Things are tough out here. When this kicked off, I didn't think it was relevant, so I didn't blog about it, but suddenly it is, so let's go back a tick.
When my parents arrived in Israel last week, they went to see the doctor here that would be in charge of my father's treatment for the next few weeks. Now, he is still under the care of the nice folks at MD Anderson, this guy is just like the local rep.
However, we all know doctors. They have to give an opinion. And the opinion was this: "You are wasting your time on the chemo. The tumour is growing every day. If you don't have it operated on now, you are giving yourself a death sentence."
To begin with, my mother said, "I knew it!" and my father said, "If I want more opinions, I'll ask for them", but slowly things began to change.
They are still going with the MD Anderson opinion, because, as I said, it's like standing in the supermarket queue which you think looks shorter and keeping on switching. It doesn't work. But my father has had the fight just blown out of him. I think he is scared that whatever he does now, if he dies, some doctor will have the satisfaction of saying, "Well, yes. He didn't listen to MY advice". Opinions are cheap. The consequences of them cost the world.
So we are off to chemo this morning, and my father is feeling a bit crappy, psychologically. He was trying to convince my mother of a suicide pact a couple of nights ago. So, my job has now been clarified to me by my mother: Endless optimism. I am to tell him that everything will be fine, find stories of people who have survived, find amazing friends and family who can tell him how good the doctors are. Which is why this blog is useful. With all that optimism, my head might explode.
Until now, I have felt a bit like a fish out of water around here. I have discovered, though, that one of the most useful things I can do is washing up! So I do that a lot.
Seven hours of chemo. We are going to go through photos to make into an album for my grandmother. But I am thinking that I should have brought a deck of cards.