Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sit, Ubu, Sit...

A book so funny, it can make you forget you're having chemo.

No, really. It's true.

Mom and Dad were back at Sloan-Kettering for Dad's second round of IV treatments today. They saw Dr. O'Reilly, who made Dad's day by telling him that he is allowed to drink red wine in moderation (rare, indeed is the doctor who says to a patient, "by all means - go get wasted. Two Advil and a big glass of water before you pass out will ease the hangover"). She also told him he should feel free to make travel plans for next spring. Dad gleefully informed me that he and Mom will be in Paris when I deliver this baby but that I'm welcome to e-mail pictures to them. I assume he was kidding, but just in case they're actually going to Paris, I shall try not to take it personally. Even though they've been to Paris already. Multiple times. Harumpf.

Dr. O'Reilly said Dad has gained some weight, which is great news, and she was pleased with the results of his blood tests. She made some minor adjustments to his meds - little tweaks to get the best results possible out of them - and then sent him off to have his IV drip.

The drip takes an hour. As anybody who knows Dad can attest, sitting still for an hour is a near impossibility for the man. Mom said that last week, the time really dragged. This week, they each brought a copy of Sit, Ubu, Sit, by Gary David Goldberg. I have to credit Mom for Dad bringing the book; she started reading it last week and insisted that he bring his copy along for this session. Mom could nag for Team Italia if she put her mind to it, so rather than listen to her, Dad brought the book.

The nurses set up the IV and left Mom and Dad to their reading. According to Dad, the hour flew by and he was surprised with the nurses returned to change out his drip. Mom said he was reading with that funny little smile he gets on his face when he needs to laugh but is trying to hold it in. Mom doesn't stand on formality; she said she just laughed out loud. Right there, at Sloan-Kettering. Scandalous.

Anyway, Mom said they breezed through the rest of his treatment (it's hard to feel crappy when you're cracking up) and left the hospital in great form.

Great enough that once again, Dad drove himself home.

I guess that proves that laughter really is the best medicine.

So I'm putting out the call: If you have recently (or not so recently) read a really entertaining, funny book, please let me know by posting a comment here or by sending an e-mail to me. Reading is a great way to pass the time on these IV days, so I'd like to keep Mom and Dad stocked up on good material. Send your suggestions and save my parents from me bombarding them with chick-lit and Victorian-era mysteries. Dad will thank you. Profusely.


sjwillis said...

Anything by David Sedaris, maybe Me Talk Pretty One Day? I have a tough time imagining either of your parents reading him but his humor is pretty universal. Also, Hodgman's newest book "More information than you require" is supposed to be funny but I can't vouch for it.

Also, Steve Martin has a new autobiography out. He's a very, very readable writer (shopgirl?) and his story (at least the brief part that was told in Smithsonian mag a few issues back) is really interesting. Actually, as soon as I'm done typing here I'm going to order the steve martin book from the library but i'd suggest sedaris (once you pre-approve the content) for your parents.

love to all of you,

Laura, Shawn said...

This is an interesting article about cancer patients and diet. It's advice we should all take. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26559677/?pg=1#Health_EdibleHealing
Thinking of you all
Love, Laura

HT said...

How about the NJ series of silly but funny books by Janet Evanovich? "One for the Money" is the 1st, and anyone for Jersey (or not) will enjoy the first 5 or 6 in the series- after that they get repetitive. Just the ticket for chemo reading- nothing like amateurish bond enforcement to get ya going- in Trenton no less.

JES said...

i LOVE the janet evanovich books!!! grandma mazur is an absolute riot. i don't know if your dad would enjoy them as much, but i bet you and your mom would!!