yesterday, when walking out of walgreens at 16th and mission, i came across someone who made my day (beyond all of you and your thanksgiving wishes and support). a sharply dressed man wearing white pants and a bright orange blazer was selling flowers. when i walked past, he said: “damn grrrrrl! if you’re sexy and you know it clap your hands!” at first, i thought he was talking about someone else. i mean, bald henna head wearing fleece pants and a purple puffy vest hiding behind sunglasses isn’t high on many people’s sexy list. but, he dropped his post and started walking next to me and said, “i love your henna, just love it. let me give you my number–it’s a 925 #, east bay, so you might not recognize it easy. but man, you look like someone who i could have a good time with night or day, NIGHT OR DAY!” ok, that got me. while it was slightly creepy and a lot overboard, it made me smile, which he was also happy about, “see! i got you to smile girl! MY girl!” so, there is hope for the world if on my worst days, someone can make me that happy and vice versa. don’t worry for mike, i didn’t write down his number and peeled off into a veggie market so i didn’t have company the 2 blocks home. but i did have a big smile on my face for a long while afterwards.
i’ve been thinking a lot about my other grandma, nana, this weekend given the 2-year anniversary of her death. we lost both grandmas less than a month apart. you might be asking, isn’t it kind of weird to entitle a post with the word “sexy” and talk about your grandma in it? well, yeah, kind of. but, my grandma nana always looked good, like damn grrrrlll. meaning, she was ready to have her portrait taken at all times with her estée lauder make-up, sophisticated white hair, and blingy jewelry just so. and, as mike and i decorated our christmas tree last night after watching the irish win yet again (woo #1!), we hung the beautiful, hand-beaded ornaments we inherited and set out the hand-stitched tree skirt and stockings for the mantel. it’s all beautiful and still style-appropriate after all this time. of course it is. i gave a big shout-out to her (see the tree all lit up, both before [and after] whiz tried to climb it). she survived breast cancer–twice. i was too young to remember most of it, or maybe i was old enough and she didn’t let on how tough it was.
i loved swimming at her and my baba’s condo in florida, even if all the other senior citizens didn’t like it when we overtook their water aerobics. and the windmill cookies always ready for us, or the homemade spritz cookies. and her always commenting how she loved my “hairs” (i wonder what she’d say about them now). when on her literal death bed, after mike and i got to the hospital right from the airport, she was in so much pain she had to keep her eyes closed. we hugged and kissed her, and she said, “i bet mike looks good.” still flirting at 92. and when nathan asked her what she wanted for christmas, without missing a beat she answered, “a new body.” and her ring from my grandpa that i proudly wear as our engagement ring. the advice she gave us with the ring that i think about so often, is that “love is a little word and a big word.” and the lesser profound but equally as important, “don’t get bothered by the damn piddly things.” she also told us that night, “you’ll get a lot of surprises in marriage.” oh boy was she right, on all of the above.
i’m blessed to be born into a wonderful group of people. i know you all have special people in your lives too, and i hope they know you’re grateful for them.
we received more good news at the clinic last week, that my tumor is hard to measure externally. right now, it just feels like dense tissue and cannot be easily grabbed. i also was accidentally enrolled in a study for stage iv cancer patients to analyze circulating tumor cells in my bloodstream. the results showed that i have zero circulating tumor cells, as one would expect but it was still an accident that continued to give concreteness to a business that is generally less than certain.
this week is my “week off,” as my NP told me. “week off” in cancer land includes an integrated oncologist appointment, echocardiogram, MRI, fertility specialist (forgot to include that in my first post!) and acupuncture. most of these are check-ins to see how things compare to the august baseline. i start up chemo again next thursday, 12/6. in the meantime, i will enjoy that week off, with mike, our house, my job, friends, whiz, and a glass of wine at some point (big previously forboden treat!).
take good care.
ps if you’re wondering, i have a million journals full of things written down that people say or i’m thinking. they might be one of my favorite possessions. you never know, something smart you said might come back to you too!