Chris headed down to San Diego today on a much earned reprieve from caretaking to join BRIEN and RORYANN CLEMENTS (Restaurant Omakase but you must know this by now!) and JULIE and BOB DE KORNE (of Ciao Bella--another very good Riverside restaurant with excellent martinis;) to attend the California Family Winemakers tasting event in Del Mar. I still can't be around crowds; I'd never last that long and I darn sure can't drink that much, so rather than be a wet blanket I stayed home like the ugly step-sister. And I'm even red-headed now! That's Julie in the picture with Chris. Roryann is sending Facebook updates every so often. It's almost like I'm there, but without the wine and the food, so really, not at all. After my day of medical bills and taxes yesterday and then missing out on such a fun event today and instead staying home and working (you know, to pay those medical bills), it was hard not to launch into a full blown pity party. I came close. More than once. I hovered in the yellow/orange zone. But luckily I had Seamus and he abhors pity parties. If you suffer from depression, get a beagle. Then get some food. You'll be endlessly amused and laughing in no time. Seamus even convinced me to take him for a walk (this is when I was explaining to him that I am fat, and ugly, and now broke; he was sure a walk would cure all of that. He wasn't far off. My perspective returned.) That's two days in a row of walking! For me, that's like a full-blown exercise routine. I'm sure I even worked off the Lay's potato chips I ate at some point during the pity party (because come on, what's a pity party without potato chips? And Lay's is the perfect food--oil and salt with just enough potato to hold it all together. Perfection.) I'm thinking keeping busy is somewhat key to this positive attitude thing. Just maybe not busy with a bag of chips.
And speaking of more positive (yeah, I'm stretching to connect things here) an interesting email from a stranger reading my blog arrived the other day. The author was reaching out because of reading Chris's rant, and then mine, about our horrific experience at Quest Diagnostics last Monday. She offered up some useful information on how to make it go better the next time. Apparently Quest takes appointments and this can be done even in an emergency. And she gave me a website to go to to make the appointment which also helped me find a much closer (and fingers crossed--less crowded) location. The website was simple enough: www.questdiagnostics.com and there was also the Quest Diagnostics Patient Services Center link. And then interestingly, Quest has partnered with Google in a service called Googlehealth which will allow you to keep your medical records online all in one place, easily accessible for future use. Unfortunately, that's not available in California yet. Finally, there is a way to get lab results online (that'a a link I hope) if your physician is signed up with Quest. I have to get my physician to sign up first, but there's a handy little letter I can print out and bring to her to discuss that possibility. Now, none of that is going to make Ms. Bryman recent grad respond any faster should my white blood cells disappear again, but the appointment may shorten the wait, I now know to ask for the lead person in the Patient Services Center to explain my situation (dire), and that I can give them my cell phone number and go wait in the safer, warmer, more relaxing car until it is finally my turn. I will test some of this when I go in on Tuesday for the blood test to make sure I'm okay for chemo on Thursday. Starting with making the appointment. At any rate, I thought it was awful nice of a total stranger to reach out like that. Thanks!
And last but not least, my father called to agree that I look like my brother with my new shorn look. He also thinks I look like my mother in the red wig (they are long, long divorced and I didn't dare ask if the similarity was a good or bad thing). I think I look like my mother in the wig a bit too. My mother, who declined to comment, did say she would get my brother to read the blog to see what he thought. No word so far. But this will prove my point:
This is me with my two sisters and my brother (in age order oldest to youngest left to right). Note how none of us look alike. My brother looks exactly like our dad, my older sister looks like our mom, and my younger sister looks like her mom (this being my family, my sisters do not have the same mother; you probably figured that out). I look like nobody--when I have hair. Or at least blonde hair. A little from dad, a little from mom, a little from those Vikings that pillaged Ireland 100's of years ago, but no one in particular. And it's always been that way. Now, look again at me with no hair. I finally look like somebody in the family! Okay, so it's my brother, but at least I know I wasn't left on the doorstep of some random people. It took cancer to know this for certain. And since my brother and I actually have the same two biological parents (trust me, this is also uncommon in the mix that is my family; only partially shown in this photo), this makes some sense. Jay totally needs to start sporting the hoop earrings.
That's it for this Sunday. I think I may have to do a little wine tasting of my own this evening. Judging by Roryann's latest update, Chris will not be home for a long, long time. Something about a wine list with 2500 selections. And it's 10:15pm and she sent this "live" photo of the meal they are having at Pamplemousse. Okay, now I am depressed. This was Scallops and truffles!!!! They didn't even save a bite! Even Seamus is depressed (he loves him some scallops and truffles). Lay's potato chips cannot make up for this.