For those not on any of my social networks or missed randomly meeting me on the street when I was dancing about, I will get the big news out of the way first. My latest round of diagnostic tests came back clean. I have graduated to only seeing my oncologist ever six months instead of every three and only getting tested once a year instead of every six months. I had no idea just how wound up I was about this until after I called Jon to tell him. My stomach ached and I started crying. I suppose it was relief hitting me as I realized that I won't be measuring my life in such small intervals anymore. I'll have three years in remission under my belt next year (Unofficially it's January. The last time I was hospitalized was January 2011. The Docs at UCLA told me I was completely clear of disease. Officially, it's March when the Docs at USC informed me). The odds are more in my favor the longer I'm in remission. I was feeling great when I went to check out with the nurses and get my next appointment. They looked a bit glum. I'd seen them send other patients in my position off with a lot more smiles. Then, I realized that my next appointment wasn't until after Christmas. I told them that there would still be Christmas cookies. That made them smile. I was too late to celebrate with a McDonald's sausage biscuit with egg. I decided that I needed to celebrate with at least a taste of how I would have liked to celebrate – a trip to France. I could not do that with a bus pass, so I bought the ingredients for a salad Niscoise, a baguette and a mid-range bottle of bubbly. That did the trick. There's something deeply satisfying about sopping up anchovy infused vinaigrette with a baguette. That was nice. Next time though, I'd like to include a view from an apartment in Monmartre. Though I still have to grapple with the new normal of my body, I am more than ready to get on with life.
Fortunately for me, there was an occasion to live it up the every next day (and why this blog is late). Good buddy and publishing partner, Marie, was having a birthday celebration. The day was jam packed with a shopping trip to the Fashion District in Downtown LA. I was there to get sashes for some costumes. Marie was in search of a tiara to wear at her birthday party as you do. Of course, Marie found far more interesting shops down there than I ever had. We found the material for the sashes straight away. The search for tiaras had us going through all kinds of interesting boutiques. I bought a dress I wasn't planning on buying from Ethos Vintage Closet, a place that had clothing that looked like it came from the Belle Epoch era to the roaring twenties to the 1950s. It'll be an excellent resource for costumes, but that's for a different blog. The dress was beautifully, comfy and really nicely priced. I had to buy it, right? We found the tiaras in a shop that was having a 50% off sale on everything. Thus, I found myself with one as well. I've never had one this nice. I usually only have the cardboard New Year's Eve kind. Very exciting. Marie thinks we should wear them at the Culver Hotel when we next enjoy a post Farmers Market happy hour. We will be delighted to have an audience with any gallant soul who plies us with martinis and appetizers. Speaking of appetizers, I made two new ones for the party. One was a faux duck spring roll. The 'duck' was chicken thighs marinated with Peking duck spices. The other was white gazpacho soup made with cucumber, white grapes and leeks. They were fun to make and really tasty. As always, Marie's party was a delightful celebration with a really eclectic group of people. It was aptly suitable for the glorious hostess.
Today, I am resting from all these adventures with my feet propped up and a big glass of wine (I waited until 3pm) within easy reach. I have a lot of work to get back to beginning tomorrow. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has sent me prayers and good wishes and all of you who were understanding of my occasional freak outs. It means a lot to me and to Jon to have all of this support – even if it's an ear over the internet.
The web page for the Sybaritic Press West Hollywood Bookfair booth will launch by this time next week. The plan is to have an email list to join for updates, because we will be adding titles and participants to the list as each are confirmed. I have to put my nose to the grindstone and finish A Soldier's Destiny and Vincent Greven's Cookbook among other things. I believe it can be done in enough time to get hard copies by September 30th even with all the other items on my overly laden plate. Here's hoping!