July 2016. Kathy, the girls, and I are driving in Texas half-way to dropping off the girls with Kevin and Jannette during the early portion of my chemo treatment. We are half-way to our destination when I am overcome with a tsunami of pain and nausea. We had to turn around and drive 4 hours back to Tulsa for me to get treatment for my extreme reaction to chemo.
When we got home, a typical severe thunderstorm sprung up and hit the Tulsa area. Kathy didn’t feel safe driving in the crazy weather, so who did she call? Dad, of course. He jumped in his car and was at my house in 12 minutes. Moments later, we saw a trampoline fly up over a fence and land two blocks away. Dad quickly drove to OCSRI for me to get treated, not concerned in the least that there was clearly a tornado readying to touch down. We may have run Stop signs, red lights. You know, the usual.
We arrived to a completely empty lobby, not a single human in sight. We took the elevator up to the treatment floor. Again, no one there, not even Shawna Brewington. As we walked around the treatment floor, one of the nurses (Rhonda) came up. “What in the world are you doing here?” she said with a shocked face. She then informed us that the entire building had been evacuated to the radiation treatment area, which acted as a massive, concrete storm shelter for patients and staff.
The nurse could tell I was not well, so she pointed me to a treatment chair. As I sat down, she accessed my port and we looked out the window on to an empty Highway 51. We saw a funnel cloud spinning just over the road, failing in its attempts to touch down. Dad chuckled to the nurse, “so you think we were pretty crazy coming in today? My son needed treatment and I did what it took to get us here.” (The tornado finally touched down several miles east of us a little while later.)