Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Day 4 - First Day of IV Chemo
Ooooooh - cancer is scary!!! NOT.
Dad totally opened the can of whoop-arse today. His attitude rocks and he's tolerating the treatments very well. Saturday and Sunday were a little bit rocky. Okay - a lot rocky. I'd say the low point was when he decided that his pancreas meds weren't working so he just wasn't going to take them.
"Uh, Dad - I'm pretty sure they're not optional."
Happily, he was in the mood to be convinced, so it only took Mom and Chris and me to change his mind. If he hadn't been in the mood to be convinced, Mom and Chris would have been forced to pin him to the ground, plug his nose and shove the pills down his throat. I don't think they would have had to truss him, but he *can* get fiesty when he's ticked off, so I wouldn't rule anything out.
Monday he was back at work, feeling good and happy to be there. He was looking forward to getting through today's IV treatment, getting through the rest of the week and going flying with his friend, Dr. T.
Dad and Dr. T (another flying dentist) have flown together off and on for years. They've done so consistently since Dad started feeling poorly because Dad hasn't been been comfortable going up alone. Dr. T is there to be the healthy Right Seat (that's "co-pilot" to the rest of us), ready to spring into action, take the controls and land the plane in an instant if something were to happen to Dad.
Which made Dr. T's heart attack this morning quite troubling on a number of levels.
First, it's clear that they won't be flying this week. After they got him to the hospital, Dr. T had his daughter call Dad to cancel their take-off slot. Dad, who was sitting at Sloane-Kettering having his chemo cocktail mixed, was pleased to see that Dr. T's priorities were in the right place: plane first, everything else second. Dad agreed that perhaps this week's flight should be postponed. He also agreed to cover Dr. T's patients on Thursday. Talk about not letting your condition get in the way. Something tells me I won't be complaining about my pregnancy flatulence and my flat arches to Dad.
Second, and far more worrying to Dad: Who will be the healthy Right Seat now? Even with a brand-new stent successfully clearing Dr. T's arterial blockage, his health is suspect at best. Each of them is probably as likely as the other to keel over at the controls, which makes neither of them a good Right Seat to the other. Will they keep going up, with a portable defibrillator in Dr. T's lap and a vial of smelling salts in Dad's? Will they bring on a Third Seat - perhaps an EMT? It's a mystery.
Nevertheless, Dr. T survived his heart attack and is resting comfortably. Dad is suddenly feeling much more satisfied with his own situation. He may be having chemo, but at least he isn't keeling over on top of bales of horse feed like Dr. T and he doesn't have a stent in his chest. No, sir. Dad's ticker is doing just fine. In fact, Dad is doing just fine.
Fine enough that when he finished his chemo today, he picked up the car keys and drove himself home.
If that isn't Art Oberle behavior, I just don't know what is.