We are now at the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays, starting with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). The Jewish New Year is different than how many celebrate December 31st/ January 1st. As a secular Jew, I feel it is a time of reflection on life and a focus to better one’s self the next year. Bettering for me is focused on human interactions, empathizing with others and making a difference in the world. This has been my main focus year on year, but last year is the first time I changed my job to work specifically on healthcare/ oncology solutions. I like working with oncologists and clinicians. And I hope some day that what we are doing will make a significant difference in a patient’s quality of life and their survival.
In the meantime, I recognize that our life this last year has not been quite a walk in the park. Today, Susie had a follow-up appointment with her local Neuro-Oncologist. She still has spots in her brain that are a bit shady, as I sometimes like to refer to them. It is unclear if they are radiation effect or disease. The recommendation has been the same for the last few visits, i.e. keep monitoring the area every two months. I find the hardest question to answer from her doctors is, “Are we seeing changes in cognitive skills (i.e. memory, word association, speech, sight, hearing…)?” I hear friends and family mention how they feel Susie is improving, but it is hard for me to measure/ compare. I do not feel my recall of two months ago, let alone six or nine months ago, is quite accurate.
With my balancing act between cancer and work, I often wonder if I am providing enough support and love to both Gabriel and Pearl. It is a bit of a juggling act, being a parent who encourages self-sufficiency and personal growth while at the same time not knowing when to use the love brake or gas pedal. Both are Juniors now, one in college and the other in high school. So, they are at distinctly different stages in their lives and they are quite different individuals.
– Could the new year reflection and future objectives be more complicated?
Of course it can, but one has to choose what they focus on. I love my Susie, my Gabriel and my Pearl with all my soul and my heart. I am so proud of each of them and will try this year to interact with more kindness, more compassion, more caring and much more love, and maybe a little less foul language when I get angry in my office.
I hope each and every one of you have a sweet and healthy new year.