That about sums it up. Life in the village, today: my mom and I did not workout together since she needed to be at the Y at 8 (for volleyball) and my kids slept. I motivated myself by buying a new album (soundtrack for The Departed, as it turns out all Old Fart Music) and taking stuff to the gym so I could shower and get cleaned up afterwards before grabbing the kids outta kidcare. Forty-five minutes on the elliptical machine at a heart rate of about 160. I feel great.
My father and I had yet another good discussion: today, his medicine, his chemo, his choice in treatments. He is currently getting what I call a conservative / aggressive treatment – they won’t let him off the chemo very easily even with a (relatively) low CEA. He is hopeful tomorrow his PET scan will reveal the mass on his lung has not grown, then he will ask for a month off. “If I get a month off chemo, I may even take up running again,” he says, and I know he would like nothing better. I am silent, hoping the mass hasn’t grown. But he knows the drill and one thing long-term cancer survival teaches you is nothing is certain, not imminent death nor the guarantee you will survive another two months.
Another subject my dad brings up to me: his antidepressant, which my mom and he are arguing over (the doctor and my mother’s POV: take it, fool!). He says, “Let me ask you something. If someone told you that you had to take a pill the rest of your life to survive, to enjoy a quality of life, would you do it?” Excuse me, is this The Matrix? We choose once, into the unknown, and there’s no turning back? I answer, no, of course not. I would look into it. I would do a bit of research, find a doctor recommended by trusted sources, and ask a second opinion. And then yeah, I might take it. I don’t know what he’s talking about at first until he reveals this is about his Lexapro. He says in response to me, “OK, you’d seek a professional opinion. But what is your personal opinion?” I say that yeah, it seems we over-diagnose in this country. But that doesn’t mean the medicine itself may not help his situation. I go put a load of laundry in and think about it, remembering when psyche meds were offered to me and I declined. I come back into the kitchen. “Dad, you’re biased against this type of medication. If you had to smoke pot daily in order to eat and keep your weight up, you would. You are biased.” He is silent on this and I wonder what he’s thinking. The fact he brought the question to me is a good sign, at least.
Tonight we have my mother’s old boss over for dinner. He’s recently widowed and about four thousand years old and a real sweetheart. I watched him take about fifteen minutes to park (badly) in front of the house. I just completed a cold sesame noodle salad and my asparagus is roasting – my mom grills pineapple and marinated teriyaki steak. Ralph brings the kids down, scrubbed and in their best clothes, if not on their best behavior.