Cancer – Latest Research Shows that Manatees Can Actually Cure It.

Hello. This is Hugh.


Hugh Manatee if you’re formal. Mr. Manatee if you’re nasty.

I have a friend named Lisa. She is insane. That’s a quality I really respect in a friend because it means I have to spend a lot less time explaining why my ideas are great ideas. Lisa has her own manatee. His name is Harlan. Harlan was a gift from her husband, and Harlan brings her comfort when he makes sweet, sweet manatee love to her. (This involves lots of squeezing, manatee hugs and occasionally spooning.)


I opened my door a few days after I had let my close friends and family know about my cancer and saw that I had a package from Amazon. At first I thought it was a juicer. I’ve heard that everyone diagnosed with cancer gets a free juicer. One of the cancer rules is that I now have to juice all the time. I’m down with that. Kale juice is actually pretty tasty in a bloody mary. But to my surprise, I saw a gift box. I opened it and there it was: my own personal manatee.

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Hugh also likes his booze. He and I are besties now. I don’t share the same fondness for lettuce, but no one is perfect.

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I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide what gender my manatee identified with. I was leaning towards a girl manatee because girl manatees seemed like they’d be more understanding of the whole having breasts things. But then my husband accused me of being sexist. He started his argument out with the fact that men can get breast cancer too, but his real argument was that guys like boobs. Therefore, my manatee should be a guy.

I still wasn’t convinced. Like baby names, I collected a cute list of girl manatee names: Esmerelda, Gertrude, Trixie (after Trixie Belden of course). But then my husband pulled out the big guns. If my manatee was a boy, he could be a drag queen. He gets me. He really does. So I allowed him to name him as a reward for that brilliant suggestion. And he came up with Hugh. Get it? HughManatee. Please don’t encourage him.


Hugh seems to be right at home here. He’s already hanging out with Peaches & Cream Ken. The cats seem to like him.

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photo (19)  Hugh promptly ate the flowers that another of my wonderful friends sent to me.

Hugh has been and will be joining me for all the fun cancer activities I have planned for this wonderful visit to Cancerland. He’s got his own special manatee bag.

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My mom made me promise to not introduce Hugh to my doctors on any of my first visits. Luckily, Hugh’s flippers were crossed. Besides – my mom should know me better than that.

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So far Hugh has gotten to put his flippers through the boob holes in my breast cancer center’s MRI machine.


Like I’ve mentioned before – a breast cancer center seems to have everything a regular cancer center does, just with boob holes in everything. He got to pose with the two lovely radiology nurses. He got to stay in the control room while my MRI was being done. My nurses seemed delighted with Hugh, and thought he and an amazingly high amount of Xanax would get me through this MRI in a very creative fashion.

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I got a picture with two of doctors. The doctor that performed my biopsy and read my MRI results is here. She’s awesome. Cancer should never fuck with her.

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My surgical oncologist made me promise not to post his picture all over Facebook. This is a shame because this man has gone to the Crystal River and swam with manatees. He even has a small manatee figurine (one of his staff told me). Luckily, I came up with a compromise. I only have the iPhone app for CatPaint. I was very upset to find that there was no ManateePaint app.


It’s in his surgical notes for my case that his Hugh will be able to hang out in the operating room and send me calming manatee vibes. I think he would be very good at poker, because at no time did he give me a “Bitch – you be crazy” look.

The people he works with are also amazing. George is the guy in shades. Cancer should never fuck with George.

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Hugh hung out with my mom and me when I had to go to UT for bone scan & CT scan. This was terrifying. First, I had to get an IV put in. I’ve already detailed my phobia of needles. Then I had to take tests that would tell me if my cancer had gone metastatic. Luckily I had a man that was a boss at starting IVs AND he liked Hugh.

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Hugh cuddled with me while I got the IV put in (He thinks I’m HILARIOUS when I take Xanax) and he helped me drink the crazy amounts of water you have to drink when you have these scans.

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Like I’ve told you all before: I’m not really interested in fighting cancer. I’m leaving that up to the professionals in the medical field – both doctors and researchers. I want to get through this whole experience and put it behind me. While going through this, I want to make cancer feel really bad because I’m mocking it so much, but I know it disconcerts some of you when I say I don’t plan to kick cancer’s ass. You don’t need to be scared anymore. I’ve got Hugh. I can concentrate on getting better and mocking cancer; Hugh can attack cancer with his crazy ninja kickass cancer moves. Hugh has some amazing gun skills as well. More news on that later.

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But you know what really helps? That my amazing friends and family and my wonderful blog readers understand these concepts:


I added a new item to my bucket list – swim with manatees. And all of the silly gifts, silly and/or heartfelt notes, offers to make superhero capes for Hugh and/or me and cheering me on with encouraging messages on Facebook, Twitter, my blog and the message board I run? I know exactly what that means.

I love you too. So damn much. Between Hugh and you all? I got this.

17 Comments on Cancer – Latest Research Shows that Manatees Can Actually Cure It.

  1. amy @ fearless homemaker
    May 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Hugh as a ninja is probably the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while. Thank you so much for the update – you know we’re all thinking of you + sending you the best vibes we can! And I do not doubt for one second that, as you say, you got this. =)

  2. Genie Gratto
    May 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Go, Hugh, go! Go, Kristina, go!


  3. Lisa
    May 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm (2 years ago)

    I was only giggling until I saw the cat superimposed on the doc. Now I’m in pain from what may be a busted spleen. And I’ve been outed as having taboo love with a manatee. I’m trying to care but failing miserably. :)

  4. Stacy
    May 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm (2 years ago)

    Pleased to meet you, Hugh! Manatees are awesome and you are a cancer-ass kicking marvel. Get to work, buddy! Also you are cuddly.

  5. Debbie
    May 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Hugh Go Girl!!

  6. Mellissa
    May 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm (2 years ago)

    My eyes have been opened! All my life I’ve been indifferent to the manatee, and now I see how wrong I was! I think Hugh Manatee is going to be the next big thing – move over Grumpy Cat! Ha ha! I love that all of your medical staff has photos with him – they look like a very capable bunch and you are obviously in good hands all around! Give Hugh a squeeze from me! XO

    • Marta Brysha
      May 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Indifferent to the manatee???!!!!!****** What kind of monster are you?

      • Mellissa
        May 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm (2 years ago)

        I’m so ashamed…. *sob*

  7. Marta Brysha
    May 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Here in Australia we call them Dugongs, which totally spoils the Hue-Manatee meme. I think the slow, gentle cow of the sea is an appropriate hand holder in any and all stressful situations. Love all the photos of your health care professionals, especially Dr Cat-Head.

  8. Ed
    May 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Did you know?

    It is believed that the word manatee comes from the Carib word “manati,” meaning “woman’s breast.” Carib is a language indigenous to South America and is spoken in Venezuela, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname.

  9. Cynthia
    May 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Hugh-manatee. I love your husband! He’s got this, too.

  10. Darlynne
    May 2, 2013 at 10:21 am (2 years ago)

    “Hugh’ve got a friend in me …” That’s the background music playing in my head as I admired the pictures of Hugh. You couldn’t ask for a better companion.

  11. Jennifer Hess
    May 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm (2 years ago)

    your own… personal… manatee…

    (sorry, I just had to share that earworm with you. xxxooo)

  12. Laura
    May 7, 2013 at 1:21 am (2 years ago)

    You made me cry! And I’ve never even met you in person! OK first you made me laugh because you’re funny even when you’re in pain apparently. :) But then you made me cry too. I wish I could come give you the biggest hug in the world.

    And holy cow that cat was fat. :)

  13. Georgette
    May 7, 2013 at 4:14 am (2 years ago)

    You’ve found your new best friend and he just happens to be your secret weapon against the big C as well, Kristina! You’re right…you don’t have to use your energy to kick cancer’s ass…your doctors and Hugh will handle this. With that team and your friends and family on your side…you’ve got this! <3

  14. The Modern Gal
    May 19, 2013 at 9:47 am (2 years ago)

    With the exception of the reason that this post exists (because, fuck cancer), this is my favorite post of all time, forever and ever, amen. Hugh-manatee — brilliant, and I wish I thought of that. Of course he’s a queen. Also, Peaches and Cream Barbie was my favorite as a child, but that’s only because I had not yet been introduced to Peaches and Cream Ken. I, too, have a thing for drag queens.


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