Posts Tagged ‘chemo’

Kayaks Over Chemo

Monday, April 16th, 2012

As we sit here once again on the seventh floor of Shaare Zedek, last week seems like a dream.

I planned the trip months ago with the full knowledge that our chances of actually getting away for a family vacation were like…. were like the chances of a football team that barely made the playoffs winning the Super Bowl.

But I also knew that the opportunity to get away with the family was just as important as the nasty chemotherapy, and a lot more fun.  So we planned….. and hoped.

And it happened.

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Bring. It. On.

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Today’s chemo appointment was postponed. That’s not good, not bad.

It just is.

But since Stella will not be dealing with the side effects tomorrow morning, I have decided to run the full 42.2 kilometer Jerusalem Marathon.

Yeah. I know.

It’s freezing, raining, and the wind is just howling outside my window.

But you know something?

Who the hell cares that the weather is a bit unpleasant.

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Eight Shining Lights from the Chemo Room

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

On the seventh floor of Shaari Tzedek, as in any major hospital, is a room where cancer patients receiving chemo go for their treatments. Every day, it is filled with men and women who must sit while medicine that will make them feel horribly sick drips into their veins. Some come alone, while others are accompanied by those who love them. As the hours go by, they will feel sicker and sicker.

One cannot escape the understanding that for some in the room, the medicine will not be able to defeat the disease. That thought alone can make the room feel dark and oppressive. But incredibly, there are also many bright lights that shine in the midst of such darkness. Here are eight of them that I was fortunate enough to see:

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Kilometer #38

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Max and Stella. There is no off-season.

I have run five full marathons. Despite the fact that each one is unique and stands apart in my memory, during all of them I got to experience what I call the “Kilometer #38” syndrome.

After running 38 kilometers, you do not feel at your best. No matter who you are or what pace you have been running, I don’t think anyone is really comfortable at kilometer 38. Your legs and lungs burn, your feet kill, and everything else feels like it’s about to just fall of your body like the muffler on an old VW Bug.

Mentally, it’s also tough. If you have never run a marathon, you might assume that everyone is happy at kilometer 38, since you only have four more to go. You have finished ninety percent of the race. The rest should be a piece of cake, right?

Wrong. At least for me, those last four kilometers feel like another forty. And knowing that the pain will continue — and in fact get worse — can be pretty darn demoralizing. Last January in Tiveria, I had run the race of my life, but at kilometer 38 I was about to admit defeat. I felt I could just not face those last four kilometers. If it were not my friend Chaim running next to me, I might have stopped right there.

Despite all the fantastic news — and we are so aware of what a miracle we are seeing unfold — Stella is right now at kilometer 38. She is battling through another round of chemo that is really knocking her around. After the chemo, we have lots of tests to get ready for the surgery, then the surgery itself will be on January 1.

Yes, all of us who love Stella are dancing and singing with joy that she CAN have the surgery. But we are not the ones who have to HAVE the surgery. Already feeling low from the chemo, Stella is not looking forward to this very involved operation and the recuperation period after it. She mentioned to the surgeon how she was a “bit nervous” about the operation, perhaps looking for some comforting words or reassurance. Maybe he would tell her that this procedure was nothing to worry about, that it would be a piece of cake.

He just looked at her and said “Do you want to live?”

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It Hurts

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Stella in the cancer curing Alyn jacket

I know it’s the chemo and not the cancer, but it is so painful to see Stella suffering. This cycle has been really bad so far. I sit holding her hand and just wish there was something else I could do for her.

Sorry, but this is not going to be one of those upbeat positive entries. In many ways, it is easier to write about hope and battling cancer than to actually watch someone doing so. I look at her beautiful face and think of all the smiles and laughs we have shared. I know, I know — this is not an urgent crisis, it’s just part of the chemo cycle and within a few days she will be up and about, walking the dog as the sun comes up, and going to work.

But I don’t really know.

I’m scared.

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