The one-two punch combo of dance class and office work is her show of defiance to the cancer and chemotherapy. She does it even though it hurts. But she knows it’s more important to do it than to do it perfectly, so she goes and tries her best. And it helps get her ready for for two more glorious weeks of Cancerpalooza before she takes the poision again.
But the highlight was dessert a carrot cake decorated with ‘FU Cancer’ on the top and tiny little titties. Kasey and Betty tell us a hilarious story of a shocked bakery clerk at the Whole Foods who didn’t quite understand their special request for the carrot cake decoration. The ‘F U Cancer’ lettering was easy enough, but asking her to draw boobies took more time. HA HA. And she made them sooo small – she obviously doesn’t know the size of Trish’s rack either.
One the one hand, breast cancer is ultra-serious and the consequences possibly tragic. On the other hand, it needs some levity, and there is power in being able to laugh at it. I found the internet buzz about the ‘I will Survive’ dance by a survivor of the concentration camps to be interesting because, about a much greater tragedy than even breast cancer, it explores the concepts of horror, respect and the power of laughter.
A great check-up from the surgeon.
We roll up to the medical center that has been our second home this summer and walk into the offices of Dr. Katherine Alley, Trish’s cancer surgeon. We haven’t seen her in a few months. Our last visit was kinda frightening because she grimaced when she felt the lump and said ‘Wow, that’s not good.”
That was also when she instructed Trish to get chemotherapy first, which was not what we wanted because we thought it psychologically comforting to get the lump out as quickly as possible. That visit was depressing.
After massaging around for a good 30 seconds, she said breathlessly, “this feels really good!.” (Ruh Roh. My boy-brain is having trouble trouble staying focused on the medical procedure.) Dr, Alley went on, “the lump is much softer and smaller. This will make the surgery so much easier. These are very good results from the first 4 treatments.”
Awesome! At least the horrible poision is doing it’s job. And we still have to more doses to kill it.
Planning for the Mastectomy
in her office, Dr. Alley walks us through the preliminary schedule for the surgery. Four weeks after the last chemo treatment (the end of September), Trish will have six hours of operation performed by two surgeons, Dr. Alley the cancer surgeon and a plastic surgeon. Assuming there are no complications, she will need two nights in the hospital followed by 4-6 weeks of recovery (but not bedrest – Trish will be up and about.)
The mastectomy, is a modified radical because they are taking lymph nodes too – perhaps 12-14, but they won’t know for sure how many until they get in there and look during the surgery. Dr. Alley is optimistic that she will not need to take all the nodes in the arm, which dramatically decreases the long term risk of Lymphedema, an uncomfortable, unsightly swelling of the arm or leg because lymphatic fluid can’t drain properly.
So for those of you that suggested she get one B-cup and one DD-cup to accommodate different needs, or a trio of boobs (if two are good, three must be better, right?) – you are out of luck. Insurance will only cover symmetrical boob replacements. We are still investigating if four boobs would be covered, one DD-set for my boy-brain and one B set that needs no bra ever.
Please register your vote for the size of her new rack on our facebook page ‘Trish’s Boob Page – Go big or Go home’
We celebrate the great news by buying some awesome knee-high. suede purple boots and a swimsuit (above). I know right? It takes a lotta’ woman to pull those boots off, but if she is anything, she is a lotta’ woman. Naturally she gets all the attention from the male help as she tries them on.
Mother-daughter dance with Helen Hayes.I’ve talked a lot about how dance has been important to this family and Trish’s cancer recovery this time and last. Early on in the treatment, we went to Lily’s hip-hop recital from her joy-of-motion dance class. At that show, we won a silent auction for an hour of private lessons with Trish’s favorite dance teacher/choreographer from JoM, Helen Hayes.
Helen and I arranged to use the time for a monther/daughter dance session that is finally here! Everyone has been excited to do this,
The Joy of Motion new Bethesday studios are mostly empty this evening and we pick the biggest room. Helen takes the girls and Trish through some warm-ups. True to their personalities, Emma stays tightly focused and Lily is a little distracted. But both settle in once the initial stretching is done and the dances start.
There are three or four routines they do, each one displays different techniques that Emma and Lily pick up with ease. They are all so beautiful. Trish is beaming broadly the entire time, and is thrilled and touched to be doing modern dance with her girls. And Helen is completely enjoying herself.
There have been a lot of things in Cancerpalooza that Trish has liked, but she was really appreciative and graetful for this one. It was special, not just because of the activity, but because of Helen, who made this a really touching, meaningful event. Helen does some amazing work with kids at Joy of Motion, and was recently featured at the White House with her kids doing a great piece from Hairspray.
Ten thousand calories of butter
Tonight I’ve struck out entirely, and we have reservations at Citronelle, which have to be made a month in advance. I bargain with the parents of Emma and Lily’s best friend from down the street to swap sleep-overs. It works out and we quickly get dressed.
Citronelle is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in DC. We’ve been meaning to go for years, and it’s testament to Michael Richard’s determination that it has remained great for a decade or maybe more.
Outside it’s bright and hot, but the inside is dark even at 6pm. There are no windows, it’s a basement dining room. Trish looks amazing in her gold Louboutins and her flapper costume jewelry. The jaded hostess tells her she looks hot.
The first plate of the 10 course degustation comes served in a carved eggshell with a little egg salad, and a cool, creamy asparagus soup (right). Tasting menu courses that follow include pea and crab soup, soft-shell crab, seared halibut, a lobster slider, shortribs and a few others plus cheese and dessert.
But by course five we are feeling a little heavy. The protein with cream/butter sauce pattern is too repetitive and too much. Every dish is a piece of fish or meat with a cream and butter sauce. I wonder if the dinner comes with a complimentary angioplasty.
I know it’s French, but it’s also contemporary cuisine and in 10 courses there is easily space for a vegetable or two, even a (shocker!) a salad to break up the heavy. In truth, for the money, we probably won’t go back soon but it is certainly a fine restaurant and we’ve enjoyed every one of the ten thousand calories we ingested.
It’s 3 am and Trish says she has to get some sleep. As the birds begin their morning chirp and i doze off, I think about how much I love my wife. She’s my best friend.
Corduroy and Dance PlaceNext Reflex dance Company at Dance Place that is a simulated nightclub concert experience. But first we stop across from the DC convention center for some dinner at Corduroy.
Corduroy is exactly the kind of restaurant DC needs more of, great food that isn’t a gimmick or themed or stylized beyond recognition. Maybe Trish and I are food exhausted after eating at so many places. Maybe last nights’ butter and cream orgy is still slowing our thoughts. But when we eat a simple corn soup or grilled pork loin au jus, it seems perfect and delicious and exactly what we want.
Courduroy is the kind of place that would fit any occasion, high-brow or low, fussy or not. You won’t be challenged by the food though. It’s accessable and fantastic to any palatte. We will definitely come back.
Kids and Cancer
Emma struggles a little this week. She is uncharacteristically angry (punching Lily, who probably deserved it) and having tiny tantrums, both things she never does. When I talk with her, she can’t put words to her feelings, and I don’t press her. It could be a number of things; the cancer, her best friend is moving away, or tween hormones.
Our family event for the week is Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center. This was one of the hardest tickets to get in DC and we are fairly far back, but good enough to see. I won’t spend a long time on the review. We all thought it was terrible. Oh well, not everything is great, and we have a huge week of fun ahead of us to look forward to.
56) Citronelle: Beautiful, delicious and too much of a good thing.
57) Mary Poppins: Um, yeah. Sorry about that kids.
58) Contribution to JoM: I made a thousand dollar contribution to Joy of Motion in honor of Trish and Helen. Supporting local arts is so worthwhile.
59) Sam Edelman Purple Boots: Can’t wait to see how she wears these.
60) Dance Place performance and Corduroy: Local DC people do great stuff. Will go back to both definitely.