Dear Dad: Vol. 3

Dear Dad,

Today all the kids went with Mike and I to the hospital for his radiation treatment. His tumors are on his optic nerve, so the treatment is 5 minutes long. It's week two and he is starting to feel more sick, tired, and dizzy. We can't begin to imagine what your radiation feels like with 4 tumors in your brain and the others in your body that require radiation. I wish I was nearby so I could bring you some lemon candies and sit with you to visit. I wonder if your food has been tasting funny, too. Mike has been reporting this week that everything tastes like soap or metal. He tries to chew strong flavored gum to get rid of the taste. A nutritionist met with him today briefly and gave him a list of flavors that might be okay. They are: mint, citrus flavors, strong marinades like Italian seasoning for chicken, fresh veggies are some of them. Milkshakes have been tasting great to him, too.

Tonight we had chicken in the crock pot with an Italian dressing packet, cream cheese, and cream of chicken soup. Mike said it was the best meal he's tasted in 2 weeks. This is from a man who is a big food snob (I say this lovingly) who is truly mourning the loss of his ability to taste the way one would mourn the loss of a loved one. I told him to buck up because my dad's got 5 times the problems being radiated. I didn't tell him that really, but I thought it would crack you up to type it.

The kids are so happy to get hot chocolate from some fancy machine while they wait for their dad. There is a big fish tank I remind them 40 trillion times to not tap on. There was another kid there today who played with an old community toy shopping cart. When he pushed it around the lobby it made a squeaking sound as bad as stabbing forks in my ears and twisting them. Luckily my three kids distracted him by filling 62 million cups of water at the cooler.

In the evening it was a balmy 90 degrees out, so Evan and I played baseball in a grassy field by my house. I thought of you and how proud you would be of each of your grandkids for various reasons. For Evan it would be his toughness with sports and natural ability to throw like The Incredible Hulk. He has your deep voice and your bright blue eyes. His father is his very best friend and favorite person in the world. He is a master pro at building things (Legos or puzzles or wooden train tracks). He has this natural ability to sense if someone is not feeling well and would be the first to hug a stranger having a bad day. He's also one to turn on a dime if things don't go his way and was the only one to cry when the pet hamster with giant testicles died. He is truly one of those Big Teddy Bear types.

Tell Grandma hello for us. I will call this week to speak with you both.