“… that doesn’t mean we have to eat it!”

i’ve written about my ‘breast cancer grannies’ before. “The 3B’s”, which stands for “Booze, Brie and Breasts”. Leontine and i drank our way through it, diagnosed within 2 weeks of each other, and meeting through an article written about me in the local paper. We’d meet up every month, drink a bottle of wine, bash some yummy brie, and just yak for a couple of hours.

Who needs therapy?  A support group?  We were doing our bit to keep the good folks at the Banfi Le Rime winery in business!

We added Doris two years later, when she got the bad news at 68 that she had acquired a pesky cancer nugget.  Susan joined us last year – she’d had cancer about 10 years ago, but mostly wanted to hang out with us because she’d heard we were goofs…

i’m the ‘kid’ as they are all in their late 60’s.  This minor fact has made exactly zero difference in the amount of fun we have together – or how much we all can’t wait to meet up.  On a dreary, rainy, chilly day in early March, we all couldn’t WAIT to get to the bar of our regular restaurant tonight.

Our monthly gathering. Susan’s husband just got the prostate cancer diagnosis, which got Leontine’s husband last summer. After our “happy hour”, the two gents were meeting up with their wives for dinner so they could walk through the details together… over a decent meal and better wine.

Our conversations are all over the map – a lot of travel, grandchildren, children, gossip, bullshit and whatnot. With the occasional mention of that thing that brought us together in the first place. Tonight was no different.

Doris had just returned from a trip to Sonoma, California, and was sharing her latest travel headache. Going through security at O’Hare airport, she was directed to the millimeter wave imaging system. With a mastectomy over under her belt two years ago, she knew what was coming when they asked her to step aside for the TSA grope.

She regaled us with the tale of the idiot TSA agent.

Doris:  So this woman is feeling me up, and asks if i have something metal in my bra.  I tell her “I had a mastectomy, and I wear a prosthesis”.  This idiot asks me “Here?”  I wanted to say “No, honey, in my ass!  Where else would it be?”

We laughed like schoolgirls.  Leontine went on to suggest that no one could be that stupid – not even a TSA agent. 

Leontine:  Maybe she thought you’d said colonoscopy….. I mean… colon….. colo… Shit!  What’s the word?

Only halfway through our first bottle of wine, we were all struggling for the word – but somehow found it simultaneously, shouting in chorus “Colostomy!”

One of those moments when the entire establishment had gotten preternaturally quiet a microsecond before.  We paused…

daisyfae:  Perhaps we should shout that a little louder – i think there were a few folks in the dining room who didn’t hear it!

As we snorted and hooted at our goof, it occurred to me that there are women who have been down this road, and consider themselves victims of cancer. 

There weren’t any of those broads at my table tonight…


This post is dedicated to a lovely man, recently returned to the blogosphere.  His words get stuck inside my head sometimes and rattle around for days, sometimes weeks and months.  He recently told me “In life, at times, we all fall in the shite, but that doesn’t mean we have to eat it.”  Damn straight, brother Jimmy.

39 thoughts on ““… that doesn’t mean we have to eat it!”

  1. In Australia, BBB stands for a special kind of cream, the kind you rub on your ‘Boobs, Bottom, Between the Thighs’ in hot weather. My sister’s tip. I also like Jimmy’s style. Hurrah for you and the gang.

  2. TSA agents are quite stupid. I met up with one who had never seen a cribbage board before in his life, and also did not know what the game is. Apparently a small foldable cribbage board looks remarkably like a block of plastique with a detonator in it. . .

    You can choose whether or not to be victims of any disease, it is all in the attitude. The sad thing is the number of people who choose the victim role and cling to it even after they have had successful surgery/chemo and are in remission.

    I do love those silent moments that occur just in time to make you look like an utter fool. . . have experienced many of those in my life. I suppose that those of us who persist in hilarity coupled with “inappropriate” and “rude” comments are more likely to experience these moments. Just something more to laugh uproariously about — all those shocked faces looking on.

    • we were on a dive trip – and one guy passed my carry-on bag containing the dive computer, regulator and other electronics right through the x-ray. stopping on the very next suitcase to examine the virtually identical gear in my dive buddies suitcase…. weird and inconsistent…

      oh, and congratulations! yours was my 13,000 comment! amazing, isn’t it?

  3. Bloody hell that sounds like a blast, I bet this would make for a great tv show. Funny ladies, wine, brie….I wish I could attend.
    Cheers, Sausage…

    • we’ve wondered about that… our regular bartender would certainly add another exotic character, as would the random local ‘celebrities’ who wander through on occasion…

  4. It seems to me that having friends like that with attitudes like these would increase survivability. You’re lucky to be surrounded by such people. Humor is the only weapon we all have. It would be stupid not to use it.

  5. That ‘lovely man’ has had an ifinity with you on many an occasion on many off-screen topics over the years. If guts were feet in mountain rock, you dear daisy would be my Mount Everest.

  6. It’s the shite we fall into that makes us sweet and beautiful.
    Even the most gorgeous of flowers need fertilizer to become that way.

    My SIL could easily join your little group! lol
    She’s never considered herself a victim …. just lucky. =)

    • is that it? i thought it was celebrity-endorsed colognes and other smelly products that fill the shelves of my bathroom? like the analogy!

      i also consider myself lucky. not the proverbial “cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me – it taught me to LIVE” thing. more the “damn, mine wasn’t that bad! whew!”

  7. I love this story. Stuff like this is exactly what gets us through things like cancer. And TSA screenings. I’m glad you guys found each other.

  8. just substitute some names and faces and thats me and my buddies we go by BOB’s boozy old broads rofl, nice attitude there keep it up (though from reading the bloggy, i don’t really think you have a choice lol)

    • we did not have dessert – in fact, i wonder why we never eat sweets at our outings. oh, wait… it would displace the room we need for all that stinkin’ wine!

  9. Leontine “Colonoscopy? shit what’s the word”, that if effing priceless. It’s women like you three who restore my faith in humanity.

    • She’s spectacular in every way – and makes me look forward to being in my 60’s! she and her husband are deliriously in love, she got a tattoo to celebrate the end of chemo, and lives life aggressively!

    • scary. i had a TSA agent in DC that had a crush on me, i think. felt my ‘underwires’ every single time i went through. she was the only one to do that…

  10. Daise one of the many reasons why I love you? You use the word “preternaturally.”

    And one of the man reasons why I rented a Prius and drove to Florida with my boy as opposed to flying? Toll-booth clerks instead of the TSA….

  11. My LW’s aunt is a breast cancer survivor. An ongoing social event for these women in the Edmonton area that she got involved with is dragon boat racing. They have a couple of teams, one of which is called Breast Friends. She doesn’t paddle anymore now that she’s retired, but she always had some pretty funny anecdotes from that group.

    I used the word survivor above; victim should, perhaps, be reserved for those poor souls that don’t make it. It’s all about the attitude, isn’t it?

    • i agree that ‘survivor’ is better than ‘victim’ for those who get past it, but i hate even claiming that term… i really don’t feel like i had it that badly. your aunt sounds like a fun woman! i bet she’d fit right in with my gang!

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