medical leave day 19: a walk in the park and GB flies in from the Other Coast

a delicious day.

we took it very slow. and things are getting easier. most noticeably because we are getting out a little – a little further each day too.

we took a stroll across washington square park (On Our Own!) and rested a lot (tis strange how long it takes to get anywhere when one has to rest at highly frequent intervals but we did manage it).

mC came to meet us at NYU where we spent some time with friends. while we waited for her we sat here on this window seat and read a while.

this was the view out of the window from that lovely spot. a rare sight – a back garden in manhattan.

then – back chez nous – Another Parcel (we Adore a Parcel)! some more delicious sunday supplements from the English newspapers courtesy of our splendid friends @ilicco and @kate_day. so kind. especially good to ward off any potential blues on the horizon. one cannot be sad with the british telly reviews of Downtown Abbey, darlings.

GB arrived! now GB is our Most Traveled (American, so we are only using this spelling) Friend. he flew in from the Other Coast to come and stay and cheer us up for a couple of days.

and he brought us a present From JAPAN (we are So Lucky to have all these lovely friends bringing and sending delicious gifts – we are truly grateful in our time of confinement)

hello from 17J: off to the Other Coast.

darlings! we’re in the air once more. bliss.

first, some pictures.

this was from the friendly 1 train last night (but as much as we wanted to click and comment, there was nowhere to respond to the lovely question as to our well-being…)

then this morning we awoke (a little puffy of eye it has to be said – time for some eye cream upgrade? suggestions please in the comments of your favorite/favourite/chosen brands) at 4 AM (yes, we like to fly early) and the car service arrived at 5. a lovely black town car. we do enjoy traveling/travelling in style – plus the dreadful #irene had caused flooding on parts of the rail service so we couldn’t do the usual cab to Penn Station to the “air train” (which does not fly, sadly – we were Most Disappointed) to JFK.

here’s our view at JFK while pausing to re-arrange messenger bag (stuffed with laptop, magazines, an actual book-book and the iTouch with, oh, we have no idea by now, 100 e-books?) and clasp hold of the trusty silver samsonite (if you’ve been with us for a while you’ll know that he burst open on the way from milan to paris – we know, your heart bleeds for our vie jet set in business class – alas not today – domestic, we fly economy) and stroll on..

and here we are IN THE AIR (gosh, isn’t WIFI delicious?)

unless a Very Short Trip is scheduled by the Day Job (unlikely as labor day is upon us and then we have just two days back in the office before……you know what….) this is our last trip with tobias and his sisters.

we shall miss them.

and yet seriously hope (apologies for split infinitive former newspaper editors from our past…) that we don’t get any more tumors/tumours/scariness.

although we have learned a great deal by their presence.

we have to tell you something.

we haven’t told our parents.

we can see your face now – a quizzical look (and a more worried look from those who are parents themselves)


you ask.

how would you tell YOUR parents?

mum/dad (insert other configuration here – we are terribly modern at team gloria….) “we have three tumors/tumours in our throat. they are growing aggressively. after several biopsies the medical team (and there is a team – this is America, people) found a “mass” that they said “we don’t like the look of” (see – straight out of the bloody movies, that line) and “we need to operate” and mum/dad (other configuration) and the surgeon is going to slit our throat open (they call it neck dissection which seems actually worse as a phrase bringing to mind frogs and biology lessons, bunsen burners and sharp knives and those very unattractive thick plastic Joe 90 glasses that didn’t fit over one’s delicate shell-like ears so we quit and returned to Latin and Advanced English Literature instead, skipping sports on wednesdays for extra elocution and singing – a lovely voice, they said, let’s hope we still have it post-neck dissection….) and remove not only the three tumors/tumours but also our thyroid (which is damaged by the aforementioned unmentionables) and both parathyroid glands and we’ll be off work for three weeks taking radioactive iodine (as bad as it sounds) and feeling rather wobbly from what we’ve heard.


how would you tell them?

and – to be honest – we are not ready for their reaction.

so we’ll be very British and tell them after. like this:

“oh” (airily) “we had a spot of surgery”

“didn’t want to worry you”

what do you think?

more importantly – when YOU (yes, you) are reading this after we DO tell you.

how do you feel?

yeah, ok, in the comments if you like, but pick a different surname or two so you don’t break our anonymity.


life is so hard when one has attachments.

it wasn’t like this on Star Trek. was it?

although Battlestar Galactica (be still our beating heart for those fighter pilots in uniform who like to play cards and frack a lot) had quite a story-line that was almost Oedipal as we recall.


vampiric in manhattan.

we are feeling a tiny bit vampiric today.

well, not directly – but at the mercy-of-a-vampire.

you see we are Off To The Hospital to have MORE blood* drawn for the following tests.

CBC w/differential & platelets



Beta HCG Quant

TSH, T4 Anti TPO

Vitamin D Total, 25-OH, 1,25-OH

these are the pre-surgery tests (although we have more tomorrow at the specialist’s office who will be managing our care post-surgery – that is IF WE LIKE HIM – because we are VERY picky about the people we surround ourselves with. we’ve changed chiropractor’s offices because we didn’t like the decor ;-) true.

*the irony of team gloria’s blood is that prior to this whole tumors/tumours/30% chance of cancer, NOBODY IN THE USA WANTED OUR BLOOD.


when we lived in los angeles on – deep delicious sigh – the Other Coast – a friend of a friend needed a blood transfusion and had no money. we were THRILLED to provide blood into the blood bank that they would draw for (so exciting, in a weird way, to be able to help someone so directly – we know it’s because they weren’t covered by insurance but we felt SO good when we showed up.)

but then they heard our accent.


they said – in what we felt was a somewhat accusatory tone (we do sometimes remember the American Rebellion – er – Revolution – but this was a Little Much).

why, yes!

we said with what we hoped was an enthusiastic smile and an encouraging manner

but we LIVE HERE now!

all of about three weeks at that point, but never mind.

can’t take your blood.

and with that, they looked for the next person in line (british = queue) and ignored us.

we were horrified.


we said, a tiny bit plaintively, looking down at our rich veins of pulsing bloods of three once warring nations (england, france and ireland since you ask).

because of mad cow disease.


yeah. damn right seriously, lady.

(did we mention that the nurses in the blood bank were somewhat tough and rather impressively direct in that just-off-Crenshaw type of way?)

we don’t HAVE mad cow disease.

we didn’t actually know that. but we did know that we’d not been near an actual farm for many a year…..our pleas fell on deaf ears. they didn’t want english blood. apparently we might be carriers. we slunk off home (HOME! AMERICA-HOME!) and probably sulked.

now look at us. they can’t stop TAKING OUR BLOOD ;-)


in order to cheer ourselves up and add to the delicious pile of books gathering on our bedside bureau (very white – very 1930s) for our convalescence – we just added two excellent suggestions (one was left by Moonlight in the comments – So Kind!) –

and here’s our lovely bureau where we are starting to gather our reading and listening (the judi dench is coming as an audiobook – such a rich caramelly voice might well be needed as we sob into our pillows with our neck dissected….sob).

have a beautiful day, darlings.

is it raining where you are today as well? what’s up with this manhattan rain-in-august-type-affair? odd. the world is definitely ODD.

the team gloria has landed. we are On The Other Coast.

we are tremendously excited to be back.

and you can’t miss us – we’re the only humanoids in head to toe black carrying our Dr. Martens in our hand as tears flow down our cheeks and our toes are caressed by the salt water of the Pacific Ocean on the Other Coast.

yes – twas a long flight in the middle seat. and we are a TINY bit emotional.

shutters was divine.

off east to the lake that isn’t actually silver to YOLK!

flying to the Other Coast.

another airport – another monday.

and this time it’s for (pure – or, ahem, maybe not so pure……..and no we’re not telling ;) pleasure!

sadly team gloria bought her own ticket with her own money so – sigh – we’re turning right, not left, on this flight. and unless we do the hustle, we’re in a Middle Row (gulp).

practicing humility.

tis good for the soul – we heard.

btw, vast disappointment – the lovely publisher who expressed an interest in our delicious photography book called:

how to stay sane in a crazy world

sent us the loveliest note.

but “passed on it”

apparently she’s written to our lovely literary agent too.

we are a little sad.

but also a tiny bit relieved –

a. depending on outcome of surgery we may have to start writing our cancer memoir (everyone has a book in them but not everyone is chosen for that genre ;) but we think we could write a good one. seriously. we have quite a special take on life.

b. we would have had to tell the day job people-in-charge that we’re team gloria and we are not-quite-ready-for-that.

but ALMOST………………

gosh life is deeply interesting, non?

will report in from Los Angeles darlings.