premiere week

June 22, 2007 § 6 Comments

I feel terrific. I figured I should move so I started walking, even pick-up a few light weights. Ten days later I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon MJH. She reminded me that a mastectomy is major surgery. I forgot. She put an ace bandage around my torso. Like a string on an index finger. A reminder. I need to heal. The skin has to adhere to my ribs. Slow down.


Tell that to the twenty-two ziplock bags that were pinned to the wall in Ms Michal’s first grade class. Each had a wet paper towel along with a kidney bean and a sunflower seed. In less than a week, the beans and seeds sprouted, by the second week the stocks were wild.

My drains came out. Just a quick tug released rubber straws that suctioned excess liquids accumulating underneath my skin. When attached they siphoned off into two small plastic grenades which nestled in the pockets of a camisole made exclusively for this purpose. Even then, they got in the way. Under clothes it look goofy, like a gigantic fanny pack.

It was liberating to lose the entire apparatus.

The bandages came off next. Somehow I thought they’d stay on longer. Just five days. It hardly seemed like enough time for it to set.

Great pecs said the Clinical Nurse Specialist.

The things you can see with a breast out of the way.

I looked down and saw a small dent and then a long incision from my clavicle to my left armpit. Tight stitches, even raw they were smooth. Better than anything I could have done, even in the days when I embroidered flowers on blue jeans. I went home for a closer look.

The scar looked dangerous. Fabulous.

Time for my premiere.

I lifted my shirt for my sisters, then DD, then Marty. Anyone else willing to humor me could catch a glimpse. I had a black belt with none of the sparing.

I threw a bar-b-q for ten, in honor of a second premiere in one week. Confessions of a Matchmaker on A&E.

May 2005. Long before reality matchmaking shows were on anyone’s radar a colleague, Penny Benatovich showed me a pitch tape she produced about a tough talking Harley riding, matchmaker named Patti Novak. Patti called a spade a spade, and a guy overweight a fat guy who needed to lose weight. Together we pitched the concept to A&E. It takes a village to raise a child, and an army to produce a show.

A week and a day after my mastectomy the program aired, but I shouldn’t jump up and down. I just had major surgery.

In 1998 Melanie Perkins worked at Smash. She was a dedicated producer creating a powerful film about her friend, 10-year-old Andy Puglisi who disappeared 22 years earlier. For a period of time Smash provided funding for the film and was involved in pitching it to potential networks. We walked, but eventually HBO paid attention. “Have You Seen Andy” aired on Cinemax earlier this month.

Series premieres, documentaries broadcast, breasts removed and beans sprouting wildly. After I’ve healed I’m going to run in a 5k race to raise money for breast cancer eradication.

You can click here to make a pledge of any amount or register to join me on September 23rd.

There are more then 10 million Americans living with cancer today. Operative word, living. Good thing.

xoxo Momo


§ 6 Responses to premiere week

  • Kelly says:

    Glad to hear you are doing well post surgery! I too am feeling great, started Taxol last week with very little side effects 🙂 Amazing that you were involved in that Matchmaker show, I’ve seen the previews it looks hysterical, can’t wait to watch. :)Good luck on your walk…donated what I could, wish it we’re millions! 🙂


  • Paul Levy says:

    Brava to you! Great to hear about the progress for you and the kids’ seeds!

  • paula says:

    Amazing, lucid, brilliant, a revelation.
    This piece was prime time blogging.

    In my Collins dictionary it shows ‘premiere’ followed by premise – “something that you suppose is true and use as a basis for developing an idea or statement”…all of yours are on target. you’re amazing, totally amazing.
    No premise. Fact.

  • Karen says:

    I love this entry. I’m not sure why – maybe it’s the reference to sprouting, growing seeds. Premiers, rebirth. I went to a birthday party of a woman I work with who was celebrating five years cancer-free. It was inspiring as are you.

  • Gail says:

    Hi Sweetie,

    I know you’ve been feeling lousy lately. I’m so sorry. I wish there was something more I could do.

    I don’t want to bug you, but if you are up to it, you can call me and unload, vent, scream, whatever it takes to process all the muck that comes with fighting this rotten disease.

    You present a good front. Being positive and strong and determined to move ahead – that’s definately your style. But sometimes when we take a breather, when we let down our guard, it can catch up with us.
    And wham! Everything can suddenly seem so bad.

    But it’s not. There’s lots of good stuff in your life and a bit of pain ……………
    Ha! Just laugh in the face of it. It will fade just like the storm
    clouds. Nothing can keep you down. Nothing.

    I hope today will be a better day, and the fine weather and cool breezes blow away your troubles and pain, even if just for today.

    With love and prayers for better days ahead (and sooner….rather than later)….
    Love, Gail

  • D. says:

    Momo, it has been years, but I was stunned to find out
    about your ordeal. I cared very deeply for you. I cannot remain silent and want to reach you to offer my deepest silent support.

    What touching dsecription of what you are going through. Your never ending high spirits and
    thirst for life will help you overcome this.

    If there is a god, he/she will pull you thru knowing the joy (and sometimes the pain) you bring around whoever you are with.

    I wish you the very best recovery, and peace of heart & spirit.


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