January 5

I'm baffled. I have not felt this good in years. The other day I was riding on the train, listening to "Optimistic," by Sounds of Blackness, and I just started crying like a big ol' fool, praying no one could see through my sunglasses as the tears streamed down my face. But here's the kicker: I wasn't crying because I was sad. I was crying because I'm so damn happy! How does that work? Here I am, fired from CBS and a job I love, facing major surgery, and yet I awake every morning with a smile and a song?

I have a couple of theories. Maybe I didn't love the job as much as I thought, and looking back on it now, the push may have been just what I needed—because I really wasn't allowed to be true to who I am. The box they had me in was getting smaller by the day. But that's a hard thing to admit to yourself. I think so many of us sleepwalk through life, afraid of the risks it takes to achieve success. Like rats in a science lab, we keep pressing the same lever, satisfied with the one pellet that comes out. Well, not me anymore. I feel the fresh air and am suddenly filled with excitement of where the next day might take me.

The other reason for my good mood, I think, is the way I'm taking control of my health. I see now that the specter of breast cancer has been permeating my life. I couldn't really live because I was always playing defense—watching and waiting, wondering if this would be the year I'd be diagnosed.

January 6

Went to dinner with one of my best friends. As is our custom, we shared a bottle of wine and salad, and I had a slice of pizza. (Just an aside here: My diet has completely gone to hell—dessert after every meal, bread, pasta. It takes energy to maintain good eating habits and my energy now is directed into other parts of my life. So I'm cutting myself some slack for a while. And it feels GOOOOOOD!)

I had a chance to talk with both kids about the surgery. When I asked Casey if she knew what I was doing, she said, "Yeah, you're getting plastic boobs." There you go. She wanted to know if she would have to have plastic boobs someday, too, and I said, "No, not necessarily, but you will need to be screened sooner than your friends." Poor Casey will probably start having mammograms in her late 20s. That sucks. I thought about how my mother felt when she told me about her diagnosis.

Cole wanted to know if I could die. I said, "Yeah, some people do if they don't catch their breast cancer early." He was very somber, but then he asked, "No, can you die from having plastic boobs?" I tried not to laugh.

Today I'm going to type up some last-minute instructions for Buff, the babysitter, and the kids to help them get by while I'm gone.


Next Story