Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Brief Overview of the Past Few Months...

While I've been away, life has been cruising along at break neck speed. Aidan finished his baseball season with a victory in the post season tournament and a trophy for the championship. Then he was selected to play on a district tournament team that promptly went out and lost their first 2 games in a double-elimination tournament. It was a great season but I secretly glad that it's over.

Kian was participating in an Ultimate Frisbee league. I was happy to see him participate in something that required physical activity, as this is not his strong point. He did pretty well and his team won more than they lost. This was my first exposure to Ultimate and it was interesting. As long as it encourages Kian to be more active, I'll watch him do whatever he pleases (within reason, of course.)

My father-in-law, Sam, was diagnosed with Stage IV small cell lung cancer with brain metastases. Initial rounds of chemo-therapy and radiation treatment for the brain lesions were very effective and raised everyone's spirits. We went through 2 rounds of chemo and 1 round of radiation and were elated to have an open-ended break from treatment.

During the break from treatment, Sam started to have some issues with his vision which took us back to the doctor. Unfortunately, the cancer returned pretty vigorously, a common event with SCLC which is very aggressive, and was causing these issues. A four-day hospital stay ensued followed by numerous consultations with doctors and specialists regarding treatment options. It was decided that, while we could pursue further treatment, it would not increase his time with us. Based upon that, we decided to enjoy the time that we have left.

Sam is home now and we have set up hospice care for him. As of last night, he was in good spirits when engaged and seemed pretty coherent. His body is getting much weaker but still seems strong of mind. The biggest concern is that he has fallen a couple of times when by himself and it has taken him a long time to get the strength to pick himself up. Because of this, we have not left him alone much and follow him from room to room when he gets up to go somewhere.

There are a couple of travel dates coming up that should be fun. This weekend Miyo and I are taking all the boys to Houston to go see the Astros play the Royals. We got a great deal on tickets through work and a great deal on a hotel in downtown Houston (also through work.) It should be a fun trip!

The following weekend we are planning a trip to South Padre Island for an extended weekend. We actually weren't planning this trip but are going to help Sato & Connie. They planned a trip down to the coast with the family and wanted to take Sato's parents (my in-laws-Sato is Miyo's brother) so that Sam could spend more time with Sato and Connie's kids. (Sato and Connie have lived in CA for the past few years and their children are not close to Sam and Sayoko. For that matter, Sato and Connie are not that close to Sam and Sayoko either.)

We are going because Sam stated that he does not want to stay there for a week and would not go if he had to be there the whole time. This resulted in Miyo and I planning to spend the weekend there, going down on Friday and coming back on Monday and bringing Sam and Sayoko back with us. Of course this has created some tension with Sato and Sam because Sato is doing this partly out of guilt to try and re-establish a relationship with his dad but trying to play it off as for the kids and partly for selfish reasons to give his family a vacation. (He is working so hard to spend time with Sam that he has not visited at all this week and is not planning on spending any time with him on Fathers' Day but going to Houston to see Connie's dad.)

Drama is flying around everywhere and I'm trying real hard not to get caught in the middle of it. So far, so good but I think I'm just lucky to this point.

This has gone on long enough. More sometime in the future.

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