Thursday, March 27, 2014

3.27.2013

A year ago today I sat in the hospital, waiting with my family to hear any news about my father's surgery. The scans were unclear, so the last two months were spent in a haze of uncertainty. Today was the day we found out whether the cancer spread or not.

Leading up to the surgery, the phrase I heard too many times to count was that, "it's going to be okay." People tend to think those words are comforting, but they're not. It's a lie. There's no way to know what will happen. How do you know it's going to be okay? What if it's not? Whenever I heard those words, I tried not to cringe. I tried not to show how painful they were, because I knew these people were trying to help. But it hurt too much, so eventually I spoke up. I realized that they don't know they're making it worse if I don't say anything.

I remember being really upset that the surgery was scheduled for the second day of Pesach, but in a way, it was the best thing that could have happened. The weeks leading up to it were filled with all the preparations. And while my thoughts never strayed far from the surgery, things were so crazy… I wasn't able to dwell on it.

I have never been so happy to be surrounded by my family. The sedarim were beautiful. The second night my brother gave a d'var torah that had us all in tears. It was very bitter sweet. We all knew that it could be our last Pesach together.

The day of the surgery crawled by. Some parts of it blur together for me, but other moments are hard to forget. I remember lots of tears, but there were none from me…I felt like I had nothing left. I remember kissing my father before he was taken away for prep. It's easy to picture the waiting room, filled with people anxiously awaiting news about their loved ones. I remember every time the front desk called us up for an update. Those were the scariest moments. I remember watching my sister from across the room. I stayed seated while she went up with my mother to hear the update. When I saw her burst into tears and hug my mother, my stomach dropped. Thankfully, those turned out to be tears of relief.

Yom tov was almost over by the time we were allowed to see my father. I desperately needed to see him, I needed to confirm that he was okay. I remember him lying there with his eyes closed. I thought he was sleeping, so I slowly walked up to his bedside and slid my hand into his and gave it a gentle squeeze. He started talking, but it was hard to make out what he was saying since his voice was so hoarse from the anesthesia. After a moment we realized he was giving us directions! The hospital, while known to be one of the best, is not located in the safest of neighborhoods…he was worried about us getting home safely. That's the type of man my father is. He just had major surgery and he's more concerned about us getting home.

I have always thought that my father was invincible. No matter what it was, nothing could bring him down. Before this ordeal, I could probably count the number of times I've seen him cry on one hand. Now, I've seen him cry more times than I can count. He's gone through so much pain. The surgery was just the first hurdle. It was followed up by many months of chemo and radiation. It seemed like a never ending hell. Our roles changed. He has taken care of me my whole life and now it was my turn to take care of him.

Friends have pointed out how strong I've been throughout this whole nightmare, but the truth is, I couldn't have survived without their support. They kept me going during the times I felt close to breaking. I feel blessed to have so many people who care about me. I'm so fortunate to still have my dad. Even after all of this, I still find myself thinking that he is invincible. He's the strongest person I know. He's a survivor.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Day Choices

Last week, there was one day that really stuck out in its awesomeness. It was full of snowmen, snowball fights, cookie making, pizza, hot cocoa and marshmallows, games, and lots of laughter. It was amazing! I've been off of school for like a week and a half, but that day was the first that really felt like vacation.

There was a lot going on and I had a few different options I had to choose from, one being a party that I decided not to attend. I didn't really want to go, and it just didn't end up working out with everything else that was happening. It was kinda far away, the weather wasn't too great, originally I wasn't going to be in town for it, and honestly, I didn't think I'd be missed. That's why I was really surprised when I got a call from one of the hosts saying that they were sorry I couldn't make it. He sounded so disappointed and all my excuses for not going suddenly seemed lame. I. Felt. Horrible!

I quickly got over that though. Why should not going to a party make me feel bad? I realized I was happy with the choice I made.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The End?

Today is the first day back from vacation. Back to school, work, etc. I truly enjoyed the fact that Thanksgiving and Chanukah coincided this year, since that meant that my whole family could be together for Chanukah and I can't remember the last time that's happened. It was amazing!

I'm thankful that my father finished his chemo treatments! We've been anticipating that day from the beginning. This has been a huge relief, but it will never truly be over. Every time he has to go for a scan, a blood test or feels some kind of pain, we will always worry: Has it come back? I don't think that fear will ever go away…

Today is also my second blogaversary. I started this blog two years ago and so much has happened since then. I was perusing through my drafts and I realize that I've written a lot, but posted very little. Maybe one day…

I didn't really have any expectations when I started blogging. It was cool to learn that people actually read what I write and comment from time to time. A really nice surprise was getting to know people through my blog. I actually made the decision, before I started blogging, to make sure that didn't happen, but I'm glad I broke that rule :-) I've had some creepy people contact me, but I've learned how to deal with that and I've gotten to know some pretty incredible people along the way. So thank you to anyone who still happens to read what I write, I plan to continue writing, but I can't promise that it will be often. And to those incredible people I've gotten to know, thanks for being so awesome :-)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Techno Woes

I have a lot to do before tomorrow and today I felt like the Queen of Multi-tasking. At one point, I had laundry going, things baking in the oven, I moved on to making a batch of Chanukah cookies, all while studying for an upcoming test. It was great! Until a little bit ago when it all came to a screeching halt…

I'm going out of town tomorrow, so the next thing on my to-do list was to print my ticket. But. It's. Not. Working! My printer refuses to print and the error message isn't helpful at all. I spent the last hour and a half partially begging, but mostly yelling at my printer while trying to fix it. Oh, technology…

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Numb

Ups and downs,
Twists and turns,
Dizzying.

Disoriented.
Tired.
Fragile.

Pain and anger,
Sadness and defeat,
Does it end?

Feelings.
Overwhelmed with emotions.
Is it worth it?

Sometimes… 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Technology

I'm amazed whenever I watch my two year old nieces navigate through the iPad. They know exactly how to get to whatever games they want to play, and they excitedly show me their drawings and whatnot. I think it's adorable! It's incredible how much technology has changed and it's funny to notice the differences between now and back when I was a kid.

One time I found an old disposable camera lying around with a few pictures left on it. I decided to finish the film so it could be taken to be developed (anyone else remember having to do that?). After I took a picture, my nephew asked to see it. I had to explain about film and that we can't see these pictures right away. The poor kid was so confused, but I think he eventually got the idea.

Another time, I was at someone's house for Friday night and one of the kids asked me if I had an iPod touch and how old was I when I first got it. Her sister was in eighth grade and already had one, so she wanted to know if I thought that was too young or not. The iPod touch didn't exist when I was in eighth grade, so I couldn't really say. The looks on their faces were hilarious! I decided to mention that cell phones weren't around my whole life either. That gave them quite a shock as well. I had so much fun with that.

Recently, my nephew was excitedly showing me around his new house. He opened the freezer and proudly pointed, "look what we have!". I wasn't sure what he was pointing to. "Oh yum! Pizza bagels?". That wasn't it… "Oh! Cool rocket popsicles?!" Nope. Apparently, he was pointing out the ice cube trays! He thought they were so cool! The old freezer had an automatic ice maker, so he had never seen these before. It was so cute!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love is Blind

Depending on how things ended, running into an ex can bring on a whole slew of emotions. I ran into one I thought I would be happy to see. Instead I left the encounter feeling a little shocked and confused.

I noticed him before he realized I was there. I had to do a double take because, when I saw him, I almost didn't recognize him. He hasn't changed much in appearance, but his behavior blew me away. This couldn't be the same guy…I could never go out with somebody like that… He glanced up and caught my eye, and before I knew it, he was making his way over to me.

I don't think any breakup is easy. It's hard when someone you cared a lot about, someone who was a huge part of your life, is suddenly gone. Our breakup was pretty amicable though. We ended up wishing each other the best before going our separate ways.

Talking to him was painful. Not because I still have feelings for him. It was painful because I felt like I was talking to a complete stranger. There were a few moments where I thought I glimpsed the guy I once knew, but they were fleeting.

I can't help but wonder, is it possible for people to change this much? Or was I just blind to who he truly is?