Thursday, October 6, 2016

On way to Dana-Farber, joy of low expectations

Little bit of color: my mom's painting on left, my flowers, and Matisse print
When a friend asked how my ride was yesterday and I said that the driver was pleasant and actually looked me in the eye and said hello and asked how I was, she said, "Nothing like setting a low bar."


It almost turned into one of those days. I didn't get the confirmation call the night before, so yesterday I called MART, which arranges the rides, and stayed on what I thought might be an interminable hold but which was short for them – about 20 minutes. The call-taker said I had a ride for three weeks from yesterday but not for yesterday. I was sure I booked that ride. I told her the woman who booked it sounded confused, because she asked me several times. Luckily it was only 9:15 a.m. or so and the person who took my second call said she could find me a same-day ride, but I had to answer my phone or they wouldn't take me.

So I went off to tennis and kept my phone in my pocket and sure enough I got the call. It came in the middle of a point but I had already said I might have to stop, so that worked out and we picked up where we were.

The ride came on time. And the driver even called ahead to say he would be a few minutes late but that he was on his way. A minor miracle!

When we got to Boston, I asked him if he liked sports, and when he said he did, I offered to leave my New York Times sports section, and all the rest if he wanted it, while he waited for me. He thanked me and said he also had homework to do: studying for the handcuff training that is part of becoming an auxiliary police officer.

Once at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center for the light treatment on my blood (my current shorthand for ECP) my good fortune continued. New machines make the procedure faster, only by a little, but that shorter time makes a difference. My nurse yesterday, Tina, has become a friend.

We are on the same page about the election, as was the nurse working next to us. I had introduced Tina to and so we talked about the trends and forecasts and the various forecasting methods that The Upshot and other sites use. (Explanations courtesy of Ben Doody.) Looking at the electoral map, we looked at the big swaths of red in the middle of the country and asked how can they.

I found some stories that I had read and sent her the links and read her some analysis of the VP debate. For her part she was still cracking up about Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump on this past Saturday Night Live's Cold Open. I went back and found Darrell Hammond's, which I said I liked better because it was a little more subtle. I also found some of the SNL primary debates, which I watched and the nurses peeked at in between doing other things.

Thus the three hours passed, with us looking at funny videos and serious stories. I don't eat much when I'm there (they have a lot but I took my time eating one bag of Cheez-its) so I took a handful of snacks and shared them with my nice driver. I dozed off a little and was home before I knew it, not annoyed at anything.

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