Monday, September 23, 2013

I Am Writing This Post Without the Benefit of Coffee

Yesterday afternoon, I needed a second cup of coffee. I made my way to the kitchen, filled the container with milk, popped a capsule in the machine, and -- nothing. I tried, retried, and tried again. I called technical support. And ultimately, they told me I'd need to bring the machine in for diagnosis and repair. Fortunately, the repair lab is 3 minutes from the hospital where I spend all my free time, so no biggie. Except that I have not had any coffee today. I mean, I had a cup of instant, but please. PLEASE.

There is only so much I can handle, you know? And my cappuccino is, like, the one thing that allows me to cling to sanity through this adventure.

Anyway. OK. So Yom Kippur ended, and then it was Sunday, and I met the social worker and -- OH! WAIT! I forgot the story about the parking lot!

OK, so on Friday, Erev Yom Kippur, I pulled into the parking lot at the hospital, which costs us 20 NIS (about $5.50) each day. The machine didn't issue a ticket, and instead said, "Free Passage." Great. I parked and went inside. So, Saturday night, when I left, I didn't bother to take any money, because, Free Passage. I get to the machine, and it asks for a ticket. I don't have one. The guard sits in his little guardhouse, not bothering to offer information until I get out of the car and tell him the issue. "Yeah, I shut it down before I left on Friday. But here's your card. You have to pay for today."


He ignored me and started walking back to his little "office."

"Hey, I'm not paying," I said. Except that it may have sounded more like, "What do you mean, PAY? The sign said FREE PASSAGE."

And he said, "YOU SHOULD BE THANKING ME FOR NOT CHARGING YOU FOR TWO DAYS." At which point, friends, I. Lost. My. Shit.


There was a number to call with problems with the gate, so I called it, and I have no idea what I said to the guy who answered, but I was undoubtedly rude and obnoxious, and I think he believed that I was absolutely ready to drive through the gate, so he opened it. I am not ashamed to tell you that I gave the guard the finger as I drove away. (NOTE TO MY PARENTS AND CHILDREN: SORRY.)

So, anyway, the social worker told me that the first thing she wanted to do was get me my 50% discount cards for the parking lot so that I didn't have any more "incidents."

And really, Sunday was only a week and a day ago, but it was also a million years ago, and I can barely remember anything. What I do remember is the utter exhaustion I felt from the moment I woke up until the moment I fell into bed. We took Adi for an intrathecal, which meant general anesthesia. It also meant fasting from 4 am, so he missed breakfast and nearly tore down everything in his path. We took Adi to have his portocath put in, also under general anesthesia, which again meant fasting. I remember being constantly surprised by the heat outside in contrast to the freezing temperature in the oncology ward.

The social worker gave us a book called Limbobo, King of the Animals. It's in Hebrew, a book about a lion who has cancer and goes through treatment: he's sick, and he has to stay in the hospital, they have to draw his blood and it hurts, he's hooked up to all kinds of IVs, he gets a portocath, his hair falls out, he has to stay in isolation, and then he gets better and goes home. I had to practice A LOT to be able to read it without crying. And then I read it to Adi and he was adamant about not wanting to be bald, and he is still pretty clear on that point.

We spent chag in the hospital. Guy slept with Adi, and Lior and I stayed in a guest house down the road a bit that provides rooms for families in situations like ours. Shir stayed with friends, and the boys went to my brother-in-law in Nahariya. We took Adi to the hospital sukkah and made kiddush for him, and he ate some dinner. He didn't have a lot of energy, so we used a wheelchair to take him everywhere. I really, really hated not having all of my children with me for chag.

And then the week was over, and we were discharged with our giant bag of medications and our pages of instructions, and we are slowly trying to figure out how to live in our new reality.

P.S. In the middle of writing this post, I got a text that my coffee machine was ready, so I dropped everything to go get it, because I CANNOT FACE THIS CANCER THING WITHOUT COFFEE.


Lisa said...

I just caught up and am in absolute shock...there are no good words except my heart hurts for you guys and I am hoping and praying for the best outcome possible. Hugs to you...please keep us posted as you're able.

Crystal T. said...

Coffee has been my lifeline. As long as I have a warm cup in my hand, I can deal with anything.