On Friday, two of my beautiful out of town swell gals bought last minute tickets and flew all the way across the country to come hang out with me. They (along with my other amazing LA/Florida friends) coordinated an overnight stay in Yucca Valley, right next to Joshua Tree National Park. It broke my heart (and I am sure everyone else’s) to only be able to stay one night. In the end we didn’t even actually venture into the park, but to me that didn’t matter. I got to spend a little over twenty-four blissful hours with eight (at one point ten) people (and four dogs).
Amanda, Ben, Bob, Hailey, Heather, Jourdan, Lauren, Mikey, Tana and Tyler (and Cheyenne, Kilgore, Lady Bird and Seymour). – Yeah that’s right, I listed them alphabetically. There was a solo dance to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations. Pizza so spicy it had to be eaten with eyes closed. An agreement that the pizza was indeed spicy … for a baby. Eraser Head made a cameo. Somebody fell asleep at 8pm. And a private reading of risqué text dialog was performed by two people as a bedtime story.
So much food. Laughter to the point of tears. And love, all the loves. (Yeah whatever, I’m going to say cheesy things on this blog. If I can accept this, so can you.) It was great to get out of LA and not think about everything that is happening. Although I am constantly aware of the cancer in my body, these guys helped me momentarily push it to the back of my mind. Since I don’t feel sick, I was allowed to briefly forget. It felt like I was just enjoying a last minute getaway with my awesome friends. Nothing exceptionally special or out of the ordinary of what we typically normally do. Anyway, instead of getting into a million clichés about the bitter making the sweet sweeter, I’m just going to say thanks. I love you, and thanks.
I was able to get a second opinion scheduled at UCLA. It is for this Thursday, March 9th which is the day I was supposed to start chemo. So, I’ve decided to push back my first chemo treatment to March 17th. No cheap green beer for me this year I guess. (Who am I kidding I haven’t “celebrated” St. Patrick’s Day since college.)
When one of my very dearest high school girlfriends Beatriz heard my diagnosis, she immediately asked for a copy of my pathology report. She used to work at the Baptist Health Breast Center in Miami, and wanted to ask a doctor she used to work with for his advice. Beatriz sent me a (somewhat frantic) text on Friday afternoon while I was at work.
Bea: Hi… so I hope you don’t mind but I sent your pathology to the dr I used to work with and explained the scenario. He said you should start chemo ASAP … that is the normal plan of action … did you reschedule the chemo or paused it?
Me: I pushed it back to March 17th bc I have the second opinion @ UCLA
Bea: Maybe the UCLA will have better availability for your treatments
Me: Oh I can’t afford UCLA
It’s not in my insurance
I want to see what they would recommend [as a plan of treatment], if it’s in line with Kaiser then I’ll start
Bea: I’m sorry if I’m being annoying but Kaiser didn’t have anything sooner than 17? That way if its [in line] you can just continue and [if its] no[t] you cancel?
Me: I did it for a Friday because I can recover over the weekend. I’m going to try working.
Me: Thanks for asking your friend.
I appreciate. Did he mention what chemo?
I’m hoping UCLA just confirms Kaiser[‘s treatment plan] and I can start that [expletive starting with the letter “S”] ASAP. All this waiting is making me nuts.
Bea: Yeah [he] agreed with Taxol and mentioned something for your bones but didn’t give [the] name
Yea this is the worse part
Me: That’s exactly what the oncologist @ Kaiser said.
Bea: “She definitely needs Taxol and they usually start her off with 12 sessions and see how she does”
Me: Do you think I should just start the chemo next week if I [can] get an apt before UCLA?
Me: … Would a week make a big difference?
Bea: Let me ask
Ok [he] said not so much
Sorry [I] made you panic
Me: No way its fine!
You actually have me relived a little bit that another dr agrees with what my first doc wants to do.
Bea: Ok good
Love you Bea.
Many thanks again to everyone who’s been reaching out. Cancer sure does make you popular. But the truth is, I am very lucky to have such awesome people in my life. If you are taking the time out of your day to read this, you are without a doubt in this group of awesome people. Thank you. It’s hard to stay sad about all this when I have a constant flow of love and support. I find myself being a grump more often than usual. So your jokes, memories, personal stories, and simple thinking of you and hellos help keep the grump at bay.
I love you all.
Until next time.