I am going to be totally forthcoming. I love smoking medical marijuana before bed due to my very legal medical marijuana card from my original diagnosis since I have had this last surgery. Medical marijuana completely removes the tightness around my upper body, loosens my weird new hard ass tennis ball bowling ball double set now attached to the front of my chest. No bullshit here. My body becomes like a rubber band and this has helped me have a deep sleep in a super chilled body.

This surgery only EIGHT WEEKS ago was miraculous. I got to wake up and look down at my chest and see boobs. It was a completely different outcome than I ever imagined, a way better outcome. I can almost say I have enjoyed the experience; this sounds fucking nuts. But I know that my super mellow evening date with my medical marijuana card on occasion is a personal victory for my brother’s memory and his harrowing experience, for my own experience and for my overall health. Sometimes the tightness is so uncomfortable and the hardness in and on my chest is indescribable. My new nighttime ritual is the only thing that has been helpful for my upper body to lighten up for a few hours and way into my evening sleep.

Some people may think that the smoke part of the smoking pot is not a good thing. I agree with this. But Motrin and Tylenol have been proven to be detrimental to the liver/stomach when taken too frequently. Oxy, for me anyway, only lasts for two to three hours and knocks me out for the count, then wakes me up abruptly like I never took it. It is also highly addictive and is in fact a proven gateway drug, unlike marijuana, though I imagine some would dispute that. Besides the fact that when you have to get an Oxy prescription filled, you feel like a common criminal at the pharmacy.

The side effects of pharmaceuticals are shameful leading many people to take more pharmaceuticals. I don’t know how Big Pharma peeps wrestle with their conscience and actually place their head on their pillow and sleep (oh yeah they have pharmaceuticals to help them doze). I am not throwing Big Pharma completely under the bus. I am fully aware that there are many prescription drugs targeted for many ailments providing comfort and relief and can be life saving. The overuse and over prescribing though leading one drug need to another drug need and so on is what my concern is.

When I reflect back on my initial entry into the possibilities of the Big Pharma world and the decision to abstain from the recommendation of an aromatase inhibitor for five years, I made it as a super self-informed patient. The purpose of the aromatase inhibitor is to block any remaining vestiges of estrogen for the estrogen positive breast cancer I had been diagnosed with. When I researched the side effects, my concern was the other drugs I would eventually have to be put on.

Me to Oncologist: “I heard one of the side effects are bone loss, could you give me a little more information on this?”

Oncologist to Me: “If this does happen, we can just put you on blah blah blah, (some bone repairing bullshit drug) but it will only happen while you are taking the aromatase inhibitor, after you stop taking it, your bone loss will repair itself.”


She said this so matter of factly with no consideration of how these side effects would possibly affect my quality of life. I clearly remember the appointment with the oncologist that day. She thought that I was coming in there for a five-minute appointment, as a matter of fact, she had already called in my prescription to CVS. The assumptions that prescription drugs are the go to for anything that ails us without question worries me. I really don’t want to be part of the system if I can help it.

I made the choice after very thoughtful consideration. I weighed the risks of the many side effects and my future quality of life versus quantity of life. When I decided not to take the aromatase inhibitor, it was because I had also made dietary changes, supplement additions, and an additional surgery that would force my body into surgical menopause. When I received the news that I had recurring breast cancer, it occurred to me that my decision to not take the drug could have been a reason, but my instincts never equaled regret. My doctor made sure to tell me immediately that this new cancer had nothing to do with my decision. It was estrogen negative, not estrogen positive, so the drug wouldn’t have helped anyway.

After this last cancer surgery, I gave myself a two week pass to divert from my usually strict diet and typical of sugar and carbohydrates, (thank you Al Forno, Elis, Pommodoros, Ina Garten recipes and PVD donuts-michelle m), two weeks has turned into eight weeks (and add a few glasses of wine the past few weeks as well.) Sunday afternoon I started to feel a lot of leg pain, so much so that it woke me up Sunday night and I had trouble sleeping. Yesterday I was limping and the thought started running through my head that it was cancer all over my bones. The weird thing about living around so much cancer death in my young life is that I have such a trigger response to some of the symptoms my brother had before he was diagnosed. He had a lot of leg pain that doctors had a hard time diagnosing for him. By the time they did, the cancer had metastasized all over his bones.

So of course my thoughts did not go to my regret of not taking a drug, but of veering off my regular supplements and of my Whole 30 way of eating that had changed my life. My doctor even said to me after I questioned if what I had been leaving out of my diet as valid since my cancer had recurred that perhaps the recurrence could have been much worse if I hadn’t made the commitment. I hadn’t thought of that. This gave me great comfort and as I tossed and turned with worry Sunday night beating myself up for an eight week free for all, I changed my thought pattern to the word PATIENCE, my old comforting friend I occasionally forget to call upon for assistance. It is doubtful that an eight week free for all would cause cancer to metastasize all over my bones. I promised myself I would stop fucking around with my health and get back on my nutritional wagon.

I don’t think these types of thoughts will ever leave me for the duration of my life and I will have to figure out ways to balance the extreme worry with putting my head in the sand as I don’t want to be an alarmist, but a realist. Afterall I have the genetic mutation, BRCH 2, and it propels me into a constant state of reality awareness. So in all of this psychological trauma, I feel grateful that I have a medical marijuana card. It has reduced anxiety, it has helped me sleep, it has removed physical pain Most importantly, it is a natural alternative to a chemical pill created in a lab somewhere by a mad scientist.. Medical marijuana should be easier to get for many more ailments. Medical marijuana has been the only drug that has helped me and I wish it was more easily available as a viable alternative to the prescription drugs jammed down on our throats these days.

Yep I said it and I hope the people who get to sit in their ivory towers with no ailments are reading.

That big ass smile was in honor of my brother. It took me almost five months after surgery to get this card yet only 5 minutes to pick up an oxy prescription.

New boobs, 8 weeks after surgery- 3 fills later

And the veering off final recipe of baked pasta from the spectacular Ina Garten queen of butter and cheese and carbs. I’m going to miss you, Ina.




The greatest thing about FIVE WEEKS is what a difference the extra week has made in my regular life. I am much more mobile, I can sleep on my side, I can exercise. My limitations right now are working and gardening because standing on my feet, lifting and moving things still gets me and because I feel so great, I forget. Usually at around three o clock in the afternoon, I am spent. What spent means is that my upper body is on fire and I need to put my feet up.

The weird thing about improving at this rate is that it is so easy to forget that my body is still recovering and that it is ok to take the time I need to allow it despite the improvements. Why does this make me feel guilty? This is fucked up. I also know this is not an unusual feeling because most every woman I speak to who is as honest as me tells me to go slow but I know that if the roles were reversed I would have to tell them the same thing.

We women are doers, movers, shakers. We multi task, we work, take care of our homes, our families, our lives. We plan vacations, we organize our children, we garden and we take care of shit. We make things happen. I am an open book here in these writings. In all honesty, though I don’t want to have life threatening illnesses, I actually welcomed the respite of being forced to my knees and having to stop.

My fantasy world I live in more times than not is to stop most all technology (except for writing on Medium, of course), to get rid of my cell phone and go retro with a dial phone. To get rid of all social media and email and just figure out how much time I would have on my hands when all is gone. When I say this, my friends and team look in horror and quickly say, “You can’t do this, you have a business!” Or “What about your son, how will he communicate with you?” I know these are all valid points, but how did we all live before all of this madness? I have attempted techno free days, but because people need to get in touch with me, I feel weird not being available. The problem with me and technology is that it is so distracting from my spirit, it takes me on a path where hours fly by and I am not sure what I did for the day. This drives me crazy and gives me something else to feel guilty about. As I explore the voice of guilt, the critic in my head who likes to chat away at my usually positive attitude I am curious about the origins of the voice. At what point did it arrive in my head and decide to take up residence and more importantly why did I allow it to begin with?

I know the things that keep the voice at bay. Meditation, yoga, exercise, eating clean, being in nature, writing, reading, organizing and minimizing all the stuff I have accumulated, but sometimes I just let the wacky critic overtake my brain and I get in my own way. We all wonder why we allow negative thoughts. We know that when we speak to our friends, we would never speak to them like we at times speak to ourselves. We surely wouldn’t have any friends if we said the shit we say to our own selves.

I have had endless conversations with women in my over twenty years in the beauty business and the self defacing commentary that goes on is really intriguing. We offer so much to the world around us in the feminine spirit. We care and raise other human beings, homes, family, yet when it comes to caring wholly for ourselves, we minimize the importance of this.

I realized as I write this today, that I have not been to my former synagogue in a really long time for a service. I realize that this is an area that super feeds my soul because it is a forced shut down. It makes me leave the cell phone at home and reconnect with my soul singing Hebrew prayers with like minded people and the sounds of the voices are indeed a calming experience. Writing is a spiritual catharsis for me too and it is definitely a grounding reminder to reconnect with my sense of core. So in this upcoming Mother’s Day that itself generates a lot of mixed emotion for me because of my mother’s release of me from her life, I will try this weekend to use this time to regain some spiritual footing. Maybe turning off the computer, the phone and technology for a few days?

FIVE WEEKS TODAY is the catalyst for some type of spiritual awakening or reminder. Since I am feeling so much better physically, perhaps the mental and emotional care will be the focus that completes the incredibly successful healing I have had the pleasure of experiencing.

Godspeed to this attempt.

Old school dial retro phone and an art project that definitely keeps me in soul connection.