There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


That was better.

This morning the wife went off to the dentist and then to work. I stayed home. I made a half-hour call to a web developer in Vermont who I'm working with and then spent an hour and a half on a conference call for work. I finished just in time to take a quick shower and catch a bus.

Making do with one car (the kid has taken what was once our second car) really is possible -- even in Sacramento. Yes, you have to work at it, but it is possible.

Today I rode from my house to the 65th Street light rail station. I enjoyed the time reading. I just don't read if I'm not on a bus. From 65th I took the train to 39th Street. I was on my way to meet the wife at the UC Davis Cancer Center for an appointment with her oncologist. Yesterday the surgeon, today the oncologist -- I'm seeing altogether too much of Cancer Center.

I called the wife when I got off the train.

"Are you on your way yet?" I asked.

"The appointment isn't for another 45 minutes," she said.

OK. So maybe I should have checked before I rushed out of the house. I walked to the Starbucks at T and Stockton, had coffee and bought a gift for the wife, and then walked to the Cancer Center. I still arrived before the wife.

The visit with the oncologist went well, or as well as these things go. The wife likes her doctor, and by the end of the visit she was feeling better about everyone saying she should have a second surgery. No big deal, everyone says. The surgeon wants to scoop out a little more just to be sure nothing bad is left behind. Play the odds, the oncologist says. With the surgery, there's a 10 percent chance of cancer returning in the breast. Without the surgery, the chance of a recurrence rises to 30 percent. So the wife will chat Friday with the radiation oncologist to make the verdict unanimous.

With such clarity came a odd tolerance for traffic congestion as the wife and I drove home together.

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