair is an accessory that I can change like a pair of shoes! It's been chocolate brown with caramel highlights and long. It's been short, punky and egglant; it's been platinum Jayne Mansfield blonde; it's been "cry for help" red and I've loved each and every phase -- including my current almost goth soft black with a little splash of blonde by my right jawline.

We change our hair when our life changes; new relationships, ends of relationships; children, death. I even made my hair as close to normal as possible (meaning my lost natural shade) when my Mom was in her last few months battling breast cancer and I wanted her to recognize and remember me. It didn't work, but I felt better.

Lately, I find myself dreaming about my Grammy's luxurious silver curls. Oh she had lovely hair. She started to gray early and I never knew her without a thick head of silver curls. And she was particular about her hair as she was about her grooming in general. Her hair was always clean and "done". You know -- set on curlers and styled at the beauty shop once a week.

Not long ago I had to the good fortune to accompany a friend to a memorial service for Marines. The ceremony was lovely, but I found myself gravitating to the wives and their lovely blue hair. They smelled of White Shoulders and Estee Lauder. Their eyes were bright and their skin was porcelain and crinkly and they were happy.  How I missed my Gram that day. And I couldn't take my eyes off of the hair. 

Why am I so obsessed with the silver hair? Am I afraid I will have to have chemo and lose it? Not really -- I know I will collect all kinds of fun wigs. I see a pink Britney bob. And then I dawned on me...will I ever be that little old lady with the bright eyes and crinkly smile and luscious silver curls?  I think it's because I will be that woman.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kahunas, Confidence or Courage?

So there I am in the pre-screening room at the Betty Lou Ourisman Center at GUH in my stylish hospital gown. Edith told me to make sure it opens to the front. Yay -- that's a great look for all of us as we creep out of the changing room clutching our gowns and hiding behind our handbags. I take my seat with my five minute friends and join in nervous chat with the ladies.  Even the most confident woman has that thousand-yard stare on mammogram day. I had already been at the hospital all morning to talk about a radiation treatment v. surgery for the new mass attached to my large intestine.  We will cover that in more detail later.

So "Sally" comes marching out of the screening room chuckling about how the technician had to take three pics of her boobs because she is so well endowed.  Instantly, we are friendly hens and clucking away about our yearly boob-check. I learn that these three ladies drove up from Dumfries, VA area to have their mammograms. Talk about Friendship! What a great way to encourage each other. I declare that they simply MUST go have a fabulous lunch with a glass of champagne and suggest a few great spots.(Hey maybe that's how I should have planned the day...) We trade a few comments and giggle.  "Betty" looks over and says..."Those are some tights. It takes some confidence to wear those!"

"Ha! Honey- after everything I've been through, I'll wear whatever I want!.  I felt like I was channeling Sally Bowles and her green nail polish  -- because it is pretty!

Was it confidence that made me pick that costume today? Courage or just Kahunas.  I thought they were pretty and why not wear them!?! Or was it because I have a crush on someone and hoped he noticed?  Well, maybe a little bit of all of that. And after all, why not enjoy the pretty things.  After all, Life is a Cabaret Old Chum!

Toodle Oooh!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Depends, No really DEPENDS!

Just when you think that you would never have such a conversation, you find yourself enjoying discussing a conversation about grownup diapers.  How did this happen? Well, in typical roundabout fashion I have become an expert on Depends.

A few weeks ago, my niece -- the Bean, sent me a text begging me to come to visit for the weekend. We had great fun having a slumber party Saturday night and watching Robin Hood. We googled a great many historical facts about Robin Hood( and Richard the Lion Hearted( There was also quite a dispute as to whether Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion is an English rose or just quite plain.  It is still up for debate.

Oh yes...On Sunday the girls -Sissy, Bug, Bean and I set out to be ultra productive. One of our stops was to go see Grandma. Grandma is Sissy's husbands gram. Grandma is smart, sassy, outspoken -- tough on the outside and gooey nougat on the inside. She has been a long time warrior against cancer and thus loved and respected. This also means that she and I have much in common despite our 40 some odd years in age difference.  Grandma is quite nimble with the knitting needles and had fashioned a lovely lap afghan for me. Since she toiled over it and selected the colours to match my living room, I was honored to go see her in person and accept my gift. As you can see, it is quite pretty. Mr. Bonkers loves it too and has claimed it for his own.

Well, like any two old hens, we simply had to discuss our conditions. We both share some sensitivities with the digestive system -- embarrassing, frustrating but it is what it is.  Our commiserations opened up a 30 minute discussion regarding Depends. Yes-- adult diapers. Well -- we talked about the Depends Brand, CVS store brand, alternatives, where to buy them; when they were on sale, who has coupons, and best cost per unit.  Of course this prompted me to grab the iPhone and search away. Now Grandma is on multiple lists to receive coupons, free samples and the offer to go pick up Depends or have them delivered to the door.  We really spent 30 minutes talking about Depends. I think my sister dozed off at one point.

I still hope I never need them, but at least I will know how to get them when I do. laugh but next time you see your great Grandparent or your aging Mom or Dad -- you will find yourself happy to know how to find the right Huggie.

Hugs to all of you! I saw some doctors this week and more to come...I'll keep you posted.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Not your Saturday morning from the 90's

Geez -- it's not even a Saturday morning from the early 2000's!  Just a couple of years ago, I'd hopping up out of bed to hit the gym, the trail or the snooze button after a late Friday night out.  These days a big Friday night is heading out with a good gal pal to see a movie. Last night's feature was RED -- who know a movie about retired CIA agents would be so damn funny!?!

Oh -- hello readers. You are wondering who is the Coco? Well...that's a long and short story. I'm in my mid-40's -- well that's how many years I have been on the planet.  Somehow, I am mentally still somewhere around 28 or 29.  Those were fun, if misguided, times. If you ask others, they will smile and say Coco! -- that kind of sums it up. Life of the party! Friend on which you can Depend! Flirt! Professional. Sister. Daughter.Aunt (one of my favorite labels). Outspoken....the list goes on.  So what? Right?

Right -- Just a 40s are the new 30s woman having a good time and enjoying everything life has to offer. (ALERT) (here is the serious part)Then I started have -- well girly problems. Yikes.A check engine light went of on my forehead. The gyno says (with tears in his eyes...) "Nicole, we got the pathology reports back - you have leiomyosarcoma."  Um..ok...heavy sigh...So that's cancer right? So what do we do next? I'll tell you.

Surgery. Remove 12cm or larger cervical/uterine mass - about 5 weeks in and out of the hospital.
Radiation. 25 external treatments. 3 internal
TPN( That was 4 days in the hospital
Get a job...I'll tell that story another day
Surgery - a WHIPPLE, no not Mr. Whipple with the White Cloud but this : That pretty much took up Winter 2010.
Back to work and do everything you can to have FUN
Ooops...another mass....I'll keep you posted.

Back to Saturday morning....Now instead of dishing with my girls about last night's adventures or lack thereof and how did we spend that much on the tab, I am cleaning house and writing this blog.

So -- here is our blog covenant. I promise to try my best to amuse you, motivate you, support you, did I say amuse?  You are allowed to call me out if I whine or if I am nasty. I promise to change the names to protect the guilty ( you know who you are). Please do send me news that I can use but let's not share horror stories about the C word out there. It's scary enough and Kris Carr said -- Life is too sweet to be bitter.

Loves ya!