Last Friday I rode my bike way across town in the morning for a mammogram and six-month visit to my surgeon. The mammogram was all clear and my surgeon said he doesn’t think there is an elevated risk of ovarian cancer, because there is no breast or ovarian cancer in my family, so my DCIS was not genetic but “random.” So he definitely is not in favor of a prophylactic oophorectomy.
I asked what they’re saying about intraoperative radiation treatment these days: have they decided it’s a good thing? Well, where you might have a 2.5% recurrence risk with external radiation treatment, with intraoperative, it’s 4%. However, the DCIS patient shouldn’t worry about this, because now they’re starting to think that less is more and that they shouldn’t do any kind of radiation treatment at all for it, just a lumpectomy. Wish they’d been thinking that two years ago, but glad that at least there was no course of external radiation.
Then there was another bicycle ride downtown to go to my department’s holiday luncheon, and then to Rainbow to get toothpaste, and then a walk to Wayne’s to drop off work shirts and pick up the prior week’s batch, and then laundry at the laundromat, and then dinner, and then finally all the things I usually do first thing in the morning: write, meditate, stretch, knee exercises … . Long day.
My company dedicates September to community service and my department in particular must have done 25 different events to raise money. During that month, the company will match any charitable contribution, so I gave $100 apiece to Black Girls Code and two charities in Detroit. Plus I worked at one of the fundraisers and bought raffle tickets for another. I figured I’d done my share, but then, very recently, one of the administrative assistants on our floor came around to see if we’d all used the 16 volunteer service hours we’re allotted each year, and my boss said something about this, too, so I got worried that it would affect my performance review and decided I’d better try to squeeze this in before the end of the year. I also made a mental note to address this prior to December 17 next year.
It was impossible to find 16 hours in San Francisco before December 31, but I signed up for a shift at Project Open Hand and accordingly went over there on Saturday morning. Since it was a Saturday, I didn’t get to use any of those official hours, but at least they can be entered on the company’s website that tracks volunteer service and by then, I’d also found out that my boss doesn’t really care if we use those 16 hours or not (though he himself did use them, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity).
I met five colleagues hitherto unknown to me and we packed dry cereal into plastic bags to give away at the Grocery Center and then did the same with various leafy greens. I was a bit dismayed when I saw the sugary cereal to be provided to clients, and was glad to see they were also giving away all the nice greens, but my fellow volunteers said it’s quite likely many recipients have no way to cook greens, and even if they do, doubtless a lot of them end up in the nearest trash bin. That’s probably true. It was pleasant to chat and work together. There was a certain amount of kvetching about the company, which was astounding to me. I guess having been laid off for a time has permanently altered my attitude: this is the best company on earth and I am beyond delighted to work for it. I love my job (truly).
After POH, I walked down to Ananda Fuara and had a bowl of dal and some naan and a pot of genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice in it). Their genmaicha is particularly good, so I asked where it comes from: San Francisco Herb Company. I have ordered some. After lunch, I took a quite enchanting walk clear back to the Mission. The air smelled good and a bunch of trees on Folsom St. were shedding little leaves in generous quantities right then, as if it were the end of autumn in the Midwest instead of Christmastime on the Pacific coast. I walked over to Modern Times to pick up some books. For a while, I was getting most reading material at the library, but now I’ve decided to be a patron of Modern Times, so it doesn’t go away, so I buy books new there, and give them away after reading them, to others or to the thrift store. I also give more books as gifts these days, and for Christmas, everyone is getting a book and/or a gift certificate.
Back at home, I talked to my mother on the phone, and then Lisa M. and I had dinner at Esperpento. Afterward, we came back to my place and listened to music and watched a few videos of Lisa doing improv.