Quarter after Two in the Morning
Posted on July 18th, 2011
I didn’t write a post today.
It’s not that I didn’t have something to say. There were a few things I was thinking of.
I could have written about going to the “chemo orientation” which is a bit like orientation to a summer camp. Except that there was no mention of horseback riding or canoeing. Instead, the camp activities included bouts of nausea, losing hair and the sense of taste and all sorts of other weird and nasty things that the chemo might cause.
Once again, I had to sit feeling totally helpless while I heard of all the horrible stuff that would happen to the woman I love.
But I can’t protect her from this horrible ordeal because this is what is needed to save her life. As a husband, you want to be strong and shield your wife from misery, but it just doesn’t work that way in this case.
I could write about going to have sushi in between the visit to the hospital and the pharmacy where I had to pick up more drugs than the Orient Express. Stella and I love sushi. Her parents own a sushi bar in Syracuse and we spent many evenings in college there enjoying the food and each other’s company.
When we were moving to Israel, we always said how wonderful it would be to go to a kosher sushi bar and how often we would do so. But the reality of life is that spending time and money on this type of extravagance was never a priority after we moved. There was always something more important that the kids needed. Or times when we planned to go out, it would not be unusual for one of us to fall asleep rather than have enough energy for a “date night.”
But forget about that now. We enjoyed a brief “vacation” from the daily horror of dealing with cancer to just go to a restaurant like normal people.
I was also thinking about writing a post called “Welcome to my Life.” I could have written about waking up before dawn and sharing a few minutes with Stella to say all the things that I never have had time to say. Then out the door for both of us. She takes the dog on one of her famous sunrise walks while I head out for a morning run.
Every single day, I tell myself to relax and just go for an easy jog. But somehow, five kilometers becomes ten and I push the pace until there is no room left in my head for thoughts of cancer. When I finish I imagine that I am crossing the finish line of the Tiveria Marathon with a new personal record. I head in, take a quick shower, then it’s off to the synagogue for morning prayers.
That’s when I usually fall to pieces and after a nice start, the rest of the day goes to hell.
But no one really wants to hear that. Everyone tells me how I need to “be strong,” and I know that they’re right. I have to “be there” for my wife and kids. But quite honestly, just between me and you, every so often it’s really too much to take. I want to stop time, even for just a minute or two. Stop the carousel, I want to get off.
But the truth is, what people say is right. So after I melt down, I take a few minutes and get a grip. I dry my tears and then “put it all inside.” I stick a smile on my face and go home to play with the kids a bit. I give Stella some words of strength (although, most of the time it is she who is encouraging me with her positive outlook.)
I could have written any of these things, but I didn’t. I was so zonked tonight, I could not even stay awake to watch a little TV before bed.
But that’s o.k. I certainly don’t have to write every night. People can wait a day for an update.
Except that at quarter after two in the morning, it can feel really good to get a few things off your chest so that you will be able to deal with tomorrow (today’s?) schedule.
So thanks for being my therapist tonight. It’s now almost three and I feel a lot better.
I think I can even get a few hours sleep before the next run.
Maybe I’ll see you on the road.
Good night and morning.
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