Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Father of the Groom

You may have noticed over the last few weeks just how much I've been looking forward to being father-of-the-groom for the second, and last, time in my life. (Last only because I've run out of sons to marry off, not because of any darker reasons). The deed is now done and the wedding fulfilled all the anticipatory wishes that had built up over the weeks. It was fab.
The last blog entry ended with the end of chemotherapy. That still left me with three more blasts of radiation to go. On the last day, I got the treatment and, as I got off the Klingon machine, the therapists threw confetti over me in celebration that I had completed treatment and that I would make the wedding. Well, not really confetti. Lots of little paper discs from a hole punch, but a really nice thought.
Then came confession time. The radiation nurse and doctor both admitted that, although everyone had worked extremely hard to get the treatments complete before the wedding, not one of them actually thought that I would be able to make it. Well, make it I have.
We flew over on 5th July and came straight to Dorset to see Kath's mum. She has also completed treatment but it has left her very weak. Angry too, because of the lack of energy. My mother-in-law has always had boundless energy (that's where her daughter got it from) and she cannot bear to be ill.
The wedding was everything we had hoped for. The weather was good, the setting spectacular, the stars of the show are both beautiful people, and I get to be father-of-the-groom. Duties of this august position? None whatsoever. Eat, drink, kiss every female guest in the place. Actually, I did end up with a duty that delighted me due to my son's thoughtfulness; he asked me to sign the register as a witness to the marriage, a moment that he later admitted brought a bit of a lump to his throat. Mine too if the truth be known.
The wedding was full of thoughtful moments and gestures. One of the best, and one that people couldn't stop talking about, was compiling and printing booklets containing small biographies of every guest at the wedding. This took them many days to compile but the effort was so worthwhile. It had its share of minor incidents also. The vintage bus turned up late. (They called it vintage, but it was a standard double-decker of the type I used to ride as a young man! Bloody cheek! Mind you, it was still pretty old.) Actually, the driver left the bus at the end of the ¼ mile drive, walked up the drive, and asked us all to follow him back. We politely refused and asked him to go get the bus and bring it down the drive, which he then did. Poor chap. Then he got lost in Bristol. Of such things are wedding memories made.
We felt that we made so many friends at the wedding. So many people that I’d never met before came up to me and gave me their good wishes in the fight against the beast.
The next day, we attended a wonderful barbeque at the home of the bride's parents, then we were back to Kath's mum's house for a couple of days before flying back. And here we are right now, in Club class after a BA upgrade. A nlce finish to a great trip.
So what does the future hold for us now? I have a PET scan on the 18th to see how the tumor is. I’m actually starting to have a bit of an issue with swallowing again which is a bit concerning. I hope it’s swollen tissues from the radiation but I’m more inclined to think that the tumor hasn’t responded as well to treatment as we’d all hoped. We shall soon see. On 20th we have consultations with all three main ologists to discuss progress and the upcoming operation. Now we’re in an area that I can understand. Radiology? Chemotherapy? Who knows this stuff? But operations? That I understand. Cutting and slicing, stapling, blood, the need to fart, - gosh, won’t we have fun with the blog when that all starts?


At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are amazing. I was thinking of you so often as we celebrated 4th July. It's fab that you made it to the wedding but scary how much one son looks like you and the other like Kathy! If you were ever in England in the time of 'Del-Boy' - don't worry about the swallowing thing ... it's 'cushty'. Amount of 'hits' your poor little oesophagus has had, it's telling you to 'bog off'!!

Good luck with your ologists. Do any of them look like George Clooney?? Only asking...



At 8:13 AM, Blogger Diane B-B said...


I love reading your blog more than I can say. You always manage to make the whole experience touching and "human scale," including your wonderful description of the confetti-throwing technologists.

Seeing you recently was a wonderful surprise and joy! Here's to the next time.

Congratulations, proud papa, on the recent wedding.

Diane B-B

At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Chris & Gill said...

Well done both. We were very happy that you were able to carry out the onerous duties of the Father of the groom. Was it difficult to kiss every female there, bet you enjoyed trying though.
We are now off to Newmarket for Pete & Lisa's wedding. Hope I get to kiss every female there, sounds as if it is good fun. Keep up the good work, you are in our thought's.


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