January 20

Dad’s due at Radiation Oncology at 8:45 each morning this week. This morning, I picked dad up from a meeting he went to with mom, and the two of us went into PAMF for dad to receive his treatment. 

The Radiation Oncology team at PAMF is great: it’s always the same two people who pick dad up from the waiting room and bring him into the lab. The interactions are always bright, witty, and help to keep my dad feeling engaged. One of the therapists talks to my dad about his various bike trips and they share stories of their accidents. 

Dad’s most recent fixation has been to get a beanie from Patagonia, so we figured we could pick one up after we got our pedicure (the main goal of the day). After PAMF, we walked about ten minutes to Peet’s where dad got his regular: a medium in a large, with a maple scone. From there, we took a stroll on Alma to University Avenue to look for nail salons. 

Timing with dad is a tricky thing: in the morning, his energy is boundless, he’s up for anything: Santa Cruz, City Lights Bookstore, Half Moon Bay. This energy continues until the late morning, but around 11 it falls precipitously. Dad looks forward to these expeditions all morning, but it’s often difficult to manage and predict when my dad will lose his spunk. Also, everything seems to take so long! The wheelchair is cumbersome, and we’re still slow at getting him from place to place. Thus, small errands are immense when you consider transportation, transition time, dad’s energy, and his hunger. 

After our appointment finished at 9am, we searched for nail salons and realized that they all opened at 10am. This may not seem like a big deal, but that pushes our return home back to around noon – far too late for his energy, as well as the shower we were hoping to squeeze in before he became too tired. So, dad convinced me that we should go to Patagonia today, and the nail salon tomorrow. Smart guy, as he’d much rather be at Patagonia than some nail salon. Hopefully the pedicure happens tomorrow. 

The morning was a very “normal” trip of errands for my dad: Peet’s to Patagonia are two stops he’d make on an average round of errands. He was really happy bumping around Palo Alto, and expressed how important these trips are for him to feel calm and regular. After we got back home, he zipped off with Danny to the shower and spent the rest of the day in bed. 

Reasons why we love Danny: he’s one of the most gentle souls I’ve met, and he sits with dad and talks about the Tongan Islands and the two of them share stories. Secondarily, he can lift anything into place, he takes out the compost, and he is a great cleaner. We’re really happy with him. 

In addition to dad’s three huge meals, he ate cookie after cookie after cookie. He ate more than a box of cookies! And when we ran out of cookies, a delivery of fresh cookies from my dear friend Ryann serendipitously arrived outside of our gate! So then he ate more cookies. 

Eventually, his appetite abated and he slept through the evening. 

We head off to radiation again tomorrow! 

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