We’re fine

We’re fine. Really.

This morning I left my cell phone on my bedside table. I never do that.

On the way to have another core biopsy, on the right side this time, I tried to swipe my debit card at the subway turnstile. If you know anything about New York, you know it doesn’t work that way.

In the MRI dressing room, I couldn’t make the key work. Not rocket science. The nurse had to help me.

I wouldn’t stop talking during the procedure. The radiologist had to tell me to stop blabbing so that he could concentrate. He said it in a nicer way, but that’s what he meant.

Pete took a taxi down to meet me afterward. Taking a Valium makes me feel like I’ve just had 8 glasses of wine, and I’m not fit to navigate the subway home. Pete was a little late, so he took a cab and gave the taxi driver a $100 bill. He thought it was a $10 bill, and asked for $4 change. (We don’t usually carry hundreds around.) The taxi driver didn’t object, and didn’t give Pete a receipt. (The receipt would make it possible for Pete to track the driver by his medallion number and complain to city authorities.)

When we got home, neither one of us could remember where we had parked the car. We had a moment of panic, then realized it was right in front of our building.

We’re fine. Really?


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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3 Responses to We’re fine

  1. Katharina says:

    Oh Heather – you are in our thoughts and we are sending you all possible good wishes and vibes. You made me laugh and cry with this post . BIG HUG, Katharina

    • leftbreast says:

      Yesterday, the 5th, was better. Except the AC went out. Got it fixed, though. I’m feeling actually happy today, if that’s possible when one has breast cancer.

  2. Catherine says:

    OMG, you guys. It would almost be funny, except it’s not. Sorry you had one of those kinds of days. In the twilight zone. And with a damn thief of a cab driver to top it off. Hope today was better. xo

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