Thursday, March 6, 2014 A new Chapter!!

I never thought this blog would get as much traffic as it has. I never thought it would be worldwide. I never thought anyone would read it other than my family. But it has!! Stupid dumb breast cancer has evolved!! And now thanks to my awesome cousin I have new website. Everything is there and it is amazaboobs. So as much as blogger has been fun it is now time to open the next chapter. is where its at, check it! I am proud and honored to have this next step and even happier I did it with my cousin Michelle Giannino. Do not worry the tiara is still shinning!

Friday, February 28, 2014

i wuv u birfday boy

It is not perfect love but its our love. Grammar mistakes, annoying kids, cupboards open, recycling over flowing, loud ass Italian family, stupid dumb breast cancer LOVE. Happy birthday professor, I am forever your princess.....

"That's Amore"
(In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here's what they say)

When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
That's amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore

(When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool)
That's amore
(When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli)
That's amore
Lucky fella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool)
That's amore
(When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli)
That's amore, (amore)
That's amore

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Man of Steel and tears turns 70-something

pa beach
swag in the dictionary

You know when you were a kid and you complained that your parents drove you nuts. Always yelling and telling you what to do?? Yeah I never had that issue. I had the cool dad, like he was the definition of swag. Some can say that my dad was a bad parent because he was our friend, our shopping buddy (seriously the dude can shop still to this day!!), he had the house we hung out at because he turned looked the other way, our dancing dad-the man can move or maybe because he just wasn’t like them. When my dad was born he mother did not really want another kid much less a boy, true story she even told me that. With this over his head he set out to be the rebel in the family. He wore his hair slicked, peg jeans and rove fast cars. Where his siblings were responsible, college bond people my dad was drag racing! So that alone set him apart from anyone. I think the other parents were jealous of his badass ways, our friends all agreed we had the coolest, slickest dad evah.
Mr. and Mrs. Giannino
He met my mother and that was that head over heels, love everlasting, true love. That only ended with heart break when in 1973. Just when this young man name Al and his wife Judy and three children Albie 10, Lori-Ann 9 and Ann Marie the princess 1 should have been a regular suburban family my mother, his wife was stolen from him. That being the life he was dealt it was then my father’s job to be the dad, the mom and find some sort of way to heal is broken heart while raising this family. Yes, his friends and family jumped together to help but when they left, the kids were in bed and the house was quiet he would cry.  Do not judge my father for crying over the loss of his ideal life that was ripped from him. Men can cry and be strong.  It was his release he did that so could let the pain out. He then did what any, no that isn’t true at all-that is again why he is different. He did what he believed the only thing was to do and that was to love us unconditionally by himself with no one else to parent with him. He did not remarry when we were young not because of lack of girls, my pops is a stud! But because not only could he think of “replacing” Judy but he would never try to bring a mother to us that wasn’t our momma. My father amongst all things good and bad is the most selfless father around that would never make him a bad parent it makes him the best father ever. All he knew was how to be him and that meant pure, real love and yes being our friend was part of that. No matter how many crashed cars, boyfriends chased out of the house, divorces, marijuana smoked, drunken nights, sneaking out of the house or fists fights (my brother was a mess, see I can say that cause he never reads this!) he loved us and supported us the best way he could, his way.
The most important people in his life
The one thing my father is for sure is an emotional man (my sister gets that from him hands down two of the biggest criers I know). I do not think the man will ever stop crying, he has way to much love to give-those tears are mostly love and happiness now. I know that more than anything he loves me the princess daughter, my emotional basket case sister, my obnoxious brother, the prodigal-runner grandchild, the stunningly-smart granddaughter, the semi-princess always gets her way granddaughter, the intensely high anxiety grandson, the fabulous fun granddaughter, the sports man smiling grandson, the wiseass grinning grandson and the snuggling eye spy grandson with all he has every last bit he has in him. I also know that he has come to realize that he may still love Judy with his heart but in that heart is a space for his compassionate, caring loving fiancĂ©. You see my father’s greatest birthday gift is waking up next to Deb who through all his heart ache and tears, dancing and shopping she loves him and this crazy group we call family! Truly making him the luckiest birthday Pa around.
See that smile?? That is happy
  Happy birthday to the most emotionally strong, big ass baby, selfless man, taxi driver, awesome grandfather, clothes hoarder, dancing king, loving father that were to ever walk the earth! I love you even though you call me 100 times a day asking me the same thing over and over and send texts that take me days to decipher. You are my daddy and I will always be your princess and biggest fan. Thanks for always keeping my tiara shinny…
My king

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The making of a princess

Tomorrow is the day that my mother drove around the block 3 times making my dad nuts, then into the hospital to push me out like she was a pro. My father barely got into the waiting room before they called him to say “It’s a GIRL”. I remember it like it was yesterday, no just kidding my dad loves to tell it. My brother loves to say how pissed I was a girl while my sister was so happy equaling yet another fight between them. The day of your birth is so significant yet it has taken me years to really feel good about it. A good breastie and I were taking about why I do not talk about my mom’s death here and I said it was because it has nothing to do with cancer. She told me I was wrong (she does love telling me that), that her death has shaped me into how I am and how I took on cancer. And shit she is right, that damn downstate girl! There is 9 years between my sister and 10 between my brother and I so while I may have been an opps baby I know there was a miscarriage between the siblings and me which means I was their hope for a baby. That being said I can image how happy they were to
 have a real princess born. My first birthday must have been a celebration, just wish I could
remember. It was days after that my family was hurt with the most devastating, life changing event. momma

I always hated the term “I lost my mother” I didn’t lose her at all she was taken. Although as a child I would pretend she had amnesia and was living in Solvay and I would run into her and she would see me and all her memory would come back. Guess Grandma Jennie should have eased up on the “General Hospital”. I have a friend that died from drugs, a friend that died from a boating accident, an uncle that died from bad health and 2 grandmothers that died from age related deaths. While those were all hard to deal with they are life lessons that I could with time understand. But there is no explanation for evil.

 I always hate when people ask “how did your mom die” because they expect car accident or cancer something “easy” (this is sarcasm there is no easy death). I hate it because the look on their face after I tell them is so intense and they feel so bad. I have found that blurting it out seems the best way. My mother was murdered, taken from us by an evil man. Literally kidnapped, rapped and thrown away
like trash. There is never an easy way to say that, never. There is not enough therapy in the world to help my family get “over” this. We will never get over it, we just get through it. I will never believe
that everything happens for a reason that is bull shit to me. I do not believe that god had a plan for us because this was evil there is no plan for evil. I have no room for humor here and find no joke in this. It is the one thing in my life I will never be able to laugh at. What I do believe is that how we get back up after we fall defines us. And trust as a one year old this was like falling down 100 flights of stairs. I will not speak for my father, sister and brother as they had to see this daily while volunteers searched through cold waters for days to find her. This was 1973 and these things did not happen or better yet our media didn’t talk about it. So it was in fact in the paper 2 times a day while being broadcast on the TV all the time. I think their pain is obvious and that is their stories not mine. But please do not think they ever got over this, ever. Hurt this deep shapes us into who we are that compiled with our genes makes us the people we become. It makes or breaks us and that is just a fact.

I do however believe that we are all part of the nature/nurture effect, you know psych 101. I was raised in the most loving home where my siblings fought over me and who loves me more. Where my father, grandparents, godmother, cousins and family friends treated me like a princess. That was the best way to nurture a child whose mother was stolen from her. However, there is no one in that group that was a hard ass, tough, smart mouthed, strong willed person because that was my mother. She was the one who organized Sunday dinners, smacked my siblings with a wooden spoon (she was so cool), gave her piece of mind and was strong yet loving at the same time. I became her through nature, I got those genes. Had she been able to live her life I think we would have butted heads A LOT. It was her way or the highway and you did not by any mean mess with her. I know that I am her because every single person in our family and her friends tells me so and every time they do I get strength from that. So while this part of my life isn’t about cancer it without a doubt has been why I choose to deal with it this way.

My mother was a community leader and that is something I am so proud to have inherited. I did not know her or how she handled herself, so I could not learn through actions. This is just who I am my mother’s child. Had she been her to hold my hand well I refuse to go there because she wasn’t. What I can do is feel her angel wings flutter by my side hovering ever so close (ok that part made me cry). Now I have no idea if she loved glitter or stilettos (she was way tall and my father is way short so I am guessing not) or even if she would love a tiara. That’s ok by me cause after all there really can only be one sparkly princess in the family and I am gladly taken that role.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I hate saying that cancer gave me this opportunity because I don’t want anything from cancer. The truth is life is what gives you chances. Your kids, family, friends all help to evolve you from those things that life throws at you. Cancer just happens to be part of my life as well as so many. I met this beautifully strong woman named Efrat via social media. We tweeted, emailed and became fast friends. See she lives in Israel, which may sound corny but I think that is so cool. Efrat wanted to actually talk so through the modern technology we Skyped. It was crazy cool! I felt like she was right here not because the connection was great but because we bonded straight away. She told me all about Cure Diva and what it meant to her, what she wanted from it and how she wanted it to help others. The whole time she chatted I thought “this is what I want”. Then she asked me to join and be part of the team. I was overwhelmed with excitement. I thought great I will play on the site. Then Ester contacted me and asked to talk, again in Israel so cool!! We talked and I felt right away an amazing friendship growing. After a few emails asking questions she said she would write a proposal. WAIT….does she mean J O B!? Low and behold she did and I quickly accepted. My family was proud and excited. Julian started to cry “Mommy don’t go to work in Israel”, no honey from home!! I am thrilled not just for this get opportunity but because I believe so much in this page. The page is partnered with Breast which gives immense help throughout the breast cancer process. BUT what Cure Diva does is helps us to stay in tune with our inner (or outer) DIVA. Cancer without a doubt screws with our feelings about being a fashionable woman, trust me I have been wearing sweats, leggings and yoga pants for 6 weeks!! Let’s face it fashion is important and it’s so hard to find the right bra or cami during your surgery or treatment time. Cure Diva is there for you. My gorgeous friend Efrat has asked Giuliana Rancic to be a diva as well. Tell me who knows fashion better?? Glamour mag featured the partnership in an article. I am so honored to be among these strong women who understand that cancer takes so much; we need a space for us to get our style back!!
my fabu friends!!!
The page gives advice about treatment, DX, treatment, products and surgery. That is where I come into play. I will be the “Guardian of Surgery” because well, ya know I have had a few. I could not be happier to be reaching out to women as they embark on their cancer road. I did after all go to school for psychology, granted it was forensics but we don’t need to be technical. There is so much more to having a surgery than just the operation itself. The emotional and physical toll plays hard into effect; I will be on Cure Diva helping those with this road! Please check the page and share it. It really is a great place for us to meet, chat, get help and find the products we need to get us through this thing we call cancer. The only thing missing from the site is a tiara section. Knowing my breastie Efrat she is saving that for me!

shop and tell them SDBC sent you

Thursday, January 16, 2014

RESPECT a lesson in it

This post has been long in the making. Many of you know that Facebook has decided that mastectomy pics are too offensive and sexual to post. I had a rant with someone as to why we put these images out there. So I am feeling the need to really explain it which is bullshit because I have explain to the fools a million times. For the record I do not seek fame or glory for posting these images. I personally find it therapeutic to post about what I have gone through. It does empower me to see that others are gaining strength from me. For some stupid dumb reason people and I do include FACEBOOK here just does not see that.  In case you missed it lets start at the beginning.....

When you are DX you get scared, really scared. Not the omg there's a monster in the closet but the holy shit balls what the hell is going to happen to my body, health and LIFE!! Your doc gives you the info sometimes in a neat little pamphlet with a smiling woman on the front. BULL SHIT!!! So what you do is Google, yup good ole doctor Google. You want to see what you will look like after a lumpectomy, see I started with that. My nipple was scabbed and destroyed, no one told me that. Nor did I know what the hell it was going to really feel like, you maybe sore is an understatement and hearing it from a triage nurse that never experienced it is not comforting. COMFORT is why images like this which leads us to those who went through it.

after the lumpectomy

You look to see what your chest will look like after the doctors remove the cancer that is trying to eliminate you. You want to really see what the hell is going to happen not a drawn picture of drains. What will you look like after they cut your breasts off and replace them with tissues expanders?? What the hell is a tissue expander going to do? Finding those images takes away some just some of the scary crap that is entering that head. So images like this not only take that out but give you HOPE that you will be OK, maybe not right away.

the first time I saw what was under the wrapping, drains and all

 You want to know how is THAT going to ever heal?? How will I be me? Will I ever be a woman again? So you search for images to bring you PEACE of mind. You try to find something to show you that you will regain your body in some sort of new way. You need to see that there will be healing. That through the pain and the change you will at some point heal.

healing from expanders

healing from impants

healing after the painful DIEP

You get scared that you can not do this. This is not what you have the strength for. But looking at these makes you see that if someone just like you can do this then maybe are STRONG enough. Maybe just maybe you will be able to face cancer because you can see the pain, the healing and the strength in these images. You see it so it is believable. And your friends can help you see that through a picture.

my girlfriends reminding me I am STRONG

You then search for support, cause you are going to need to hear from people that actually get it. You find blogs, Instragms, FACEBOOOK and twitter to be a great outlets. You find others that are going through what you are. You find others that need to see the whole process see through someone else's body. Connecting and reaching out to those in their cancer journey and seeing that you are NOT ALONE is the main reason I do this. Because the friends, no the family we have made is what gets us through. We have an immediate connection because of what we have been faced with.

some of my "cancer family" that I have hugged
And guess what fools its because we searched CANCER not porn. Its all about the sex to the masses that do not get it. Their narrow minds can not take the sex out because there are breasts involved which tells me that we are no farther than we were 50 years ago. Not one of us feels sexual about any of this (TMI but more like lack of). We chose to promote twerking, Save the tatas (instead of save the WOMAN), go braless for breast cancer (what the actual fuck) and breast popping out of shirts. Go ahead click it. YUP that is ok on FACEBOOK but these has been removed, reported and flagged about 20 times. Go frigging figure. I would love some help telling FB where it can shove that video and the disgusting comments that followed. Thanks to a breastie for sending me that.

tough times yes, but tough people stronger
my husband showing me love, kindness and support

I ask you PLEASE, if you do not approve then leave, you know no one is making you read this. I really do not care if you do not want to.  Is it at all possible to have the common curiosity to respect what we are trying to do. R E S P E C T, just like the queen sang it. We all deserve respect which we 
have earned to go about this how we see fit.  There is no wrong or right way to deal with your DX some choose to quietly deal with their BFFs. Some choose to tweet to get comfort, peace, support, and strength from those following them. Lisa Adams was told she was wrong for doing this
by two journalist. Who are they to comment, critique her in any way. They should not even comment on the shoes she wears (I have never seen her shoes but they are her shoes ya know). I ask you for the 100 time do not judge anyone's cancer story you are not the cancer judge there is no friggin such thing.

 Cancer of any beast can not just be wrapped up in a smiling, ribbon. Trust me I do my best to smile, laugh and rock a pink boa but unless you understand all the above the ribbon means NOTHING. Look I do not ask anyone to wear a pink boa, stilettos and a shiny tiara because that is me. Plus they may hate pink and I RESPECT that, are you seeing a pattern here.

And trust when I say if you try to be me you never fill my stilettos, ever. That tiara fits one head and that is mine!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How you doin’?

how you doing

Everyone keeps asking “how you doin’?” and all I can think about is Joey. I keep saying sore mostly because some people just ask it and really don’t want to hear the reality.  I also know that inquiring minds really do want to know so I am going to lay it all out for you. Hope you are ready!

I am 4 weeks out now. I can not believe it has been a month. On New Year’s Eve my girlfriend who is a certified nurse, I did a background check, came over with many sterile utensils and pulled my drains. Julian sat there and watched didn't seem to phase him at all. Sam had nightmares after of drains falling from the sky and hitting him, he maybe scared by this. As many of you know drains SUCK. They are gross, they smell, they tug, they hurt- ain’t no "body" got time for that! hahaah So having them pulled was freeing but I had this notion that the pain would stop when they came out. NOPE!
Let’s get physical (you know I love adding songs here and there). People keep acting like because I go to Target, Wegman’s and to my family’s house I am all healed. I do those things to keep me sane but the truth is they wipe me out and I pay the next day. My stomach muscles have been ripped apart and literally cut in half, that will not heal in 4 weeks. I am usually really good from the time I get up until 11am then I must sit and doze. Then at 2pm I am done until 4pm and I get a small burst until 6pm then I am done for the night. I spend my days in the recliner, thanks GDeb for a chair you were going to throw out that has saved me for 2 years. But sitting even in a recline position after awhile makes my stomach hurt. I do not mean the little ache that my 13 year old seems to think is nothing compared to a sprain, I am talking pain like I don’t think I should move because if I do something is going to explode. At night I sleep in my bed with a nest my dear husband sets up, my doctor wants me to stretch a little. I am up all night with aches, pains and have a difficult time sleeping on my back. I have spent the last 4 weeks watching "The Little Couple" with Jennifer Arnold, which after I found out she has been DX with cancer. I binged watched it every night!  When its time to get up I need help getting out of bed because I have no ab muscle to pull me up. It is actually a little humbling having your sons help you up, but since I carried them for 9 months and carried them around for years its the least they can do.

That is when the chest starts killing!!! I have had some trouble breathing from the pressure. My chest is still swollen, sorry honey they won't stay this large. Did you know I was DD in my youth?? Yup so I am not new to large breasts. The pain is similar to the mastectomy but for sure more intense and long lasting. I have hard pain in the middle of the toobs which the doc thinks is funny cause that is the one spot he didn’t dig around in. But I feel bruised there for sure. Sometimes the pain is so severe it takes my breath away.

My arms and legs are still numb which is normal. My biceps feel like they had the muscles ripped out leaving me with no strengthen which is fine because lifting or picking anything up is painful. Again normal, they have you retracted and the muscles are starting to wake up and in the words of my doc "are pissed". And do even get me started on plucking my caterpillar eyebrows, I can not lift my arms to do that! Bringing up hair, I now go for laser treatment next week to remove the “fur" (thanks doc for that term) on my toobs! It just keeps going ya know. But you gotta laugh like my friend says, yup all the way to hair removal of the belly hair on the boob. Good thing it isn't butt hair, blahahahah you know who you are.  Those full blooded Italian genes at their finest.

Add constipation to the mix and the stomach is in constant pain. It is bad enough having the pull and pain but a gut ache is not good. Smooth Move tea is not cutting it may need more dramatic steps. Let's just leave it at that. There comes a time for TMI, I think this maybe it.

BUT BUT BUT BUT here is the clincher…. I am so frigging happy mentally ALL of that and I mean ALL of that is doable. I am me again, not the same or the one before but me. I took two back from cancer and I feel strong like bull. I feel confident again. When I look in the mirror and see those patch work, Raggedy Ann, Bride of Frankenstein scars all I see is ME. Maybe not model like body or perfect but me. I feel like me cause they are me, hair and all. They are warm and imperfectly round and just what I needed mentally. I am ready to regain my figure once I get cleared to kill it in the gym and I can not wait to start walking slowly next week!!! Take that cancer.
photo (3)
So the tiara is back on shiny and sparkling, nice and straight, the physically healing is taking shape slowly but nicely and the mentally healing is strong. Which is great because this month marks my 1 year cancer free mark or NED (no evidence of disease) which ever you prefer. That being said its time for blood work and scans. Its time to check 3 swollen lymph nodes and redo an MRI so strength is needed. I want 2014 to be about happy times and getting me back so I will not let these tests drown me, which will be a task as I can not swim. I will also be standing my one of my best friends as she faces stupid dumb breast cancer. I will be standing there showing her that tough times do not last tough, strong, badass people do. And if her princess, pink boa, tiara wearing, stiletto rocking BFF can do it so can a granola, hippie, barefoot, recycled material, organic beautifully strong badass!