Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

stage four

The call came from my brother, who was with my dad. It's stage 4 cancer. How many stages are there? Four. It's spread, so surgery is off the table. Dad starts chemo next week. Mr. Jumping Chocolate Pudding and I fly to Chicago tomorrow, and we either drive straight to Michigan tomorrow night or sleep at my sister's and drive Friday morning. As I type this my head spins. It's what I've been expecting, but I'd been putting it out my mind. 3 rounds of chemo and then a check-up to see whether it's doing any good. Dad's lost maybe 10 pounds. Not a good sign. "Things could progress very rapidly." Nothing is certain, though. Sometimes chemo beats the cancer back for years. Lance Armstrong had stage 4 cancer. My dad has never worn those bicycle shorts, but I'd love to see him in them.

20, 25 years ago, Dad used to offer to cut my hair. With his gear -- buzz cutters. I said, "I will if you will." The summer I was 22 and my brother was 19, we got our heads buzzed just for the heck of it. Dad didn't join. Now he's going bald. I may buzz my head. We'll see. I've been bald 3 times before; a buzz wouldn't be so bad.

In other dire news, still no word from my friend H's relatives in New Orleans. 2 cousins and an uncle still missing. "No news isn't bad news," he said today. Hope he's right.

And my heart goes out to everybody in the new hurricane's path. A co-worker of my spouse's has an 80-something grandmother in Galveston. She's not budging.

No posting after tonight for at least 6 days. Fare thee well.
John, I'm so sorry about your father. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and him and all your family now. Safe travels for you and Mr. Jumping Chocolate Pudding. May he and his grandad have many more great times together.
Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Not much else to say, I'm afraid.

John, I just saw this now - as you know, I went through something very similar early this year. All I can say is take care of yourself while you are taking care of everyone else - don't push yourself too hard. Spend as much time with him as you can. And my very best wishes.
thanks for kind words and thoughts. It was a good trip; "good" -- it really was good to see everybody, but the circumstance isn't. Obviously. Chemo starts tomorrow. I'll go back soon.

Thanks again.
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