Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Fun

I had a great weekend, how about you?

Last night on a phone call I actually said "the great thing about cancer . . . " I forget what it was but my friend rightfully mocked me for the phrase. And yet, I'm going to go ahead and use it again:

The great thing about cancer is how it shifts priorities. All of those lunches and dinners and phone calls I've been meaning to coordinate, schedule and return over the last few months . . . done, done and done. By letting my own schedule go (you know, because of the cancer), I have managed to meet various friends for brunch, lunch and dinner, go to a Yankees game and a movie, set-up for an alumni event, host a dinner and even make spontaneous plans when my original plan regrettably falls through.

And that was just this week.

I had to purposely skip out on something Thursday night just so I could spend some quality time with my couch because I was getting a little socially overloaded! Always good to look on the positive side.

As for my weekend. This past weekend holds one of my personal favorite events of the year in New York City - the 9th Avenue International Food Festival. I've written about my love of this particular street fair before so I won't repeat myself. I will say I think this street fair is generally the first one of the summer I attend so it feels like an opening. Unfortunately, due to chemotherapy starting up soon, I won't be eating street food this summer . . . have to be cautious with a weak immune system.

I have also stopped eating meat (but seafood is still in the diet) so I was curious to see how the street fair would go without it. My friend Julia and I still found plenty of food to sample (we split everything so we could try more options) including a lobster roll, vegetable samosas and the best mango lassi I have ever tasted, spinach-filo something or other (Greek), mozzerepa (a delicious corn pancake thing with mozzarella cheese inside), three little cupcakes from a Japanese dessert place I love (2 of the 3 were good and one was blah) and I know there is something I'm forgetting . . . what I am not forgetting was this fun old fashioned soda shop place where you bought a tin mug or a cup to refill all day.
They definitely made money on me since I only filled up twice and neither time all the way. Plus, I was one who splurged on the tin mug. I had Birch Beer and Orange Cream Soda. Both were delicious.
Here's a shot of this year's crowd. Saturday was overcast and on the cool but not cold side and ended up being quite pleasant since the rain stayed away (at least while we were wandering around).
I found a tent selling hats and went a little nuts. I bought five. Also, I shamelessly used cancer to bargain for a good deal. I told the guy I would be bald in a few weeks and needed lots of hats and I got a great deal (at least, I think I did since the other woman working there seemed upset at what I paid!). Here I am modeling one of my new hats:
In other weekend news, the fertility shots got more intense as I neared the end of my cycle (my retrieval procedure is tomorrow - hooray!). There was a lot of mixing of potions and different procedures for each of the three injections I was shoving into my belly. By the end, I was having a hard time finding a new spot for the needles. Here's a photo of all the junk I needed on display for the nightly routine:
I was also being monitored more closely by the clinic which means I was there Saturday, Sunday and today - before 8:30 am! And last night I had to give myself my last shot at 12:30, get to the clinic between 7 and 830 am and be ready for work. Oh, and it was pouring rain making it difficult to get a cab and slow going cross town so I didn't arrive until about 8:45 am. Which wasn't too much of a problem, I just had a long wait. On top of the news that I have no more shots, the doctor monitoring me this morning counted 14 eggs - 7 in each ovary! I was told I would be lucky to get 8 or 9. Of course, I am tempering my expectations a bit because I recognize that a count of 14 does not mean they will successfully retrieve all 14. But I also like the little sliver of hope offered when the doctor told me there may be more . . . wow!

In other fertility news, I watched a little video on the crypreservation process that includes the statistics from the clinic I am using (something I normally would have asked about or research before starting treatment but in this situation, I really just didn't have the time or mental capacity!). After watching it all under a magnifying glass I am really questioning what I thought I heard a few days ago about my eggs measuring 14 mm . . . clearly I misunderstood something at that appointment. At any rate, all is going well so wish me luck tomorrow.

I finished off the weekend by hosting a mentor of mine and his wife for dinner. I love long-lasting friendships that survive time and distance. I worked for him in Sydney, Australia exactly 12 years ago as an legal extern. It was one of the first stepping stones in my legal career and I believe it put me on the right path. Before I ever got the diagnosis, we had plans to meet up when they came to town. Instead of going out, I offered to cook. You see, among the information I have read about side effects of chemotherapy, I have learned many people have issues with their senses - smell and taste - on top of nausea making it difficult to cook. So I cooked.

I made a big pile of roasted vegetables with chickpeas (tastes like spring!).
Mushroom and snow pea risotto:
Some bay scallops with cherry tomatoes which refused to be photographed and a new chocolate souffle recipe I was experimenting with.
They looked prettier when I served them with ice cream and fresh berries.

Even better than the food was the opportunity to have good people in my home with excellent conversation about interesting topics. You want to know the other great thing about cancer? It shines a warm, glowy light on friendships and brings them in real close in a way we (or maybe I) just don't allow or possibly even see under normal circumstances. I am absolutely amazed by the generosity of heart of the people I have been lucky enough to cross paths with over the years. There is a reason I feel so strong and untouched by this thing inside me - I am protected by the love of my friends and family.


lemoniepants said...

recipes please...

Anonymous said...

I work as a radiation therapist, I would recommend you don't make dramatic changes to your diet (such as giving up meat) unless recommended by your oncologist. You could try just reducing your meat intake (especially red meat) if you want to be as healthy as possible. Don't feel like you have to go health crazy though, a balanced diet is more important than a fat free one! Good luck :) x

Soul-Fusion said...

thank you anonymous. I am actually not making too many dramatic changes in my diet and giving up meat isn't huge for me. I don't eat much anyway. I have been reading a lot about nutrition and have discussed it with my oncologist. I'm a health focused eater anyway and am just refining what I already do for the most part.

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