We have been overwhelmed since we went public with our current prognosis.
Our schedule was already full before we got the news last week: a dear friend had asked us up to her (spectacular) family home at Tahoe, we had tickets for the Carole King/James Taylor concert in Oakland and a stack of InMenlo assignments. Suddenly we needed to add lawyer time, hospice consults, frank conversations with our doctors et al. to the schedule. And Linda and I needed, badly, in this maelstrom , time to talk alone and with close family.
So, Valley-ites that we are, we put it all on Google Calendar and made our way, one appointment after another. Tahoe was fun, and I thought of our hostess as a ‘Jewish Angel’ before realizing that all angels, since they mostly appear in the Old Testament, are Jewish. I’ve alerted our Rector, Matthew Dutton-Gillett that we need to talk about this burning theological issue. He’s agreed to come over for wine and discussion (also now on the calendar).
The concert was great – harking back to our late-60s/early 70s heritage in Los Angeles, even if it was the first event I ever attended in a wheelchair. Linda and I both haunted the Troubador in West Hollywood, a club that James Taylor has described as ‘a ditch’ (it was) when Taylor and King were starting out.
On the ride home from Tahoe, Linda and I checked signals on our current status: with her counsel, I decided to stop chemo, a. because the side effects were starting to make my life much worse, and b. since this is a fatal disease, clinging to straws is not good, and c., see a.
My (very expensive) chemo drugs had, unfortunately, already been dispensed and paid for and we we were advised of ‘proper disposal methods.’ Linda and I wondered if there was a way to donate them to someone in need. Turns out it’s ‘officially’ not allowed (stupid!), but Bay Area oncology nurses, bless them, have a network that quietly slips the phone numbers (with permission of all concerned) of interested parties to each other. The family of a recently-diagnosed glioma victim who is in financial distress came and gratefully claimed what we hope will be a life-extending course of drugs.
Our family has managed to claim a couple of slots on the calendar – most recently this afternoon when Julie and Grace came over. Grace and I went to our garden and harvested beans, peppers and a giant patty-pan squash that had escaped notice. Later we went to Fremont park for a concert where toddlers and children were having a ball listening to a salsa band. This is as good as it can be, so far…