28 September 2008

Back on my feet

O.K.... I'm bored. Really, really, really bored. Insert deep sigh.... I am soooooooo ready to go home, hang out with my pups, watch the leaves change color and get back to work!! I've luckily been recovering fast. Within the first day after surgery I was able to get up and take a short walk. Now I'm up to a few walks on the beach every day (and a few walks into local stores to buy clothing I don't really need because .... I'm bored.) By the way, there is a great sale going on at the Anthropologie in Hyde Park, Tampa right now.

We will be meeting with my surgeon and doctor this Wednesday morning to figure out what's next for follow up treatment, and we are catching the first flight home afterwards. Assuming there are no surprises we'll be reopening our office on Thursday. I can't wait!!! While the beach has been lovely, I am ready for some cool weather and getting back into a daily routine. Thanks again for all the support. I should be posting lots of fun new wedding ideas very, very soon...

24 September 2008

I'm Alive!

Hi everyone! Surgery ... check! Thanks for all the support these last weeks. I firmly believe it helps.

The surgery itself went well. They were able to remove the full tumor / node thing and they took my 12th rib just to be sure nothing had been spread to the bone. I am a bit hopped up on pain killers, but after spending one night in the hospital I woke up this morning ready to head back to our rental house to relax and recuperate. I have views of the water and am hanging out watching chick flix.

We will find out more concerning follow up treatment next week, but for now we're all in a good frame of mind and hope that this is a giant step in putting all of this behind us.

For those of you that figured I'd be checking my email within a day of surgery ... I made it 18 hours...

21 September 2008

About Last Night...

So last night was the big one... my closest girlfriend Judy got hitched. A year in the making, and she's married off. It was truly a perfect wedding. The weather was spectacular. The food and flowers were amazing, but most of all I couldn't image an event being any more "them." Both the bride and groom are true Bostonians which was reflected everywhere. Their choice of venue was the Algonquin Club, an old "gentleman's" style building complete with dark woods, jewel toned walls and high ornate gilded ceilings. The windows in both their ceremony and reception rooms were floor to ceiling with sweeping views out to Commonwealth Ave. and the Back Bay. The tables were of course named after Boston streets, and the toasts late in the night inevitably included mentions of Red Sox / Yankee games of long ago. It was classic and timeless. Now for the eye candy. Here are a few snap shots I took. I can't wait to see the pro pics!

18 September 2008

A New Curvier Me?

O.K... so I'm a skinny girl. Always have been. Luck? Genetics? I don't know. Yesterday I met with my new surgeon who is in charge of planning the next few weeks of my life, and he casually slipped in that he "may" need to take out my bottom rib in order to access the melanoma sitting behind my liver. Hmmmmmm..... I hadn't really thought of that, but he assured me this is a rib you can happily live without and many people do. So I decided to do a little resarch just to be sure and it turns out I may be getting a little plastic surgery thrown into this at no additional cost. People actually have their ribs yanked out to get a smaller waist. Who would've thought?

Women who have been rumored to have spared ribs to the goddess of vanity are: Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Racquel Welch, Tori Spelling, Pamela Anderson, Gina Lollobrigida, and Victoria's Secret model Stephanie Seymour.

So is this the silver lining? Well, as I said, I'm skinny. How small a waist do I really want to have? I'll happily keep my ribs if at all possible thank you very much, but I guess it's something to laugh about which is always good in times like these.

So.... the newly updated schedule. We are flying back to Tampa on Monday morning to meet with doctor's that afternoon. My surgery will be Tuesday morning, and I'm being advised to take at least 1-2 weeks off after that for recovery. Anyone want to place bets on how soon I find my laptop and start trying to check my email? I've got $20 on 48 hours. Sitting around has never been a strength of mine.

16 September 2008

The Kits Are In! (and of course I'm out of town again...)

We'll be closed down yet again tomorrow (Wednesday) so that we can dash down to Tampa for an appointment with my surgeon, but we'll be flying back just a few short hours later. Nothing like traveling across the country twice in a day!

My super good news for the day is that our new DIY kits arrived this morning and I was able to get them on the website this afternoon. I wish I was a professional photographer because I'm in love with these designs but can't seem to capture it properly on film. I ended up utilizing the gigantic stack of firewood in our front driveway for a backdrop...

11 September 2008

Some Good (and a little weird) News

So after 4 full weeks of waiting, and waiting and waiting some more to figure out what we're going to do with this medical situation we finally have an answer! Last night we got a call from our new doc in Tampa letting us know he'd met with the whole "team" to discuss my case and look at my scans on a 3D imaging machine. (Yup.... basically it's a naked you projected into a room which they can actually walk around ... comforting huh?) The surgical oncologist there figured out what nobody else had. The tumor that they're seeing is not actually a recurrence of the melanoma. It's the "sentinel lymph node" that was associated with the first melanoma I had. It unfortunately was not taken out in my first round of surgeries. My original surgeons thought they had gotten everything and focused on the lymph nodes in my groin, but apparently this one was hiding in my back behind the site of the melanoma and no one could see it. It's been sitting there for more than 3 years and just recently became active in a way that would show up on a scan.

So.... this is actually great news! It means that I am stage 3 rather than 4, and because of the location of the node I will definitely be having surgery. I've never been so happy to be told they may be cracking a rib or 2. Your perspective changes a lot when dealing with these things! By the end of the week we'll be developing a schedule which will involve flying back to Tampa and going through recovery there. We don't know yet how long I'll be out of commission, but we plan to keep the business open and just be honest with people in terms of what we can do and what we can't where deadlines are involved. So far so good.

Thanks again for all the notes of support and love. They mean a lot.

R + D

Here are a couple photos of my cheering squad. They've kept me smiling these last weeks, and since it's my blog I get to post little bits of eye candy...



09 September 2008

Back to work

So the trip to Tampa was a success for us. We met with a team of people who we feel great moving forward with, and are now just waiting on their final recommendations for treatment. That should be coming Wednesday afternoon. Until then... we're back to work. I wish I could look back on these last few weeks as if they were a vacation! They have however given me some time to sort through old magazines and ideas I'd tucked away for new designs. In the end we should have some interesting new letterpress stationery ready to unveil for 2009.

One of the things I rediscovered a love for is chinoiserie. Enter the handy Wiki definition... "Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying "Chinese-esque", refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflecting Chinese artistic influences. It is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquerlike materials and decoration."

Basically I'm infatuated with things that look like this:

Wouldn't it be amazing to have giant silk panels as decor at a wedding? Well, I'm working on invites in this style so if anyone ever does it let me know. Here are some more photos I've been looking at for inspiration.

01 September 2008


First of all, thanks soooooo very much for the wonderful comments you've all left for us in these last couple of weeks. They really do mean a lot! It's been a highlight each day to log on and see whose stopped by to say hi.

So... the update. A lot has been going on these last couple of weeks in terms of making some decisions. Initially we were kind of thrown into a plan of action that we weren't 100% comfortable with. This was mainly due to the fact that the doctor's we've been working with were asking that we leave whatever this new found growth is inside of me for the next few months to see if a treatment called IL2 will work on it rather than removing it surgically first and then having treatment to clear up any remnant cells. The idea of not having surgery and just hoping that this thing won't spread while doing a treatment with a success rate of about 8% just isn't something my gut is comfortable with. Every bone inside of me says get it out, get it out now.

We decided to start looking for other opinions and options. We started with doctor's we knew back in Miami and after a long chain of events were able to locate the doctor who seems to be the melanoma guru of the moment at a cancer center in Tampa. Of course getting medical records and scans to him while a tropical storm decided to just sit on top of Florida for a week has delayed things, but we have been assured by everyone we've spoken to that time is not a real factor in my case, making the right choice is what matters. So.... we've waited and will be finally flying to Tampa tomorrow to meet with a new team of doctor's. We'll be back home Thursday and any follow up care I need I should be able to get locally in Boston. That means that if and when I have surgery, I can actually recover in my own bed.

Of course this has taken a lot longer than we'd hoped. (We tend to be people who just want to get things done NOW!) Because of this, we are going to wait until the end of this week to reopen the print shop. It's just so that we know 100% what the next few weeks will hold and I won't be making proofs in between doctor's appointments. It's less stress for everyone involved. We have virtually cleared our print calender, so once we are able to start taking new print orders they will be shipped pretty quickly.

Thanks again for all of your love and support! We'll update the blog again soon.

- R

P.S. The new DIY invite kit section of the site will be launched very soon... Here's a little preview