First of all, Stella is feeling much better. The way it works is like this. Every third Monday she has chemo at the hospital. This makes her “uncomfortable” for about a week. (Note: For those who don’t speak Stella, “uncomfortable” means a state far beyond what any of us could deal with. It’s a bit like when I say the hill we are starting to bike up is “not bad.” Yes, to know the Frankls is to know several unique languages.)
After a week, there is about five days when she is “not 100%.” (Translation: She feels awful.) But then, she gets a bit over a week in which she feels really good. She walks the dog at dawn, cooks, works, and does almost everything she used to do before we were told “the news.”
So right now, in answer to all the questions, she is feeling good and trying to absorb some calories by eating melted Ben and Jerry’s. (Try finding that one in any of the “anti-cancer diet” books.)
For me, when she is feeling good, I am feeling good. That means that on days like today, I can feel “normal” by pursuing my admittedly “abnormal” activities.
It all started last year when I had a dilemna. I wanted to run with my club to get ready for the Tiveria Marathon at the same time I wanted to ride to get ready for ALYN Bike Ride. So I decided that since the running club normally started runs at dawn and the biking guys liked to sleep in, I would have time to do both. As long as I could squeeze enough calories in, there was no problem and I looked forward to the crazy Fridays all week.
After we got the “news,” I stopped all exercise for about 2 weeks. Then when I was getting a little crazy, I started doing short, fast 10k runs in the morning. But when Stella felt better, I decided (with her encouragement) to get back to my old Fridays. So once again today, we had a beautiful and hard run this morning, then two of us went to Kibbutz Be’eri to ride the nicest bike trail in Israel (IMHO.)
At almost any minute of the day or night, I am consumed with worry about Stella. I think about her when I wake, when I work, when I go to the Mokolet, etc. I know my worries cannot in any way help, but that’s just the way it is. No matter how normal you try and be, when your wife has cancer, nothing is normal. My time is not my own.
Except when I am running hard up a steep hill or biking down a windy, single track. At those times, my mind clears and all I am focused on is the trail ahead. And so for a few brief (o.k., not always so brief) moments, I get to feel like my old crazy self again.