Me and The Universe

Oh lord that red devil sunk his teeth into me yesterday afternoon. I feel like a truck ran right over me. BUT I’d rather feel like shit than die (not to be dramatic or anything).

Since my diagnosis I’ve been saying that the universe was acting in my favor when it waited to present me with cancer until I was living with my folks. However, I don’t really have a definitive view of the universe. I saw this quote on Pinterest a while back (like for most middle-class white chicks in their 30’s, Pinterest functions as my spiritual guru), and it resonated with me. It’s currently my mantra.

Click here for Amy Schumer’s take on The Universe and its special relationship with white chicks.

The Lowdown

Between the ages of 7 and 11 I was terrified of burglars. After watching a sitcom (I don’t remember which one) about someone returning to their burglarized home, I had a terrible nightmare about burglars, and for four years I would wake up every night in fear that someone was trying to break into my home and hurt me and my family. An overactive imagination and a slight chemical imbalance led to many restless nights for me and my parents. One particular night, I awoke and swore I saw a man walking up the stairs in front of my room, and I screamed with the fury of a tortured, feral child. My mom’s reaction to this horrifying noise was to grab the comforter off of her bed and run down the hallway to my room so that she could smother the intruder and tackle him to the ground. That’s my mom. When I told her I had cancer, she “grabbed her comforter” and she’ll be helping me wrestle this intruder until it’s gone. We gon kill it dead.

It’s been an eventful week. CT, MRI, and bone scans have confirmed that my breast cancer has not metastasized (I cannot for the life of me spell this word correctly without spell check), and no malignant activity was found in my lymph nodes. This makes my boob toomer seem like a piece of cake! Surgery went well last Thursday (they took out some lymph nodes and put in my port) (I did not flip off any doctors or family members). On Friday I went to the geneticist and had blood work done, and in three weeks I’ll know if I’m carrying any other funky genes. This whole process has really awakened my awareness of the mammal in me. Catching glimpses of the inner workings of my body has lent some nice perspective into the human experience. When I was getting my bone scan, I had to turn my head, and for a few minutes I could look at the screen and see my skeleton. When I had an echo-cardiogram, I could see my heart and its little valves dancing. At the fertility clinic I got to see my ovaries, like soft clouds embracing my little egg babies. On Saturday morning I went in for the egg retrieval, and they extracted six mature eggs. Six potential little Jennys are all snuggled up together in some freezer just waiting for their mama to finish treatment and buy some sperm.

Yesterday I started chemo, and it went well. You go in and they check your blood to make sure you’re not super low on red or white blood cells or platelets, and if you’re cleared, you can get your chemo. Mom came with me, of course, and we got a private suite since it was my first time and I would be watching a Chemo 101 video. It looked/sounded like one of my student’s PhotoStory projects, but it did the trick. All of the information I had previously gathered about chemo was confirmed by the Siteman Cancer Center Intro to Chemo video. Here’s my treatment rundown: My first round of chemo will be eight weeks: every two weeks I’ll get a dose of Adriamycin and Cytoxin, and this will happen four times. This is the heavy-hitting cocktail. Adriamycin is known as “the red devil.” It looks like Hawaiian fruit punch, and it turns your piss pink. You’re told that if you have pets that like to drink from the toilet, make sure to keep them away from your crapper because that pink piss is toxic. My second round will be 12 weeks: every week I’ll get a dose of Taxol; this is a less toxic concoction, so your body can handle it on a weekly basis. Also, in each chemo drip you get some anti-nausea meds (cocktail cherries) and a steroid (bitters). After 20 weeks of chemo, I’ll have surgery to remove my shrunken tumor (or pending the results of my genetic testing, I’ll chop off both boobs*). Then, I’ll have radiation five days a week for a month (each radiation session is quick, not even 15 minutes). I’m looking at wrapping up this process in mid-April. Then we gon party. And by the way, it’s been 27 hours since I had chemo, and I feel just fine. My little Neulasta pouch went off when I was typing this, so I currently have some white-blood cell-boosting meds coursing through my veins. #science

*If I do in fact carry that BRCA gene and I’m guaranteed another bout of breast cancer in the future, please know that before the mastectomy, I will host a celebration of life in honor of my boobs. You will all be invited.

Praise Be!

…just a fatty liver and some arthritis on my sternum (WTF?)

Takin’ out some lymph nodes tomorrow and puttin’ in a port. The only other time I’ve been anesthetized, I flipped off my family and the doctor, so the only thing I’m worried about is what I’ll do when I’m on drugs.


I woke up this morning and came downstairs to find my mom on the phone with Sears customer service. The dishwasher was broken; it had been on a constant drying cycle since, like, Saturday, and my mom couldn’t get it to stop. She decided to turn off the fuse box (or whatever you call it), but we couldn’t get the master switch to work again, so we had no electricity in the house. This was problematic for various reasons, the most pertinent one being that a repairman was coming over to fix the furnace (because it wouldn’t turn on when we had tried a few days prior). Luckily, the repairman fixed the fuse box situation, and then he fixed a simple problem with the furnace. Voila! I wish I could be fixed that quickly.

We knew going into it that this would be hell week, but it’s turning out to be hell week on steroids. Here’s a rundown of Monday and Tuesday:

Yesterday morning started with blood work for the fertility clinic. Luckily, I didn’t have the same phlebotomist as last week. That guy kinda hit on me, and he made some joke about strippers and HIV, and then he told me about his low testosterone levels and how he was contemplating participating in a study where he would get paid a bunch to have one of his balls chopped off. If he got both balls* chopped off, then he could get $50,000. I wouldn’t have minded his over-sharing and inappropriateness if he would have just worked through the story-telling, but he would stop the paperwork process to tell me about his life, and in my head I’m screaming, “I DON’T CARE IF YOU CHOP YOUR BALLS OFF, JUST TYPE UP MY STATS AND JAB ME WITH THAT NEEDLE, MR. LOW T! FUCK!” but on the outside I’m just smiling and nodding (this is a skill I’ve developed throughout my years of teaching high school). After getting my blood drawn (Low T stopped by the room and said ‘hi’ before I Ieft), I came home to watch the Today show for about an hour before it was time to leave for the fertility clinic. It’s just wham-bam-thank-you-mam at the fertility clinic. They are very efficient. I had learned the previous (and first) time being at this clinic that my exams would require an inter-vaginal ultrasound. If you’ve had a baby before, you know that’s what they use, but that’s not what they use in television shows, and that’s where I gather most of my knowledge of the medical (and legal and criminal) world. SO, I was shocked when the doc used a dildo with a camera on it to assess my ovaries, but I was pleased to hear that they are progressing steadily (although slowly). I have a decent amount of follicles that are forming, and it looks like egg retrieval will probably be this weekend, maybe even Monday morning (as opposed to the original target date of this Thursday or Friday). We’ll stop by Thursday morning before my surgery to check on my follicles. Come on, follicles! (Every time I see this word I picture an ancient Greek philosopher named Follicles).

After the fertility clinic, Mom and I headed to the hospital for more blood work and a CT scan of my liver. In my original blood work, my liver enzymes were elevated, so Monday afternoon was all about the liver. I wasn’t too concerned, but then last night I got an e-mail from a friend of a friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and it had metastasized to her liver. :::commence freak-out::: This obviously concerned me. THEN, about an hour later I got a message from a friend explaining to me that the woman she had wanted to put me in touch with was having a rough time because her breast cancer had metastasized to her liver. ::UGH:: At that point, I went ahead and arranged for a sub for the next day.

This morning I called the nurse and I left a message and I graded some papers and I left another message and I graded some papers and I called a friend’s husband who’s an oncology resident and I graded some more papers. Finally, at about 1, I got a call from the nurse. I have a spot on my liver. She says don’t worry, it may be a hemangioma. These are common. My mom had one. I also have a small spot on my sternum, but it looks like scar tissue. “Have you ever broken a rib or suffered any trauma to your sternum?” she asks. I haven’t. She arranges for me to have ANOTHER MRI, but it’s not until Saturday. She also arranges for a bone scan tomorrow. Luckily, she calls back and says I can get my MRI today, so Mom and I jump in the car and head to the hospital.

During an MRI, you wear headphones because it’s SO FREAKING LOUD, and you can have music play if you like. Today I chose the James Brown Pandora station. I was a bit hesitant at first because that station will play Otis Redding, and whenever I hear Otis sing a slow song, even when I’m not in a deafening loud plastic tube checking to see if I have Stage IV cancer, I have a tendency to cry. Thankfully, no sad Otis songs. It was 20 minutes of “Get up offa that thang, and da-“–TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND HOLD IT–WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP–“-nce till you feel better.” Then, one of my favorite songs came on: Ray Charles’ “Night Time is the Right Time,” and I immediately smiled and remembered singing it with my girlfriends one fun, drunken evening at Brennan’s Bar. The moment the song stopped, I was done being scanned. I’m glad the day ended on a good note. Keep your fingers crossed that my spots are just spots.

*Low T did not use the term “balls.” I believe he said “testicles,” but I prefer “balls.”

click here to see my favorite moment in television history (which features “Night Time is the Right Time”) 

Boobs and Eggs

I always imagined I would have a family one day. When I was younger, I just assumed it would happen because that’s just what people did: they got married, bought a house, and had kids. When I was 26 I moved to San Diego, got engaged right away, bought a house, got married, but I realized I was not with the right person, so I ended the marriage. After we separated, I had no desire to date anyone for about a year and a half. Then, I started to miss the companionship of a romantic partner, so I tried on-line dating. I figured dating would be easy considering that between the ages of 16 and 29 I was constantly dating someone (or I was married). DEAR GOD if I had only known what I was getting myself into! I need to keep this as PG-13 as possible, so I won’t go into details, but there are some shady, deviant, weird-ass dudes in this town. I sometimes question my own mental health considering I made the conscious decision to (briefly) date some of them, like the guy who lived in a basement of an office building in a bad part of town and collected trash to make art and served me wine from a bottle he found at a construction site. Or the geologist who found a rock shaped like a large dick-and-balls that he displayed prominently in his apartment (and who was excited to show me his glass dildo purchased in a head shop in Boulder). But these are just a few. My last (and final) online dating situation ended when I scared off a guy by enthusiastically lip-syncing “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins in his car when I was drunk. The sad thing is, while I was doing it, I was thinking that he was thinking that it was really funny, but actually, he was thinking, “Get this crazy drunk bitch out of my car.” I figured The Phil Collins Incident was a good place to end my on-line dating career.

Therefore, I find myself single at 35 (officially of advanced maternal age). When I was told I had cancer and was going to need chemo, what scared me the most was the potential damage it would do to my already aged eggs. The first oncologist I met with referred me to a fertility specialist, and it just so happened that my period was ending at the perfect time to start an IVF treatment right away. I was going to be pumped up with hormones to get my ovaries as plump and stimulated as possible. I’m currently in the second week of hormone shots, and my extraction (eggstraction?) is set to happen this Thursday or Friday. Because I’m a cancer patient, the drugs are free (they are usually very expensive). Before my cancer diagnosis I had thought about freezing my eggs, but it was too expensive. Now, thanks to cancer, I can do it. (Thanks, Cancer!)

When I first spoke to the fertility doctor, she asked if I had a partner because embryos freeze/thaw better than singular eggs. I told her I was single, but when I got off the phone, I thought about who I could ask for sperm. There really wasn’t anybody. I mean, John Hamm broke up with his girlfriend, but he’d probably be too difficult to reach. I stopped thinking about sperm and went back to teaching. However, that evening I had dinner with some friends (who are doctors and know about science stuff), and they also reminded me about the greater viability of embryos as opposed to eggs. They told me to consider a sperm donor. My friend’s sister had used one and it had worked out well. Well, when I went to the fertility clinic, I mentioned that I may be getting a sperm donor, and I asked for recommendations. They suggested California Cryobank, and this was the site my friend’s sister had used, so I decided to check it out. –>YOU GUYS, this is the stuff of science fiction. It’s wild. I went on, selected blonde hair, blue eyes, 6 feet + , and considered my options. Once you register, you can see their family health history, a writing sample, staff impressions, their college GPA and degree, etc. If you pay for an upgraded membership you can see their baby pictures.

I selected some favorites, looked through their family health history (eliminated some based on that), and then voila! I found my future anonymous baby daddy. He is a bio-engineer, and based on his interests/hobbies, writing sample and staff impressions, he’s also funny and charming. My perfect man! Then I started to wonder about possible future scenarios that would arise due to this anonymous sperm donor. Here is one I considered:

My five-year old blonde-haired, blue-eyed, bright and bubbly little one would ask, “Mommy, where do babies come from?”

“Well,” I’d say (then take a deep breath)…”When a young, attractive man at a prestigious university is walking on campus, a recruiter from a sperm bank may approach him about donating his genetic goods in return for a nice paycheck. The young man’s ego may be stroked by this proposition, and the appeal of cash for beer and books may be enticing enough for him to jerk off into a cup that is then tested and, if approved, frozen and kept waiting for single and/or gay women to pay for.”


Or, there’s a slight chance I may meet a man in the next five years (I have to take meds for at least five years after my chemo/radiation regime before I try to have children–so I’ll be 41) and I’d have to have this conversation:

“So, babe, you know how I used to have cancer?”


“Well, I had my eggs frozen before I started chemo, and I went ahead and got a sperm donor because there are greater success rates with embryos, and so I basically have a baby with another man, and it’s currently in a freezer in Indiana.” *There is apparently a place in Indiana that would store my embryos for a decent price. 


‘And, well, here’s the deal. You’re, like, a solid 8.5, but this sperm donor was a 10, AND he was young. You’re kinda old. Do you wanna just use that embryo? I mean, there’s probably a greater chance that the kid would get a scholarship or something. I mean, being a father isn’t about donating sperm; it’s about a raising a child.”

——>aaaaaaand another relationship ends.

Well, folks, turns out that the whole sperm donor situation would get expensive, so I didn’t order any. I’m just saving my eggs. But it’s nice to know that, if I need it, I can use California Cryobank in the future.

Laughing and Crying

I think the most cathartic and soul-enriching experiences are those that include laughing and crying at the same time. I’ve been doing a lot of this lately, and the most poignant of these moments was at the surgeon’s office the day after I found out I had cancer.

When you go to your first appointment after receiving a cancer diagnosis, you get a binder full of stuff from the American Cancer Society. It’s like getting your registration packet at a new school, and I love packets, so getting my cancer packet was a weird mix of “ooooh” and “oh shit.” After checking in and filling out the paperwork, I began to cry a bit thinking about an old man who had ridden up on the elevator with us. He was hobbling and drooling, and I felt so bad for him. That’s the problem with going to hospitals: all the damn sick people! They make me so sad.

My mom comes with me to every appointment, and so we both go back into the patient room when my name is called. We don’t have to wait long at all before the surgeon comes in, and she’s accompanied by my Ob/Gyn (whose name is Jodi). Even though I don’t call her by her first name, I think, “Jodi!’ when I see her. There’s something so warm and reassuring about her presence; I’ve always thought that about her. My friend Amy is an Ob/Gyn, and she has the same personality, the type you’d want in a person who’s going to deliver your baby. I give Jodi a hug and I cry, telling her thank you so much for arranging for me to see a surgeon right away. Jodi had just come from doing a C-section, so she thought she’d stop by and see me. Jodi’s my girl.

The surgeon told me that because of the size of my tumor, the cancer is actually Stage 2. I said, “But it’s only 1.8 cm.” She said, “That’s the part that was biopsied. The tumor is actually about 3.5 cm.” (I envision it as a slimy, deformed, motionless spider poised for attack and constantly grimacing.) Also, because of the size of the tumor, I will have to do chemotherapy. WHAT? CHEMO? I started to laugh. I’m pretty sure the women in the room thought I had gone crazy. I started to laugh/cry. “So I’m 35, divorced, living with my parents, burdened with credit card debt, and now I’ll be getting fucking chemo treatments?” ***Do you ever have those moments where you think, “This is not where I thought my life would be at this age.” This was one of those moments.

The surgeon explained my options: I would do chemo first to shrink the tumor, then I could get a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. She said that, statistically, a lumpectomy followed by radiation provided the same results as a mastectomy, and this was certainly good news to me because the idea of chopping off my boobs was a bit disturbing. When I asked her what she would do, she said she’d have a mastectomy, but clarified that it would be for emotional, not medical reasons. At this point, I threw open my cotton gown and said, “Look at my boobs! Look at these things. They’re fantastic!” I made sure to turn my chest toward Jodi and show her, too. Of course, she’d seen and felt them before, but now she was just an observer, and I felt she had an opportunity for aesthetic appreciation, not clinical inspection. She smiled and nodded in agreement. The surgeon smiled too and agreed. ‘Yes, you do have nice breasts.” My mom just shook her head and said, “That’s my girl.”

But real talk, though. I want to take a moment and brag about my DD boobs. I’ve received many compliments on them, from men and women alike. I’m sure my mom will be disappointed that I’m including this anecdote, but I want to make a point—>At my sister’s bachelorette party, a friend of hers was talking about setting me up with someone she knew (who was a real catch), and so my sister blurted out, “Jenny has great boobs!” I was drunk, and I said, “Yes, yes I do,” so I showed her what I had, and she insisted that she take a picture and send it to my potential mate. (Again, I’m sorry that I’m including this, Mom.) When this dude received the picture (which was just of my boobs, Mom, not my face), he insisted that they were too perfect to be real. That’s how nice my boobs are.

..But I may have to chop them off pending the results of my genetic testing…

It’s Cancer.

It’s weird what causes me anxiety. Speaking in front of large groups of people (even ones I know and love) can create a rush of panic, but then other times I can be handed a microphone in front of a 250-person wedding and bring down the house. There have been times when I have woken up in the middle of the night and panicked about my debt or about never meeting anybody and dying alone. I have woken up in those wee hours and fretted over ‘what-ifs”: (“What if something bad happened to one of my family members?”) and about past–usually trivial–mistakes: (“Why the hell did you start walking across the stage at your college graduation before your name was called? Why do you do dumb things?”) This whole situation has led me to examine my anxiety. It is such an odd beast. I have yet to wake up in the middle of the night and panic about my cancer. It may be coming, but it hasn’t happened in the 12 days I’ve known I had this disease.

My biopsy was on Friday, Oct. 1. The doctor told me that I should expect a call with results on either the following Tuesday or Wednesday. I felt a low-grade level of anxiety throughout the day on Monday, but I cried at lunch when I told my coworkers (friends) that I was waiting to hear back about my lump. My mom messaged me a few times throughout the day to see if I had heard anything, but I told her that it was too early. She told me to go ahead and call just to establish contact, so I decided I’d call as soon as school got out. After the final bell rang, a student came in for some ACT-tutoring, so I got her started on a practice test, and I called The Breast Center. I was confident that they’d tell me it was fibrous tissue, and then I’d schedule another appointment with my Ob/Gyn to see about switching birth control. However, that is not what happened. I called. I was transferred to a nurse. She told me it was cancer. Stage 1. She immediately went into surgery options, and all I really remember about that conversation were the words “cancer” and “double mastectomy.” I also remember thinking: “I didn’t realize there was a ‘”t” in “mastectomy.” I always thought it was pronounced “ma-sect-omy.” She said she’d call me back with more information.

I hung up the phone, and I wasn’t panicking, nor was I sad. I can’t fully describe the feeling. It’s like the feeling equivalent of umami, that obscure sixth flavor that’s basically savory, but not. I sat down with my student, and we checked her answers on the practice ACT English passage. I was able to explain the first two she missed, but then I just couldn’t concentrate. I told her that the phone call I had just been on was news that I had breast cancer and that they may have to chop off my boob, so I needed to go. I think it may have been the most unexpected thing she had ever heard in her 17 years. I went next door to my department head’s (my friend’s) room, and I said, “I have breast cancer,” and then I cried. I then went to another coworker’s (friend’s) room and told her I couldn’t go work out with her because I had to get home and tell my mom I had cancer.

On the way home the nurse called, and she told me I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, the most common kind of breast cancer. She said I was scheduled to see a surgeon in a week. I got home; I told my mom; I was very calm when I told her, so this helped assuage the situation. However, my mom was clearly in shock. Soon, the evening was consumed by a series of phone calls, and luckily one of those calls was from my Ob/Gyn who said she had got me in to see a surgeon the next morning. I was thrilled to hear I didn’t have to wait a week to meet with someone to discuss my situation.

How and when do you tell people you have cancer? I am NOT a private person, and it’s like I almost feel an obligation to reveal my current situation with those who are closest to me. In between calls from my doctors and family members, I was texting back and forth with a friend about weekend plans and the possibility of an upcoming trip. I felt like I was being deceitful in not revealing my situation, so I just put it out there: “So, um, this is really weird, but I just found out I have cancer. I feel fine though.” Once you drop that bomb, then it’s on. I asked my mom about how she thought I should tell people. Should I just call and be, like, “Hey, it’s Jenny. Just callin’ to say hey and let ya know I have cancer.” She said she’d take care of calling the family and that I should do whatever felt right.

I went to bed somewhat numb to the whole situation, and the next day I would receive even more troublesome news.

Do You Feel That?

When I was about 11 or 12 I had this spot under my chin that would swell occasionally, and I was convinced it was a tumor. Turns out it was a stone in my salivary gland, but before that news, I was sure I was dying. Two weeks ago, I felt a weird sensation in my left boob, and I was sure it was nothing. I’m glad I got a second opinion.

On Thursday morning, I woke up with a dull pain in my left boob (I’ll henceforth refer to my left boob as “Lefty.”) I ignored it and went to work. When I came home, I felt compelled to touch Lefty. I don’t know why; I’m not in the habit of touching my boobs, and by that time there was no pain. I like to think I have a guardian angel who whispered in my ear, “Touch your boob, Jenny. TOUCH IT!” When I touched Lefty, I felt a lump. I wasn’t overly concerned, but I went downstairs and asked my mom to touch Lefty. She felt something too. The following day was the Friday of Homecoming week, so classes were shorter, and my kids were already scheduled to be in the library; therefore, I didn’t feel bad requesting a sub. The next morning I called my Ob/Gyn and scheduled an appointment. After examining me, she suggested the lump was probably a cyst or some fibrous tissue, but she arranged for a diagnostic mammogram (as opposed to just a screening) which is followed by an ultrasound. Being 35, I had never had a mammogram. If you have never had a mammogram, then take some blocks, smoosh your boobs between them one at a time, and then you’ll know what to expect.

After the mammogram, the technician took me in for an ultrasound. As she pressed her wand into Lefty and the surrounding area, I could see a large, black mass on the screen, but I didn’t panic. Ultrasound pictures have an obscure, granular look to them, and I’m no radiologist, so who am I to analyze a blurred, monotone mess? I wasn’t going to fret. However, after her examination, the technician told me that the spot looked solid, not cystic. And then I panicked. She left the room; I cried for a few seconds, then I stopped and stared numbly at the door.

The technician came back in the room a few minutes later, led by a tall, fair, and handsome radiologist. I immediately noticed his wedding ring as he took his turn with the ultrasound wand. Bummer. When he confirmed that something large and solid was living in Lefty, I cried. The technician put her arm on my shoulder and gave me some tissues. They said come back in an hour for a biopsy.

My mom had come with me to the appointment, and when I went to the waiting room to get her, she knew something was wrong. I had been gone longer than she had expected, and I clearly had been crying. Of course, she was shocked by the results. I told her we had been instructed to get lunch and return in an hour. This was a stressful and surreal situation, yet, being me, I was able to enjoy some rather delicious Cajun gumbo in the hospital cafeteria.

We return to The Breast Center. My blood pressure is high. It’s always high. Now it’s really high. They wait for it to go down. It doesn’t. They decide to go ahead with the biopsy. While the attractive radiologist pokes needles into Lefty, I cry and laugh. We talk about where we went to high school. I hope my perky tits and charming personality will beguile the doctor. Maybe he and his wife are on the fritz? Maybe the connection we made while he was removing my malignant tissue would be the catalyst to ending his damaged marriage so that he and I could be together? I quickly let go of that idea.

A few hours later I go to my school’s Homecoming parade, and I remain optimistic about the situation. As students on floats throw candy at the crowd, a kid next to me on the sidewalk grabs the Starburst that landed at my feet, and I joke with my sister, “Oh sure, take my candy, kid, I probably have cancer, but that’s cool.”

Then I go meet two girlfriends. We are all alumni of the school where I teach, so we’re getting together for dinner and then heading to the Homecoming game. I tell them about my day, but I assure them I am not overly worried. They, however, seem worried. At the game, I tell my associate principal about my day, and she said she had a similar experience at my age, but that her lump wasn’t cancer. This reassures me.

It was fitting that Friday’s dress-up theme was Breast Cancer Awareness, so I was surrounded by masses of pink. I, too, (although unintentionally) wore a pink vest (it was the warmest thing I had available besides a winter coat).

I don’t really remember much of Saturday or Sunday. I’m sure I was anxious, but I wasn’t overly anxious. Then came Monday…