Daddy is well enough now that I am confident he can take care of himself with family checking in on him for encouragement. I doubt he will follow his care regime the same way I have but that is okay. Still, I don't want to leave him. I don't want to leave because he is my daddy.......he is my daddy and I feel like such the small little girl that never wants to leave her daddy's embrace. But I miss my family so very much. It hurts so very much.
I have started my preparations to leave list.....cleaned the house, scrubbed the bathrooms, all the dogs went to the groomers, re-stocking the pantry, and I walk in my room to look at my suitcase but then turn and leave again.
We have accomplished things like getting an eye exam and new glasses for Daddy. I bought an anti-barker device for the dogs, gone through old pictures, made copies of old family recipe books, and visited Daddy's work crew that he was in charge of where he worked as a nuclear/x-ray technician.
Last Saturday my cousin wanted to take us out for a special dinner as a means of "yeah chemo is over/bon voyage for me". We ended up at The Melting Pot. Oh wow! Talk about celebration. I have been to a fondue restaurant twice before and knew what to expect but goodness it was a wonderful evening. I took pictures so that you could have a glimpse. My cell phone takes horrid indoor shots but it still conveys the overall idea.
Our appetizer fondue was bowls of breads, veggies, and apples that we dipped in a pot of mild white cheeses with spinach and artichokes. I was completely full with that and the amazing Cesar salad but that was just the beginning. Below is a picture of our main course platters that we skewered and cooked in seasoned broth fondue pots. Two different platters held an array of lobster, shrimp, ravioli, steak, sausage, and chicken.
It took lots of stories and laughter for us to empty those plates as we tried to time our cooking by our cell phones. We were definitely a bunch of silly beans. Daddy ate very well. I wasn't sure how he would do but he cut up his food into small bite and enjoyed more than we all imagined he could eat. He proclaimed that he hadn't eaten that much in 3 months total. We were so excited to see him be able to really swallow and enjoy.
By the time we cleaned away the main course platters we could have rolled out the doors but dessert was still on its way. Oh my! With choices of cheesecake, bananas, strawberries, pound cake, rice crispies, brownies, and marshmallows to dip in such sweet melted goodness.....how can one resist?
He clued into our celebration attitude and put a candle on one of the cheesecakes for me.
Here is a picture of Daddy and I looking over our dessert. Doesn't he look great?
He has lost 75lbs through all of this but is resilient and strong.
Once when Daddy left the table for a few minutes, I shared with our server that Daddy had just finished his last chemo treatment and this was his first major meal. I thanked him for making it so special and blessed evening for us. Our server just about dropped the plates he was holding and his eyes misted over with tears. He said that he was a professional opera singer and had left the circuit over the summer because his dad was undergoing cancer treatment. He smiled, "You don't know what this means to me. It is so encouraging to see you all here celebrating with joy and witness the enthusiasm of your dad. Thank you....thank you for telling me that. You have made my day."
It makes me wonder.....is cancer so rampant that it seems everyone I meet has dealt with it in one way or another. Or is it that God is purposing our steps to cross and lift each other up in understanding agreement. I think it is both. And I think that I weigh heavily on the side of God. He is so amazing to know what we need and when we need it.