We have heard from many people about the fact that the Blog hasn’t been updated. Bob’s Daughter (a recent MBA grad) was honored to be selected into a management training program with a large company that required that she move to Chicago. Between leaving the DOJ, moving her things to Chicago, making frequent trips to Atlanta to check on her dad, and going to a week-long training in Dallas, Bob’s Daughter has been quite swamped. Luckily for you loyal readers, Bob also has a son! So – let me fill you in on all the happenings for the past month and half or so.
In the midst of the moving, Bob’s Daughter made it down to Atlanta to spend Father’s Day with Dad. We celebrated by driving out to the Silver Comet Trail and taking an 18-mile bike ride out to the Giant Trestle (I made that name up – but it truly is a very large old train trestle) on the Silver Comet Trail. Dad loves bike rides and was ecstatic to go on this one because Lauren had not been on a bike ride with him in a number of years due in part to a terrible bike related fall she suffered shortly after our return from Thailand. This time, however, there were no falls and Lauren had a great time. Ok, a good time. Ok, she only complained a little bit. But most importantly, Dad had a GREAT time. We celebrated that night with a great dinner at my house made by my lovely wife as well as an incredible cheesecake made by my lovely mom.
As Lauren has already told you, a great father’s day was followed up by a day of chemo on Monday, June 20th. Lauren was a trooper and gave Mom some relief by spending the day with Dad while he got his treatment. The chemo treatment was followed by several days of feeling like crap on my dad’s part. Unfortunately, he feels like the days of feeling like crap have extended slightly with each additional treatment. Dad was very disappointed that there was not more significant improvement from his CT scan results. For quite a few days after June 20th, he wrestled with the idea of stopping the chemo treatments and just enjoying life. After some serious discussions with several doctors, he ultimately decided to finish his last two chemo treatments. He is continuing to explore alternative options.
Dad did get to enjoy some fun over the 4th of July weekend. My uncles Jim and Lawrence and my aunt Velma came to visit for the 4th of July. In addition to the family time, the plan was for my Mom and Dad, Jim and Lawrence and I to complete the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10k race. Jim and I were planning to walk the 10k, Lawrence and Mom were planning to run it, and my dad was planning to walk it so fast that he may as well have been running. Unfortunately, Mom had to pull out with an injury (but she’s run the Peachtree more times than anyone else in the family so she didn’t miss out on too much) and Lawrence had to run it alone. True to his nature, my dad walked the whole thing about 20 minutes faster than my uncle Jim and I walked it. It was hot and long but it was actually a lot of fun. It’s quite an atmosphere. All along the route there are people lined up in chairs cheering (sometimes jeering) and often drinking beers, mimosas and bloody marys and making you wonder why you aren’t sitting there drinking with them. But our goal was achieved, as everyone who started was able to make it to the finish line. Lauren picked Jim and I up from the train station with beers in the cooler….what a good egg. After the race everyone gathered at my parent’s house, along with long-time family friends Ed and Andrea, to drink, eat and talk about the day.
A few weekends ago, my mom and dad and Stacey and I went to see the new Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris. I thought the cinematography was great, the filming of Paris was done with the same loving touches that Woody used to give Manhattan, the theme of the illusion of a better past was a great one, and the standard Woody Allen characters you know and love were done well by Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson. Dad fell asleep and only woke himself up when he began snoring too loudly. So I guess that’s one thumb up and one thumb down.
On July 11th, Dad had his next to last chemo treatment. He reported it being a little more painful than the previous ones, but he survived. I think he would say that the basketball feeling in his stomach isn’t as big a basketball, but the overall crappy feeling lasted a little longer. By the weekend, though he was back to his normal activities and got to spend some time with his former co-workers Steve and Melinda on Saturday. He also got to spend some time with his brother Joe, his sister-in-law Nancy, and his niece Robyn who were in town visiting Dad and some other family they have in Atlanta. On Monday, Dad’s sisters Eileen and Mary got into town and are here visiting for a few days. Tonight, Stacey and I will be joining Eileen, Mary, Joe and Nancy for dinner at my parent’s house. Dad has really enjoyed having a chance to visit with all of his family. His brother Michael has work that brings him to Atlanta every now and then and has been able to visit with my Dad a few times over the past few months. His brother Timmy and his niece Rashunda have also visited with him, not to mention numerous members of his extended CDC family. The family visits are a pleasant distraction (for all of us) from the ugly business of cancer and chemo.