Hi there! Good news! Last night, Tank went out to dinner! It was quite a shock, when Terry called and asked us to join them for dinner, and Tank would be there.
But, first, I'll mention the Stanford info. The doctors there decided to stop the radiation (because of the damage it can wreak on the brain) and start chemo instead. Right away. Regarding the neuropathy, they've decided to take a wait-and-see attitude, hoping that it will go away of its own accord. I guess that happens occasionally. Weird, huh. They also determined that the neuropathy is only in his feet (he thought it was more extensive than that). The doctors said that treating neuropathy is tricky, and can do more harm than good, so they're waiting. They seemed optimistic. They said that ten doctors can look at a patient, and come up with ten different treatment plans.
The trip went VERY well. Terry's son Curtis (early 50s, I think, and a carpenter who builds movie sets) drove, and Terry went along. There was rain in one direction, and blue skies in the other. Tank LOVED the drive. He napped for part of the trip, but mostly chatted with Curtis (Tank sat in the front seat).
What to say about Curtis... :) This is the first time I've met him (my siblings met him once before), and he's that kind of guy who DOES things, you know? He has a quiet self-assurance and a good heart. He's more than capable of helping Tank in and out of the wheelchair. Today, he's home with Terry, removing a glass shower enclosure, and adding grab-bars to the bathtub. Other chores, too, I think. Tank seems VERY comfortable with him, which felt like a blessing, 'cause you never know about such things. Curtis seems like that kind of person who doesn't make a big deal about things, but just takes them in stride, and handles them.
So, after their long trip yesterday, Tank STILL felt up to going out to dinner. I don't know when Tank was in a restaurant last, but I know it's been at least a month. Terry picked me and Sally up at the motel, and whisked us off to Dorn's in downtown Morro Bay. We walked in, and there was Tank. :) God, it was wonderful. He was in the wheelchair, in a lovely, dimly lit restaurant, with soft rain outside. Tank was wearing a new dark-red T-shirt and some cute sweat pants and white tennis shoes. He looked like TANK! :) He ordered sand dabs (?), but they didn't have them (I think they're a real THING, but they were just out of them), so he ordered sole. He also had clam chowder (tasty!), and a salad, and some broccoli. He ate some of everything. Then, he took something off Curtis's plate that looked like a hush puppy, but tasted like shrimp. It was SO FUN!
Tank was almost himself. I mean, Tank's fairly quiet in a big group like that, even under the best circumstances. He's more chatty one-on-one. :) He paid the bill, too, which...you know...requires some focus and some dexterity. I...didn't see it coming. I mean, when we arrived here, I would have bet all my trip-cash that we wouldn't see Tank outside of Bayside. And at the end of a grueling day! He seemed a bit tired, but so did everyone else. He slouched a teeny bit, but nothing very noticeable. I was probably slouching, too. :)
Now, Kathleen was also there...Curtis's wife. I hadn't met her, either, and she is delightful. A lanky hippie girl with a little corduroy cap on her head, with a ready smile, and good teeth. She teaches special ed at a public elementary school in Georgia. She's an excellent conversationalist, and asked me and Sally and what we "do." :) I MUST decide on a better answer to that oft-asked question. I think I answered "nothing." At least I didn't follow up with a shriek of nervous laughter. Sally paused before answering, and I suggested she go with, "I've put my career on hold so that I can attend to the needs of my ailing father."
Yesterday, Sally and I dropped by Tank's house and grabbed the big stack of mail to Tank, and then read everything back at the motel room. Wow! So much love! So many prayers! Thank you, everyone! Inspiring stories, photos of cute kids, art projects by cute kids, and both Xmas and get-well cards, and a couple of belated birthday cards. Nice! Thank you! We're taking the stack to Tank right now. We know some of the senders, but not all of them. It was such a pleasure reading words of love and encouragement directed toward Tank (I hope that wasn't a violation of his privacy). Some people were represented more than once or twice (you know who you are). :) Thank you!
Sally and I went to Carlock's Bakery just now, 'cause Tank requested a Danish for breakfast. :) That's better than a custard pie...right? We also have a salami sandwich for him, and some milk. I'm going to Dorn's this afternoon, to try to score the sand dabs.
It was great chatting with Peggy and Kelly last night! :)
I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
It was a good day. It gave me hope. Oh...later this week, Terry and Tank are going to attend a little Bayside conference to determine if Tank's needs are being met, and if it's still medically necessary for him to be there, etc. So, I'll let you know when that happens.
My love to all! Take care! Love, Polly.