Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm Leaving my Husband and Playing for a New Team

I'm reading: I'm Leaving my Husband and Playing for a New TeamTweet this!

Relax, I'm just leaving him for the weekend. I was late in realizing that I should stay downtown to make the most of my BlogHer experience--especially given that DH had kindly issued me a three-day pass. He's tackling camp carpool and everything else from late Thursday through Sunday so I can mingle with the Internets. Let's say it together: Awwww, what a guy.

But when I finally made the decision to reserve a room, the best ones, i.e. at the hip, hot W hotel, were all booked. I decided I'd missed my chance, but a day or two later, Fate stepped in. The Chicago Moms Bloggers (who are having an awesome giveaway right now) got an email from WhyMommy, who just learned that she was headed for chemo instead of Chicago. In exchange for supportive posts about beating cancer, she pledged to give away her BlogHer pass and room reservation.

Granted, I didn't realize at first that it was merely the reservation, not a free room; still, I posted and she graciously announced her intention to pass it on to me. But some details needed to be worked out. And, uh, clearly she's got more important things on her plate right now than arranging for my escape to a swanky hotel.

With BlogHer less than a week away and no reservation in my name, I reluctantly, but completely, accepted that fact that I'd be commuting to Navy Pier each day. Even if WhyMommy transferred the reservation to me, at this stage of the game I wouldn't have time to find a roommate to help me afford the discount rate of over $200/night.

Then the universe started screwing with me. Yesterday I received e-mails from both WhyMommy and a potential roommate from the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. A few fast e-mails and phone calls later.... I'm staying at the W!!! And, uh, sharing a bed with a woman I've never met because apparently we're in a room with a single king-sized bed.

True, we haven't met, but our group blogs are "sister sites" and my people know her people, so I think we're cool. Plus, I don't need to worry about her coveting my goods because we will have matching swag bags thanks to the CMB and SVMB founders.

I *promise* to share some of my swag with WhyMommy if she tells me where to send it, because I seriously have no idea what her real name is or where she lives. (Yeah, try calling a hotel and convincing them to transfer someone's reservation to you when you only know her as WhyMommy. Trust me, you won't get far... and you will get laughed at.)

I am so touched that with all that's been going on WhyMommy took time to do this. She's found time to crank out quite a few public service announcements, to boot. Read the excerpt below from her blog and you'll see why I'm batting for Team WhyMommy these days.

I'm also launching a Team WhyMommy Share the Swag project. If you're going to BlogHer and care to pass some of the swag and spirit of the event to WhyMommy, seek me out and I'll pass it along. How will you know me when you see me? I'm five feet tall and my clothes will match my blog.

Now, onto WhyMommy:

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.


Jessica Ashley/Grrrlfriend Jess said...

So glad all the details are in place! See you there.

selfmademom said...

How awful! I will certainly share the "swag." And now, can you convinve my husband that he should let me stay downtown too!? :)

BirdieRoark said...

Hi roomie! My plan, when I arrive, is to tell the hotel staff that they made a mistake and it should be 2 double beds. Think it'll work?

And yes, I can totally share my swag.

Catherine said...

I would have been more fun to stay downtown.

It was great to get to know you a bit !