Friday, October 26, 2012

The end of Breast Cancer awareness month

My dad trying to obey the "no crying rule" before may mastectomy, wasn't easy for anyone.

This is the end of breast cancer awareness month and it made me think (yes that can only mean I need to  blog). BEFORE I got stupid dumb breast cancer I was a huge supporter of this cause, like massive. Just ask any team member of Cure or Bust and they will tell you how hard I tried to raise money for CNY Komen. I have a love for emails especially.  I always wanted the team to focus on the celebration of life, whether it is the lives fighting, surviving or lost I wanted to celebrate their battle, nothing says celebrate more than Jello-O shots! I wanted people to go to the race and be empowered by the pink sea of survivors, to see their family walking next to them to show their support and to see the friends who are wearing tutus honoring their friends. The day is really incredible! Did you register yet? I owned pink tie dyes with ribbons and other paraphernalia to show support. I would have people say to me "When did you have breast cancer?" I would reply "NO NO NO I never had it I am just supporting the cause". I was all about breast cancer awareness before then WTF May 5th came and smacked me.

I had no clue what was going to happen but I knew I wanted to be a survivor. I only told very few about the lump, the mammo and the lumpectomy, why worry anyone when it was probably nothing. I still remember standing in my doctor's office and hearing her say "I had to look at the name 5 times on this pathology report". I knew I had fucking cancer she didn't have to say it. The blog was born! Literally, instantly I wanted it out there. Yes, the photos came after but the idea was brewing.  I wanted to be public about it because that is how I was handling it. I was so scared because yes I knew women who won but I knew so many that died. I lost my mother from tragedy at 1 so the reality of my kids growing up without me was too fucking real. The harsh truth of my dad without my mom scared me for Tom. Death is fucked up and leaves an aftermath of pain that is embedded forever and I did not want that for my people. Plus I sparkle way too much!

So as I post on FaceBook or blog it's my way of spreading awareness of cancer. I want people to be aware of ALL stages and to hear so many different stories. Listen to Jackie, Ashley, Dolores, AnneMarie, Kate, Shari because their story by help you or someone you know. Yes if you actually read through my blog I do talk about other cancers but people I have breast cancer so that is what my focus is. I did not get the "easy" cancer I got CANCER. I was fortunate enough to have caught it early, but still suffering from all it brings. I have scars and surgeries and more doctor's appointments and tests then I ever want for anyone. Easy my ass and I got a big ass! I am doing all this STUPID DUMB BREAST CANCER for all those fighting, being diagnosed, and leaving this earth. I am raising money and awareness for them. I want people to see a small part of my journey and what the harsh reality can be. People walked away for the show with that and more. The pride in my family, my children, husband and friends eyes of being a part of this was awesome! They get it and they are my soapbox from where I yell, very loudly I might add.
I am done with the negativity- do not bring it to my page or the posts. I am here to raise awareness. If  you do not like it, I am sure there is another blogger you will like, none with fabulous shoes like me:) But this is not about me, it is about stupid dumb breast cancer and those it affects. I have raised the bar (Pink Stiletto anyone?) in what is expected of the pink ribbon.  November 1st does not end Breast Cancer Awareness month for me because I am aware every time I look in the mirror, I am painfully aware. I hope you all continue to read my blog, post on Face Book and join my Cure or Bust team because I am not stopping. I am not stopping until the pink ribbon is replaced by a pink stiletto!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Some thought I could barely get 200 people at Pascale's, some thought that strangers wouldn't come, some thought they wouldn't drink (Pink Stilettos were sold!!), some thought NO ONE will come (OK the last one was me) but people came!!! So many friendly faces I wish I could have talked to all of you.  Almost all my family (losers better come to the next one!), friends from Albany/Boston/Rochester seeing them made me so happy.  People I have never met but am so thrilled to have now and survivors that all share a special connection. We estimate that close to 600 people came through Pascale's on Sunday, not all at once but at one point it was crowded. Everything went so fabulous, the staff at Pascale's is just incredible. Brian, the girls behind the bar, the extremely tall guy who made me feel dwarf-like, Deb and Neil you guys are all the bomb digity!! I hope that all of you who gave your email address use the $10 gift certificates because the food is incredible. My bouncers kept a tight watch on the door and did not let me down. The t-shirt crew held the back of the bar under control and even sold a TON of bracelets (my Sarah thanks so much sweetie). Nikki did her best to keep my lips nice and glossy. Tom maintained the crowd and even reminded me of some names I forgot, love that guy. Too bad MC was stuck in the back and doesn't know what the hell was going on! And then there is Genevieve...not sure what to say but she amazes me. I was so proud of the images she choose and stunned at how many. It is clear now how much they have helped me and now they have helped so many others who came through. My girlfriend Karen looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "I had no idea what you went through". YESSSS that is exactly what I wanted, the real side of stupid dumb breast cancer, drains, scars, pain, friends, family so much more than a pink ribbon.

I went to the bank and deposited the donations and tickets with such pride. We raised (after expenses like some prints, food) $10,876!!!! I am still getting and accepting donations for this event until the end of the month. So do not hesitate to write that check. This grand total will be divided between Stand up to Cancer and CNY Komen in Cure or Bust's name. Pretty friggin good for a little girl with stupid dumb breast cancer and an idea, right? The shirts and bracelets are still coming in because we have some shirts left over (going FAST!!) but that night we raised $1500, I want pictures of you people wearing those things!!!

I just want to point out that the Face Book page has 1354 likes. Every day more and more "LIKE" the page of course some little shits "unlike" it, wtf who unlikes a breast cancer page?? Insane I know, crazier is that people in Mexico, Argentina, England are all liking and talking about the posts. The blog has had OVER 50,000 views with audiences in Canada, Germany, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Ukraine. I am blown away by these numbers and who I am reaching. I feel like this is such a huge movement. People want to see this real side to breast cancer. It tells me that I need to keep going with this, to infinity and beyond! Next is making Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer a non for profit, it is in the works people. Hard for me to sit still as much as my friends want me too:)

Thanks so much for riding this journey with me, I do not like being alone. I am looking into another show for those who could not attend. I will be posting the slide show too. Please join some of the events better yet ALL the events. Next one is "Stack for Racks" a poker tourney at Trapper's II in Minoa on November 5th, PLEASE let me know ASAP if you want in. I have so many ideas and events there is really something for everyone, no excuses! PLUS, I am sure you all will join my Race for the Cure team Cure or Bust. That race falls 1 year from when I started this fucking journey so I want a celebration to remember. Oh and I will play the "breast cancer" card for the next 10 years, Jen said I could!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Now what??

I stood in that room and felt such a powerful energy; it made me feel confident that I was doing the right thing. Not that I really doubted myself, but the friggin' negative feedback does make you think twice sometimes. My dad was so proud that he was barely able to talk at times, he wears his emotion on his sleeve anyway, but his pride shined and for that I am proud. Everyone keeps asking me, "What do you want people to take from this?" and tonight it was clear. I had so many people say they could not believe this was what stupid dumb breast cancer looks like , they didn't know that this is what happened. This is exactly what I wanted people to see. The incredibly raw, uncensored side to this fucked up disease. The drains with their liquid, the holes in my side, the bandages and the fright in my face all right there in beautiful, powerful images.  I will be posting the slide show soon. Genevieve says, "A good slide show should make you cry." I wonder if mine made people cry?

Thanks so much to everyone who took tickets, set up pictures, sold shirts (still available!), kept my lips glossy, and kept a Pink Stiletto in my hand (now that is a good fucking drink). This night came together not just because I had an idea but because I have family and friends and a community that believes in me. They all know how important this message is and how I am on a crusade to get it heard.

Now what?? Well, there is the "Stacks for Racks" poker night at Trapper's. Great food, awesome atmosphere, poker and prizes what more could you ask for? RACE FOR THE CURE!!! Registration is opened and the race director LOVES when our team signs on. So get on the site and join CURE OR BUST. There are more events coming, do not worry. I have had offers for other restaurants showing the images, another Komen affiliate would like the photos to come to their area and who knows what else!? I would love for more people to see these images, so after my next surgery I will plan something else:) I know just what Nikki is thinking, but I can only sit still for so long!

I hope everyone who came tonight walked away feeling stronger after seeing these images. At least you walk away knowing me better, A LOT better! Thanks for coming out, the support was truly unreal and made me feel like a princess, just what I needed.

A pictures says a thousand words

Tom's favorite image
I have found in looking at these pictures I can truly see the emotions. Some of which I still have not seen, so it will be a roller coaster for me.  Tom was hugging me before I was wheeled away. It was just as intense as this picture shows. I told him "I love you" and he said "See you on the other side", "WTF??? I hope not!" As true as this journey has been emotionally intense, it has also been filled with laughter. I have always been the one cracking jokes at funerals, just trying to make the nervousness dissipate. I also joke when I am nervous, it breaks the ice for me and makes the other person uncomfortable (I like it that way, I am a sick bitch, I know). So when I make inappropriate jokes and comments just know that I mean it with love, blahahahahah (insert evil laugh). I will also be very emotional so be prepared for crying, too. Looks like you will be seeing a little "Sybil" action! Please come with good positive energy and leave your negativity at the door (my bouncers will bounce your ass right outta there). I am in no mood for bullshit, so back off if these pictures "offend" you. I just want people to understand how stupid dumb breast cancer REALLY affects people! Not just the physical and emotional changes, but how, as horrible as it is, it brings people together. My family (because they have no choice and I have 10 years, yes Heather, 10 YEARS to play that card), my friends (because we are bonded by a sisterhood unlike no other and I think they are a little scared of me) and a community (who has given time, resources and money to support this cause) have been the soap box for which I stand! So join me today as I stand up on my soap box to cancer (well really in 6 inch stilettos).

My favorite image, right after surgery with my dad who's smile says it all!