Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cuban With Co-Workers and Day With Dad

First and foremost, thank you for all your kind words. They really mean a lot to me, and I sincerely appreciate the h+p, even though I always scoff at the ridiculousness of such things on message boards. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I've decided not to neglect what I'd originally wanted to talk about yesterday, so I'm going to start with a recap of the nice day I had (aside from the e-mail that was the subject of yesterday's post). Then I'll follow this with today's events. So, yes, this may be a bit long.

As I'd mentioned briefly yesterday, I had another enjoyable day at work, which is rare for me. I guess talking about my motion to dismiss wouldn't be that interesting, and trying to make you laugh with a description of e-mail shenanigans would be difficult. Thus, I'll just talk about lunch.

Cheeks, Bootcamper, Miz, T-West, Sassy, and I went to El Colmao (2328 W. Pico Blvd.) for great homestyle Cuban food for a great price. El Colmao rules. The portions are ample and the food made with love. The decor's a hole in the wall, but who cares? You'll forget all about that after your first bite.

Bootcamper and I ordered what I almost always order at El Colmao -- bistec empanizado, which is steak pounded nice and thin and deliciously breaded and lightly fried. Mmm. It comes with beans and rice, as do all lunch specials. Miz and Cheeks gave their meals -- flash-fried baby back ribs and ropa vieja (i.e., shredded steak), respectively -- thumbs up. Sassy and T-West had the chuleta de puerca ahumada (smoked pork chop) and the chicken fajitas. Of course, we got fried plantains for the table. So freakin' good. Everything!

Today I had lunch with my dad and brother. It was a good lunch, both taste-wise and conversation-wise. I let my brother ask all the questions about my dad's tests. It was easier that way because my brother is a lot better at controlling his emotions than I am. I sat there, trying to absorb all of the information.

My dad's prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was 7.26. A few years ago it was at 3ish, and a few years before that it was lower. While the 7.26 is troubling by itself, the increase over the years is perhaps more so. My dad said that he was a little perturbed that his doctor didn't note the steady increase, which is a red flag for possible prostate cancer. Even worse, when prostate cancer develops, the PSA level usually goes above 4. What the hell was my dad's doctor doing not saying anything at the last checkup?!

When the PSA level is between 4 and 10, there is a 25% chance of prostate cancer. If the PSA is over 10, the chance is a whopping 50%.

7.26. Oh, man.

However, my dad also said there are a number of other reasons for an increased PSA level. It could be benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is a non-cancerous enlargement. It could be prostatitis, which is an inflammation of the gland. It could be a lot of things other than cancer.

My dad's transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy is scheduled for November 9, so we'll be waiting for quite awhile before we find out what this 7.26 means. The waiting! Torture.

I felt much better today seeing my dad, though. He's definitely aged over the years, but he seems pretty healthy and is in good spirits. His good spirits put me in good spirits. Maybe he's putting on a brave front for us, but, if he is, it worked.

We had a nice lunch at Cafe Du Village on (where else?) Larchmont. I love everything at Cafe Du Village, at least for breakfast and lunch; I've never been there for dinner.

Usually, I get a sandwich or an omelet, but I chose the duck salad today. Amazing. had mushrooms. Ah, Kate, you may be right yet. The duck was tender and plentiful and the mushrooms surprisingly tasty, almost smoky and even a bit crispy on the edges. 'Twas a damn good salad. My dad got a vegetarian quesadilla (also surprisingly good at a French cafe). My brother had an old fave of mine, the provencal sandwich.

We chatted about lots of non-cancer things. My brother gave us his thoughts on the Writers Guild strike. I talked about my career goals. I also noted that James Remar was sitting less than five feet away from us. When I told my brother this, an inquisitive woman next to us leaned over and asked, "Who is that?" I explained, "He played Richard, a guy Samantha dated on Sex and the City, and now he's on Jericho." The woman was way excited. Her companion just rolled his eyes.

After lunch, we walked back to my brother's house, and my dad drove me back to my condo. He asked if I was doing anything. I said no, so we went for post-lunch coffee at The Coffee Bean. Then he suggested that we go look at lofts for fun. What a great idea!

We checked out the Market Lofts on top of the Ralphs Fresh Fare. They were kind of neat, but we weren't really that impressed. The quality of some of the materials wasn't really that great, and the floorplans left a bit to be desired. If you're interested, I took a pic of the price listing that my dad took home with him. Hee.

It was really nice to spend time with my dad. Most of my life, we haven't seen eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but recently we've gotten closer. I don't know why, but my wedding really brought us together. My dad even cried when he danced with me, and he, like my brother, rarely shows any emotion.

This afternoon made me happy. I think it made my dad happy, too.


  1. This post made me smile and cry at the same time. I can tell how much you love your dad. And I can tell how much he loves you.

  2. ouch to the market loft prices. i hate working on those projects as the budgets for materials are rock bottom. i guess the developers have to turn a profit somehow. meh.

    i am glad the email shenanigans yesterday brought joy to many. i am so glad you had a good day with your dad, too. even if it's nothing, your scare yesterday at least provided the quality time today, right? this grumpy hag is an optimist after all. :)

  3. I'm glad you got to spend some time with your dad today. I do hope that this turns out to be nothing serious. I know how much it sucks to be worried about a parent's health. I'll be keeping you and your dad in my thoughts.

  4. I see a 'shroom convert in the horizon..hehe.

    Dang monkey, I also have that antagonistic relationship but growing closer because of the wedding with my father, hmm..freaky. People say we're too much alike but at polar opposites, sounds like yours?

    I knew I had to check in to see the status with your dad's health, will be waiting impatiently for Nov. 9th to arrive.

  5. Ouch, those condo prices are scary :X Glad to hear that you and your dad had a great lunch.

  6. Yay for quality time with Dad. That's the great thing about dads...even when they are going through a rough time, they always know how to make us feel better.

  7. Glad the dad is doing ok.

    I am adding that Larchmont restaurant to my list. Looks very cute.

    We looked at the Market Lofts, and yeah, pretty pricey.

  8. I was very happy to read this post, I'm glad you had a good day with your dad. :):)

  9. i'm really happy to hear you had such a good lunch and after lunch coffee with your dad. sounds like you both needed it. :) i'll be keeping all of you in my thoughts. {{hugs}}

  10. It's about time you learned I'm always right.

  11. looks like you are doing the 2 most important things: 1. keep that positive attitude, 2. spend quality time with each other and often =)

    we almost once bought a loft downtown 3 years ago, it would've been a unit at the Bartlett Lofts which was one of the first to be built---we would have had to live in a 400square foot with only a court yard view---and we were newlyweds how bad would that have been!!! well that's all we could have afforded, but glad we decided not to buy

  12. omg can I even begin to tell you how much I love plantains (I even tried tomake them once.... and it was truly a mess. I love going to have pupusas and having them on the side.... yumm-o!

  13. My thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult, uncertain time. Try to stay positive :) It is so touching to hear how your relationship with your dad has evolved, it made me smile.

  14. Oh no! I just caught up with my blog-reading and saw these last couple of posts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good news and sending loads of optimism your way.

  15. Your day makes me happy too.

  16. tom petty once wisely said "the waiting is the hardest part." and it is. . . the worst. just keep thinking positive thoughts. since i left a novel on my last comment, i'll keep this one short. good thoughts.

  17. I was the same way with my dad.. we never saw eye to eye and then one day... we were looking in eachothers eyes.

    Keeping fingers crossed that 7.26 means something minor if nothing at all.

    P.S there's a hole in the wall Cuban food place I love here in Orange called Felix's next time you're out here we MUST go!


  18. *tears*

    aww, nothing like daddy and me time. not that i would know, but i'm really happy that you got some!

  19. Catching up on reading blogs...So sorry to hear about your dad. Will be thinking about your family. I agree with Dapotato, at least this scary time may provide some quality time. Please keep us posted when Nov. 9th rolls around. Sending blogger hugs...

  20. November 9th...please keep us posted. Thinking good thoughts.


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