Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cancer and Chopard

i am writing with the lymphedema garments on again, so no caps or ap style today. sitting at lga after a fantastic 5 days. it was so fulfilling to see both new friends and old. and once again this week was a staggering reminder of just how fortunate i am in every sense of the word, most especially when it comes to my amazing network of friends and family. also, i feel supremely blessed to be a "connector," who seems to attract like-minded and unique people. screw it. pardon grammatical errors as well; i want to bang this out before my flight boards.

ostensibly, my nyc trip was to see the wig guru, which went well. he dyed it back to my natural, darker shade and i likey sooo much better. you will all see in the photos tk. aside from wig guru though, this was a beneficial, satisfying week on many levels, personal and career wise.

as a result, i think i shall proclaim myself a hindu, given the good karma that is finally coming my way. cancer and good karma, hand in hand? for me--absofuckinglutely.

here's what happened. on tuesday i dropped the wig off at ralf's. he only needed a few hours to do the jobs. since he's on the upper east side on 75th, mom and i decided to eat at the viand on madison and then proceeded to travel the shopping stretch from barneys north. we always look in the windows of chopard, which makes my favorite watches, but we don't often go in to browse. this time we did, and i can say without a doubt that fate guided that decision.

mom got some help looking at watches while i browsed. oh, i was sporting the shaved head and the lymphedema sleeve and glove. mom finished and went outside to take a call. i noticed a display case with baubles and watches with a placard that said a portion of proceeds benefit the aspca. i asked mom's saleswoman, vicky to show me some of the watches so that i could choose one for my luxury goods column in juli b next month. the pr director happened to be in-house, so we met, but vicky stuck around.

"if you don't mind me asking, do you wear the compression garments on planes?"

"do you have breast cancer?"

i have to be brief, so long story short. she finished treatment april 07. who is doctor? larry norton, naturally. the head of sloan's breast center. who you may remember is harder to get in to than, well, anyone in the country perhaps. she too was lucky to have a connection.

mom has returned. we shoot the shit for a while. she tells me her story and vice versa. at a certain point, she looks at my mom and says "you must be so happy she is okay. this must have been so hard on you."

mom bursts into tears. vicky bursts into tears. i start laughing, of course. there are group hugs all around. we exchange info and advice.

now, remember, we are only at chopard at that moment in time because my wig is with ralf. her 3 month mri checkup is scheduled for the next day. i'm sorry, but that is no mere coincidence. not one bit, folks. so she is seeing norton the next day. i tell her to tell him i say hi, ditto for his nurse karen. we bond over what an angel doctor norton is, and we both like him for the exact same reasons. this man is a true gem, a rare, d-color, vvs1 diamond.

we all hug several more times and bid farewell, promising to keep in touch. as mom and i head to the atlantic grill to meet brother for lunch, we are truly reeling.

i think mom wants to trade me in for vicky, in fact. i emailed her today to see how the mri went. let's all keep our fingers crossed for her.

i don't really know where the path i am on right now will take me, but i can say with absolute certainty that it's the one i'm supposed to be on. i am looking at the road ahead of me with curiosity, happiness, and great faith.