5/19/14 – Halfway There

As the Bon Jovi song says – We’re halfway there. Five days down and five to go for radiation. It’s actually not too bad. I haven’t felt any side effects except for the being tired part which is probably attributed to the 5:00 AM alarm every morning to get to the city for the treatments. Other than that, I haven’t felt any different.

Radiation, if you have never had it before, is a freaky experience. I literally lie down (naked – with only a washcloth and an open hospital gown) and this giant machine with about five arms moves around me and gets into position to shoot lasers at the proper coordinates to shrink the tumor. If I am lucky, they play music while I am in there.

The first day was the Doobie Brothers. The second day was Space Odyssey. Most of the time it is 80s rock which is a little annoying. Anyway, the giant arms move around and there are six blasts of radiation (3 at the iliac bone and 3 at the ischium bone) that sound like buzzing. The buzzing lasts for about 10 seconds. It’s kind of like the shofar blowing on the Jewish High Holidays. The last buzz usually is a little longer (or at least it is in my mind) so I call that one Tekiah Gedolah.

I wonder sometimes if the kids know what this is and why we are doing this. I wonder if they know (or if they think) that I will be OK after this. I wonder if they know as much as they should about my Cancer and my prognosis.

I got really mad at them a couple of weeks ago over something. Not so much the thing but the principle. I probably (not probably – actually) held on to that for too long. Maybe I was tired. Maybe I was frustrated with my situation with this Cancer. Whatever it was I let it get the best of me.

There are two emotions which I constantly have. One is the worry that I don’t really know how long I have left. And because of that I want to make sure that our kids have all the tools and are as grown up as they will need to be without me here. Not that Helene wouldn’t continue to be the great Mom that she is (and she is a GREAT Mom) but there are things that we need to make sure they know and understand and grow in a way that they lead a successful, positive life.

The second emotion is the worry that I don’t really know how long I have left and I want (need) our kids to know how much I love them and how proud I am of their accomplishments. If you are a parent you know what I am talking about. There is no way to describe that feeling. The feeling that your kids are exceeding every expectation you have of them.

Sometimes those two emotions conflict with each other. As an old boss used to say to me regarding sales management – “Slap ’em and hug ’em”. In parenting the slap ’em is figurative the hug ’em is literal. I wish I could find the balance without being so darn volatile.

Time is precious. Balance is precious. My wife and my children are priceless. They are the reason I do this. They are the reason I wake up every day fight Cancer and then go to work. I wish I could convey that 100% of the time. Even on the occasions that I am angry.

Monday. Five down, five to go. It’s a great day to fight Cancer.

6 responses to “5/19/14 – Halfway There

  1. Hope the radiation does work( I know when I had it , it took care of the plasmacytoma). I had 17 rounds. That was at the beginning of my treatments in 2005. Time is precious and all we really have is today. Each day is a gift. I agree , we just have to live with this cancer and make the best of it. BTW, my son was in 5 th grade when I was diagnosed. My daughter in high school. Now my son is in junior college, my daughter has graduated and is now in graduate school. I’m grateful to be here to see these things.
    Best to you and your family.

  2. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing your lessons with us, since we all can benefit from joining you on this mindful journey. I’m crying, of course. So many things to feel when you really stick around to feel everything. Sending love and healing every day. oxox

  3. Hi Brad. I read all of your posts the minute they hit my inbox. You are so incredibly positive, level headed and practical about everything you are going through. I can’t imagine how hard it must be – as a father and as a husband – to face every day with the will to “fight”. You are a true inspiration. I understand exactly what you said today about your kids. I am sure they are in awe of you, your strength and your determination to beat this disease. I am sure they so proud of you and they know how proud you are of them. I look forward to hearing great reports from your radiation. You are always in my thoughts. Stay strong!!! Holly

  4. Your a great dad! As a wise sales manager once told me – you can only control two things – your activity and attitude. I admire your strength and positive outlook. Praying for you and your family everyday 🙂

  5. Brad, You have a big team of those who love you, helene and the kids, who are fighting wilth you in spirit every day.
    love, Aunt Roberta and Uncle Herb

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