Of Noobs and Newpples

All I can say is that it’s a good thing I’m not too sensitive about this whole breast reconstruction gig. 

 Okay, first off, a week or so ago I got an email from a well-meaning friend asking me how my “breast augmentation” was going.  Yeah.  Um.  That’s not exactly what I’ve got going on.  See, ’cause augmentation is what people do who aren’t satisfied with their boobs and think they need to add to them.  Reconstruction is what people do when they’ve had one lopped off because it tried to kill them, and they want to attempt to look halfway normal again.  Minor differences, I know, but please understand that more sensitive types might have been completely offended by being asked about their augmentation.

 Then there’s the matter of having my underwear come back from surgery in a sealed bag marked “biohazard”.  You have no idea how feminine and dainty that makes a girl feel.  Now, I know you’re probably thinking I soiled my britches and that’s why they handled them like a sample of the black plague dipped in anthrax.  In fact, I did not poo myself, or anything of the sort.  All I did was wear my undies to surgery—like they told me to.  I guess I should have asked, because I knew Dr Grasee would be making an incision in my groin area (more on that later) but the nurse told me to put on the gown and leave on the drawers, so that’s what I did.  But apparently I shouldn’t have.  And so, per Department of Homeland Security regulations (or something like that) my undies and I came back separately from surgery, me on a gurney and my underwear in a baggie, hermetically sealed for the safety of the population at large. 

 Now that you’re all curious about that groin incision, let’s move on to creation of a noob and its corresponding newpple.  Okay, as you all know, since August I’ve had the expander (aka angry boob wallet) under my pectoral muscle.  This week’s surgery was to replace that with a nice, soft, friendly silicone implant, and also to construct a nipple, or newpple, as I like to call it.  Well, the material for that has got to come from somewhere. 

 A few weeks back, I asked Dr Grasee where she was planning on taking the skin for the newpple from.  Pointing to the area where my leg attaches to my torso, she said, “Well, I’m thinking about taking it from here.”  “You’re not going to make me a nipple I have to shave, are you?” I mean, I knew that line would get a laugh, but seriously, I really don’t need some high maintenance nipple with a built-in perpetual sweater.  While Tricia, Dr Grasee’s nurse, was doubled over with laughter, Dr Grasee remained totally on-task, still examining my skin while matter-of-factly stating something about removing nipple hair all the time.  Ah, the wonders of cosmetic surgery.

 And so it was that my newpple was constructed from a hunk of skin from the crease between my leg and my belly.  I’m not sure how long the actual incision was, but I’m taped up for about five inches, which has got me wondering: good gravy, how big is this thing? You see, I haven’t seen my newpple yet, because it’s under the big top.  Indeed, the newpple is currently protected by a kind of greasy gauze tent that is sewn to the noob—which makes me feel almost as sexy as having my underwear handed to me in a biohazard bag.  This sewn-on dressing will be removed at my post-op visit next Tuesday.  I can’t wait.  For a couple of reasons, but mostly because of the comic potential.  You know you’re in for a laugh when your post-op paperwork says “The nipple will shrink by at least one-half its size over the next few weeks.  Please do NOT be alarmed by the initial appearance!”

 So, you know, I’m like expecting something that looks about like my big toe, or a hot dog or something.  Awesome.

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Home Again

Hey there folks. Just wanted to let everyone know that the surgery went fine. If you’re looking for a witty post today—this ain’t it. My brain is still kind of idling in neutral from the anesthesia. In fact, at the beginning of this sentence I typed “mean” instead of “my brain”. Yeah. I’d say the old synapses aren’t quite firing as normal yet. But the surgery was no big deal—as a matter of fact, it was so boring that I slept through it. I have a little pain now and then, but nothing bad at all. And I haven’t even taken any pain meds. Nonetheless, I am still prohibited from operating heavy machinery for the rest of the evening. I’m pretty sure that includes the washing machine.

Anywho, thanks for all the prayers and well-wishes. It’s nice to know that you all care. I mean, after going through six surgeries with me, I figured you might be like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…another surgery…I am SO over your medical drama already. Why don’t you write something funny?”

Bye-bye Angry Wallet!

Tomorrow’s the big day—my exchange surgery is scheduled for 9:30.  Woo hoo!  I’m getting’ a new boob for Christmas! 

 Of course, I have to be there and hour before surgery, and where I have to be is normally about an hour and a half drive.  However, this afternoon it began to rain.  I know, you’re thinking, “Rain?  So what?”  Well, I’ll tell you what:  It began to rain—and it was 24 degrees outside.  Needless to say, the stuff pretty much froze on contact.  In fact, I ran in to Walmart for about 5 minutes and when I emerged, the door to the Jeep was already trying to seal itself shut. 

 Driving home involved participating in what can best be described as vehicular icecapades.   At one point on the way home, I saw a guy whose truck had slid off the road, spinning around until it was resting on an embankment, perpendicular to the pavement.  Both I, and the truck ahead of me, tried to slow down and see if the guy needed help, but as soon as we started to brake it was obvious that there weren’t gonna be any of that thar stoppin’ going on, unless it was the kind that involved spinning out of control and coming to rest on an embankment.  So, we both kept on rollin’.  Sorry, Mr Man out on the side of the road, I can’t stop, but I wish you all the best!

 All that to say that I have to take into consideration the driving conditions, and the distinct possibility that I may have to thaw out the Jeep before I can even leave.  So, I’ll be getting up earlier, and leaving earlier, than would normally be necessary.  Wouldn’t be a big deal if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight.  Do you know what that means?  It means no coffee.

 (panicky freak-out voice) No coffee!

 I hate that.  You know, the surgery is not a big deal to me.  This will be my sixth…I said sixth…surgery in the past 22 months.  And you know, I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I’m kind of looking forward to the nap.  Plus, I’m excited, because I almost have that punch card filled up, so I think my next surgery is free.  But, man, that whole no coffee thing is a drag.  I need, like, a caffeine patch or something. 

 So anyway, by the time some of you read this, I’ll probably already be over there getting ready to go to surgery.  I may have Hubster update for me while we’re over there, or we might not get it done until we get home.  It is an outpatient thing, so I’ll be home later in the day.

Christmas Contest Results

Alrighty folks.  First of all, I want to send a shout-out to my new friend Shirley in South Africa—Hey Shirley! 

 And now the winners of my comment contest.  Okay, did anyone really doubt that Limerick Linda would win first place?  I mean, come on, that was great!  So, Linda, I’ll be emailing you to get your street addy so I can send you a fabulous prize.  Second prize goes to Michelle, for the simple fact that she’s told her kids Foob stories.  So, see, Michelle, you didn’t even need to comment in rhyme.  I’ll be emailing Michelle as well.  Third prize goes to Mary, just because she’s probably the most consistent commenter I have.  So, Mary, check your in-box, too.

 An honorable mention goes to Debbie, who managed to squeeze references to Terre Haute, pork fritters, AND Starbucks into her comment.   Love it!

 Thanks to everyone who participated.  Now I’m off to prize shopping!

Moody’s Helpful Hints for Holiday Happiness

It used to be that far and away my most popular post was My 9 Practical Tips for Those Starting Chemo.  While that has remained a popular entry, it has recently been surpassed by my About page.  For a long time, I’d get a few hits here and there on the old About page, but nothing major. 

 So what happened?  Well, it appears to have spiked with my Pink Ribbon Overload series.  One day, it dawned on me: people are checking my cancer cred.  You know, they read my snarky posts about all the pink ribbon gear and they’re ready to tell me what an insensitive clod I am.  So, thinking to themselves, “Who is this jerk, anyway?” they naturally make a beeline to the About page.  There they find out that yes, I am indeed a full fledged member of the BC crew.  They’re still not sure if it’s cool for me to make fun of the stuff, but the only thing more taboo than that would be for them to hate on me.  Ah, I loves me some cancer amnesty. 

 Monday, while I was sitting outside the boutique, I observed a woman buying about one of everything in pink.  I gathered from the conversation she was having with the clerk—yeah, I was eavesdropping—that she was buying these items as Christmas gifts.  Yikes.  I considered sashaying into the boutique and offering my sage advice, but chickened out.  Later, Hubster suggested that maybe I needed to offer my gift giving advice here.  Apparently, my subtle hints in the form of an entire series of posts on ridiculous pink ribbon stuff wasn’t quite enough.  And so, with the belt of humor cinched snugly around my waist, and the shield of cancer amnesty grasped firmly in hand, I present to you…

Moody’s Helpful Hints for Holiday Happiness

 Unless you are absolutely sure that Eunice has completely traded in her identity, and now prefers to be known not as Eunice, but as an unpronounceable symbol shaped curiously like a pink ribbon, do NOT assume that she wants a pink Christmas.  Put the powder pink pajamas down and slowly back away.  Eunice likes to sleep in the nude anyway. 

 Maybe Eunice collects teddy bears, and so giving her one would be normal.  But, if that’s not the case, then forget the pink ribbon teddy bear.  Eunice is a grown woman.  What is she supposed to do with a teddy bear?  And don’t say “Take it to chemo.”  You want to get Eunice something handy to take to chemo?  How about an iPod?  Or better yet, a gas card so she can get there and back without taking out second mortgage.

 Perhaps you’re shopping in the bookstore, and you spy a copy of Chicken Soup for the Departing Soul on Her Deathbed—Breast Cancer Edition.  “Why, I bet Eunice would LOVE to curl up with this on a cold winter’s night!” you think.  Stop.  What kind of books does Eunice normally read?  Dean Koontz, you say?   Then why not get her the newest Koontz book?  Seriously.

 Now it could be that Eunice loves the pink ribbon stuff—your clue would be if she buys it for herself.  If she’s all about the pink ribbon purse and the Save the Ta-tas hoodie, then doggone it, you go ahead and buy her that five pound, gem encrusted pink ribbon pendant.  She’ll love it.

 But otherwise, use a little common sense.  Don’t get all wrapped up in the emotion of this thing.  I know loved ones often feel like they want to DO something, because they can’t really DO anything about the cancer.  But, folks, it’s not about you, okay?  Eunice has had her life, for the most part, hijacked by cancer.  There are a lot of things that she can’t control right now, and so she’s most likely cherishing whatever normalcy she can manage to scrounge up. 

 So, the best gift that you can give her is to treat her as you normally would.  Have normal conversations.  Not every conversation has to include cancer.  In fact, Eunice would probably prefer that none of them did.  That way she might occasionally, in spite of being completely bald, forget about the whole ordeal for a minute.  Go normal places.  Don’t make assumptions about what Eunice “feels up to” doing.  Just ask her if she wants to do it—in a normal way—not prefaced by “if you feel up to it”.  Trust me, Eunice will tell you if she doesn’t want to go.  And give her normal gifts.  If Eunice likes coffee, then why not get her a Starbucks gift card?  Sure, her taste buds might be jacked up right now, but they’ll get better.  And when they do, she’ll savor that latte even more.  Or, if you want to feel like you’re doing something to help take care of Eunice, how about a gift certificate for a pedicure?  Eunice may not have eyebrows, but doggone it, she’s still got her toenails.

May you and your Eunice have a very Merry Christmas.

A Christmas Contest

It’s been quite a while since I held a contest.  Every so often, I like to try to find out how far away this blog is being read.  I get hits from all over the world, but that doesn’t mean they are actually readers.  I get a whole lot of hits from outside the US looking for bald girlfriends.  I don’t know why, and I don’t want to.  But I would like to know how many legitimate readers I have from outside the US.  So, here’s what we’re going to do.  I would like to send Christmas cards to any readers who are not residents of the US.  If you’re in Swaziland or someplace, and that sounds like fun to you, then email me your mailing addy at themoodyfoodie@gmail.com

 Now, maybe you live outside the US but you don’t want to send me your address.  Perhaps you’re afraid I’ll stalk you.  Well, I can’t afford to stalk you, so really you have no worries, but if you’re still weirded out at the prospect at least leave me a comment and say, “Hey, Moody, I’m reading you in <insert your country here>!”   That way I’ll at least know that, someone, somewhere, in an exotic locale like Tanbedistan, loves me.

 Of course, I don’t want to leave out my faithful readers right here in the good ol’ US of A, but there are a lot of you guys, so we’re going to do something a little different.  Here’s the deal: Leave me a comment telling me where you’re at—be sure that I have some way to contact you—either an email, link your to your blog, whatever.  Friday at noon, Indiana time, I’ll pick some lucky winners—the number of winners will depend upon the amount of participants—who will receive an actual prize.  Yeah, a real, live prize.  Okay, maybe not actually ALIVE.  But real, nonetheless.  And what criteria will I use to choose the winners?  I don’t know, but rest assured that comments which include alliteration, rhyme, or references to pork fritters probably have a leg up on the competition.

 One last thought: The other day at Starbucks, I was telling my mom that it’s hard for me to know sometimes if folks think my post is as funny as I think it is.  I said, “I’ll write something that I think is pretty doggone funny, but I barely get any comments.  So then I wonder if I’m the only one who thinks so.”  Do you know what she said, dear readers?  She said, “People are lazy.”  She’s talking about YOU.  My mom called you lazy.  You just got burnt by my mom!  Ouch.

Misty Watercolor Memories

Occasionally, I blog out of sheer boredom.  This usually happens when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office.  Like today.  Actually, I’m not even at Dr Schmidt’s office.  It’s down the hall.  And it’s full.  Totally full.  That’s okay though.  There are no computers in there.  Instead, there is a TV that’s not always broadcasting something inane, but sometimes is.  I prefer to avoid that if possible.  So here I am.

The computers are located next to the boutique.  You remember the boutique, right?  It’s where I got to try on my Aunt Phyllis’s hair before ultimately deciding I didn’t want a wig. 

The boutique is also where I first met The Foob.   It was like something straight out of an episode of The Young and the Breastless.  There I was…looking for a boob to replace the one I’d lost.  Oh, not a permanent boob.  You know, just a rebound boob.  And there he was—all flesh colored, and triangular, and French.  I knew as soon as I saw him that I must take him home.  Because, without him, my cup would be empty. 

For a while, we went everywhere together, he and I.  I took him mushroom hunting, and he took me to Cirque du Soleil.  Eventually, however, something began to come between us.  Indeed, it was my expander.  And while we continued on, trying to ignore the obvious signs, in the end we had to admit that it wasn’t going to work.