In the next few hours, my 82 year-old sister and her 88 year-old husband will drive down the heavily trafficked highways of Northern California from their home in Berkeley to Stanford University, about 30 miles southwest. There she’ll begin a trial course of treatment for her disease.

He’ll do the driving and will stay by her side as much as possible. They are a couple who likes to do things together, and he’s the kind of man who extends himself in acts of gallantry for friends and family. He will not let her go through this alone if at all possible, and she prefers it that way.

They’re not strangers to new places. From their earliest years together, they have traveled and lived abroad, and flown extensively to visit parents, then children, then grandchildren. Packing and unpacking are familiar.

Plus, driving is what one does if one lives in the Bay area, where the nearest big cities are reachable by crowded and somewhat dangerous roads and long, wide bridges filled with slow-moving vehicles.

His eyes and mind are almost as sharp as ever. But his body has taken a beating these past 2 years and there is some question as to how well he will weather the trip and the 2 nights they’re required to remain there.

And of course, there is also the question of how her body will respond to the treatment, and how the disease for which it is designed will fare.

I wish them well.

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