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July 21, 2011: I don’t know what to say

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.

So get over it and don’t be afraid to say hi or talk to me about something other than cancer. I actually have a very diverse repetoire and am interested in talking about many subjects that go beyond answers to “How’s Stella.”

Now that sounds harsh. I know you all are deeply worried about Stella. But here’s the thing. No one is more worried than me. Sometimes I am simply frozen in terror by the “what if” thoughts that I try and shut out of my brain. I become a zombie, I cry, I don’t make sense. Stella is such a part of my being, my soul, that I am scared shitless at the thoughts that I am not allowed to have.

And I know that sometimes I seem as approachable as a crocodile that’s been fasting for 3 days. I know that many people think that they are going to get their arm bitten off by trying to talk to me. But to be honest, the worst that you may get is cried on a little. I need you all to try and treat me like Yarden and not Mr. Married to Cancer sometimes so that I can stay sane.

In the last two weeks, my favorite conversations have been when I chat with the only other guy in Neve Daniel who is following the Tour de France. It gives me a small break where I can feel like myself again.

I can talk biking, I can talk Israeli politics, I can talk about the weather, and yes — I can talk about Stella and cancer and the matsav. But unlike the Yarden of old, I may not feel up to starting the conversation.

So come on, talk to me. I know it’s not always easy, but for me to give support to my wife, I need support from you. And a part of that means treating me like a normal person.

And for a quick answer to the “How’s Stella,” she is resting and fighting this thing like mad. She was just lying down with a gentle breeze blowing through the open window and listening to the dulcet tones of the Arab construction workers across the street screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.

Life in the Holy Land.

Don’t feel bad about anything I wrote. This is not directed at you.

P.S. But do not try and talk with me during my morning runs. You really may get your arm bitten off if you do so. On the other hand, you are always welcome to run with me – as long as you keep up 🙂

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