Monthly Archives: October 2012


These are super special because the first time I met Mr. Louboutin I was wearing these. Very vintage!


I was on tenterhooks the whole week.  Would my body work for me?  Would it give me what I wanted – a week home in London?  I had my chemo on Friday.  By the next Friday, my white blood cell count had to be good enough to get on that airplane. On Thursday morning, I was back at the hospital for the blood test.  I waited at least an hour and a half for the results and then the nurse came out and four fabulous words came out of her mouth: “You’re going to London!”

Let the packing begin.  Remember back to May 22 – the day I headed to Philly to start this adventure.  Four suitcases filled with swimsuits, linen and Louboutins came with me.  Now it’s October and winter is coming.  (All you geeks out there will know my GOT reference!)  Delicate strappy sandals are now to be replaced by suede and leather.

A few friends advised me to wear a surgical mask on the plane…you know, the ones that look so dorky, scary and stupid at the same time.  The nurse said that it really doesn’t help you from contracting something, just prevents you from spreading something.

So on that Friday night, I boarded British Airways Flight 66 to London, Heathrow.  Of course, the first thing that welcomed me on-board was someone coughing up a lung next to me.  I just kept thinking positive thoughts and burrowing my head into the pillow and blanket.

Touched down on a sunny warm London morning – “the nicest day we’ve ‘ad for ages” said the minicab driver.  Off he sped us to my little house in London.  (Mom came too as it was a work trip technically and I needed her for my extra luggage allowance!)  Opened the door to piles of mail and went right to bed under my clean crisp covers in my chilly bedroom… taking my requisite three-hour-upon-arrival nap.  Woke at noon and was ready to unpack by 1pm.

A cocktail party was already planned for that night with all my good friends except one who had a bad cold and was afraid she might give it to me. My boy arrived at the door with gorgeous flowers and loads of kisses.  He wouldn’t be out of my sight the whole time I was in London.  Only the heat didn’t work so the emergency plumber was called and he came right away and replaced a tiny something or other and we were back in action.  Off to drinks and the week began.  I won’t go into all the details but it was nonstop until Milan. Then back to London for a day and a half.  Packed up the jeans, boots and three more pairs of Louboutins.  Don’t need to tell you how hard it was to get on that airplane home and back into Chemo #10 on the next Monday.

As much as I was jet-lagged and irritable that I had to be back in the chair, I had the most wonderful nurse.  She said she had seen me here before so knew I had been getting chemo for a while.  She asked me what number and then said, “Ah yes, you are getting the insurance policy!”  I liked that.  It made me remember why I was there.  The sad thing was that my one FABULOUS vein is probably not going to last for two more sessions after this one…but the nurse told me not to worry.  She was sure I would get through without a PICC!

Then she complimented me on my purple shoes!

Most of you don’t know that I work for Breast Health International ( We were in Milan because one of our sponsors was having a press conference to launch a fundraising collaboration we are doing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While pitching the story to Vanity Fair Italia, the Head of PR for the brand told VF about Chemo In Louboutins. They were wild about the whole blog shoe cancer story and I was interviewed by the Fashion Director.

Check it out above…The wonderful journalist who interviewed me told me that had the most hits it had ever had the weekend of my story:

At the same time, Oncolink, the largest cancer website,  also printed an excerpt of my blog. Read it if you have a chance:

Although this was exciting and all, cus it was, I am not trying to blow my own horn here. It’s really funny to me that people are interested in this blog and call me strong and inspirational. I don’t feel strong and inspirational. I get dressed up for chemo and write about it in a blog adorned by amateur, kind of out of focus iPhone photos that my Mom takes of me. I am no model as my size 10 jeans are becoming smaller and smaller and don’t feel great even in my fabulous RALF (see the blog about wigs!). I am just doing what anyone would do – getting though it.

What I hope that I can be proud of is that this blog and any press it may be getting is helping someone somewhere who is going through something similar.


Vodka seems to be the only alcohol that doesn’t burn up my esophagus. Yes, another side effect of the chemo…spice, alcohol and random stuff irritate your esophagus so keep it simple and order straight vodka,

It seemed like ages between this chemo session and the last – so nice to get away and be somewhere complete different.  I highly recommend it.

Apples are in season now and there are 1000 varieties at MANOFF’s – it’s my goal to try everyone.




As far as I was concerned, it was all settled and I was so excited.  I was going home for an undetermined period of time before my radiation.  90% is 90%.  My plans were set.  First thing scheduled was kissing my boy, after that London Cocktail Week kicked in on October 8 and I would be there to sip some cocktails.  Bought myself some theatre tickets, arranged a weekend in Barcelona with my boyfriend, made dinner reservations to catch up with friends. I was planning all the things I usually do before my life was cancer, chemo and constipation.

PET/CT scan on Tuesday, Doc appointment on Thursday off on Monday!  The whole gang was coming to this meeting:  Mom, Dad, Doc Schuster, the two radiation oncologists, and various and sundry people.

My sweet Doctor Schuster barged into the room with everyone else following…he was so excited.  There has been a massive change in the scan.  The scar tissue in my chest had been obliterated by 50% and there is no evidence of the Non-Hodgkin’s under my chin.  Excitedly, he shouted from the rooftops that I was to have FOUR MORE CHEMO SESSIONS starting right away tomorrow.  Needless to say, I burst into tears.

To understand it more clearly, think of the cancerous mass like an office building.  The chemo had killed all the people (cancer) after the last scan but the empty building had remained…now after four more chemos the building is half gone.  They were hoping that they could blast their way through the remaining walls with four more chemos…. which meant less radiation.  It was great news.  My Doc never thought there would be such a change.  Still I burst into tears.  I was so desperate to go back to London and do everything I planned…pretend my life was normal again even for a few weeks.

When I explained why I was crying, Dr. Schuster said that no one cried in his office and he went about scheduling my chemo so I would be able to go home for a few days and to Milan for work…but it would all depend on my white blood cell count.  Only if it were high enough, could I go.  I would get an extra Neupogen shot and then cross my fingers.

I know it is a great prognosis and I am more than happy but after so long taking chemo and having the thought of never having to do it again was a dream.  Although I wear the shoes, dress up and put on a happy face, it still is the most exhausting thing I have ever done and now I had two more months of it.

I went home that night and collapsed.  The next morning was spent cancelling all my plans.  This time I was going to wait until the last minute….

The next day at 8am I was up putting on Louboutins, leggings and a cute top (see above) but my heart wasn’t into it.  My new wig made me feel self-conscious and I was tired, very tired.  I had a new nurse who actually was amazing.  She told me that I should be getting EMEND, a nausea drug which has a delayed reaction, so in three days when I am reaching for the pretzels so I don’t vomit, it should start to work.  Not one to take something new, I balked but she said to try it this once as it is a miracle drug.  The rest of the chemo session went as usual and I went home to start planning which Louboutins I will be bringing back from London for the last three sessions.  I couldn’t help myself.


1. NEUPOGEN:   I take back all the things I said about getting this every other week.  It is a blessing and might send me home.

2. EMEND: It was a miracle drug.  Although I vomited for the first time this week, I felt much less nauseated this week!

3. THE ROYAL NATIONAL THEATRE, LONDON: Their ticket program allows you to return your tickets at least 24 hours in advance.  You get a credit to be used for further productions but this is so much better than throwing the money away.

4. CHEMO: When it works, it’s great!  

5. THE LAST SWIM OF THE SEASON:  The summer is over but that last swim was divine and I shall miss it as Autumn is now upon us.