Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Want a Medal

I wore my !@#$% compression sleeve for nearly 10 hours today—two hours before takeoff, all five hours and 45 minutes of the flight, and another two hours after landing.

What's it like to wear a compression sleeve for 9.75 hours?

Imagine control-top pantyhose.

Now imagine control-all-the-way-down pantyhose.

Now imagine the same pantyhose about five sizes too small.

Now imagine wrestling that vise-like garment onto your arm so that the waistband-equivalent is practically cutting off the circulation right about at your armpit.

Then sit in the same position in a coach-class seat for nearly six hours, unable to bend your left arm more than a few degrees.

Keep flexing your thumb, which will have assumed narcoleptic-like properties.

Then, hours later, try to get the damn thing off without removing a layer or two of skin in the process.

Only five more days until I get to do it all again.

Monday, October 30, 2006

24 Hours to Go

At exactly this time tomorrow (assuming the flight is on time), I should be taking off from JFK en route to LAX and ZSK.

In fact, I just checked in online.

I realize I have been delinquent these past few days. It's because a) I've been running around quite a bit, including an overnight trip to Phoenicia with my pal Emily (hi, Emily!) and lots of pre-travel errands, and b) I've got a long post brewing and haven't had the down time required to transport it from my brain to the screen. But it's coming, and I think it will be pretty funny (at my expense, of course).

Back to the to-do list, but stay tuned and be prepared to laugh. . . .

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Following Directions

It's late.

I'm tired.

I have to be up early tomorrow.

But I didn't take my second dose of anti-inflammatories over dinner tonight.

I had breakfast late and dinner early, which meant taking them with dinner would have put the two doses too close together.

So I waited.

But then I forgot to take them when I was out tonight, inexplicably eating latkes at a bar at something like 10:30PM.

(I didn't go to the bar to eat latkes. I went for my friend Julian's birthday party slash gig, which was a blast, but then I got hungry, and latkes seemed like the best option.)

(I was not the only one at the table who ordered them, either.)

(So I'm not quite as crazy as you might think.)

(Or at least not as uniquely crazy as you might think.)

Anyway, I had to take them when I got home. At 1:00AM.

Which meant first eating again. ("Take with food.")

Good thing I have that Stonyfield frozen yogurt in the freezer. (And I realize that late-night latkes followed by early-morning frozen yogurt is not exactly going to do wonders for my residual flab. But trust me when I say that tonight was an aberration. I have been really good otherwise.)

It also meant that even though I plan to get up at 7AM tomorrow, I had to stay awake a while longer. ("Do not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.")

And fill my bladder up right before bedtime. ("Medication should be taken with plenty of water.")

Oh, and there's another reason why I had latkes at the bar, instead of, say, a beer or a cocktail or a glass of wine. ("Limit alcohol use while taking this drug.")

So even though I won't be hung over tomorrow, I will probably be sleep-deprived.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Walking Long Shot

Should I ever pursue a career as a jockey (or take up any other activity upon which ordinary people might choose to wager their hard-earned cash), you'd do well to put your money on me—especially if, to the untrained eye, I appear to be the dark horse in the race.

Because I've got a pretty good odds-beating streak going of late.

First there was my initial cancer diagnosis: although 80% of breast biopsies are benign (as the radiologist took pains to assure me back then), mine was, of course, malignant. I later discovered that the chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34 were less than 0.5%.

So much for comforting statistics.

I found out last week that the odds of a second, post-mastectomy breast cancer are even smaller than I'd originally been told—just 0.8%. And that doesn't even take into account the radiation treatment I had, which would drop the figure to an even more miniscule percentage.

And, of course, I've got the freakishly severe estrogen-withdrawal-induced joint pain, although I can't cite stats on that just yet. Unless you want to count raised eyebrows and dropped jaws among medical professionals, that is.

So it should not have surprised me in the least to learn today that despite a blood test that came back negative for the antibodies that indicate Hashimoto's disease—a form of hypothyroidism—that's exactly what I appear to have.

It turns out that the blood test is only 95% accurate.

The definitive test for Hashimoto's is a look at the cells themselves, which was done back in January, when I had the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid. While I had been told back then that everything was benign, it wasn't until today—when I went to the endocrinologist for a regular check-up—that I heard about the secondary findings. (And those findings mean that that infernal rogue was right after all. @#&$%!)

As a practical matter, there's no real difference between having Hashimoto's and having some other form of hypothyroidism, so it's not like I have a whole new problem to contend with.

It's just another case in which I am a statistical outlier.

(That's me over there, waving from the edge of the bell curve.)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

There in Spirit

Two weeks ago, my dear friend Linda completed the 2006 Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day, walking 60 miles and raising $6,000 toward the eradication of breast cancer.

Here she is with her team, who collectively raised an amazing $43,000 for the cause. (She's the one with the grin on the far right.)

I wish I could have been there—to walk alongside her, to cheer her on from the sidelines, to exult with her at the finish line. She has done all three for me, and much, much more.

My heartfelt appreciation goes to Linda, to her teammates, to the other 3,000-plus walkers who helped raise nearly $7 million in one weekend, to the crew members who made it possible, and to all of you who supported their efforts by making donations, sharing advice, and sending love and encouragement.

Thank you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Scales of Injustice

Even though I had no intention of weighing myself just yet, the happy folks at the cancer center have a certain protocol every time I come in for treatment, and that includes not only testing my blood for a couple of dozen different things but also checking my temperature, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation level, and—just for fun—my weight.

Today I shed my sneakers, sweatshirt, baseball cap, and cell phone, then stepped on the looks-like-a-high-tech-treadmill-but-isn't scale. My weight flashed at me in red LED figures. Red LED metric figures.

And if I were a wise woman, I'd have left it at that. Because while I can do the conversion in my head, it's not something I'd do reflexively—I'd have to think about it.

Which means that I could have elected not to think about it. I could have gotten off the scale, walked over to my La-Z-Boy-type recliner, popped my Tylenol and Benadryl, had my port accessed (where "accessed" is a euphemism for "hooked up to an IV line with a big needle jabbed through the skin"), watched the Herceptin start to flow, and then conked comfortably out for the duration.

But no.

I saw the little button marked "LBS" next to the one marked "KGS," and I pressed it.

And much bigger red LED figures flashed at me instead.

So now I know for sure that my diet-and-exercise plan has had no impact whatsoever on my residual flab.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

To Diet For

One of the cool things about the cancer center is that there's a whole continuum of services available in addition to medical care and treatment—I can see a social worker, an art therapist, a complementary and alternative medicine specialist, or a nutritionist anytime I want.

Yesterday, when I went in for my routine check-up with MOSWO, I asked to see the nutritionist. I just wanted to be sure that I was on the right track with the diet portion of my diet-and-exercise plan. While I have had to watch my triglycerides and cholesterol before, I've never had to watch my calories. (And no, that isn't fair. But neither is having cancer twice, so let's call it not-even-close-to-even.)

Turns out that I'm pretty much on the right track, at least as of a week or so ago, when I started to buckle down about what I eat. I'm cutting out the right things and adding in the right things and watching my portion size and all that. I even got the OK to treat myself to a facsimile of my favorite food of all time—ice cream—with some regularity.

The thing I didn't know was how many calories I should be eating (1,500 a day) and how much fiber I should be getting (at least 20 grams a day). I've got to start counting both, which shouldn't be a big deal (since jillions of people seem to manage it every day), but it's just one more good habit to form and one more thing to add to my how-can-I-be-so-overloaded-if-I'm-unemployed-and-not-in-school? schedule.

There are two things that make dieting extra-challenging for me.

The first is that I am now—and I hate to admit this, but the term is probably justified—paranoid about eating meat and dairy products that might have been treated with hormones.

I think everyone who has been through a health crisis probably latches onto at least one thing to be compulsive about, and this is my thing. But after having two different tumors fueled by hormones, it seems like a reasonable and rational compulsion. (The grammar geek in me is now wondering whether "reasonable and rational compulsion" is a contradiction in terms. No, I don't think it is. I think it just sounds like one. OK, moving on.) In any event, I gave the nutritionist an opportunity to disabuse me of my paranoia, and she didn't even try. So either she thought it was legitimate, or she figured I'd had a break with reality and decided that humoring me would be more productive than calling for a straitjacket.

This is all a long way of saying that I had gotten the green light to eat regular ice cream of the Breyer's or Edy's or other traditional supermarket variety because, all things considered, those brands have something like half the calories of the super-premium brands, like Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs. The problem is that none of those traditional brands come in organic varieties. Or if they do, they aren't available anywhere near us. Breyer's, for instance, does have an organic line (who knew?), but it's not sold within 30 miles of where we live. (In fact, I can't figure out where it is sold. I tried zip codes from all over the country and came up empty every time.) And even though they have an "All Natural" line of ice cream, they explicitly do not have a policy about rBGH.

Stonyfield has organic ice cream, but it's just as caloric as B&J and H-D. But Stonyfield does make organic frozen yogurt, which has only 100 calories per serving, versus 240 or 250 (for their vanilla and chocolate ice creams, respectively). So I now have a couple of pints in my freezer. And even though they are nowhere near as good as their "full-fat" organic cousins, I am making do. (And yes, I know that B&J makes frozen yogurt. But they don't make it in plain flavors—everything has a million extra-sugary, extra-fattening, extra-caloric extra ingredients, which defeats the whole purpose of frozen yogurt. Ditto their "Body & Soul" line. <sigh>)

The second thing (no, I didn't forget) is that, as I think I've already copped to, I am a hugely picky eater. (Much better than I used to be, but that was an incredibly low bar.) So when the nutritionist suggested that I try certain foods, half the time my response was, "That would be great, but I don't like [fill in healthy food choice here]." Yesterday I vetoed peanut butter, walnuts, tofu, bitter salad greens, and oat-bran pretzels. (I have no guilt about vetoing tofu, not only on taste grounds but also because it is a phytoestrogen, which means it mimics estrogen in the body, which means it is Kryptonite for me.) I also don't like other diet-friendly foods, like celery (unless it's cooked in soup or stuffing), raisins, and most healthy cereals.

So I'm trying. I'm giving it my best shot. And I'm mostly happy with how I'm doing on the input end of things. Whether it's making any difference on the residual flab or on my triglyceride levels, I don't know—I want to give the "lifestyle changes" a bit more time before I weigh myself and have my cholesterol checked again. In the meantime, any tips, tricks, or suggestions are very welcome.

Just don't ask me to try your recipe for arugula-and-radicchio salad topped with walnuts, celery, tofu, oat-bran-pretzel croutons, and peanut-butter dressing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Arrivals and Departures Redux

First, the good news:

He's home, he's home, he's home!

As of last week, my dad wasn't expected to be discharged from the rehab hospital until November 8th. But all that walking and dancing over the weekend changed a few minds, and—I can hardly believe it—he was home in time for dinner this evening.

Hooray, hooray, hooray!

(And yes, he most certainly did have a Diet Coke with his meal.)

Second, the less good news:

Zach went back to LA today. <sigh>

But before he went, I wised up and booked a ticket for our next visit. So instead of wondering exactly when we'll get to see each other again ("sometime between now and Thanksgiving" was the plan), I can start counting down to the actual date. And if anyone asks me what I'm going to be for Halloween this year, I'll be able to say, "With my husband."

Fourteen days and counting.

Back in Various Saddles

I am trying hard to work my way back to some semblance of a normal life.

Before we knew that my dad was going to have surgery, before the joint pain hit, and before spinach inspired fear across the land, I had earmarked the fall as a time to regroup and to position myself for an excellent start to the new year, when I'll be returning to school full-time and crossing the threshold of 40. Although I won't really be finished with the active part of my treatment until at least February, when my course of Herceptin is currently scheduled to end, I now have the heavy-duty stuff—the surgeries, the chemo, the IVF—behind me, and it feels like it's time to transition from what often felt like a one-dimensional life (that of a cancer patient) to a more multi-faceted existence.

I remember vividly what happened the last time I finished treatment: my energy came rushing back, and I tried like mad to make up for all the time—nearly a year—that I felt I'd lost. I started an intense new job, signed up for a time-consuming class, and agreed to join the board of a struggling nonprofit and lead its development efforts. It was lunacy to try to do all three things at once, but I was so eager to reclaim my life that I gorged on every opportunity I encountered. Less than six months later I was a wreck, having overextended myself to the point of exhaustion.

This time around, I hope to be wiser. (I'm definitely older, as my body persists in reminding me.) Toward that end, I've decided to focus whatever energy I might have on three discrete goals—to the exclusion, if necessary, of all else.

First, I want to do everything I can to improve and preserve my health. That means—in addition to all of the cancer treatment and screening and prevention—tackling my weight, my cholesterol and triglycerides, and my overall level of physical fitness. And that means concentrating on diet and exercise, which will improve all three.

Second, I want to ease my way back to school in January, mainly by resuming work on my master's project (the J-school equivalent of a thesis) while I am still on leave. The first draft is due on January 16, but I want to get mine in way before that. And that will require a whole lot of reporting, not to mention writing, over the next couple of months.

Third, I want to try to earn my keep. I've been doing a small amount of freelance editing for the past several months, and I'd like to do even more. I like to joke about being a drain on the economy and tossing back the bonbons, but I really don't like being idle. And, um, our bank account doesn't like it so much, either.

I had planned to start working toward these goals as soon as the summer was over, before life once again intervened. But now that 1) my dad is well on his way to recovery and 2) my joint pain has receded from seriously debilitating to merely wince-inducing, I am actually making what might be construed—in an alternate universe, by a very charitable judge—as the early indications of progress.

Scintillating details to follow.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Up until now, my dad hasn't had the strength or stamina to move around on his own. Instead, he's been assisted by nurses, aides, family members (mostly my mom, since she is with him most of the time), a walker, and a wheelchair.

Over the past week, he has progressed from spending most of the day in his room, either in bed or sitting in a chair, to venturing out in his wheelchair—into the dining room, down to the hospital garden, and even out to a couple of restaurants. He's always got company—my mom or me or a nurse or an aide—but at least he's been able to spread his wings a little bit.

We're not sure how much longer he will be in the rehab hospital, but we do know that one of the criteria for discharge is to be able to walk 100 feet without stopping. He can use a walker if he needs to, but he has to do it without anyone else's assistance.

My dad has physical therapy five days a week, but so far the progress has been incremental, and we figured it would be a while longer before he was able to set his sights on the 100-foot mark.

Over the weekend, though, things changed. While Zach and I were visiting, he got up and walked about 40 feet on his own. No walker, nothing. It was the first time I'd seen him walk since he left the waiting room and headed to the OR on the morning of his surgery, four weeks before.

That was just the beginning. Yesterday, the hospital had some kind of social activity featuring a klezmer band. My dad was feeling so spry that he got up and danced with my mother.

The physical therapist doesn't see my dad on the weekends, so she has no idea about any of this. I cannot imagine what she will think when he meets with her today. I'm thinking the word to describe her reaction will probably be "agape." It's got to be the rehab-hospital equivalent of that scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, when Grandpa Joe suddenly gets out of bed, wearing his long nightshirt and nightcap, and starts dancing around the room.

I don't know who slipped my dad his golden ticket, but I do know that he's now a lot closer to coming home.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stomach-Pumping Averted

The day before yesterday, I was having breakfast and (before the phone line went dead) checking e-mail—or reading the news online or catching up on a few blogs—at the same time.

Normally, this would not be cause for concern. I am a prodigious multi-tasker (you can ask Zach—it drives him insane), and doing just two things at once would typically require a state of consciousness approximately a half-step above coma.

I am also a systematic kind of a gal, so, along with my breakfast, I was planning to take my morning allotment of meds: a multi-vitamin, Arimidex (the drug for which I had my ovaries yanked out), anti-inflammatories (to soothe the joint pain from the estrogen withdrawal caused by having my ovaries yanked out), and Prilosec (to soothe the heartburn caused by the anti-inflammatories).

Because the two anti-inflammatories have to be taken with food, I usually take the other three pills first, then finish my breakfast, and then down them like some kind of perverse dessert course. Then, because I have to take another two with dinner, and I haven't been eating all that many meals at home of late, I generally pop the bottle of pills into my bag so that I'll have them with me if I have dinner out.

This has been my routine for weeks now, but the day before yesterday, something interrupted my rhythm. Suddenly I had to think about what I had been doing reflexively. And that something happened sometime after I took the first three pills, but possibly before I had taken the last two. I say possibly because the bottle of anti-inflammatories was still sitting on the table. That should have been a clear sign that I hadn't taken the pills yet. But for some reason, I just couldn't be sure.

I tried to rewind my actions (if only TiVo worked in real life!), but I couldn't convince myself either way. I didn't want to risk overdosing myself by swallowing two of the pills right then, but I also wasn't too thrilled about the prospect of spending the day in pain, hobbling from place to place.

In the end, of course, it was a D-14 situation. I still don't know whether I had taken the anti-inflammatories that morning or not. But I do know one thing: from now on, I'll be following a new and improved system and taking all of my morning pills at once, after I've finished breakfast.

'cause I'm not giving up the multi-tasking.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Technical Difficulties

I have several posts to share, but our home phone is out, which means our internet connection is out, which means I have been temporarily stymied by technology.

As soon as I can restore our connection, or find a legitimate and reliable hotspot (as opposed to the one enabling this post), I will resume these chronicles, including several new entries about my general ineptitude.

I hope you can stand the suspense.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Rant Deferred

Three weeks ago, when my dad was just a day or two post-op, still in the intensive-care unit, still on the ventilator, and still mostly unconscious, a guy in scrubs walked in while my mom, my sister, and I were at his bedside.

It was pretty obvious that we were the immediate family, since no one else is allowed in the cardiac ICU. It was also pretty obvious that this guy was a doctor, given the scrubs, the matching cap, and the gigantic attitude.

He strode right by us without a word, took a look at my dad, and then walked to the far side of the room, where a flock of monitors kept tabs on my dad's vitals.

I looked around to make sure none of us had inadvertently invoked our powers of invisibility.

Nope, we were there, plain as day. He had just chosen to ignore us. Not a word, not a nod, not a glance. Nothing.

I don't tend to put up with a lot of rude behavior. Even here in New York. Even on the subway. And especially not in my father's hospital room. And particularly not from one of the medical professionals in charge of his care.

So I asked, very directly but still quite politely, who this particular medical professional was. I think I said, "Hi. Who are you?"

He turned out to be my dad's anesthesiologist.

I don't know his name. He never told us.

Maybe he was afraid we were a family of telemarketers who might track him down and torment him with sales calls for the rest of his life. Maybe he thought one of us would try to fix him up with all of our single friends. Maybe he thought his reputation preceded him.

I can't think of any other reason why his answer to my question would not have included his name. But it didn't.

After we blew his cover, we asked him a couple of basic questions—how long the surgery was, how soon my dad might wake up, etc. I don't remember much of what he said, except that in answering one of my mother's questions, he began a sentence with the phrase "Because of his comorbidities. . . ."

By this he meant, "Because he also has diabetes and Parkinson's. . . ."

But that's not what he said.

He said, "Because of his comorbidities. . . ."

Is it really that difficult to break out of doctor-speak? Is it just impossible to converse in the vernacular of the peasants for just a few brief minutes? Does the use of jargon somehow help to maintain the mystery of one's carefully guarded identity?

And, more to the point, when talking to the family of an 80-year-old man who is lying unconscious in an intensive-care unit, must one use a term whose root connotes, above all else, DEATH?

At about this time—i.e., the moment at which I seriously considered strangulation as a coping strategy—my dad's nurse walked in. She went over to the computer terminal in his room and began reviewing his electronic chart. She hadn't been there more than five seconds when the anesthesiologist walked over, thrust his hand out, and said, "Hi, I'm Kevin."

Maybe he thought she was hot and planned to ask her out. Maybe they'd spoken on the phone earlier in the day, and he wanted to jog her memory. Maybe he just deploys good manners only around other medical professionals. After all, with any luck, he'll probably never see most patients' families ever again, so there's really no reason to expend all that effort on introducing himself.

Except that it's the right thing to do.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Also Pining

Zach here....guest blogging for the first time in quite a while.

Let me just say that the "missing your spouse" thing goes both ways. LA has been a good thing so far, but that goodness has come at a price—I miss Jody terribly. I, too, can't wait for next weekend's reunion.

Meanwhile, when I'm not auditoning and whatnot here, I have to fill my days by doing something.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago. Doesn't it look oddly familiar? 20 points will be awarded to the first person who can post the reason why. If you have a hunch as to what I'm referring to, you're probably right.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Zach left for LA four weeks ago today.

We haven't seen each other since, except for two lovely iChats via iSight earlier this week. If you are a Mac user and someone you love (who is also a Mac user) is far away, get yourself a couple of iSights ASAP. They absolutely ROCK.

The good news is that things are going well in LA. You'll get to see Zach on TV again sometime soon (stay tuned for details), and that has been a great spirit-lifter for me.

The even better news is that he will be coming home for a visit in just six days, and that has been an even bigger spirit-lifter for me.

Because you know what?

Five weeks apart is long freaking time. Even if it's not our record (which is six).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

She Did It!

The Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day starts on Friday, which means Linda will be lacing up her walking shoes and clocking the first of her 60 miles just over 24 hours from now.

But before taking a single step, she has crossed the first finish line: I am incredibly proud—and not the least bit surprised—to tell you that she has already exceeded her fundraising goal and raised more than $5,000. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who supported Linda and contributed to the cause!

Of course, there's still the matter of those 60 miles. . . .

So . . . if you will be around this weekend and would like to help me cheer Linda on as she walks the Walk, let me know—I'll send you her cell phone number so that you can leave her an encouraging voice-mail message or send her a well timed text message. Or just post a comment for her here!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Do It Now

The first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was as a result of a regular exam by my gynecologist. I had been her patient for years, and when she examined my breasts in January, 2001, she could tell that something was different. She looked back at all of her previous exam notes to be sure, but her Spidey sense was right on—she was feeling something she hadn't felt before. It was a very subtle change—not even a lump, just a thickening of the breast tissue—but one that she was able to pick up on because of her expertise and her familiarity with my body.

A mammogram, and then a sonogram and a biopsy, confirmed that something was amiss. But I wouldn't have had any of the diagnostic tests if she hadn't detected a change. And when I asked her later, after the diagnosis, if she had been worried during the exam, she said she hadn't been. Just being overly cautious, she said.

I owe my life to her—to her clinical skill, to her judgment, to her thoroughness in sending me for a mammogram at age 34.

This time around, I'm the one who detected the change. I had just done a self-exam on my "good" breast, and everything felt fine. Then I lathered up—I was in the shower—and almost immediately felt something on the opposite side, near my armpit. I figured it was scar tissue, but I knew enough to have it checked out immediately. I went to see MOSWO the next morning. He examined me and then sent me down the hall for a sonogram, which led to another biopsy, which led, I guess, to this blog.

This is all a long way of saying that regular clinical exams, routine mammograms, and breast self-exams are indispensable in the early detection of breast cancer. There is no substitute for any of them—to be truly vigilant, you need all three.

Breast cancer sucks. Having it sucks. Having it twice really sucks. But if you're going to have breast cancer, you want to have it at the earliest stage possible, when it can be treated most effectively and least invasively. And that means patrolling your body for it, month in and month out, year in and year out.

If you're not already doing this, please start now. If you're not the proud owner of a pair of breasts but have a vested interest in the health of someone who is, please ask her to do the same:
  1. Learn how to do a breast self-exam, and then do one every month.

  2. Find a great doctor and have a clinical exam every year.

  3. Go for routine mammograms as early and as often as your doctor recommends.
This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Make it Breast Cancer Action Month instead.

Monday, October 02, 2006

We Interrupt This Program

I watch too much TV.

There, I said it. (Well, wrote it.)

I should have other, better ways to detox at the end of a long day or week or month or year. I should read (hello, stack of newspapers and New Yorkers!) or listen to music or exercise or knit or call a friend or clean or bake or something.

Instead, I usually turn on the TV.

But the thing about watching too much TV is that you tend to become a discerning viewer and to appreciate the really good stuff out there.

You also tend to get bugged by little things that detract from the overall enjoyment of an otherwise excellent show.

So here are three things that bug me about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:
  1. I know that it's another Aaron Sorkin show starring Bradley Whitford. I'm glad it's another Aaron Sorkin show starring Bradley Whitford. I'm not going to forget that it's another Aaron Sorkin show starring Bradley Whitford. I don't need the same West Wing font to remind me that it's another Aaron Sorkin show starring Bradley Whitford.

  2. Which one is Danny and which one is Matt? I've got at least half a brain, even after all the chemo, and for the life of me I couldn't tell you whether Matthew Perry is Danny and Bradley Whitford is Matt or vice versa. Could I be the only viewer in the universe who's having this problem?

  3. It's not commedia dell'art. It's commedia dell'arte. The final e is not silent. If you're going to have three different characters use the term, is it that much to ask for at least one of them to pronounce it correctly? Especially if at least two of them are going to make fun of other people for not knowing what it is?
I now return you to your regularly scheduled breast-cancer blog.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


My dad was finally discharged from the hospital on Friday afternoon, two weeks after he'd arrived. The time kept getting pushed back, from 10AM to 2PM to 4PM, and between the delays and my state of near-sedation, I didn't get to see him until the following morning.

He's now ensconced in a rehab facility that is much closer to my parents' apartment, where he has his own room and a new parade of people—nurses, aides, physical and occupational therapists, and the occasional doctor—to whom he will soon endear himself. He and I already have a date to go back to the hospital and visit all of his caregivers there, once he's completely recovered and ready to flirt with all his might.

Can't wait.