Today I cooked puttanesca casserole (puttanesca sauce over ziti with tiny crumbles of good cheeses throughout) and blueberry muffins and some Americano-style fried rice. I boiled pasta and crushed tomatoes and melted butter.
Because today a friend of mine called me. She's 27. For the last three months she's been steadily losing weight--attributing that to stress--and having dyspepsia, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating. The onco nurses in the readership know, of course, where this is going.
She has stage I ovarian cancer. She's going in tomorrow for surgery to remove the ovary and the Fallopian tube; she's been on Ovarex for about three weeks now.
Thank God, I suppose, that it's stage I. Depending on what sort of cancer it is, she has between a sixty percent and an eighty percent chance of surviving to her 32nd birthday. It's weird to think of sixty to eighty as good news; with brain tumors, you generally die or you don't.
It's weird to think that there's a 20% to 40% chance--if all goes really well--that she won't live to be as old as I am.
I've ordered a pink wig. She's a "Sex In The City" fan; she'll get the reference. I'm also taking over some big earrings, since she's already losing her hair, so she can be one of those bald women who are all about earrings.
And mashed potatoes. She's down to a size 2; the woman is five-eight at least and looks healthily slender in an 8. And a mix CD for courage. And some macaroni and cheese, since she needs the calories.
I promised her that when she's ready, I'll shave her head for her with the same clippers I'll use to shave mine.
I'm proud of my reaction when she told me. Rather than freaking out, I said, "Well, shit. That sucks. But, you know, you can't die. You'll save your husband some paperwork (she's in the middle of a divorce), but dying is really not all it's cracked up to be." She laughed. She's looking for things to make her laugh, these days.
So today I cooked. There's a limited amount I can do to make my friend laugh, the night before her surgery, so I'll cook. At least it keeps me from crying.