Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Favorite Bartender Kicks Me In the Ass

So, I was sitting at my desk blogging away, flirting online with my Marine, getting ready to run an errand for my sister Grace. I was supposed to leave at 8:30, but, surprise! I was running a little late. So I was shutting down my programs getting ready to skeedaddle when I saw a new email from the Multiple Myeloma listserv. I haven't been reading these much lately. Many discussions are repetitive as new people come aboard and have questions.

But this had a name in the subject line "Judy Lanciano Hammond". When I first joined the listserv, Judy was someone I exchanged a lot of emails with. She was diagnosed six months earlier than me. She was less than 2 years older than me. She lived a short distance away. We both saw Dr. Schlossman at DFCI. Judy liked him, I only saw him once.

Judy wanted to make it, by hook or by crook, to her daughter's wedding in August and she did.

I felt the hysteria bubbling up. So I left and ran Grace's errand. Then I stopped at East Bay for dinner. Colin, the bartender announced that I had just missed my boss and her husband. I thought privately that might have been a good thing since I wasn't sure what my face looked like. So I ordered the steak tips and opened up a book. Figured I'd read some foreign policy stuff and lose myself in solving the world's problems.

I ate, I read, I flirted with my favorite bartender, Dick. Dick had sent along a present with my boss last week. It was a Navy travel mug. Dick's brother is a Captain in the US Navy recently back from a billet in Iraq. I told I loved my present. He said "You know this means we are going steady?" I laughed. After dinner as I was leaving I noticed a special New Year's Eve menu on the bar. "Happy New Year?" I raised an eyebrow. He chastised me "Don't rush through Christmas, there's only two left."

I was speechless. Thinking about Judy's passing had me thinking of my own timetable. I am 18 months in the 3 or 4 years they have given me. So by that formula, I have two Christmas's left. Dick knows all about this since he presided over my "I've got cancer!" party.

I'm sure the look on my face was dreadful. He leaned over and said "You know, the 2012 thing. It all ends." I burst out laughing. "I thought you meant me." "No, not you!" and he slapped the bar with the towel from his shoulder "All of us!"

That's right Maggie, it's not all about you!!!!!!

It's about Judy's family and their loss. I'm so sorry.

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