Gretchen Rossi

Gretchen Rossi explains going from hostess to house nurse, and responds to hurtful gossip.

on Dec 23, 2008

I was super surprised to see my burlesque party show up in this episode because we filmed it much later in the series, and there was so much more that went on that night! I had tons of yummy food and one of my best girlfriends made the most amazing desserts ever! They were beautifully displayed on platters in the kitchen and they were the highlight of the night it seemed, because they were so delicious! Her company is called Sweet Spills. Go visit her website to see her yummy creations:

The whole theme of the night was to teach me and my girlfriends a few fun things about burlesque style stuff - to learn how to do some fun burlesque/pin-up sexy girl makeup and learn a little "shimmy" dance from the burlesque girls. We actually all did get up and do a shimmy together, so I was super bummed they didn't show it because it was cute and funny. My girlfriend Ally Fisher who works at Holiday in Newport Beach did a little lesson on makeup application and was so sweet and brought all the girls makeup bags full of goodies. All my friends are super talented and gifted and I felt they showed too much of me and missed so much of them! What really made the party fun was the interaction and everyone participating in the fun!

The peacock outfit I was wearing was from my 30th birthday bash that Jeff threw me last year and it was custom made! It is one of my favorite outfits ever! However I didn't wear the authentic panties that came with it because it probably would have been too revealing for television (that outfit was already a little over the top, so it was probably a good idea I didn't wear the original ones I got to go with it.) I had so much fun with my girlfriends at the party, and seeing the footage makes me realize how truly blessed I was to have so much love and support from friends and family this past year while Jeff was sick. My friends and family encouraged me constantly to do things outside of taking care of Jeff, in order to take care of my own spirit through it all. Most of them saw the constant pain I was dealing - they saw me worried all the time, stressed, constantly crying, upset and depressed often, and just the physical drain of taking care of someone so sick. They really wanted me to get away at times to have fun, which is what Jeff wanted for me as well. So the party was a perfect way for me to do that. It was hard sometimes to relax because I wasn't sure if it was right, but once I did, I was happy because it revived me.

You get so caught up in the routine of the hospital, doctors, IV and TPN administration at home, what meds to take, worrying if he has taken his pills today, has he eaten (if he could) today, up all night with him checking for fever, or helping him to the bathroom, grabbing a throw up bucket and helping him through those tough moments etc. etc. that you sometimes even forget to stop and make sure you ate yourself. So I am glad I had friends push me to take time off to do things that were fun and took my mind off of things.

You will see in the series that I travel to a few different places due to encouragement from both Jeff and friends and family to get away and get refreshed, but I always made sure he was well taken care of. His kids would come out and stay with him when I went out of town with family or friends for a quick reprieve. Jeff always encouraged it and I am grateful that he understood that sometimes I needed time away from it all. You see with cancer, you eat, live, and breathe it. The illness becomes your life - no matter how far away you travel or how much fun you try to have to forget about it, it's always there in the back of your mind.