Flew out of San Jose today at 6 am. Originally I was going to be up north through Wednesday. But I managed to get appointments with specialists in LA for my mom today and tomorrow.
Everyone at work understood. They kept saying "Family comes first." But I am wracked with guilt. It's surreal to just walk away from projects that are my responsibility. Feels so odd to have to depend on other people to get my job done.
Having to let go is hard for me. It's not what I do. It's not who I am. I don't just hope for the best, I make sure I do the best job possible. Feels like I am constantly negotiating a new world of uncomfortable feelings since my mom's diagnosis. No wonder I'm exhausted.
Go straight from the airport into work then head to lunch with my mom before her first appointment. She is tense and nervous and scared. Hate seeing her like this. So small, so unsure. I am on the verge of tears the whole time but manage to contain myself.
We chit chat and joke but we can't escape it. It's there, between the lines of what we say, it's there lurking in the silences. The fear. Fear of what happens next. Fear of what the doctors will say. Fear of how our lives will change. Again.
We get to the doctor's office early and after an hour of waiting, a man in a white coat walks in. I notice a couple of things. First of all, he's stunning. Looks like Christopher Reeves in his hey day. He's even got the Clark Kent glasses.
My mother instantly perks up and gets giggly like a schoolgirl. F.
I am much more composed because I quickly notice this guy - this kid - is my age. Tops. Hell no, I think. There's no way this snot nosed pretty boy is going to operate on my mother!!! I cross my arms and eye him warily, wondering if I should card him or at least ask what school he went to.
He takes her medical history with earnest concern. He examines her with care and attention to detail. He even jokes with her at one point.
Ugh. I remain unimpressed. At one point I blurt out that we are seeing another doctor tomorrow for a second opinion. Don't want him to think his perfect hair is fooling anyone.
He kindly says that's understandable and that he'll send the doctor in. In my nervousness, I missed that this gorgeous specimen isn't THE doctor. He's a fellow that studies under the big shot specialist. Phew.
Specialist #1 comes in and is much closer to what I pictured. He is my mom's age. He inspires confidence. He answers my questions. All of them. He tells us with conviction she will be alright. And he looks like Harrison Ford.
He tells us the tumor is too large for radiation. That it looks like it is largely calcified which means it may not grow quickly or at all. He thinks the best course of action will likely be to get MRIs every 3 months for the next year to monitor the size.
If it's growing or my mother starts experiencing symptoms like loss of coordination or limb weakness then he'd advise to remove the tumor. He describes the surgery for us in great detail: 5 hours, a 7 inch patch of hair shaved behind the ear, part of the skull removed to get at the tumor and hollow it out, the bone or titanium replaced, 3 days in the hospital, a few weeks of recovery at home, 5-10 percent chance of recurrence in 5-10 years, low risk of complications.
He is matter of fact. He says to try not to worry, that we are in good hands. He says there are much worse things to have in your brain. He says alot with his eyes. They are tired and kind and reassuring.
Next step is an MRI. That will provide more detail and guide our decision to operate or adopt a wait and watch approach.
We leave encouraged. Encouraged that we liked the doctor. Encouraged that it is operable. Encouraged that there appears to be no imminent threat.
Neither of us wants to go home just yet so we decide to pay the Century City mall a visit. Have you been lately? The parking lot is lit up like Christmas now. Little light bulbs hover over all the cars. Red if a space is full. Green if it's empty. Blue if it's a handicap spot. I've never seen such a thing. Genius.
We stroll and talk and window shop and cry. I struggle with the right words to comfort her. This is what I normally do best. I know what to say, how to make people feel better. But for some reason, in this situation, with the person that matters most, I am at a loss.
I remember she mentioned wanting a new cozy track suit a few weeks ago. Apparently my mom thinks she's JLo in 2003. Regardless, this afternoon, I encourage her to try one on. A flattering one in a pretty jewel tone. She glows in it and I offer to buy it for her.
It's my way of trying to make her happy, of bringing her a little comfort. Funny that a Juicy Couture track suit would be imbued with such meaning but well, life is funny.
Jovavich Hawk for Target dress
Stuart Weitzman sandals
Chose this Go International dress because I knew it would travel well. And it was comfortable and easy. At 4:30. When I got up. Ugh.
Wanted to look put together for our meeting with the doctor today. Relaxed but still chic. Plus I wanted to wear something that would make my mom smile.
Remember the first time I wore this dress? I wore it with nude Manolos. And that look inspired Jean Bean's look at the CFDA Awards. Loving that kind of paying fashion forward.
Today I paired the dress with airport-friendly flats. Really changes the feel of the dress, me thinks. Becomes more summery and younger somehow. Would love to belt it since it's a bit big but ugh not sure how to. I unfortunately do not have a black belt in belting. Digging the idea of pairing it with brown tho. So unexpected.
At one point today, I remembered the lady of a certain age at the Chanel party wearing the boho print version of my dress. It made me giggle. Funny what fashion floats through your head at the oddest of moments.
p.s. At Bloomie's today, I finally saw Lauren Conrad's collection in person. Alas, no signs of those yum high waisted skirts. But I did find this buttery wrap sweater. Over $160 tho. She is bonkers if she thinks I'm paying that and making her richer. F.
Did peep two simply delicious Robert Rodriguez skirts. Over $200. My resale find last weekend was really one of the best scores of the year! A+ to me.