My brother-in-law Mark went out today to find a gym to workout. It happened to be located near the original Hooters location in Clearwater along the Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. I am not necessarily a big fan of Hooters, but they have wings and there is a sense of history in visiting the original "delightfully tacky yet unrefined" location.
Since Mark and my sister Karen live outside Ottawa and I live in California, I don't get much time with them. They've been married more than twenty years and he was the first of the "outlaws" to really be accepted into the family. Karen and Mark were also very supportive of me when I was living on my own as a student in Montreal many years ago and I've always appreciated the warmth that they've extended to me at that time. So you could say that Mark is as much brother as he is a brother-in-law.
We talked about my mom's situation, not that either one of us knows a heck of a lot about what's going on.
"Your mom's a fighter," Mark tells me.
"Yeah, but if it gets worse," I say and I trail off. "The chemo isn't working. The pain meds aren't working. She's getting nauseous, she's got no appetite." I pause again. "We may need to look into getting some marijuana somewhere." And I let that sink in. I don't know a lot about medical marijuana, but I know it's used to treat side-effects of chemotherapy, specifically nausea and lack of appetite.
The idea of us two forty-year old guys looking to score some pot is comical. I don't even know where you'd look for pot in Santa Cruz, let alone in Clearwater or Orlando.
Mark has the equally comical idea of having the waitress, who appears to be about 19, sign a menu to my mom. He tells her that she's fighting cancer and asks her to sign it "Keep fighting the fight." The waitress offers to have all the girls sign it, but we decline. We ask her if she knows about medical marijuana in Florida since we're from out of town. She offers to ask her manager, which doesn't seem like such a good idea, but we say ok. He probably thinks we're degenerates since I had my feet up on a chair earlier and he asked me to lower them. They don't have any ideas, but at least we aren't arrested.
When we get back to the house, my mom has a smile about the signed menu, which is enough for me.
I speak to my brother Mike later by phone and he tells me to look for a Cancer Compassion Center. I search on the web and I can't find anything like that in Florida. Florida is one of the states where there is no legal use of medical marijuana. Great.