What is NOT Cancer 2

Your husband calling you up on a Friday afternoon to propose an impromptu date: Meet me at the Red Hook Lobster Pound. They’re supposed to have the best lobster rolls in New York City. OK, New York is not Maine when it comes to lobster, but you can always count on two topics in New York: real estate and food.

Actually finding the Red Hook Lobster Pound, in the old industrial nabe not-so-slowly becoming hip and swank. (For non-New Yorkers, it is the neighborhood portrayed in the Marlon Brando movie, On the Waterfront. It was dangerous ten years ago. Still a little dangerous, in places.)

Commiserating with an NYPD Highway patrolwoman that the Lobster Pound closes at 7 p.m. It is 8 p.m.

Salvaging the date at a restaurant down the street. Realizing that the couple next to us were probably in first grade the year that Pete and I got married.

Eating lobster—from the Red Hook Lobster Pound!—at the new restaurant. Eating oyster po’ boys. Eating tempura onion rings. Thinking I need to stop this fried food thing.

Drinking Red Hook Punch: lemon juice, mint and gin. Boozy summer.

Meeting a friend at the new restaurant, and talking, talking, talking.

Waking up the next morning to a cool 68 degrees and no humidity in the middle of a New York summer.

Walking the dog in Prospect Park and taking her to the “dog beach” there,  the essence of canine chaos.

Getting my hair done. Talking with the colorist about how much we hate Fox News and love Rachel Maddow. Talking with the stylist about how hamsters are not ideal pets. If you have smelled a dirty hamster cage, you know.

Sitting in a quiet house, alone, with the dog at my feet, the cat at my shoulder. Windows OPEN. AC off. Ahhh, July. This is how it should be.


About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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