Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dear Cancer: I Quit

I know you guys are dying; on the edge of your seat awaiting my brilliant recollection of the port removal and the subsequent end of my tenure as a surgical patient. Well, wait no more. Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. mom and I headed to the Mount Sinai Gummenick Ambulatory Center for (what better be the) final time.

By 7:30 I was going under—Vercet and something else that equals 'twilight'—and by 8:30 I was awake. And, unfortunately, talking. Some people cry when they wake up from anesthesia; I talk. In this case, about a family friend who's moving here and looking for an OBGYN practice to join. Even under anesthesia I'm a connector. So not normal.

"Are we done?"

"Just finished."

I think you're basically 'awake' when you're in twilight, but the Vercet gives you retrograde amnesia and the other stuff makes you not feel anything, so where does that leave you? Completely fucked-up for about an hour. As soon as I was in recovery, I was ready to go. I would've run out of that room with the fucking IV pole attached and my plump ass showing if it had been up to me. By the time I got into the room where you sit in chairs, change your clothes and get the IV out, I was operating at 100 percent. I was a lot more sober than I thought I'd be, unfortunately. Mom and I drove home, stopping at Epicure first, natch, chilled out for a while and then Lynn arrived from Palm Beach.

So we were sitting around my apartment for a few minutes, wanting to just "relax," since I did just have surgery after all.

"What do you want to do?" I asked them.

"It's up to you. What do you want to do?"

"I don't know—you decide."

"We-elll," mom says, "what are our choices?"

"I don't know! Bal Harbour? The park? Neiman's outlet?"

"Steph, I will do whatever! You decide!" Lynn says.

After about two minutes of internal debate: "Oh, fuck it. Let's go to the Neiman's outlet. It's our cancer tradition. I think we have to go." We don't want to piss off the karmic cancer Neiman Marcus gods after all.

So we headed for the Dolphin Mall and spent an hour or so at NM Last Call. (Good prices now FYI.) I picked up a frilly little DVF mesh sundress and mom snagged a cute pair of Manolo flats. Blue patent leather—"I don't have any blue shoes," she reasoned. We need every color on the Pantone chart, you know?

We headed home, chilled out for a few minutes and headed for a celebratory dinner at Smith and Wollensky with Ben and Laura. I've never had issues with Wollensky's—in SoBe it's on the water and is quite lovely. Wednesday night though as the four of us vegetarians dined—I like steak house sides, okay?—a stray cat strutted his stuff all along the patio, waiting for scraps. Our waiter was a real prick, and I bit into and then spat out a big hunk of bacon that looked like a crouton in my chopped salad. It was kind of a ridiculous scenario. I'd had four hours of sleep, a surgery, a shopping excursion and a big dinner. I slept for 12 hours afterwards.

So what're the post-op effects? I have steri strips over the port site. My right boobie is verrrry swollen and the area around the tape is really fucking itchy. (The really cool thing though is that because the port was basically invading my right tata for more than a year, now that it's out my uppermost right rib will shift back to its normal position and consequently the right boob will drop, according to accupuncturist. Once he told me that, I could feel the difference between the left and the right girl; I could actually feel the right rib laying higer than the left.) I have to wear the strips for a week or so, and then go back to Mesko next week. Which reminds me the nurse didn't call me back yest and I must get in before he goes on vacay. Photos below and more later. xoxo

One last surgical smile

After a long day, I didn't feel like wearing the Ralf.

Ben and Laura, our Bradgelina

Ben's alter ego—Jewlander