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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We have cancer

"We" have cancer.

The disease might be in my body, but "we" have cancer.

I don't know how I would manage without Moshe.

He is my "anchor."

He comes to every doctor's meeting with me. He provides emotional support and is my mental recorder. (Thank God one of us has a working memory)

He drives me to every chemo treatment, and stays with me until I am all set up. He would stay the whole time, every time, without question.

He wakes up with me in the middle of the night, when I feel sick.

He holds me when I start crying for no reason.

He wakes up every morning and gets the kids to school on time.

He picks up all the pieces that I leave in my wake.

He doesn't complain.

He'll drop everything if I need him.

When I had my major surgery (8 hours in the operating room) two years ago, and lay in bed unable to move, Moshe lovingly held a straw to my lips so that I could drink. Then, with utmost care, he gently wiped off my chin, so that I wouldn't be irritated by the smallest drip.

That memory, of tender care, will stay with me forever.

Only recently did I learn of another act of his loving kindness during that hospital stay. I was in terrible pain, and I watched TV almost 24/7 to distract me from my discomfort. I would turn on the TV in the middle of the night and watch for hours, drifting in and out of a restless sleep. Only recently did Moshe mention, in passing, the hours of sleep he lost during that time. I hadn't even realized that I was disturbing his sleep. He never indicated anything, lest I not do what was best for me.

That selfless giving is typical.

He never asks for thanks.

He never expects anything in return.

He is quiet, generous, and giving.

He is my partner.

He listens.

He is there.

"We" have cancer.

I am not alone.

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

With love and optimism,


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a posting. You are truly blessed to have such a special and caring husband and you are even more incredible for acknowledging it publicly. You are lucky to have one another and I am sure that Moshe could recount how many ways you care for him and others. I have been reading your blog for a while {although this is my first time commenting}. I am always amazed at your strength and courage and may you have a full and speedy recovery. All the best.

Batya said...

To say you're "lucky," doesn't quite ring right, but you know what I mean.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Anonymous -- Amen! I am truly blessed. I should remember that more often.

ps. Do I know you?

Muse -- I am lucky. (thanks for inspiring today's post)

Gila said...

Joint comment on this post and the one about watching the clock.... This aspect of your life is really a blessing. It of course does not help with the cancer--hard to get around that. Nonetheless, if you will accept a word from one who lacks that "we"...I am really happy to see one who has the we and who appreciates it. (As opposed to others who are quick to point out that marriage can really suck).

BTW, you do know, you do not have to be perfect, right? You really can bitch and moan and feel sorry for yourself for the crap here and there (I mean, do you really think G-d does not understand? Give Him some credit!) and STILL be grateful for what you do have. It is not an all-or-nothing game here.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Hey Gila,

Yeah, appreciation is really important...

And, yeah, I know that I don't have to be perfect. Good thing too, since I am FAR from perfect. Just come over and see my house -- you will see just how imperfect I really am!

Upon hearing my diagnosis, one of my first (rather morbid) thoughts was: "Oh my God, I can't die and leave behind this great, big, giant mess!" Then next thought being: "I don't want to spend the rest of my life cleaning up this great, big, giant mess."

Anyway, I'm not really the "bitch and moan" type.

I'm more the "cancer sucks, let's talk about something else" type.

I do sometimes feel sorry for myself (I have a cute post about that as well, if I ever get around to it). But I try not to spend too much time in the self-pity zone.

I can only stay in bed, under my covers, for a few hours. Then I get bored....

Of course, I can spend the entire day surfing the web....

torontopearl said...


I stumbled on to your blog from a different site.

Your sign-off tells your readers an awful lot about you, even without knowing you or having read several of your posts: "With love and optimism". Your optimism is such a bracha, as is your partner in life.

Hashem should give you, your husband and your family the strength to cope, to endure and to celebrate simchas in your life.

I'll visit again.

Anonymous said...

yehi ratzon.. may all of us 'WEs' appreciate our spouses, and may all the 'Is' become 'WEs' soon, and may all the 'WEs' who think they are 'Is' become 'WEs'. thank you rivkA and gila for bringing up the subject.