Life Right Now

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First, a huge thank you to everyone that donated and tried to donate blood this past week!! Our friends, Nico’s awesome coworkers, friends of friends, and one of my family friends who was visiting for 12 hours and became a first-time donor all made me so happy. In addition to helping cancer patients, donating blood helps victims of gun violence in major ways—I’ve watched the nurses in the Cook County Trauma Unit (where I worked until I got diagnosed and banned from hospitals/germs/most things outside of my apartment) literally run with bags of blood to save someone’s life. It is important, and I know it’s not easy for everyone, so thank you!!! Also, my cancer hero Aminatou Sow commented on my Instagram and said supportive, lovely things and it pretty much made my life complete. She’s amazing and I love her.

General update: I’m feeling pretty good. I’m learning that that’s always a qualified statement for anyone dealing with an illness. Currently qualified by: I get tired the way a toddler does, my thigh has been numb for over a week (because I’ve been sleeping sitting up, it’s not a scary thing but it’s creepy), I’m both constantly hungry but still eerily losing weight (again, not a big deal and I know weight loss doesn’t sound like a bad thing but it’s weird), I lose the thread of conversations like your annoying drunk friend, and my port is irritating/painful at night. But besides these not-at-all dangerous and in the scheme of things minor caveats, I’m mostly myself. Most days my energy is decent and I’m happy to feel good, happy to have an appetite and grateful for the ability to go on my daily walks. Then once in a while, Gremlin Nora comes out, and I’m angry and bitchy to everyone. Nico learned about 5 years ago that just pretending I’m being reasonable when I’m not (within reason and only for very short periods) is a good way for these moods to pass more quickly, so that helps. Sorry to anyone I’ve snipped at lately.

School also started again last week. My final two classes (!!) are great, and include some of my favorite classmates, interesting and understanding professors, and one of my favorite-ever professors just across the hall with hugs and encouragement. Major wins all around. Fanny is still at home, usually laying on top of me, and my friends, family, and husband continue to be the best.

Here’s a little round-up of what I’m doing these days.

Watching:
Final Four basketball. Sad about Loyola’s loss because I love an underdog, love Sister Jean (and chaplains generally if Carol is reading this), and I live here, but mostly excited for my husband’s alma mater. Big fan of Mo, and of Jordan Poole—he’s a weirdo who wears cat t-shirts and capris around campus. So I am here for that. And I think we can all agree that Nico needs a win, so don’t hate on us this time please!

Pretty much basic as hell TV picks so far. I am unashamed:

  • Attempted to rewatch Dawson’s Creek with my grad school bestie, just for fun. It does NOT hold up and led to frequent yells of “THIS IS WHY WE’RE ALL SCREWED UP” because: Dawson is manipulative and possessive but got praised as broody and emotionally honest; Pacey is FIFTEEN YEARS OLD and sleeping with a teacher and no one is calling it rape; the dialogue is ridiculous.
  • We gave up the Creek after 4-ish episodes and switched to My So-Called Life, which I’ve never watched but is a much better-written angsty teen drama.
  • Rewatching New Girl. Forgot how hilarious it is-highly recommend.
  • Gilmore Girls, just in general, always. Staying naturally on-brand.
  • On the movie front, nothing since Apollo 13. Not ready. Just kidding, have just been reading more and watching New Girl/basketball mostly so haven’t gotten around to any. Black Panther is top of the watch list.

Reading:
This profile of Hope Hicks (she went to my husband’s high school, which I like to bring up frequently because I’m a jerk) is the look into this terrible human that I’ve been waiting for.

The Wedding Date. A lovely, quick read that I’ve already directed one smart-lady book group toward. A good break from some of the more depressing stuff I read for school and my own entertainment. Thanks to ohthatcarrie for the rec, as always.

Venus in Two Acts. An intense article for a lingering final paper due last quarter. I first read it in the waiting room for my initial “do I have cancer” CT scan at the beginning of all this, which is a crazy time to read something this devastatingly grisly about history, race, death, and loss of control..but the writing is beautiful and I’ve reread it twice.

Mating in Captivity.  This is for a current class–super interesting. I’ve always heard great things about Esther Perel, and she’s an engaging writer.

Little Fires Everywhere. For fun and not very far into it, but enjoying the set-up. Apparently the community-planning explanations are wildly inaccurate. That’s a disappointment, but I appreciate my dear friend H’s informative critiques.

Who Bit Beyoncé? Anything involving Tiffany Haddish and Chrissy Teigen using their platforms for long-running public jokes is an A+ read for me. But Love and Basketball forever, so let’s not hate on Sanaa Lathan.

Wearing:
Hospital masks whenever I’m in public! Going for that hot mysterious look—do I have a mouth? No one knows!

Eating:
Pot roast. I have no idea how my mom makes it, but as soon as the doctor said I’ve been anemic for weeks, she went home and made one. Not helpful since I don’t have a link, but wanted to shoutout pot roast anyway.

Anything and everything chocolate. I’ve never really had a sweet tooth, but I now understand sugar cravings because (I think) the IVF hormones are still hangin’ in there. Or this is a cancer thing? We’ll see. It is serious—I basically have dessert three times a day (in addition to many vegetables and whole grains and organic things yada yada yada) and I’ve decided to just let that happen for a little while.

Sweet potato tacos. They sound kind of meh, but Nico doesn’t love sweet potatoes and even he liked these. Smitten Kitchen has definitely gotten less fussy in the last year or so, so if you quit it a while back I recommend revisiting. I’m adding the spiced sweet potatoes to our general diet of green vegetables+protein+chocolate.

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