Astute readers of my emails will notice this update is a bit late. Usually, I’ll send something the day of chemo. This time, though, my fingers seemed more tingly than usual, making typing a bit of a challenge. Now, like last time as well, I’m dealing with a bit of insomnia.
It’s 5:55 a.m. as I write this. I slept well for a few hours, but have been up since 3:00 or so. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll try to sleep now, or just wait an hour to wake the kids and then maybe get back into bed after they go off to school.
I place these issues in the “It’s a small price to pay” department.
Anyway, enough about me.
Yesterday, the chemo day clinic seemed particularly hectic. Nurses who are typically smiley were not. Parking was scarce anywhere near the building and again, I was told to go into the treatment room without the customary blood pressure and urine testing. No problem, though. The insanity was mitigated by the fact that (1) when I faxed in my blood count results to the nurses on Sunday afternoon so they could pre-order my meds, the nurse answering the phone recognized my voice, and (2) when I arrived in the morning to check in, the receptionist greeted me by name before I introduced myself.
It’s the small things…
Tammy and I decided that, as the youngest ones there – or at least the youngest we’ve seen thus far – we have to “act like it” (her words). So, next time we’ll bring in some form of baked goods for the nurses. If there was Dunkin Donuts here, it would make the effort a bit easier, but I’ve seen Tammy whip up a cake or cookies in no time flat. I expect that following that, they’ll greet me by throwing rose petals at our feet.
Oh, the Arab Israel conflict! Easy to fix. Let us do the negotiating in the hospital. Jews and Arabs all lined up together, all getting the same (more or less) treatments for the same ailments. (Treatment rooms are divided by the type of cancer. Makes for interesting conversation.) Yesterday, the husband of the patient next to us invited the kids to go play in the snow (when it snows, and it will if this weather keeps up!) at his house in Jerusalem. I have a feeling the house is likely closer to Ramallah, but the gesture was sweet.
By the way, it was the same thing when I was in the hospital for two weeks. Everyone is non-confrontational at the least and, more often than not, downright pleasant. My roommate for the last couple of days was an elderly Arab man whose two sons spoke great English. His wife, not a word, but we all communicated well, nonetheless and, when we were discharged, she kissed Tammy three times in what’s apparently an Arab tradition. Either that, or we’re now related in some way.
This week and next are particularly exciting, as there are some friends visiting due to winter break in their schools. For the uninitiated, it has become fashionable for many yeshivas in the NYC area to give their students winter break in late January. Apparently, they don’t want to give the impression that – Heaven forfend! – they are celebrating, or in some other way marking, Christmas. Either that, or maybe the collective powers that be decided to punish the parents by not giving the kids off when the rest if the working world
is a tad more relaxed.
Anyway, we spent Shabbat in Jerusalem at a friend’s Bar Mitzvah which was held on the Hebrew Union College campus in the heart of the city with tremendous views of the Old City. While it was cold and rainy, the walks to and fro were wonderful, as I had the opportunity to watch my kids, who walked on ahead of their parents, interact as big kids do. While they got along great – as always – it amazes me regardless of how wide and empty the sidewalk, there is a constant turf battle and bickering as to who is walking into whom.
Then, Sunday night, we went to another Bar Mitzvah party which was absolutely magnificent. It was so wonderful to be out and about like that. The sushi, whiskey and other great food certainly didn’t make it worse! Got to socialize with lots of people. Thinking about it now, I’m not sure which I enjoyed/appreciated more: the people who made a point of coming over to ask me how I’m feeling and to point out how great I look (Did I look awful before?), or the ones who had no clue of what’s going on.
Later this week, I’m hoping to see a few friends who, justifiably, have very full itineraries.
As always, thanks for reading this far!