4/5/15 – Seder … and other stuff

My first venture outside the house other than to a doctor’s office was Friday night for Seder at Helene’s parents.  It was a lot of work for me.  First of all, I am only two and one half weeks from being discharged from the hospital from the pneumonia.  Secondly, that time of day (between 5 and 8 PM) is really my witching hour.  It is when I am at my worst as far as fatigue goes.

Passover, though, is my second favorite holiday next to Thanksgiving.  I had to be there.  AND … I had to prove it to myself that I could make it through.  I did, although I had to get up from the table a couple of times and rest on the couch.  The worst part of that was that I got up right before singing (which is my forte and Passover role every year) and nobody picked up my lead and led the group in Dayenu in a round.

I will say … I am very HAPPY I went.  I almost didn’t go.  I don’t really want anyone to see me in a weak state.  I am thirty – that’s right 30 – pounds lighter than normal weight.  At least it’s not as bad as when I first came home from the hospital and it was FORTY pounds.  The other reason I was happy is that I love my family so much.  Helene, the kids, Helene’s parents, Helene’s sisters, their husbands and kids and my brother his wife and kids.  If I were allowed to hand pick a family I couldn’t have done any better.  Our Uncle Les and his friend Joyce.  Their love and support has remained steadfast during the most difficult time in my life.

The Cancer numbers are GREAT.  The pneumonia almost killed me.  I faced death because my weakened immune system couldn’t handle the pneumonia.  Now?  Now I am rehabilitating my body.  Working on my endurance and stamina and trying like heck to get some semblance of muscle tone back so that I can go forward as #bradstrong on that MMRF video.

Yesterday and today (so far) have been tough.  I am coughing a lot and am really out of breath and short on stamina.  I think it is from the blood pressure medication the doc prescribed me.  He said one of the side effects would be coughing.  I have never, EVER had high blood pressure until now.  My heart is working so hard to keep up and pump oxygen into my body because my endurance is still so low.  I am getting there.  Today I feel a little better.  Last night I had no appetite.  Today I am eating again like a horse.  It is a beautiful day in New Jersey so I am going to try to take a walk outside if I am up for it later.

I hope that whatever holiday you celebrate (Passover or Easter) it was a good one.  I hope that you spent it with family and close friends.  People that you love and support you UNCONDITIONALLY.  I once heard George W. Bush speak at a conference.  Politics aside, he said something that has stuck with me since hearing it.  He said “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE MITIGATES RISK.”  That’s one of the things his father taught him.  If you fail, I will still love you.  Keep trying.  Keep at it.  I have a support network – a family that loves me UNCONDITIONALLY.  It makes it really easy to battle when you feel that support.  There is no RISK.  You just live each day.  Fight each day.  Do your best each day.  In the end, Cancer may get me.  I don’t think it will for a long time, but if it does?  I know that I wasn’t afraid to face it – to fight it – because I had that UNCONDITIONAL love.

Enough rambling – Happy Easter.  Let’s go fight Cancer today.


15 responses to “4/5/15 – Seder … and other stuff

  1. You are so blessed to have the BEST family ever!! They are also so lucky to have you. I live for your writings. You are truly amazing and I look up to you. I hope you will feel better this week. Try not to overwork yourself. Thank you for being so amazing.

  2. Dear Brad. How brave of you to venture out for Seder. Am sure everyone was delighted to see you and have you with them. You are lucky: you have a loving and supportive family in NJ, one in Chicago and suburbs and in FL. All were thinking of you as they discussed freedom and wishing you freedom from the “bugs” that are getting you down. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. We love you and are with you. Uncle Herb & Aunt Roberta

  3. I read your blog with such admiration for you. Keep fighting….you are inspiration to your fellow Myeloma people! God bless.

  4. Energy and unconditional love from all of us. Check your long term memory you heard it here first.

  5. You have the most wonderful family and how amazing you were able to gather the strength to be part of the celebration. You are always in our thoughts and prayers giving us strength to get through life. You are such an inspiration. Keep fighting and we will do the same for you. Sending love to all. Joni & Jeff

  6. You make me so proud of you every day you write your blog. Sharing with everyone your ups and downs, leting others to share in your experience, helps others in understanding how you are doing. Day by day you will get stronger. And we will take a chorus of Dyenue any day. ( I think it is Helene’s favorite song also. Happy holiday to you and your beautiful family.

  7. You must know how really special a person you are- brave gutsy determined and loving. A warrior in your fight against MM. May our prayers & wishes help support you & carry you to victory.

  8. Brad and Helene, We have been thinking about you both around Passover.  We wanted you to know we love you and your family unconditionally and miss you guys.  Stay strong, continue to heal, we love you all very much. Nancy, Sam, Jake, Rachel and Spencer

  9. Each time you spend special moments with family and friends is a blessing. Keep strong in mind and body.

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