Happy Birthday Dad... May Your Chemo be Strong and your Hands Blister-Free

Today is my dad's birthday, and boy am I happy he's here.

It's his third birthday since being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer the first time, and the fact that he's still here and going strong is a miracle.

The other day, at a soccer field on the top of the Laguna Hills, my nephews were looking for a goalie.

Boldly, my dad volunteered. He is literally half the man he used to be, and he made the large soccer net look even bigger.

No, that's not a pole in the center. That's my dad.

My sister warned the boys - one 12 and one 10 years old - to take it easy on my dad. But it's hard to rein it in when you're a young kid and your whole life has been soccer.

My younger nephew, Josh, started slow, but as Grandpa blocked shot after shot, he increased the power. Finally, he wound up and sent a zinger that he was sure would go in.

My dad reflected it. 

Josh stared at him, mouth agape. Then, with a hand on his hip, he said, "Grandpa, are you sure you have cancer?"

Last Saturday night, my dad's pediatric practice - which he started from the ground up -held a retirement party for my dad. We were a little worried the scene would turn emotional. Thankfully, my dad placated our fears by donning a superman t-shirt and a visor complete with a full head of gray hair sticking out.

He bought the ensemble at Venice Beach.
My dad at his retirement party. Never was known for his fashion sense.
He said Pediatricians don't retire. They simply morph into their superhero alter-egos permanently. 

Recently I watched him conquer a full week with six grandkids, neverending games of beach smash ball and topsy-turvy rides at Disneyland. Knowing how the chemo ravages both his innards and outards with equal ferocity, I couldn't help but think he's already a superhero. 

Happy Birthday Dad. Here's to many more.