Thursday, March 31, 2011

Of Causes and Controversy

I was supposed to have Seamus draw the winners of the Save 2nd Base t-shirts last night. You can see from the photo that he was too wiped out for that. And since there were only five of you (for reasons I think I’ve figured out…and we’ll get to that), I think you all deserve a shirt. I’ll get two more. As long as one of you can wear a small! So Chrissy, Sara, Rina and Pinder92 (that’s Stacey, I think…, and mom---I have your address!) email me with your addresses and size and I’ll get you the shirt. That is, if you still want it after reading this post. And I hope you do (want it…and read the post.)

This has been a dramatic week in the breast cancer blogger realm. A controversy has exploded over, on a micro- level, the Feel Your Boobies organization, and, on a macro- level, what’s appropriate in raising funds for breast cancer—and where that money goes. I was thinking I’d stay out of the fray. And then I realized that like a big, lumbering, drunken bear, I’d actually already stumbled into the woods of this controversy and I’d stumbled in on the side of the pink bunnies (not the strong, dominant bears that I’d like to think I’d be teamed with!). If so many folks were upset about Feel Your Boobies and Save the Ta-Tas…oh good inanimate object of reverence…what must they think of Save 2nd Base!! While this controversy was raging, here's my little blog with a big ol' photo and shirt giveaway for Save 2nd Base. And holy beagle—I have a Save the Ta-Tas t-shirt…and a Feel Your Boobies t-shirt….and (*the shame*) I like them. Maybe I haven’t given enough thought to all of this. Is that possible? Even having gone through breast cancer myself?

When I was first diagnosed and during treatment I continually had this vague (and then less vague) feeling that I was doing things wrong. Somehow, I was not handling breast cancer like I was supposed to. I always seemed to feel, act and express myself “differently.” I didn’t cry, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t a big fan of pink, I don’t ever want to walk in a race/walk/ anything that might make me sweat, and I didn’t want to go to support groups, I didn’t pray or go to church and I didn’t spend any time worrying, panicking or even thinking about what caused my cancer—I figure if scientists haven’t figure it out yet, I’m not likely to figure it out sitting at my desk in my p.j.s at two in the morning. I got treatment, kept working, blogged about all the indignities of treatment, finished treatment, had a party and well…that was it. Oh no, wait, I got involved in a local breast cancer resource center and am actively fundraising for them. So, yeah, I did it all wrong, apparently. But I got through it (so far…we’ll get to that too) and I did it the only way I knew how. Eventually that feeling that I did it wrong went away.

But now it’s back. And it’s back because of this controversy this week. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and Facebook posts by people I really respect and once again…I find myself on the other side. I find myself not able to agree with the people who seem to be really smart, caring, concerned, involved (in the breast cancer “movement” for lack of a better term) individuals. And what’s worse, I’m feeling marginalized and as though the work I’ve tried to do with The Pink Ribbon Place and fundraising is somehow wrong. Or not important. Or misguided.  And none of that is right. So while my initial response was to stay out of the fray…I can’t. I feel the need to speak up on at least a couple of points.

If you want the background on the specific controversy and the differing viewpoints (differing from me, not from each other), I refer you to several well-written blogs: Uneasy Pink, Nancy’s Point, The CancerCulture Chronicles, and Dear Mom: Can you Get Letters in Heaven. Start with Uneasy Pink because that’s where the controversy started (not through her intentional doing). Well, actually the controversy started on the Feel Your Boobies Facebook page, but Uneasy has screen shots of that on her blog (since many of the comments on the FB page for FYB have been removed—part of the controversy).  But I want to discuss things more generally—not directed at this specific happening.  I’d like to address the following arguments that I’ve heard in various places that I disagree with and just explain why.
1.       The idea/thought/argument that organizations like Feel Your Boobies, Save the TaTas, and, while they haven’t been mentioned yet that I’m aware of, probably Save 2nd Base as well, are somehow trivializing or sexualizing breast cancer; that these organizations are “dumbing down” the issue.  I see these organizations as making a difficult subject more approachable. It’s easier to get someone’s attention with a catchy or yes even “pretty” or, yes, even "sexy" slogan than to incite fear in someone. The cancer is breast cancer--I don't know what word could be used in any campaign that wouldn't run the risk of being sexualized by immature and irresponsible folks out there. (Feel Your Breasts was not going to be a less polarizing slogan, but it is less catchy). The discussion about the importance of self exams, and mammograms and early detection is an important one. It needs to start somewhere, and it makes much more sense, to me, to start the discussion (note, I said start, not end) in a more manageable, approachable way. A way that makes a person smile and then think. I don’t think it’s helpful to start a discussion with the horrors of breast cancer. If we scare people we may scare them into denial—plenty of people already put off mammograms or neglect self-exams precisely because they don’t want to know. They don’t’ want to think about it. Denial can be strong.  So the start of the conversation, the beginning (which is where these organizations are functioning) maybe appropriately has a lighter touch. A key point here though is who these messages are intended for. It’s not me and it's not likely my fellow bloggers. It’s not breast cancer survivors or their family and friends who’ve watched a loved one suffer from breast cancer. I don’t need to be reminded to feel my boobies. In fact, I have a team of people regularly feeling my boobies at the UCLA Medical Center. The audience for these organizations, at the level at which they, by their own mission statements, function is women, particularly young women, who aren’t regularly getting mammograms and maybe aren’t regularly doing self exams and maybe don’t even think about it much precisely because breast cancer has not yet touched their lives. There is a larger discussion of breast cancer and the need for a cure, of course. But these agencies aren’t purporting to cover that ground. They are simply trying to spread the word that early detection is important. It’s not the be all to end all in breast cancer and they don’t claim it is. But it’s still important. So I don’t think we can dismiss their work. A person can choose to spend their money elsewhere, of course, but I don’t think these organizations need to be ridiculed or attacked or even characterized as not worthy of support for the work they are doing. Which leads me to the next line of argument that I disagree with---

2.       That self exams don’t improve survival rates or, phrased differently, that because early detection does not guarantee the disease will not metastasize or that you will survive the disease, it’s not worthy of so much emphasis.  Again, I disagree. Self-exams are extremely important and cannot be over-emphasized. I know this personally. I had a clean mammogram in late July, 2008, and then found a palpable lump myself in November, 2008. I was diagnosed with stage 1c triple-negative breast cancer on January 12, 2009.  If I had simply waited for my next mammogram, my disease would have been greatly advanced and my chances of survival would have been greatly decreased. That's just a simple fact. My cancer went from undetectable to nearly stage 2 in 4 months. Imagine what 8 more months would have done! I have worn the Feel Your Boobies t-shirt. It has opened a lot of discussions with friends and strangers alike. And when I tell my story I very often hear that the person I’m talking to hasn’t ever done self exams, has put off their mammogram or never had one, or thought they were doing pretty good just because they had their annual mammogram. And I’ve always encouraged folks by saying we are our own best defense. Know your breasts; do your self exams.  And the shirt with its approachable slogan worked to open that dialogue and, I think, probably encouraged a few people to pay more attention to their breast health. Now, let me be clear, I do completely understand that there is the very real chance that even though I found my cancer early and received treatment early, I may in fact one day have a recurrence and I may find the disease—despite my early detection and self exam—has metastasized. I get that. But I also get that I have a much, much better chance of that not being the case because I did catch it early. Every single doctor I’ve talked to—and I’ve talked to a lot—has emphasized the better odds from early detection. I’d like to improve my odds as much as possible—it’s why I did chemo (which reduced my odds from 30% to 15% chance of recurrence.) I want every single chance at survival available to me.  Early detection provided me with an improved, though not perfected, chance of survival. So again, early detection and using every means available to us is an important message. I don’t think that because an organization takes on that message they have a moral, legal or ethical duty to also take on funding research for a cure. Feel Your Boobies mission statement is clear. They don’t mislead anyone into thinking they are funding research. If you want to fund research, absolutely, your money should be spent elsewhere. Which leads me to the next point of disagreement--

3.      The argument that "we’ve" moved beyond the stage where awareness should be the goal, such that research and finding a cure is the only or at least more worthy goal and that only organizations that fund or conduct research should be supported.  This I bristle at for several reasons. First of course because I spend a lot of time and energy fundraising for an organization that has a cute “pink” name (um, and I named it) and does not give a dime to research efforts (nor do we pretend to). The Pink Ribbon Place funds mammograms for un- and under-insured men and women and provides support, counseling, education, wigs, scarves, you name it…to anyone in our two-county area who needs it. Are we saving lives? You bet we are. Are we helping people suffering from this disease? Yes! Is that a worthy cause? Yes! Absolutely. Just as increasing awareness and promoting self-exams isn't going to help a woman today battling metastasized breast cancer, funding research today isn’t going to do one whit of good to the woman who finds a lump in her breast today and has no insurance or doesn’t know about mammograms or can’t get to a doctor or doesn’t know where to turn.  The Pink Ribbon Place will, on the other hand, be able to do some good for both women. Neither the awareness campaigns or the research campaigns can stand alone. They are both important! The “we’ve moved beyond awareness as a goal” bothers me as well. Because there’s a lot of privilege in that statement. “We” (and I include myself in that) who have insurance, have education, have knowledge of breast cancer and mammograms and self-exams can easily make that statement—yes, we’re aware, stop bugging me, let’s focus on a cure. But this overlooks the folks from different cultures, different socio-economic segments and differing backgrounds who aren’t, in fact, even in this day and age, aware of the need for mammograms, the need for self-exam or the fact that there are 26 different kinds of breast cancer and that there have been major advances in treatment. There are still people who fear doctors, who never get exams, who find self-exams shameful. Many, many people are still frightened horribly by the thought of breast cancer and assume that it always means radical bi-lateral mastectomy, chemo and certain death. And that simply isn’t true. It’s never fun, it’s never easy, but it also isn’t certain death. It isn’t even certain mastectomy or chemotherapy. That message isn’t out there yet.  I personally don’t want to see people operating from a place of fear—and that’s the risk of what  the heavy emphasis on the “reality” of breast cancer” can do. I want to see people empowered to feel they can do something about this—or at least give it their best shot. And if they need to be eased into the message with light-hearted campaigns, so be it. I don’t think FYB or Save the Ta-Ta’s or Save 2nd Base are in any way trivializing or making light of breast cancer. They are making light of self-exams. Sort of saying—it’s not that big of a deal to do a self-exam, so remember to do it. I just don’t see the harm in this. There’s room for both goals—continued awareness and the fight for a cure. Folks should of course be informed of what an organization stands for and where the money is spent, and make their decisions accordingly. I have no issue with that. If you think research is the best use of your funds--by all means, donate to research! If you just like the t-shirts, have at it. And if you want to support an organization like The Pink Ribbon Place that provides both awareness and direct services, but no research...well, here's a link: The Pink Ribbon Place. ;-) I find it all worthwhile. I've bought the t-shirts, I've donated and fundraised for the Pink Ribbon Place, I've sent money to the American Cancer Society, I've participated in two research studies for the Army of Women, I participated in a research study the night before my lumpectomy. I've done that because....I think it's ALL important.

Okay, Wow. Well, I didn’t really realize how much I did have to say on this. ( And you poor folks who just wanted the t-shirt…so sorry!) So, I think I’ll do this in two parts. This is enough for now. But I think I still want to discuss the “pink-ness” of the breast cancer movement and I did pull up the Feel Your Boobies 2009 income tax return (they’re a non-profit so it’s public record; and I'm a lawyer, so these things are easy to get) and I’d like to share that—because I think it makes it clear the organization isn’t a sham or just funding the salary of the founder. So stay tuned for part 2…or, you know, just avoid this blog for awhile.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Second Base

See that? That's me and that's Seamus and that's a shirt you can have. Okay, wait, not that exact shirt...I'm keeping that one (also, you cannot have my wine...I get so few glasses of it these days). But the good folks at Save Second Base sent me some shirts to give away on the blog! Cool, huh? Yeah, Seamus and I thought so too (which is why he agreed to semi-pose for the picture--note the attitude he's copping though). It's especially cool since Save 2nd Base has donated over $30,000 to breast cancer organizations in the few years it's been in existence. You can read more about them and the work they are doing (and why) at the Save 2nd Base website.

I have a hot pink shirt (like the one I'm wearing) in size L and another in P (which I can only assume means petite...I've never in my life been such at thing and this could in fact be the first time I've touched an article of clothing in size P). And I have a green one (with hot pink writing) in size M. So who wants one? I realize you can't read the shirt, but I'm hoping you are not surprised to learn that the green writing says "Save 2nd Base." I'm giving all 3 shirts away in a drawing.

Once again, we're going to let Seamus decide. Enter the Seamus-shirt-arama contest by leaving a comment below--tell me whose breast cancer battle you are honoring (hey, it can be really can just say me!).  Seamus is looking forward to selecting more toast winners.

Other acceptable comments's my hair looking? March 13th was the 2 year anniversary of shaving my head post-chemo. It's easy to remember because it was a Friday the 13th. That picture was taken on March 15th (a few days ago). But that's not quite 2 years of hair growth, because of course the hair doesn't start growing 'til the chemo stops. So that's about 1 year and 10 months or so of growth. I have to say...the color is bugging me. I may have to go back to blond. I see my stylist on Saturday.

Unacceptable comments are "how's the book proposal coming?" "Is the memoir done yet?" "Has the book sold yet?" or ... "Anybody can write a book!"  See where I'm going with this? Right. Crazy. The book proposal is back to my agent. I'm really, really, really hoping it's now "good to go" or at least only in the "minor edits needed" stage. Really. So much hoping that. I know you are too.

Comments between now and 5pm PST on March 30th are entered for a shirt!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Adopt an Adorable

That's not Seamus. That's Cosby...and he needs a home.

I'm participating in's adopt the internet day--March 15th. Seamus is an adopted dog--shocking, I know, since we look so much alike. I have volunteered with our local pet adoption agency for over twenty years now. Finding homes for these wonderful animals is definitely a passion of mine. So, in honor of Seamus, and for Cosby and the many like him, today I remind you---

More than 320,000 pets are waiting for homes on Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet today and find forever homes for as many as possible!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wherein I Give Up

So, yeah. I gave up.
I gave up hoping that somehow magically, just as it seems it magically appeared, this coat o' fat I've been wearing would disappear. It seems intent on staying.

And you may recall that my dear oncologist looked me straight in the eye, post "I have these lingering chemo side-effects" whining, and said "I'm willing to bet all of those would go away if you lost some weight."

The nerve.

The common sense.

So yes. I've acknowledged that the thirty pounds I've gained since Chris and I have been together  may in fact be related to our lifestyle and not chemo (yes, you read that right...30. 3-0. O.M.G.  But, um, for the record, Chris and I have been together almost 7 years...but I digress....). While chemo may have caused my metabolism to come to a screaming halt, it's likely it was only moving at a very leisurely pace previously. In fact, I think my metabolism was stopping to smell a lot of flowers along the way.

Time for a change. I've consulted with a dietitian/ nutritionist and...and...and....hired a personal trainer. (Raise your hand if you're shocked. Right...I'm now typing with one hand myself.)

Here's what I learned from the nutritionist that seems to be helping me a lot:

1) I think about what I can eat, not what I can't eat.   This has been the most helpful bit of advice, since I'm not good at denying myself. So if I'm at a restaurant, I go right to the "lite" menu and pick something. I do not look at the things I cannot have (and I try to ignore the server when the specials are explained). When I make a meal for myself or go grocery shopping, I do the same thing. It's worked much, much better for me!

2) I'm eating more fiber. In fact I'm eating a ton of fruits and vegetables (aided greatly by the fact that a client dropped off 2 big boxes of the most delicious oranges!) and my snacks are fiber bars. I have yet to feel hungry, which makes the below goal much easier...

3) I'm trying to stay at or under 1,500 calories a day. That used to be a meal for me. But, 1 and 2 above make that not too difficult. Now as for difficult....

4) I'm limiting my alcohol.  This has proven to be the most difficult. Not so bad when I'm just at home (but I do miss my of wine late at night, especially when I'm writing. Writing and wine go together in my mind...). It's much harder when I'm at community events, parties, or, um...Chris's Sunday Night Chef Fights!

So far though, I've lost 6 pounds, gained 2 back (I have no idea how that is, but it is...). It's been 2 weeks. I didn't even mention it before this because I wanted to make sure I was really doing it. And I am. The goal is to lose that 30 pounds. Yeah, I'm going to have to stick with this awhile. Maybe forever. (Can't think about that steps!).

I'll tell you about the trainer in the next post. My arms hurt to much to keep typing now....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our Good Fortune

 I've spent the last few days at home with Seamus, working a little, writing a lot and reading Sara J. Henry's "Learning to Swim" (which is fabulous--if you haven't bought it yet, all I can say is what are you waiting for??!).  I also received my signed copy of The Foremost Good Fortune by Susan Conley, which, I will admit, I've also been peaking at more than a little. I'm looking forward to diving in and absorbing the whole thing soon. 

Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about her memoir:

"China sat in the rooms of our house like a question," begins Conley in this luminous memoir of moving her family from Portland, Maine, to Beijing on the eve of the 2008 Olympics. Conley's husband had accepted a dream job in Beijing, and they had decided to say "yes to all the unknowns that will now rain down on us" including common difficulties faced by many families moving to a new city: a new school for her two young sons, finding new friends, and adjusting to a new apartment all compounded by the intensity of learning a difficult new language and adapting to a new culture. Conley's writing is at once spare and strong, and her description of having to present an unflappable front to her children while being hit "with a rolling wave of homesickness" pulls the reader into her world like a close friend. As Conley starts to hit her stride in her adopted city, she discovers lumps in her breast and finds herself on a different kind of journey, which she describes as "an essential aloneness that cancer has woven into my days." She explains in this engaging memoir that after her treatment in the U.S. was over, she returned to Beijing, where she searched for the perfect Chinese talisman to "ward off the leftover cancer juju" and hoping to help her boys move past their own fears of their mother's mortality.

Susan was kind enough to stop by this li'l ol' blog on her whirlwind (real) book tour.  So, with no further's my interview with Susan:

TDL: Susan—Thank you so much for stopping by my humble blog. I’ve interviewed a few authors on this blog and the first question is always the same, so let’s get started!
      We here at The Dog Lived (and So Will I) love our wine. What do you recommend we pour when we first sit down to read The Foremost Good Fortune? And what should we sip when we finish it?

SC:  When you sit down to read The Foremost Good Fortune you might start with a sparkling wine—Schrambsberg Blanc de Blanc. It was first brought to China by President Nixon in 1972 when he met with Mao. This wine is light and crisp and the opening of my memoir is a kind of travelogue and parenting handbook of successes and disasters that would go well with a really good sparkling wine. While you’re finishing the book, and my family and I have come out of what I call the circus that was my cancer treatments, maybe a wine that is a little more complex is in order—like an aged Pinot Noir.

TDL:      I noted that on the first page of your book you mention a “legal career” (it’s just slipped in there ever so quietly). Were you a lawyer? How did you make the transition from the legal field to writing? (And I’m not at all asking that because I’ve been a lawyer for twenty-five years…not at all…)

SC:  I was never a lawyer. But I had dreams of a legal career. I went so far as to try being a paralegal in San Francisco straight out of college. I worked for a well-known woman trial lawyer who brought a lot of gender cases to trial. Fascinating stuff. I learned a whole lot. Then after two years I realized that all the writing I was doing as a paralegal was writing I was meant to be doing in a graduate creative writing program. 

TDL:    As I understand it, when you left for Beijing with your family you had plans to finish writing a novel. How did that transition to a memoir about your time in China to a memoir that included your breast cancer experience? And…what’s the status with that novel?

SC:  That novel is alive and well. Knopf bought it as well as the memoir. The novel traces the life of a thirty-year-old woman from California, who comes to terms with love and with her brother’s death in France. The plan is for the novel to come out fairly soon after the memoir. Moving from the novel to the memoir (and now back again to the novel as I complete another draft of it) has been a study for me in narrative arc. It’s all storytelling—but the voice is distinctly different in each book, and in one I was limited by my experience and in the other I was only limited by my imagination.

TDL:      Can you share with us a little about your breast cancer? (What kind, what stage, how you found it… a lot of my readers are fellow BC warriors.)  Is breast cancer very prevalent in China?

SC:  My flavor of breast cancer was early stage—I think technically Stage 1b. I had estrogen positive cancer and HER/2/NEU negative. The grade of my cancer was aggressive and there were several tumors as well as DCIS. The hitch for me was additional cancer found after surgery in the mastectomy tissue which led to a concern about clean margins. I did a course of radiation and then I went on a hormonal suppression protocol, which I will do for about 5 years.
I found my cancer myself—the tumors appeared as small marbles in my chest wall. The mammogram I had in Beijing did not indicate any cancer. It was the ultrasound in China that revealed the tumors, though at first they appeared as cysts, which was confusing to everyone involved. I know each of our cancer stories has its own unexpected turns. No two are alike. I am three years out now and feeling very healthy.

TDL:      You capture a tremendous amount of very vivid detail in your writing, and the photos on your blog (and in the book trailer) are gorgeous. Did you use the photos while you were writing? What techniques did you use to capture all the details? Did you keep a journal? (If you say it was all from memory…I’m just going to stop writing now. My memory was bad enough pre-chemo!)

SC:  I am lucky to have a husband who is an avid photographer. So that has been a great thing in terms of having mental photos of the places I am writing about. But the way I capture detail in my writing is mostly through notes I take in a journal. My background, and that graduate school training I mentioned earlier, are in poetry. I was a poetry major in college and then again in grad school. I have taught poetry seminars and workshops for years at various colleges and schools. And I think that is where the eye for the details comes in for me. Poetry relies so much on that vivid image, and I was able to take that reliance on imagery in poetry and weave into the prose of the memoir.

TDL:      You mention on your blog that you found yourself walking the path between poetry and memoir. Wow. I find this to be a gorge and there’s no walking it! (Writing Poetry scares the beejeezus out of me! But I’m loving writing a memoir.) Can you tell us more about that? Your memoir is not in rhyming stanzas or iambic pentameter, so I’m all confused.

SC:  Okay. And I know. Poetry can be aloof. It can be scary! But here is what I think:  narrative poetry is actually, as Mary Karr said so wisely not that long ago, memoir’s first cousin. Both forms are interested in tracking a story. Both forms are trying to translate experience and to do it an authentic way. Both forms need to rely on description and image. I started in poetry and so it doesn’t scare me. But I get how it alienates a whole lot of people! One of the things I often do when I am leading a poetry workshop is try to demystify poetry, so that all we are reading for in the stanzas is the delight of the language. We are not trying to “solve” some secret mystery.

TDL:     I usually end with a dog question that is generally something along the lines of “why don’t you have a beagle?” But I assume there wasn’t a dog with you in China. So we’ll just go with, “is there a beagle in your future?” 

Oh this is actually a sad question for me. There may be a beagle in my future because the boys and my husband, Tony, and I adopted a rescue puppy last fall from Alabama and she didn’t make it. She was sick upon arrival and though we tried to get her through, the virus she picked up in the Alabama soil was too strong. So talk of dogs is very much on the table right now. Which kind of dog? Maybe a beagle! Thanks so much for your great questions! Happy wine. Happy dog. Happy reading.

We like our wine and our dogs and our books around these parts. Thanks for stopping by. 

P.S.--a beagle is a wonderful family dog. My theory is this: beagles are sturdy and "manly" looking enough that men aren't embarrassed to walk them; cute enough and small enough to make women happy, and energetic and friendly enough that kids love them.

Readers--I've given you the gift of two fantastic book recommendations. Go forth and read. And be sure to let me know what you think.

You can also watch her stunningly gorgeous book trailer by clicking HERE;  and visit her webpage at

Cheers, Woof and happy reading!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sleeping Sitting Up

Seamus's surgery was moved up to today--doctor's schedule, Chris's schedule, my schedule, Seamus's schedule all pointed to today as the best option.

The good news is that none of the bumps or lumps were cancerous. The bad news is he has stitches and "super glue" in various incision spots and apparently this is making it uncomfortable for him to lay down.  I picked him up at 4:30, brought him home, fed him and then got him settled in bed (my bed, of course). Since then (a few hours now) he's been trying to sleep sitting up. Then he falls asleep, falls or moves down and boom! he's awake and sitting back up.  I've been positioning pillows around him to get him some support so he can sleep and stay asleep. The photo is the particular set up that seems to work. He was asleep before I got off the bed to get the camera and is back asleep as I type this. I'm sure the pain medications helped. (I'm contemplating my own pain "medication" in a glass shortly...).

He's supposed to be wearing a cone (Elizabethan collar, if you prefer) because he has stitches on a back leg, but so far, he's not at all interested in the stitches. So I'm just going to let him rest, cone-less. It's been hard enough for him to find a position to sleep in, without having a plastic conehead hindering him.  It's funny, he's right where he slept when I was going through chemo and sleeping a lot, and he was keeping me company. So I think I'll just  keep him company now, too. That's how we roll in our cancer (free!!) house.