Flying visit


We woke up super late today, for those keeping score of our Mondays. The unrelenting grayness in the sky coupled with the kids tiptoeing out of their room and not getting into immediate squabbles lulled us. (It may be time for us to consider setting an alarm, honey.) In spite of this, we managed to get out of the house in time, even with Young J on the injured list. He slipped and fell at a party yesterday, and may have sprained his hip. Lucky for him, he was able to ride his scooter to school. It’s easier than walking.

I lay there willing my body to move despite soreness. I accompanied Young A to a birthday party yesterday and its location made it hard to access by bus, so I walked and he scooted, almost a mile each way, the way back up a steep hill. It suddenly occurred to me I had a checkup early this morning with my melanoma surgeon, Dr. S. It’s a formality, at this point. Something I should have been doing as a completely healthy person. And in that sense I am – I’m so over cancers that are only skin-deep. I’m more complex than that. I filled him in on my November ordeal, he told me I seemed completely fine and that I looked well, which is important. He did not make any of his signature jokes, which disappointed me, but maybe he saves that for people who are really screwed.

On the way out I waited at the reception desk to wish Quentin, my buddy, a happy new year. I wanted him to know he wouldn’t be seeing me but that it was okay. It’s my small way to take care of the people who care about me. In the elevator on my way up, I rode with a nurse who was coming in to work. I realized after a moment she’d been my infusion nurse, the day I got the Remicade that fixed me. I said, “Hey! You were my nurse! I’m doing great now!” She said she was so glad to see that. And I thanked her. Yesterday, I sent the melanoma team two boxes of fancy pears (to counter the choco-apocalypse I saw in their office the other day). I am looking for ways to say thanks. Because despite the looming uncertainty of the scan, which won’t be resolved for almost a whole month, I feel – finally – fine. And the people who got me there – medical personnel, caregivers, cheerleaders and supporters, readers of the blather posted here – deserve to know.

After my appointment I went for a fancy, late breakfast at a place right near the cancer center which I hadn’t gone to before. I ate a frittata which was accompanied by some salad. SALAD. I didn’t realize it until my first bite that this was my first salad in a month. It was a good one. Minimally dressed, some slices of fennel mixed in, subtle and delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it. I am so happy to return to plant-based eating. All the carbs and protein have been fun, but balance is better. I crunched my salad gleefully, possibly eating it (as the Italians like to say when someone is eating too eagerly) like a morto di fame. Well, guess what? Not so long ago I nearly was starving to death. So get over your etiquette, and if you love me, bring on more of the leafy green stuff.

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