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Monday, March 10, 2008

In For Life

Two weeks ago, at the end our meeting, after I had asked all my medical questions, I asked my oncologist if he wanted to know about my mood.

"I want to know everything," he answered.

So I mentioned that I was having a difficult time dealing emotionally with the "life-long" element of my disease.

He immediately scheduled another meeting for the following week.

"I'm scheduling you like a 'new patient' so that we will have the proper time to discuss this, which we don't have now." He explained. On our way out, he added: "Bring tissues."

For a week, I worried that I was going to break down crying in his office. Sometimes I thought that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

In the end, we had a very cerebral meeting about my emotional state.

I raised my issues.

He listened, responded, questioned, affirmed.

In the end, we all (him, Moshe & I) agreed that I am coping OK.

"Keep talking;" he advised Moshe and I, "this affects both of you. Open lines of communication are critical. Talking about the things you'd rather avoid will bring you closer."

In the end, I didn't cry at all.

I felt emotionally unsatisfied.

If everything was OK, what was I doing there?

"Well," answered the doctor, "last week, for the first time, you cried in my office."

"I did?" I questioned him and Moshe.

"You did," Moshe confirmed.


I didn't remember crying last week.

I wanted to cry this week. (but didn't)

And, now that we all know that I'm fine, who knows when I'll cry?

But, dammed if I don't feel like crying all the time these days!

I'm having a tough time dealing with the fact that, short of a miracle, I am going to have cancer for the rest of my life.

I know that my situation is good. I know that it could be a lot worse. I know that there are other people living with life-long, invisible illnesses.

It doesn't help. I hate having cancer.

I wish it would just go away!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,

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