Hello! So you’ve probably wondered where I’ve been. But if you read this blog you likely know that I was in LA for a long weekend. It was an incredibly busy weekend. Partially because the main purpose of the trip was to pack up and move out of my apartment and also because of unexpected emergency health issues. For the past several months, I thought I was getting mouth sores in the bottom left corner of my mouth that flare up a week after chemo and then go away. But after the last round of chemo, the “mouth sore” was only getting worse and worse to the point where my whole jaw was swelling and I had trouble opening and closing my mouth because the muscle on my face was inflamed. I couldn’t even sleep on it because it was so painful. At one point a week before the trip to LA, my Dad suggested that maybe I should go see the dentist but my mom insisted that it was just a mouth sore because they are so common. I did end up calling my dentist the day before I left but he didn’t get back to me until the following Monday. Anyhoo, when I arrived on Thursday night, we went to one of my fave restaurants in LA called Hinoki and The Bird and I could barely eat and was in extreme pain. So the next morning, my mom suggested I try to find a dentist in LA so I called the Gyno Oncology dept at Cedars Sinai (whom I’ve started talking to about tranferring there once I’m done with my full course of chemo here in NYC.) So they gave me a name of a dentist who I called immediately and made an appointment for 11am. Just before I left, I dropped my iPhone and the screen shattered. Steve is a GENIUS and suggested that I wrap it in Saran Wrap to keep it intact and not get shards of glass in my face. You can’t see the shattered glass in the picture but you get the idea.
In light of my dental issue, cracking my phone barely phased me and it actually provided some comic relief that I was walking around with a phone wrapped in Saran Wrap (I am finally getting it fixed tomorrow…) Anyhoo, so I went to the dentist which was back by LAX and he was amazing. He said I had an ongoing infection of my wisdom tooth and that I needed to go to an oral surgeon immediately to have it drained as well as take antibiotics. He referred me to an oral surgeon who was 3 blocks away and even walked outside with us to point us in the right direction. So we went there and the oral surgeon was also amazing. If you need a dentist or oral surgeon in LA, hit me up because these docs are top notch which is hard to find!!! So the oral surgeon agreed and said he needed to make a small incision in my gum to drain the giant abscess that was filled with the infection. As you can imagine, I was kind of freaking out. I talked to my oncologist in NYC who approved the surgery because it was clearly an emergency. You aren’t supposed to get surgeries on chemo because your body’s ability to heal wounds is dramatically lowered. One of my drugs actually prevents healing of wounds because its main function is to cut off the blood supply to cancer cells (woohoo!) and can prevent the blood flow to wounds. But we went ahead and did it and luckily it all went well and almost a week later it’s healing well. Phew!!! While I was there I met this nurse who told me that she was really into God and spirituality and that she could see that God was with me. At first she kinda freaked me out but then I found it comforting to meet someone who believed in my recovery. She told me that she thought I would recover and tell my story to other women to inspire them. I like this plan!! I was so emotional from the fact that I had the surgery and was in a lot of pain so I was kinda crying a lot while I was talking to her but it was also kind of cathartic. Having the surgery meant that I was unable to eat solid foods for pretty much the whole time I was in LA. It was kind of a bummer because we had dinners planned at so many of my favorite restaurants. But instead, I indulged on delicious smoothies from Naturewell and Erehwon. Oh man, did we spend quality time at Erehwon. Steve had never been and is now deeply in love (as I knew he would be) and so was my Dad! Here’s a shot of my dad sampling a variety of healthy treasures! Their prepared foods really are out of this world!
Intermission disclaimer time: you’ve probably noticed that this is an intense and long-winded post. Today I had round 6 of chemo and they always give me steroids to prevent an allergic reaction to one of the drugs so I am feeling pretty AMPED right now and it’s past midnight! I hope I can fall asleep soon! Maybe I’m still on LA time too…
So, I totally have the best friends ever. Steve is so amazing, supportive and helpful and made the weekend so seamless, delightful and full of laughs!!! The same can be said of my besties Maura, Abe and Caitlin (who was visting from SF). They all helped to pack up my entire apartment on Saturday! Holy Moly! I had a low-grade fever from the oral surgery so I wasn’t able to help give a ton of directions while they packed but they all did an amazing job. And my parents were super helpful with getting supplies, boxes, and just being amazing as they always are. I’m such a lucky lady! Really! I am! Here’s a cute shot of Maura and Abe modeling my Giraffe shirts I gave them!
On Sunday, we all went my beloved SQIRL for breakfast that had just reopened. It was hard for me to eat but I did my best and it was so nice to see Jess (the owner who I adore)! Then, we stopped by this Watermelon Festival at the Rose Bowl which was kinda odd but still fun. Here are some shots of Steve and then Maura, Abe and my Mom enjoying free watermelon!!
I’m sorry but how adorable is my Mom?!?!? Too cute! Here I am in a Dodgers hat that Abe got me in front of some chalk watermelon art!
This photo purposefully hides my giant-swollen-lobsided-chimp-munk-face. Haha. On Monday, my amazing movers came to pick up the boxes and put them in a storage bin. They are so great so if you need movers, lemme know. Look how full of LA resources I am! Seriously! I need to make a resources page on this blog! I’ve been meaning to do that anyway. Actually this is a total side note but I came across this girls blog who had breast cancer and she had a page that explained different drugs and their side effects and it was so useful! I learned why my nose is constantly running! It’s because I don’t have nose hairs inside to stop the flow! And air pollen more easily gets in which may explain my sinus pain! So interesting! Anyhoo, here I am standing in front of my neatly packed storage bin.
It was a huge relief to get my stuff out of my apartment. Now I can start fresh when I get back to LA and move to Silver Lake near Steve, Maura and Abe and the glorious reservoir! Here I am on a walk with Steve posing with my Saran Wrapped phone in an LA hat that Steve got me (just you wait, all the cool hipsters are soon all going to have phones wrapped in Saran Wrap!!!!).
On Tuesday night, my mom and I joined Steve at his annual family reunion gathering at the Hollywood Bowl. It was so fun to meet his extended family! I really didn’t want to leave LA at all and I’m so eager to get healthy here in NYC and get back there ASAP. I don’t know about you but I believe that for some people there are cities, towns, places, etc. where you are meant to be and you can feel it in your soul. The minute I landed in LA about two years ago, I knew I had found my place. After a lifetime of never feeling quite right in NYC or on the East Coast, I feel so grateful that I finally found my place. So my time in this world really can’t be up yet! I just found my special place!!! Any my special people!!! So every day I pray to get rid of this cancer so I can live a long time and help to heal others. That is my goal. It will happen. On that note, now I’m going to do my Ra Ma Da Sa healing chant so I can hopefully fall asleep soon and get some rest. Love to you all. xoxo