Don’t get me wrong; I knew today was the first day of the week. That’s not the issue.
The issue is that since the beginning of the month, this day on the calendar has been marked with my dad’s oncology appointment. Between the lines is Road Trip; since my father’s prostate cancer was diagnosed in 2009, I’ve tried to attend as many of his doctor’s visits as has been feasible. And when bone cancer was detected over a year ago, every three months I trek to my hometown, making a day of it; I get some breakfast at my favourite bakery-coffee shop, then head to the oncologist’s office, which is close to where my best friend works. Sometimes I chat with her before I see my folks, sometimes she and I have lunch together, or just a frozen yogurt. I stop at a local bagel shop for their day-old wares, hit another store for more bagels (I eat them every day for lunch, and my son appreciates it when I bring home poppy bagels), then drive home, singing to all my favourite tunes.
But the focus is my parents, my dad. So far, just a few cancerous specks mark his left hip, and his PSA levels remain steady, in the upper teens. He’s on Zytiga, but these quarterly visits are about how he’s feeling, getting another Lupron injection. We joke that he’s suffering hot flashes on my behalf, and has been doing so for coming on four years. Bone cancer adds a niggle to the whole situation, but so far, Dad’s a trooper, and what’s a road trip every few months? I used to live eleven hours away by plane. Long distances aren’t a problem.
But that I might have been exposed to the flu isn’t something to be ignored. For a week, my daughter’s best friend was staying with us, and on Saturday, she wasn’t feeling so well. Yesterday, she left, but took a bad cold with her, and just to be on the safe side, I’m not driving this morning. I will visit my folks in a couple of weeks once I either get the flu and recover, or am certain it has passed us by. Sort of odd thinking a nasty bug could be hovering. Until it hits, I’ll continue with the work.
Sometimes life takes detours, but they’re not always bad. Today I’ll edit, but the new idea has been pestering me, so I’ll probably spend a good chunk of time at the kitchen table, paper strewn about as notes are made, an outline prepared. There’s no Monday Night Football, but my 49ers were very good to me on Saturday, not so kind to my husband’s Green Bay Packers. By the time I see my parents, the NFC Championship game will have come and gone; either San Francisco will be going to the Super Bowl, or licking their wounds. I received my love of pigskin right from my father and we’ll have plenty to jaw over.
If you’ve read Alvin’s Farm, my dad is a lot like Tommie Smith. He’s had his sorrows, and his joys. He was a young grandfather too; my dad isn’t quite seventy, but participated in his granddaughter’s wedding last summer, reading the first half of I Corinthians 13. He finds my writing intriguing, not that he would read any of my books, but he loves telling his buddies about my exploits, sharing all his kids’ triumphs. And the grandchildren’s too; he has seven total, my three twenty-somethings, then four little ones who have offered him a lovely glimpse of innocent days.
Life, like the tides, is cyclical. What comes around, goes around, but hopefully not the flu. Maybe just a date on a calendar will be rearranged, sans the trip to a doctor’s office. I’ll get up to see my folks, do all the usual activities, just not today. Today is meant for this post, some revisions, plotting a new novel. The road trip is just waiting for Super Bowl contenders to be decided.