Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Portent Portal

Driving the back roads again on my way home. The day had been a little long--getting up and ready to go with Dad to his chemo appointment. Hurry there to linger until 3pm, watching other chemo patients come and go. Some get iron for their deficient systems, some get extra plasma, but everyone's there for the same reason, cancer. My take on cancer used to be immediate death. A friend wasn't feeling well, went to the Dr, was diagnosed with cancer and died the following week. That's the cancer I've known.

This time around it's personal. This time around it's my Dad. This was his 5th chemo treatment and we're hoping his last for awhile. A day to relax into the process, to nap and doze through the morning and into the afternoon. As much as one can with bells from the IV machines, loud TVs (why are the speakers on the back of those personal sized TVs and not on the front?), and patient's families trying to converse over the din of noise. And we were able to nap. Dad longer than I. Perhaps not from being tired but more of a defense mechanism--sleep vs enduring the mind numbing tick of the clock as time passed oh so slowly, measured by the inaudible drip of the IV.

Hopefully this last treatment will put his cancer in remission. It will never go away, we just want to arrest it enough so that it won't spread... that's The Plan. And hopefully Dad will begin living his life being the gregarious man with the best sense of humor ever, again.

Not 5 miles away from Dad's, on the way home, talking with my sister on the phone, I saw her. The red tail from the previous post. I watched as she landed on the telephone pole. I slowed my driving to almost a stop. At the same time, I grabbed my camera bag from the back and began to fumble for the camera. I dropped the phone and laughed as I told my sister I would call her back, that I needed to get this shot (better than running off the road trying to do it all!).

Red Tail Girl wasn't as patient as she was last time and didn't wait until I was completely stopped and focused before leaving. She flew to a tree not far away and landed. As I drove slowly I noticed the nest beside her (did she purposely show me?). I have driven this road so many times over the last few years and not once did I notice the barren tree with a stick cluster near the heart of the tree. I aimed my camera and off she flew again.

I had goosebumps from the weight of what I experienced. The day with my Dad, the long afternoon watching people going through procedures to lengthen their lives even just a little and ease their worries however much, and this--a glance into what might be, new lives living in the wild... hope for the future.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Sending love, Robin. Your photos are gorgeous.

I will keep a good thought for your sweet dad. Take care of yourself. It is a very stressful, heavy time.


Susan Raihala said...

Robin, my thoughts are with you and your dad. Beautiful, poignant post.

Kathleen Scott said...

I never found a way to make the chemo trips happy. I hated sitting in the chair with the IV and people talking about nothing as if a poison drip was normal. I hated the cancer and what it took.

But I learned what you already know, that life is today. It's the only day we've got, any of us, and we savor the flight that crosses our path at the moment it happens because it's our life.

Best hopes for your father, and for you.

highlyirritable said...

((Robin)) I was thinking of you today and wondering how your handsome dad was doing. My best thoughts are going out to you guys.

Leslie said...

What powerful and beautiful post. I'm that your red tail girl has given you this emerging life to focus on.

Hoping that this last treatment puts your dad in remission.


HeArt Collective said...

i was thinking of you this afternoon and then i got home to find an email from you, which eventually brought me here...

this is a lovely post the words about your darling dad and the photography is striking. thanks for sharing your heart.