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About Chris

After some disappointing years spent as a starving actor, Chris Blumer turned to a career in drinking. She is the founder of her own wine consulting company called Winediva Enterprises, which provides wine classes, private tastings, restaurant training, and wine writing for people who want or need that sort of thing. Before this gig, Chris served as the Director of Wine Education and Events for Sam’s Wine & Spirits in Chicago. While she now enjoys being a dinner guest with winemakers at plenty of fancy pants restaurants in town, she still appreciates the years she spent behind the bar and in the front of house. Chris is proud to say she is no longer starving and would like to have first dibs on the title “Actress Wine Writer Whatever”.

She was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2008 during surgery for an ovarian cyst posing as a non-life threatening blob. It turned out to be a ginormous thang eclipsing cancer in the colon and ovaries. Her surgeon removed all of the tumors and some optional body parts while he was in the neighborhood. Chris got chemo every two weeks until November 2008 to make sure the cancer cells roaming around her lymph nodes didn’t get any ideas about sprouting anywhere else. The mets to her liver shrunk to damn near nothing by January 2009 and it was almost party time.

The pesky liver mets returned in March 2009 and a new plan was devised to assassinate them once and for all. In June of 2009 she planned to have surgery to resect and ablate the remaining lesions and hopefully preserve enough liver function to support many years of future drinking. Unfortunately, the surgeons found more intruders on the peritoneal wall and aborted mission. She’s on a new chemo cocktail for the foreseeable future and visits Northwestern Memorial every two weeks to spend some quality time with an IV drip and out of date magazines.

She’s still acting, writing, and consulting for people who will pay her for that sort of thing. Despite the nausea, menopause and hemmorhoids, she actually feels pretty darned good. The wine helps.

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17 comments

  1. Hey, Chris. You are amazing. Sharon sent me the link to your website so I check in on you periodically. I’m sitting here burned out from a day of thinking and can’t find a clever line in my head. So just know that I think of you and Marc often and send all the positive energy I can find your way. Give each other hugs for me. Love, Aunt Sue


  2. Thank you for sharing this with me! I really hope you write a book! I have never met you but I find you with such a great sense of humor that I can hardly wait to see you on the cruise! From one survivor to another! Hugs! Nancie *jncruisebums*


  3. Chris,
    I can not tell you how I am enjoying your entries and sharing with my patients in California. Jill is my boss and let me know about this site. You have great humor and wording that you are doing a great service to those who need this kind of straight talk


  4. Thanks so much Robin! I’m glad it helps or at least amuses some folks during a difficult phase in their life. The writing helps me tremendously as well. Just getting my wacky thoughts and fears on paper (or screen I guess) helps me get some perspective on this whole process. Tell Jill I said hi and a big thank you for the gloves!


  5. Hi Chris,
    What are your dinner arrangements for late night seating? Do you and Tom sit alone or do you want some company?
    We are just headed out to find the Truchard vineyard Pinot Noir, it sounds soooooooo good!
    Love your writing about your Chemo and treatments.
    Jim wants to know what kind of BBq you use. He has a Weber smoky mountain, a charcoal PK grill and a gas grill…We were going to sit with our friends Pat and Wayne but it is WAY to early for us!
    Hugs! Nancie


  6. Chris,
    Wow! Just heard about your visit with the big C Dog.
    I am very glad you are doing well and obviously your spirits are good on many fronts.
    Hope to see you back in action soon.
    Warm Regards,
    Scot


  7. Hi Chris,
    Just received your Winediva newsletter when I found out what you’ve been up to all this time. Loved listening to you and Steve Cochran on WGN and realized that you hadn’t been on for a while. So I saw the link to your blog and began reading. I was laughing my butt off, crying and feeling amazed by your courage and humor. You’re an amazing woman and I’m so glad you’re feeling better. I’ll look forward to hearing you on WGN this coming Friday.


  8. Chris,
    Wow! I didn’t realize the extent of everything. Your wit is awesome. I look forward to reading all your posts. I’ve read a few already and they are fantastic.

    We must wine someday again. It’s quiet over here.
    Lara


  9. Dear Chris,
    I too got hit by the big “C”. Went in for a routine colonscopy alost a year ago and Voila, it was lurking in there.
    The chemo makes me suseptible to the cold…so no outside other than running to and fro from my car…except on that glorious day when it was 60 degrees….I still wore my down jacket as opposed to my long “Michelin” coat. Your trip to the store is exactly how I felt taking the lunch time walk with the girls from the office.
    Thank you for sharing. I too listened to you on the Cochrane show all the time. I love your approach to wine. My husband calls me a wine snob…but I do have to tell you not being able to have my glass of cab with dinner is one of the things I do miss. You really do make wine very approachable and take the “snobbery” out of it.
    Here’s wishing you all the best. I am nearing the end of my treatment with a great prognosis…hoping the same for you.
    Pat


  10. Hi Chris, My sister lives in Chicago and listens to you on the radio. She told be about what you are going through and it really hit home. I live in St. Louis. I am going through the same surgery for Liver resection on June 26th to resect 60% of my liver and laser a few spots also. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in April 2008. I was 48 years old at the time and had never had a colonoscopy. I was having lower stomach pains. Was admitted for diverticulitis. After 5 days in the hopsital, it was determined that I had a blockage in the colon and performed a colon resection the next day. I went through the chemo protocal as you well know. I finished chemo on October 21st 2008. My follow up scan was done on May 1st that found the cancer is now in my liver. I will turn 50 on June 27, the day after my surgery. I would like to talk to you about your upcoming surgery. When is your surgery scheduled? We could compare notes! You are such an inspiration for me. I enjoy your humor. You have to be that way in order to keep on keeping on! I look forward to hearing from you.


  11. Oh my God. This makes me cry. I had no idea what you’ve gone through with cancer! Good Good girl. But much like my show which will hopefully show the light in the dark and the laughter through tears, you are effing hilarious and fun and I wish I was having a glass of wine (or two) with you right now! xoxo


  12. hey chris–
    just heard you on wgn and ran to this site. wow. great to hear you guys on the radio and just read a couple posts. my vibes are with ya even though we just, um, met. and i think my wife would love that bizarre halloween wine you guys drank. by the way, i’m a cancer cat w/a blog, too: http://theyearofdeath.blogspot.com/
    peace,
    e


  13. No blog entry in almost two months. Please let us know how you are doing.


  14. Chris-you don’t know me; I know your father in law. He sent me your website and it made me laugh and cry at the same time. I am not a cancer victim, but my sister was, so I can relate to a lot of what you are talking about. Bless your heart for being such a funny and brave inspiration to others. Best of luck with your battle. Mimi


  15. Hi Chris.
    I wanted to let you know how wonderful it was to hear your voice this afternoon on Steve’s show. I am a survivor having gone thru everything you have and are. So I do know what it takes to do even small tasks. You sound absolutely wonderful. Keep up the good fight.
    Pat Longanecker


  16. Just a quick Hi, to say I am still following what you are going thru and a big hug to you


  17. Chris,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of yourself. Your stories will live on and touch others. Rest assured you made an impact. And wine over $30 is for people I don’t know enough to be around these days anymore. You could write for them, or speak to those who might LOL over the grocery cart as assisted walker image. It’s whatever your mind tells you that it is. Thank you for having shared what’s in you mind, because it’s good stuff.



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