The first stop was at Hoag Hospital for the bone density scan. Wait, wait, wait. I tried to figure out how to apply a gift certificate from Katie onto my dad's Kindle, but finally gave up. At last he was done, and we went downstairs to the cafeteria.
Mom and Dad wandered through choosing a little lunch for themselves. I'm trying to stick to a pretty specialized diet that excludes (among other random things like celery and cranberries), such staples as cheese, egg, garlic, cow's milk, oats, cane sugar, baker's yeast, and brewer's yeast. Oh, and kidney and pinto beans. And avocado. I don't think I've been able to have a perfect day since I've started, but I've tried to eliminate the offending ingredients as much as possible. It's not easy, and trying it at a hospital cafeteria is dang near impossible, so I passed.
On to the next event: chemotherapy. It was at a nice medical facility over in Huntington Beach - just a short drive away. We checked in and Mom and I settled in for a long wait. A nurse came out and answered our questions, and then she took Dad back to get started. Mom and I sat and talked, and watched other patients come and go. One poor man sat and did a crossword puzzle. Out loud. If Mom hadn't been there I probably would have struck up a conversation, but Mom isn't one for talking to strangers, especially one who does crossword puzzles out loud. The patient my heart went out to was a frail little man who struggled in all alone with a walker. He collapsed onto a chair and put his head down on his walker. It was so obvious he felt a lot less than good, and I felt bad that he was all alone. In 3 weeks I'll be taking Dad by myself, and I'm making it a point to talk to people around me. I have a feeling there were some interesting stories there.
The whole process was supposed to take 1 1/2 hours, but for Dad's first time, they took it slower, and we were there for almost 3 hours. But when Dad came out, he was all smiles. He was beaming from the nice friendly nurse who had made him feel special, and he was feeling triumphant that he didn't feel sick. It was like watching a warrior come home, and in a way, he was.
We went back to their house, and I knew traffic would be awful, so I stayed for a little while until it died down. Calls started coming in from my brothers, and Dad was enjoying all of the extra attention. He's used to being in the background, and it's a treat to watch him be center stage. He's kind of a ham, actually. I started for home, but true to Southern California living, there was still a ton 'o traffic. GAH! I was tired and hungry, and...did I mention I was tired? I also had to finish doing the work I hadn't done earlier in the day. But it was time well spent with the folks, and hopefully they felt a little bit better to have me along as a cheering section. But the ride home was full of big yawns. And traffic.
A couple of nights ago, L and I had gone to Costco to get some of the store brand Glucosamine Chondroiten, which the physical therapist had said would be good for his shoulder. As we walked in, we meandered by the flat screen TVs. We stopped. We gawked. We watched the Olympics on huge 60" screens that were so sharp it felt like you were there. We looked at smaller screens, and finally decided that when we were ready the 46" screen would be perfect for the bedroom. One day soon. The next day L remarked that all he could think about was that TV. So yesterday when I was with my parents I wondered aloud how long he would hold out buying it.
As it turned out, he didn't hold out long. As soon as I got home, he said "Let's go to Costco and get the TV." So off we went, and now we have a new TV in our room just waiting for the cable guy to come tomorrow and hook it all up with an HD cable box and whatever else we need. Yeah. I'm pretty excited. I was watching the preliminary equestrian dressage events for a bit this morning and kept thinking how awesome it would have been on the big TV. Same for Gabby Douglas' big win last night in gymnastics, or Michael Phelps' victory in swimming. So if you don't hear from me for awhile, you'll know that I'm laying on my bed (with my new Costco-bought memory foam pillow!) mesmerized in front of a 46" HD screen. Probably mouth breathing.
But never fear. I will roust myself outside and pedal a few miles or more to make up for it. I can't let Mia and her new bike put me to shame!
We got the report from her mom that she did her happy dance when the bike was being set up:
And after riding for a bit, she called Papa and gave him a very sweet and excited thank you.
As I settled in last night after a full day with mom and dad, and an exciting (and unexpected) trip to Costco, I reflected on all I have to be grateful for. Family, home, health, life's comforts as well as necessities. A husband who not only understands my quirks, he celebrates them. I looked up into the night sky and felt gratitude and peace. The moon was large and luminous, rising through the trees, and shining it's soft light down on our neck of the woods.