February 27th, 1973: Dad got his first cobalt treatment today. And tonight, he looks pretty tired. But, Dr. Bunting said it would be this way for about the first five out of ten treatments. They go back to Quincy tomorrow, for another one at 2:30.
February 27th: 2013: Mom was probably the one who drove dad to Quincy for this first treatment. Dad may have driven, and mom the passenger. Along for the ride, the support, part of the process, and any conversations with the doctors in Quincy.
Dad wasn't going downhill at an alarming rate at this point. Some fatigue. Some weight loss. The physical aspect would get worse. It was probably the mental part that was the toughest to deal with during this period.
Quincy is approximately 45 miles west of Pittsfield. On the Mississippi River, it's where dad was born and raised, before following his dad to Pittsfield to become involved with the hardware store. Two of his aunts still lived there. Relatives on mom's side lived there. It's where we went to visit and shop. Route 36, and then Route 97, were very familiar, two lane roads.
From Pittsfield, West to Barry. Then Kinderhook, then Marblehead. Finally Quincy. A pretty drive in the day. It's four lane and wide open now. Limestone bluffs on the north side of the road between Kinderhook and Marblehead. When I was little, I'd ask mom, dad, or Aunt Betty if any lions or bears might live in those woods and hills.
Mom got her one and only speeding ticket near Marblehead one year. I may have been six or seven. She paid it in Quincy. A federal building, I think. Anytime we'd pass that building in years to come, dad would ask me, "What building is that, Kent?" "That's where mom paid her speeding ticket," I replied. Dad put me in the middle, at mom's expense. He'd laugh. Never let her live it down. In fact, I think he had the police report item under glass at his office desk at the hardware store.
Before I was born, or was very little, dad and mom set out for Quincy in an old Chevrolet he had. Maybe a 39' or 49'. Roll down windows on an antique car. The story goes, (and it's been confirmed) that dad went to toss a cigarette out the window. The wind caught it, and blew it right down the door frame. There was smoke, then a small fire. A beverage or two may have been consumed during the drive. Dad calmly pulled the car over, dropped his trousers, carefully aimed, and "extinguished" the fire!
I didn't go along on any of those trips for his treatment. None. I'd remember if I did. I was in school, anyway.
Cobalt. I don't even know if that is used for treatment anymore. Chemotherapy is the thing I hear most about now. I don't know how long his treatments lasted. Not long, I think. I don't know if they were painful to him. I don't recall that they were terrible.
I just remember being sort of happy that the treatments had begun. And hoping this would be the stuff that would "fix dad," as I'd have probably stated, if I were to have entered that in my original diary.