Saturday, May 31, 2008


I am happy to say the radiation burns and boils are healed. The skin is still red or pink in some areas, but the skin is no longer open or raw and the boils have completely disappeared. Lately I have only had to deal with the strange sense of vulnerability that showed up with the chemotherapy. It's subtle, but the concerns I have are so not me, that I know its a side effect.

For instance, when I wake up I immediately feel as though I have done something wrong or let Daniela down. I shared with her how strange it was to wake up feeling that way and she started laughing at the absurdity of it. Of course I was quick to join her. Then I'll start to feel guilty because I'm not working which is followed by the realization that I'd be about as useful as a two-year old lifeguard. Between the constant pain and my brains spaciness throughout the day, I sure wouldn't want me back on the job. Not to mention it would a bit odd to be laying down in the office all day.

Then I'll ask Daniela, "Are we good?" You know. We all have our way of asking our spouse or partner if the relationship is healthy with nothing incomplete, but lately I'll ask her when there is really no reason at all to be concerned. She replies and lets me know that we're great and that its just another side effect of the chemotherapy. Both radiation and chemotherapy have "emotional upset" side effects. It's wild to experience them at such random moments. And as a husband and father, its not easy to have Daniela doing everything the household requires. And the fact that she does do so much for me and the kids is a catalyst for my feelings of guilt for not participating in so many aspects of family care. I very much look forward to sharing the household chores with Daniela. It will be nice to actually be a participating member of the family.

Sure I am doing my job right now - that would be HEALING and taking care of myself - but I do look forward to being completely healed and joining the world of fully functioning people. When I woke up this morning, I came downstairs and told Daniela that I can't wait until July 16th. The freedom is close I can taste it!


  1. Bert,

    I have had similar feelings about my role in our home - I worry that MaryGail has so much on her plate, including taking care of me, and I do have some guilt about it. But we have to believe them that they are okay with it.

    The other thing I wanted to say is that I often felt emotionally vulnerable and edgy from the fatigue that came with chemo, and my oncologist said that was normal.

    I continue to hold you in my thoughts.

    Maria Brown

  2. Just be good to yourself. Allow yourself to take what you need. (This is a good and positive attitude and one of the 'gifts' that has stayed with me, these four years out). You will certainly not be in the place where you are now, in a year from now, G-D willing, and then, other modes will be your present reality. In the meantime, just remember that 60's ever-true adage, "BE HERE NOW". Let yourself do your present work: you are in the midst of an epic battle. Then, there will be a time to heal. This does not happen overnight and will require going lighter on yourself for awhile. I remember when I was going through the last rounds of chemotherapy, I expressed to my favorite nurse my eagerness to get back to the work (etc) world. Beverly advised me to take all the time I needed; that this was my time; and to honor it as a unique and precious chapter in my life. Sure enough, now, four years later, life is back to those pre cancer days of full time work and full of various committments. But, I am grateful for the in between days of contemplative walks, lunches with friends, and basically allowing myself to respond to my own pulls and be with the fact of what I have been though. It was a sweet and profound time.
    All things in due time.

  3. When you are completely healed, think of how strong your relationship is........and how much admiration and gratitude you will have toward your wife who loves you so much!

    You are all in my thoughts,