Life in the Villa
The next year was, for the most part, steady state for our parents. While Dad wasn’t particularly happy about his new situation, he made his way around via the mobility bus, found old friends and made new ones. He was generally a happy guy that loved to tell stories and jokes. The jokes by this time were repetitive, because he couldn’t remember a lot of them, but we would just smile and nod.
He especially liked old family anecdotes. I reminded him about the first time I mentioned “I met someone”, my future husband, John. My dad’s first question was “Does he have a job?” I assured him, yes, he has a job. My dad would get a little smile and throaty chuckle when we’d bring up this type of story. (Yes, I married someone like my Dad – my husband John loved nothing better than going to work, and wouldn’t call in sick unless he absolutely could not get out of bed.)
My mother seemed to recover well from her kidney surgery. They said it was stage 2 and contained to the kidney which had been removed. No more treatment was required, and she did not see a need to consult an oncologist.
I work for Be The Match, a Registry for matching patients for bone marrow transplants. I had a colleague, “Dr. M”; she was a physician at the University of Minnesota. One of her specialties was Renal Cell Carcinoma, the type of cancer that took my mother’s kidney. Dr. M was an amazing support to me throughout this process.
The kidney protocol recommended my mother have periodic scans to make certain the cancer hadn’t spread. She had one x-ray the first year, but no MRI type scans were ordered.
Then suddenly things didn’t go quite so well for Mom, as you’ll read in the next blog.