I think that my period of silence can be traced to a combination of intensely disturbing, if fleeting, episodes in the PSYWAR, rapid changes in my own moods and feelings, and a total absence of "me" time. Today I finally broke down and just wandered out of work for a couple of hours to experience idleness.

K has finished a 3rd round of Xeloda. Its side effects (HFS & nausea) are mounting, but it also seems to have given her back her lung capacity. At least it seems reasonable for me to believe that her revitalized breathing is due to some abatement of her mets caused by the X poison. The nice thing about X is that it can be easily titrated, and at least one paper relates that reducing the dose does not reduce the benefit. Long may it reign.

But more about me: rather than supporting me faithfully in my roles as carer, breadwinner, father, husband, son, brother and synagogue VP, my body is now rebelling. Prostatitis, hemorrhoids and backache have joined a tension headache that has been my own for decades. In some sense, this gives me a tiny taste of what it's like to be chronically ill, but any gains in my caring ability caused by this increased empathy are most likely cancelled out by loss of efficiency and general whininess. (You'll say "take care of yourself," and I am doing my best to exercise, eat and sleep, but there are limits to the benefits of even those magical tonics.)

One of my holiday visitors suggested that an effect of the PSYWAR (in which carer becomes enemy and is fiercely attacked) is for the carer to experience firsthand a degree of the disorientation and hopelessness experienced by the patient. It's another way of fine tuning empathy, if you can survive it. Fortunately the past two weeks have been free of this difficulty; carer and patient are working together as a team, struggling through the days.

And so I find myself bunking off work, doing yoga in the gym, soaking in the hot tub, and blogging in Starbucks. Feels good, actually.

Mr. In Between

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