As Carmela and I met with the various doctors who would be treating my cancer, we became more aware that our schedule would evolve over time. Nothing was set in stone. But our first stage of treatement was radiation therapy, and it was pretty much set in stone: 14 treatments over 3 weeks.
Just prior to the first treatment, we lucked out and rented this wonderful little 1930’s one bedroom, one bath cottage, the “Rose Cottage” in the Watts Hillandale neighborhood in Durham. We are grateful to our good friend Peggy for spreading our housing needs over the local listservs. And not only were our landlady and landlord full of life and joy, they were both nurses. They told us to call anytime we needed them, and they surely meant it. We were in good hands all around.
I had internet access the day we moved in so that I could continue to work. And we spend our evenings listening to music through the local cable channel.
The 14 radiation treatments went well. Its a nice staff there. We kept up with each other’s activites outside of work and that made each appointment more pleasant. And, of course there were the daily exchanges with the other patients. One of the things I enjoyed about the waiting room was witnessing how race played no part in patient’s concern for one another’s day to day health.
Our good friends Mike and Alicia came to visit us at the Rose Cottage, and even came with us to a radiation appointment. We had a great time, and may have even confused some of the other patients.
After the radiation treatments, we had a little break before my second thyroid surgery. We spent some of this time visiting museums and galleries. Once again I knew fate was on my side. While visiting the NC Museum of Art, I walked into a room and stood square in the face of a Vera Lutter pinhole print, a recent acquisition and gift the museum. Not one of her best, but a handsome print just the same. The image shown here is from the same series and similar to but not the image I saw in the NC Museum of Art Collection.
The thyroid surgery went well, but the hospital had no room for me. So, I spent the night in the recovery room, mostly listening to a nurse complain on the phone about how underpaid she was. She was living in perfect irony with herself.