Thursday, April 29, 2010

So, Nu?

The Yiddish word "Nu" means "Tell me. What's up? What's happening? What's new? Anything different?" kind of all rolled into one word. Best said with the voice raised up at the end of the word, combined with an expansive hand-waving gesture and maybe even a shoulder roll. At least, that's how my grandparents used to say it to me.

I was thinking about "Nu" this week after hearing Kelly Corrigan (author of "The Middle Place" and "Lift") speak at Mercy Hospital-- my hospital! So nice to go to Mercy for an alternative reason. Kelly had breast cancer a few years ago and wrote two very funny, touching, genuine books about her family and her experiences. She was a fantastic speaker, totally down to earth. My friend Jeanette and I went to the reading together, and afterwards, Jeanette asked me "Nu?" But in a non-Russian Jewish immigrant kind of way, with complete sentences and multiple words: "Adrienne, do you feel different after all of your operations? How is your life different now?"

Hmmm. Such good questions. I think resoundingly, YES, my life is different. I made a conscious decision to get rid of as much stress in my life as possible, given the huge amount of stress all the medical procedures and bodily changes caused this year. So, I quit my job and am a stay-at-home mom for the near future. Big and very awesome change.

Do I feel different? Definitely. All of the obvious physical differences (larger rack, menopause, etc.) sort of pale in comparison to the metaphysical difference-- this feeling like I dodged a bullet. I swerved around breast and ovarian cancer, spat on them, and kept right on going. I feel lucky that I didn't have to go through chemo and radiation and fear of recurrence and fear of dying and all of the many other totally shitty cancer-related issues that my mom and Tasha and lots of other friends/family members have gone through, are going through now and will continue to go through.

And with that bit of reflection, I am going to head out and enjoy my stay-at-home momdom with a nice long run. Ciao!

1 comment:

  1. You need to teach Tasha some Yiddish words, it is the perfect language for her. She already knows the word Schlep.

    Nu, is the perfect word for her.

    At the IRS: Nu, did you finish dealing with my farklempte return?
    At the DMV: Nu, can I get already my licence?