I finished my last final exam of the year. Most students I'm sure had one of two things on their mind - catching up on lost sleep or going to a bar. Both of those sounded wonderfully appealing. For me, though, I allowed myself a few moments to gaze at a beautiful fountain that is at the back entrance to my school in order to signify the accomplishment. I then proceeded to walk the half mile to MD Anderson. Mixed emotions were present as I walked into the massive structure. I had a date with my dad's third round of chemo but I felt a profound sense of loss that never again will I walk through those doors to be with my brother. Ever. We spent a LOT of time down there together and while it was a immensely difficult time, I have incredibly fond memories of those times spent together. My brother and I grew closer than we ever had before through those long hours spent together. I will treasure them always.
Today, though, I had to be there for my dad. For better or worse, I'm learning how to compartmentalize myself. Since he's had allergic reactions the past two times, we decided to cut to the chase and just give him those medicines designed to halt anaphylactic shock before he got the chemotherapy. It worked as intended. We were out of there just before 10:30 pm. Much better than the 2:45 am last time. While it was a medically uneventful 9 hours, the conversation was not. Inevitably, it never strayed far from cancer or my brother. It was decided that I'd head back up to Dallas first thing in the morning and my dad would drive himself to chemo the next day. My brother has neither drank nor eaten anything substantial in the last 36 hours. Conventional wisdom has it that once a patient stops drinking, there's less than 72 hours left. It's time to down a couple of benadryl with a glass of wine or three to catch some zzz's before heading up.