But the Dad's blood counts are low. Very low. 2800 WBCs and only 28 percent neutrophils. Dr. Ashish Bakshi said that we will wait before starting the next round. Wait till Dad's blood counts go up. The chemo is clearly 'working' - and that blessed poison is doing a number on Dad's immunity too.
We faced this last round too. After the first 2 doses, Dad's bloods were fine. But then the 3rd and final dose of the cycle - and a 14 day break after which I expected his blood reports to have rebounded, but they stayed low.
Mum and Dad asked Dr. Bakshi if they could do anything. Could they eat something - or avoid something to get the counts up. The good doc had no answer for them.
I can see that it's not fun being a patient. Dad's doing a pretty good job, though, at being gracious about the many small reminders that he has that he is not 'normal' - esp. at meal times. Dad has strict instructions to only eat 'fresh' food. And for some reason his doc says that chicken is a no-no. So Dad has to keep asking about whether the food being served is kosher for him or now.
It's not fun not having as much energy - but Dad plugs on - going down stairs with Yohan for his daily walk - trying to fix the roller-scooter which Yohan has discovered and is enthusiastically learning to use.
It's not fun being 'in a room' - and feeling that the other family members have to adjust. Esp. when you have been living in as beautiful a place as Shanti Kunj. Earlier in the week, we thought that Mum and Dad may be able to stay nearby, but that option did not open up as we had hoped. So they are here in Asha's room - for the near future at least.
It's not fun having 'planned' to start your next round of chemo tomorrow - and then hearing that it will take some more time.
But then again, life is not all about fun. We are so glad that Dad is with us these days.
Someone said that Dad has a 'built-in' tranquiliser. Not quite. We do know, however, that he is working to make sense of things, and that the out-going, smile-inducing banter is not automatic, but the result of decisions he makes.
I watch him every morning reading from his harmony of the gospels, his feet up to reduce swelling, and a cup of tea or coffee next to him. Dad listens to what God is telling him.
And so we come to the end of the 3rd of July in the year of our Lord 2015.
I just got an SMS from one of our staff stating that a man we had been caring for 'is NOW with the Lord. pray for the family.'
An hour ago we had a small prayer time - Oma, Asha, Enoch and I - on behalf of Agnes and Ezra as they are being married at this time in Delhi. Sheba took the train up to Delhi yesterday with Stefan and Neeru to be part of this beautiful day.
Death and marriage on the same day. At the same time.
Our times are fleeting. Oh that we would be more grateful for each day. That we would be more grace-filled instead of being mean and curt and quick to think the worst. Oh that we would be able to enjoy and appreciate each other as the seconds melt into minutes, and the hours slip into the past like telephone poles whipping by an breezy open train-window.
Dad and Mum continue to push forward. There is no magic wand to wave. There is not little button to press to make everything 'happy-happy.' Living with them, up-close-and-personal shows that Dad is not always a shining beacon of light. But that makes is all the more special when he allows God's grace to work in and through him, when his spirits are lifted by the blessed Comforter, Advocate and Guide who comes from the Father and the Son.
Dad is in his room typing - and I am in this room typing. His old friend Paothang Haokip has just called up so I took the mobile over to Dad. The big smile is back on his face. "Hey brother" he starts out with as I close the door and let old friends share their hearts....