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 This essay is a cut down version of one from my book – my unpublished book – maybe the full version will see the light of day down the road?!!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
“Don’t Hate Me Because I Can’t Hear You’
My post from Blogger Idol, made it into the HUFFINGTON POST!
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)
(Post Featured on Freshly Pressed!)
There is a single word in the English language that has the power to ruin my whole day. That word is Ma’am.
I could be having a perfectly fine day – a great day even – the kind of day where my car starts on the first try, my kids get off to school without a ton of screaming and, when I check myself in the mirror I actually think, “Hey, I don’t look half bad.”
Then I stop by the local coffee place and the hipster barista dude, the one who wears the gross earring gauges, hands me my non-fat latte and says, “Here you go, Ma’am.”
Ah, come on. Really? Did you have to?
Of course I politely say “Thank you,” back to the little whippersnapper, but in my head I’ve added a very irritated, “Don’t call me Ma’am, d#$%khead.” Continue reading
I’ve often made light of people who get too much cosmetic surgery, so the idea of putting my own dog under the knife seemed completely out of the question. But two years into owning Buddy, our German Shepherd/hound rescue dog, I noticed that his appearance had changed somehow. He wasn’t the cute, curious looking dog he once was. No, age had not been his friend. Continue reading
I’ve never liked the phrase, “There are two kinds of people in the world,” but when it comes to sports, I suspect it’s true. There are jocks and non-jocks, and I’m definitely one of the latter.
So when a couple of women on my husband’s rec league softball team canceled at the last minute and he asked me to fill in, I was not enthused. As a kid I was always the “last pick,” and the idea of getting out on that field filled me with painful memories. To make things even worse – I had no softball costume to wear.
My husband said some nonsense about having the right men to women ratio and having to forfeit, and blah, blah, blah, cry me a river. Continue reading
I’ve never understood how otherwise sensible people let themselves get carried away with cosmetic procedures. Can’t they see there’s a point where they start to look worse instead of better?
I suppose they begin by wanting a minor fix and then, pleased with the results, opt for another . . . and another . . . and another, until they run out of money or end up on one of those plastic surgery victim websites.
It’s the addictive nature of it that’s kept me away from plastic surgeons and dermatologists alike.
Until now. Continue reading
(Featured on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” page)
This morning I had ten minutes to spare so I tried on my old black crepe suit to see if it would be okay to wear backstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this Sunday. When you work on the crew or production side of these award shows, you’re supposed to dress to blend in. The production rents tuxedos for all the men who might be caught on camera, but all of the female workers are expected to wear an awards show type dress. You know how we all have those lying around.
Well actually, from my years of working behind the scenes on these things, I do happen to have a small collection of semi-formal wear lying around. But the problem is that most of these items are getting a little old and tired, much like their owner.
I had spent much of the weekend racking my brain, wondering what I would wear to this year’s show, then I remembered this black crepe suit that I bought about 15 or 20 years ago. I wore it when I worked on the Oscars the year before my first daughter was born. Continue reading
(Featured on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” page)
About seven years ago my in-laws moved into a small apartment and began purging unnecessary items from their lives. Besides getting rid of needless junk, they sorted sentimental keepsakes from the past and then divided them up between their sons.
At the time we weren’t too happy about it. It seemed morbid, and what’s worse, we were suddenly stuck with boxes of mementos from my husband’s childhood, and had nowhere to store them either.
But after my in-laws’ deaths this past summer, we realized how wrong we were. It turned out that what his parents had done was not just practical, it was incredibly thoughtful as well. Because of their sorting and purging, my husband and his brother had little left to deal with, and for that we were all very grateful.
Unfortunately, even with their planning, his parents left behind two items that we didn’t know what to do with. Nobody wanted them, yet nobody wanted to part with them either.
I am now the proud owner of both. Continue reading