Last night, 48 hours out of chemo, Jacqui and I headed up to ole’ NYC for the annual Lymphoma Research Foundation dinner. I dragged myself out of bed (literally), got in the car, drove about 4 blocks, turned around, and went instead to the train. So we trained up to NYC, a much better choice given the very pregnant wife and the chemo-brain (more on that later).
Thanks to the incredible transfusion I received last Friday from my buddy Neil, my blood counts were so good that I got a pass off the home base for the night to head to the dinner (normally, I was told by the doc, a unit of blood raises one’s hemoglobin by about a point. Neil’s overly generous donation almost ticked me up three points. Thanks again, buddy).
The dinner was lovely. I schmoozed the room for a few hours before the exhaustion set in, but not before chemo-brain managed to embarass myself at least once, and possibly more (Jacqui swears that she found me trying to buy pizza from a urinal in the Penn station men’s room just before we got on our train back to Philly). The most embarrassing moment of the night came when I walked up to one of the doctors who consulted on my diagnosis almost 2 years ago, totally mistaking her for someone else, giving her a big hug, a kiss, and chatting on and on until she told me who she was. Oops. We had a good laugh, and then I almost did it again with another guy, who I also thought was a doctor we consulted with 2 years ago. The whole thing was bizarre, but I am laughing about it today (that is, until the restraining orders arrive).
Now I am home, dug back into the couch, cuddling with Otis, and in the special company of my father-in-law who has donated himself to taking care of Jacqui, Otis, and I for the week. A special word about my father-in-law Alan.
For those of you lucky enough out there to know Alan, you, like me, know him in two ways, as a bit of a character (understatement heavy), and as a dedicated father, husband, and family-man extraordinaire. Alan’s explosive laugh is both jarring and infectious. But most important to me, he, along with Jacqui’s late mom, step-mom, and extended family, raised an incredible daughter with poise, a keen intellect, and a lot of love, all the while wearing, I am told, goofy white sweat socks raised above his knees and enough zinc-oxide to protect the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays for decades to come (how Jacqui became so stylish, we may never know). Jokes aside, his committement to his daughter, to his family, and to me, has deeply touched me, and I am happy to have him here nursing me back to good health. Thanks, Alan!