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March 5, 2012: Why I smell like a Pomegranate

I know, I know.

I have not written in a couple of weeks. Actually, that’s not true. I have written a number of posts since Stella got home from the hospital last month.

It’s just that right before I am about to hit the “send” button, I re-read the posts and decided not to send them. They were not the right “message” that I wanted to share.

It’s not a big deal. I don’t think that any of you would find what I wrote surprising.

For example, I wrote (and then deleted) a post called “Unexpected Pain.”

Essentially it was about how we had gone to bed one night and the next morning found ourselves on the way to the Emergency Room (and a week-long hospital stay) because Stella had very serious pain that seemed to come out of nowhere and surprised us both.

But the post was also about how I had gone to the wedding of a close friend’s daughter.

Stella was not feeling well enough to attend so I went solo. Everything was fine until one moment, while watching the ceremony when I felt a sudden emotional pain well up out of nowhere. I guess being in an emotional environment like that without my wife just triggered something. I had to run away and sit outside for awhile trying to get a grip. Which, of course, I did and then could go hang out again with my friends.

See, no big deal, but not really worthy of a whole depressing blog post.

Then I wrote a piece, and I don’t really remember what I called it. It was about how when Stella was feeling miserable, I stopped running and riding and just sat around eating all the cakes and cookies that people dropped off. Then one night the scale told me that I was well on the way to adding all the weight that Stella has been losing. I guess I realized that the psychological link that makes me feel low when Stella is feeling low was not doing either one of us any favors.

So late at night, I got on my bike and hit the pedals real hard, doing a time trial for an hour around the empty streets of the Yishuv. While it was tough at first, after a bit I could literally feel the stress leaving my body as I hammered up and down Neve Daniel’s roads, sometimes singing out loud or just yelling like a madman.

And I decided that I would resume training, with complete focus and commitment. Training for what? For whatever comes along.

Again, maybe interesting. But not anything I want to say more about.

Then one day I decided to write about time management. How every minute I wonder if I should be spending it with Stella, the kids, my work, or myself. And whatever I decide, always feeling like I made the wrong choice. If Stella is upstairs feeling lousy, does she need me? Or do the kids need a distraction? Or should I really be spending that time exercising? No real right answers, so again, not worthy of a blog post.

Of course everyone wants an update on Stella’s condition. But I have found that cancer is not like a football game where the score changes every few minutes. You can’t go on this blog and check Stella’s status like she is the Kinneret after a rain storm. Stella has chemo every three weeks. The chemo makes her feel lousy. She has also lost lots of weight, which concerns me.

But on the other hand, she has told me that she is fine and that the weight loss is due to an inability to eat much during the ten days after chemo. The weather has been awful for the week, so that does not help.

But right now the sun is shining and she is feeling much better. The last few days she appears to have stopped losing weight. She is eating much more and up and about out of bed. So that is the important update you all have been waiting for.

Now I can get to the real reason I am writing this post.

Why I smell like a pomegranate.

By now, everyone is aware that as much as I appreciate the sentiment of people cooking food for us, I much prefer working with my kids to plan out menus and cook for ourselves. It brings a sense of “normalcy” to an admittedly abnormal situation that we would not have with lots of different people dropping off lots of different types of food.

Yet everyone loves Stella and wants to do something for her. So people have been dropping off presents.

Very nice.

She has tons of movies and books and doesn’t really need all that much.

So she has started getting what I call potions. We have foofy soaps and shampoos, hand creams, foot creams, body creams. We have bottles of lotions made from olives, and lavender, and lemons, and yes, pomegranates. I think I have more fruit in my bathroom then in my kitchen.

And as nice has all these special gifts are, there is no way that Stella can use them all.

So I have been experimenting — not that I am really into lotions and potions.

But after a good sweaty run, who wouldn’t want to pour a bottle of pomegranate body wash on his head?

So to all the gift givers — thank you very much.

But I think both of us are all set for the time being.

Have a great day!

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