The hubby and I are taking a small road trip to Idaho soon. I haven't been on a road trip in quite awhile, and not up that way, near my old stomping grounds. I had chemo yesterday, so it may be a nauseous little ride, but hopefully my various pills will keep it at bay.
So he came with me to my oncology appointment and my 10-minute chemo infusion. Both the oncologist and clinical trial nurse (at separate times) joshed him with greetings of, "Oh, so you actually DO exist! We thought she was just making you up! Pleasure to meet you!", etc. He's only been to 3 appointments with me since this entire thing started two years ago, and my oncologist expressed great concern over this, especially at this juncture, where another treatment looms and Plan B has to be fleshed out in a hurry. The onc was extremely delicate and diplomatic in conveying Mike's need to be a little more involved, but Mike's a provider, not a caregiver, so not sure the admonishment made much of an impact.
What IS making an impact is the idea that we can't afford to live in the Bay Area in the manner to which he would like to get accustomed. That ideal is fairly suburban—involving the big house, swimming pool, boat, etc. He doesn't care too much about things like climate, culture, or charm in a neighborhood—all the things I care about, which is what I cling to here. The climate is lovely, the culture I prefer exists here (and I realize there are as many folks in the world who disdain as prefer it), I like charming houses in charming neighborhoods where amenities are convenient, and preferably of the type that encourages walking. The reality, though, is that sort of environment is far more expensive than the big house in the suburbs with lots of land and a pool.
Along with this are the always present limitations—for now, staying within areas served by my health plan, Kaiser Permanente, and the looming prospect of needing the supportive care of friends and family, both of which I have in greater numbers in So. Cal. To that end, the possibility of moving there has been bandied about. But what of the heat (106 is not that unusual in the summer, and it's not really even a dry heat, but often a muggy, smoggy one, although to my skin, it's unbearably dry)? And the difference in culture and cultural amenities (ok, I want to say "cultural void", which means it's not all around so I have to drive to it, or basically work pretty hard at it)? The charm part is expensive there too, so I'll just comfort myself by saying at least I've enjoyed it for a time and if I live long enough perhaps I'll be able to enjoy it again. Finally, I'll have to change over from the standard of care I've been receiving at Walnut Creek, which is pretty scary. I've had nothing but problems dealing with So. Calif. Kaiser—my experience is that customer service there is nonexistent. Those people are rude and have other things on their mind—they really don't care if you fall over in their line, their job is to clock in and out and collect a paycheck—they won't go one iota over their routine to help you. THAT scares me, because I'm tired. I'm not used to having people with me to advocate on a regular, routine appointment. I'm afraid it'll reduce me to being less self-sufficient, which does weird things to your mind after awhile.
Am I being dramatic? Is it worth moving to a dreadful place for a lower cost of living and to be closer to friends and family?