Carrie, my best friend in the world and not coincidentally also my beloved wife, had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She had surgery that was cautiously described by her oncologist as "successful," but faced months of chemotherapy and recovery.
And waiting, and testing. And waiting, and worrying. And waiting. Did I mention the waiting?
The fear with cancer, of course, is always: did we get it all? Has it already spread in some undetectable way? When will it rear its ugly head again? Is the chemo working?
We (I say "we," but Carrie had to do the hard bits) white-knuckled our way through five years of regular blood tests and checkups, and this past July, Carrie passed the five-year milestone with a continued all-clear from the doctors.
We thought that the occasion should not go unremarked. So we invited about twenty of our closest friends (15 were able to make it) to a big blowout Bengali feast this past Sunday at Angon, our favorite Indian restaurant in Manhattan (and one of our favorite restaurants, period, anywhere.)
We were treated to an excellent menu of fresh summer vegetables cooked every way imaginable... tandoori vegetables, fresh okra dishes, lentils cooked with mango, etc. etc. Two of our zanier friends brought a bottle of really good tequila, a bunch of limes, a couple of very stylish salt-shakers, and some Dixie cups (!)
And then we did tequila shots in Mickey Mouse cups.
(This explains the glazed facial expressions
in some of the later group photos.)
In our invitation, we asked our guests to write some tasteless rhyming couplets to commemorate Carrie's survival (not content to just whistle past the graveyard, we prefer to stick our tongues out and go "nyah nyah nyah") and promised prizes to the winners.
As I don't yet have the consent of the authors to republish their work, I'll just say that the winners outdid themselves stylistically, and were awarded copies of this book.
A good time was had by all, and we plan to do this at least once every five years, probably more often than that.
(More pictures from the party here -- Flickr Photoset)