In honor of Movember, men’s health month, I have an essay in the Huffington Post about my husband’s prostate cancer and how I pretty much sucked at being supportive. This essay is a cut down version of one from my book – my unpublished book – maybe the full version will see the light of day down the road?!!
“My Husband Got Prostate Cancer and All I Got Was A Stupid T-Shirt”
When my husband came home from the doctor with the news that he needed a biopsy to rule out prostate cancer, I was instantly worried. Not about the test coming back positive, rather about him becoming a basket case, obsessed with fear that he might have cancer. I couldn’t wait until he got the happy call and we could return to our normal lives.
I even minimized his concerns, “People get biopsies all the time and they usually come back negative. Besides, only old guys get prostate cancer.”
Turned out, I was wrong.
Not only was the biopsy incredibly painful (in fact, more so than any treatment to follow), the results were not the negative ones I had so confidently predicted.
When the doctor uttered the “c” word, I was in more shock than my husband. He had already accepted his fate. I, on the other hand, was dumbfounded and even suspicious, like the time my dentist told me I needed a crown right after he boasted about purchasing a new boat. KEEP READING
Boo hoo, sniff, sniff! I finally got the heave ho from the Blogger Idol contest. They ask us all to write a farewell post so here is mine. The contest was lots of fun and I really appreciate everyone’s support and votes!! Thank you!
A Farewell From the blog of KRISTEN HANSEN BRAKEMAN!
Hi! It’s Peyton, Kristen Hansen Brakeman’s youngest and most favorite and beautifulist daughter. I’m writing my mom’s farewell post for her. She gets really cranky and yells at everyone when she has a lot of items on her “To do” list so I thought I’d help out by knocking this one off.
My mom hasn’t been the same since she got voted off the Blogger Idol Island. She just sits in the corner rocking back and forth, muttering, “So it’s not enough of a secret, is it? Well I got a secret for you right here on my big wide bloggin’ booty,“ and, “I’m rambling am I? Why don’t I ramble over you with my rambling-ass rump” and, “Not enough personal photos? Well I got some personal photos for you . . . of my big ole Brakeman backside!”
Anyway, you get the idea.
I know she did really enjoy the Blogger Idol contest because she kept saying she learned a lot of cool stuff and met some really nice people.
But truthfully, I’m glad she’s done with this thing because for six weeks she’s ignored the rest of us. I mean, a kid can only turn her underwear inside out so many times. We need some clean laundry here, woman! I’ve gotten kind of used to eating Buddy’s kibble – I mean, it’s definitely better than my mom’s cooking – but I do really miss my friends. My mom hasn’t taken me to school in weeks!
I know my mom wanted to say thanks to Heather and to the judges for all their hard work and I’m sure she would have wished the best of luck to the five remaining contestants: Hairpin Turns Ahead, Becoming Super Mommy, Dried on Milk, Midlife at the Oasis, and Real Life Parenting. I’m sure she would have even added, “May the best Blogger win!”
But once those men came and put the mouth guard in and the restraints back on, she couldn’t say a word. Maybe it’s better that way.
“Honey, can you take out the trash?”
“Well I would, but I have cancer.”
“Oh, come on. You’re playing the cancer card again?”
In the months leading up to my husband’s surgery for prostate cancer, we often used humor to break the tension in our home. It was such a helpless feeling, knowing that he had what we called an “alien invader” growing inside him and there was nothing we could do about it until the surgery date came. Our sense of humor helped us through this tough situation.
But when we first learned the bad news about his biopsy results, nothing seemed funny. Continue reading
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host, Heather Reese, blogger from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream. We’re live at the 2013 Blogger Idol Pageant and relieved the horror of the swimsuit competition is behind us! Let’s move ahead as we’re only weeks away from crowning the next Blogger Idol!
We know our contestants can write. This next segment will reveal just how fast two of our finalists, Kristen Hansen Brakeman and Liesl Testwuide, can think on their feet. Our judges have been given questions to ask each finalist and they’ll be scored on their answers.
Let’s begin with a question for Kristen from our first judge, Mother Freakin’ Princess (MFP).
Judge #1: Kristen, I’m a modern day princess who enjoys mountain biking and cooking, so naturally I want to know, what do you think about the recent government shutdown?
Kristen: Oh, totally great question! I’m such a big fan, MFP, because I love pink just like you! I believe the government shutdown is totes important! In fact, it’s just like my platform, “Books for Convicts.” I believe that if we give convicts books, then they could read books and then they’ll know so much more, and then I believe they could read books to sick children, the elderly and the homeless, and that is why I believe feeding the hungry during the government shutdown is so important! And so is, “Books for Convicts!” Thank you!
Okay, uh, next question.
Judge #2: My question is for Liesl from Hairpin Turns Ahead. My blog is called I Need a Playdate. Besides a blogger, I’m a parent, teacher and have held a myriad of jobs, from pizza delivery person, to sex toy consultant. Therefore, I’m interested to learn your views on U.S. child labor laws. Continue reading
and now also in the Limping Chicken – UK’s online news source for the hearing-impaired
Check it out. Comments welcome! (So they ask me back!)
Don’t Hate Me Because I Can’t Hear You” by Kristen Hansen Brakeman
“We cran do your earwig pest cow,” the nurse said.
“What?” I asked.
“I said, ‘We can do your hearing test now.’”
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed my hearing is starting to go. I’m constantly asking people to repeat themselves. At restaurants, I have to lean in and strain to decipher the conversation, and at home, my kids regularly tease me about my hearing, shouting out non-sequiturs like “Louisiana Purchase” or “Barack Obama” to illustrate how far off I am with my guesses at what they’ve just said.
So, it was no surprise when, after finally working up the nerve to get a hearing test, the results were grim. Part way through the test, the audiologist stopped, looked at me as if I only had months to live, and said, “You have a significant hearing loss, and it’s likely degenerative, so you should start wearing hearing aids now.” (keep reading)
Here’s my complete entry from round two of Blogger Idol. It’s a fictional newspaper piece about a crime I committed. Remember, it’s fiction people. No need to alert the authorities.
Neighbors on Cherry Tree Lane were surprised early Sunday morning by the sight of Federal agents surrounding the home of local resident, Kristen Hansen. Ms. Hansen is suspected of hacking into the National College Board website and changing daughter Madison’s SAT score to a perfect 2400.
Arresting officer, Agent Jim Blackwell, said that Hansen was motivated by an uncontrollable desire to get Scholarship Aid money for her daughter. Apparently, Hansen and her husband had only managed to put a paltry $362 dollars into Madison’s 529-college savings account.
A close friend of Hansen’s, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that this was a desperate act committed by a desperate woman. The source reports that Hansen had become increasingly agitated in the last six months as her daughter’s senior year approached and Hansen realized she had no money to pay for college. The source said that Hansen had always maintained a “Polyanna” approach to life and assumed that somehow “everything would just work out.”
But, when daughter Madison started bringing home good grades and big dreams of attending a prestigious four-year university, Ms. Hansen started to worry. She even resorted to echoing the wise advice of her husband by suggesting that her daughter attend an economical junior college for the first two years. Young Madison, however, could not be dissuaded.
Hansen reportedly then resorted to unusual tactics to raise tuition money including putting a tip jar in the car during morning drop-off, operating a Continue reading
It’s with great sadness that we mourn the passing of blogger, wife, mother, lover of sourdough bread – Kristen Hansen Brakeman.
Kristen was the neglected youngest child of an engineer father and a homemaker mother, born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. From an early age Kristen knew she wanted to be a comedy writer. While other kids curled up with Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew, Kristen would read Woody Allen, Andy Rooney, or Erma Bombeck. In fact, upon seeing her reading the latter, Kristen’s older sister cruelly teased, “You know those books are written for forty-five-year-old women,” which naturally scarred poor Kristen for life. Continue reading
I’ve been smiling a lot in the last 24 hours. Yesterday I found out I am a finalist in the annual Bloggers Idol contest, and today I have a parenting piece in the New York Times Motherlode Blog! Sorry if it sounds boasty – I’m just very excited!
Next week the Blogging contest begins. I’ll be updating with details and incessant begging for votes. (What’s that I just heard? Was that the sound of one big collective un-follow?)
In the meantime, here is the NY Times piece.
WHEN DO “FAMILY RULES” CHANGE FOR TEENAGERS?
By KRISTEN BRAKEMAN
“But I hate going to their house. The other kids ignore me and it’s boring,” my 9-year-old complained when I told her we were going to a dinner party with my old high school friends and their families.
“I don’t care. It’s a family dinner and we go as a family,” I insisted.
“Then why doesn’t Chloe have to go?”
Hmm. I should have known that decision would come back to bite me. Continue reading
After all, five years earlier when my eldest daughter turned twelve, I made a solemn vow to never host a slumber party again. Ever. Never ever, ever, ever, again . . . in my life. Ever.
Yet here I was agreeing, and I didn’t know why. Maybe it was the constant guilt I feel towards my overlooked youngest child or perhaps that second glass of Cabernet muddled my thinking. (Funny, I can’t shake the feeling that my devious child was lying in wait.)
Regardless, there was no turning back. Before I could even put a cork in the bottle, that girl had the E-vites written and sent. It only then dawned on me that this party was premature. Her older sister got to have a slumber party when she turned twelve. My youngest was only turning ten. That’s it, no more wine for me. Continue reading