Words that Scare, Words that Comfort
Posted on July 8th, 2011
Today’s post was hard.
Because we have nothing to report.
No tests, results, meetings, etc.
I originally thought that it would be nice to have a day “off,” but it wasn’t so great.
Someone described dealing with cancer as “hurry up…..and wait.”
It is very true.
One day the Doctor calls and says “could you just swing by the hospital right now?” and you end up spending half a day there.
Other times, like today, you wait all day to hear test results that just don’t come.
I assume that since it’s now Thursday or Friday (it’s actually 3:00 AM, kinda of in between,) that we must wait until Sunday now to hear the results of the PT Scan.
But what do I know, this is our first time on this ride.
Two weeks ago, I could not say the word “cancer.” The word itself had a power. It felt like if we said it, it would indeed be a possibility. So even though we knew that it was in fact possible, I couldn’t even say the word. I would just get all choked up by the very thought.
There were other words that made me freeze. One day (evening) in the hospital (before the diagnosis,) I happened to look at Stella’s chart. It was all in scribbled, doctor’s writing Hebrew except for one word, “tumor.” I saw that and literally froze. I became a zombie for a few seconds (minutes,) until my friend was able to snap me out.
Now I am trying to take away the power of these stupid words.
Cancer, cancer, shmancer, dancer.
Tumor, Roomer, Schumer (Chuck?)
I still have trouble with the word “oncologist.” For some reason, I get a mind blank and find myself mentioning that we are meeting with the orthodontist, ophthalmologist, or ornithologist (Stella is having her bird checked.)
Another friend suggested that when I freeze up, I focus on a mantra to talk my way out of it.
So first I looked to Mr. Comeback from Cancer himself, Lance Armstrong, for the words of wisdom. I have always liked his quote “pain is temporary, quitting last forever.” It is what he focused on when going through cancer treatment (as well as hammering up the Alps at the head of the Tour de France.) But it isn’t that helpful to me since I am not the one who will be going through treatment.
So I turned to the Chumash, the Bible, for an inspiring phrase. Our friend has a blog called Ki Yachol Nuchal, which is Hebrew for “We shall overcome it!” Joshua says it when the spies come back and tell him that they are afraid that the Land of Israel is too dangerous. They saw giants and said the land would eat everyone up. Joshua knows about the struggles that the Israelite s will face, but also knows that with God on their side, they can accomplish anything.
Now that’s pretty darn good for our situation, don’t you think?
But there are times I feel just overwhelmed and even saying “Ki Yachol Nuchal” is not enough.
That’s when I rely on the words of a friend, who is also one of the wisest men I have ever met.
When I told him that the thought of Stella with cancer was just too much for me to handle, he calmly said:
“Yarden, I hear what you are saying, but with all due respect, you’re full of crap. Of course you can — and will — handle this.”
So when I lie awake at 3:00 AM (or find myself writing posts like this one at that time) and find my worst fears creeping into my brain, I have to chase them away by simply saying:
“Yarden — you’re full of crap. Everything is going to be o.k. Stop listening to your fears and think of the day this will be a distant memory.”
As always, thank you for your e-mails, comments, likes, and prayers.
It’s still a bit too early for my run so I am going to try and grab some sleep now.
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