Monday, February 27, 2006

The Reader's Digest Version, Part I

I am endlessly behind on notes of my trip east. So here goes an account. You might want to get a drink of something, far be it for me to suggest exactly which liquid you might need during this event.

In addition to going over my clipboard of shipboard activities that first night, I set up the wireless router because I hate sitting on the floor in the bifurcated living room that forms two offices spaces. It seemed a delightful notion to be able to sit in relative comfort on my futon bed set up with a closed door while surfing the net for delightfully erotic cards to send The Girl Friend research for school, for Sunny, and um, you know, useful things. Well, it seemed to work out great. Except come morning.

Ah yes, morning, which came too soon. Probably the first time I obtained consciousness was because the sounds of retching coming from the nearby bathroom (did I mention it’s a small house?). The still present effects of the chemotherapy rear its lovely head. Once really awake, Lindsay is at me with a question about the internet connection having problems. Great, just great. He lives by this stuff (he works as a consultant from home). Thankfully they still also have dial up service (just for such emergencies, I’m guessing. Like their barely computer literate daughter comes home and confuses the hell out of their router with no idea who to fix it.). Of course it’s way too early to call The Girl Friend. We flounder about trying various things until he has a conference call, whereupon I head back into my cave like room and begin making telephone calls to set up various appointments for Sunny. Being technically a holiday (president’s day – whoopee!) some offices are closed but I have a fair bit of luck, key amongst them being getting an appointment to see the infamous Dr. Hoffman the next day. Lindsay somehow fixes the router, by taking down the wireless. Foiled again, back to the carpet I go.

At 2pm we have an appointment with her surgeon for a follow-up. The scar is healing really nicely, but her chest still looks a wee bit hollow and, well, simply odd, it’s so bare, not even a nipple gracing the skin. The surgeon pronounces her just dandy, reviews when she is with treatment. Naturally Sunny had some questions. The one I had an inkling of because of the clipboard, but was still mind blowing, was about a preventive mastectomy on her remaining breast. While looking over my clipboard I passed over this tidbit and didn’t ask anything about it. I was poised, tottering between feeling like she was over the top and dramatic, and thinking, “oh my god, what if she does need that that makes this all the more serious”. In reality neither is true. Her surgeon said there are cases where it’s clearly a good idea and others where it’s ridiculous. Sunny, because where else would she be, is in the middle of these extremes. Dr. Wertkin, if pushed, wouldn’t recommend it, but he wouldn’t refuse to do the surgery if she did the research, really thought it over and wanted it. Frankly I think it’s way too soon to really be making a decision like this, Lindsay and I agree on this.

Tuesday I make a few more phone calls before we head into Manhattan. We have made arrangements to meet our dear friend Deborah before the appointment. We had a lovely lunch, with Deborah nibbling on Sunny’s plate at Franchia. Lovely food, quiet atmosphere, but The Girl Friend would have a terrible time finding things to eat. Far too healthy a menu for her. From there we walked to Dr. Hoffman. I was finally to meet the man who has guided her health for, well, I don’t know how many years but I’m thinking at least 20 by now. It’s a pleasant space, nice staff but what truly impressed me is that he recognized Deborah who hadn’t seen him about 15 years. Despite my inclinations to think of him as a bit of voodoo doctor who makes far too much money, I liked him, though I still think his fees for his time and his concoctions are exorbitant. We walked out with a pricey bag of capsules, tablets, and powders for her to add to her daily regimen. Being practical we walked only about 2-3 blocks out of our way to check out a store for breast prosthesis. The store was inside an NYU medical building and very lovely with a helpful salesperson. The woman suggested that before we proceeded we check with Sunny’s insurer to see if purchases would be covered. We sat on comfortable stuffed chairs, Sunny on her cell, me flipping through a magazine. The magazine was Vogue or Elle, something like that, with a cover story about a model with cancer and her fight for life. Given the magazine I figured they were being dramatic, but compulsive as ever, I read the article. It was actually a good article (August 2005 of some fashion type magazine). The model had breast cancer and recovered well. But at some point later, she developed brain cancer. Wow. Okay maybe not the best choice of reading material given everything. I said nothing to Sunny about the article.

Oh I totally forgot. In one of those bizarre coincidences that only happen, well when they would be considered a bizarre coincidence I ran into someone I know that day. We are getting out of the car at the Metro North Croton-Harmon Station in the morning (Lindsay dropped us off) and I look at the car and folks behind us and it’s someone I know from Dance New England. It’s my buddy Judith G who lives in the East Village. What’s she doing up here? Turns out she grew up in the area and her mother still lives there. Too weird. Too cool.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Welcome home, honey.