Posts Tagged ‘morning’

Trying to Understand Suffering

Friday, April 27th, 2012

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NOTE: I wrote this a week ago and did not send because it did not seem right with Israeli Memorial Day/Independence Day. Stella is actually feeling MUCH better now. If you don’t believe me, look at the pic. And BTW — This made sense in my head, but it may not to you. I am in no way saying that running is like chemo.

Now then……


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I always try and wake up an hour before I have to leave for a race. Sometimes that means waking by 4:00 AM, but I need to do so because I am always nauseous the morning of an event in which I know I will be suffering. It’s weird. It’s like my body is trying to convince my mind that it’s not worth it, to go back to sleep. And it doesn’t matter how many races I’ve done. Always the same. Wake up, feel sick.

Friday was the Uriyah Duathalon, an event combining ten kilometers of trail running with thirty of mountain bike riding. It’s a new event that was launched to coincide with the moshav’s 100th anniversary. We got there early since if at all possible, I try to get to events with plenty of time to spare. Even if that means standing around for a while. It gives you time to see others and have some friendly conversations while waiting to put your body through the wringer.

Stella feels sick the morning of chemo, long before she actually gets the drugs. It is the psychological dimension of what her body is going to go through that makes it rebel. Usually she can fight through it and we try to get to the hospital as early as possible. A number of people do so and despite what all the patients are in store for, people seem quite friendly and relaxed as they sit around waiting for the real day to begin.

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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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Longing for the Dawn

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011


I have said before that the nights are the hardest part for me.

I have lain awake countless times at around two or three in the morning, when my strength is gone and keeping the nightmares at bay is just too much.

Eventually, I give up on trying to get back to sleep and just “long for the dawn” as the Psalm (Tehillim 130) says.

On both a literal and figurative level, the battle with cancer is like one long night.

You long for the sun to come up because usually you feel a little more in control when the sun is shining.

You feel a little bit more hope with each new dawn. When Stella is up and we talk, I feel a bit more of a sense of normalcy and can often push the nightmares back into the box where they hide out.

But getting through the night gets harder and harder.

And I am getting really tired.

I’m tired of feeling helpless while Stella fights her courageous battle with the cancer that has turned our lives upside down. Demonstrating love and support and comfort are a given. Of course I do that as much as I can. But I need to do more.

So I have come up with an idea, and I hope you will join me.

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I don’t know what to say

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I was speaking to a friend the other day and he mentioned that a number of people had not been in touch. They care very deeply about our situation, but they are afraid to approach me because “they don’t know what to say.”

I got news for you my friends.

I don’t know what to say either.

But if you are waiting to think of the magic words that are going to make me feel better, then I doubt we will ever talk. Because there are no magic words. The situation is what it is. Stella has cancer and we are doing the best we can to get through it.

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Quarter after Two in the Morning

Monday, 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.

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