Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm back...

So many people have written asking if everything is ok. I must apologize for the silence. I never meant to go so long without an update. I think when radiation ended and our family started back into the summer routine, the shock of not being in doctors' offices anymore made me a bit hesitant to post. What else was there to say? Then I began receiving e-mails from other women who have gone through this journey. They wanted to know what it was like after treatment ended - what were my tips? I thought I had run out of things to say but then I realized that for many this time after treatment was one of the hardest times. Sort of like a soldier coming home from combat. They'd gotten through their year of fighting and then the guns had gone silent and then there they were in the middle of a crowd at a Macy's shopping with their kids maybe for Back to School deals and bam that's when the panic attack would occur. These survivors were suffering the same PTSD that I had seen with our wounded vets.

With summer coming to an end. My kids go back to school tomorrow. I drove 12 hours back from Martha's Vineyard yesterday so that I could then head to the airport today to head back to work. To Afghanistan. My first day back on the air will be Wednesday when I interview General Petraeus in Kabul. I am bringing him a pair of running shoes with pink shoelaces (since I guess I can't hide from his offer to run any longer.) Fortunately, I have been training, though truth be told I am no runner. Joshua came to the house this morning for an "at home" Pilates session. In fact he has left our gym, Sports Club L.A. and is now giving private lessons. So anyone in the DC area looking for a Pilates coach who will come to you, Joshua Dobbs is your man: Anyway, I hope I can sleep on this flight. I will admit that my gut is filled with butterflies. They say going back is like riding a bicycle. I feel like I fell off that bike and have two scraped knees, but I know I am ready. I used to go to Gaza to get some rest when the girls were young. Secretly, I can't wait to get on the flight and get some sleep. 13 hours to Dubai. Sounds pretty good right now. I am reading in on the latest from Afghanistan and frankly not much has changed since Greg and I lived in Islamabad in the early 90s. Can't wait to get down to Chicken Street to see if they still have any good rugs. I cleaned them out in the early 90s - can remember ducking in the back of an International Red Cross vehicle crossing the front lines of the Kabul River as the muj shot rockets at each other. All that mattered were that my rugs were safe (and they were). Each one in our house has a story behind it. I ducked and hid behind them in the car and averted my eyes as the ICRC driver gunned it to safety (in the Khyber Pass). Things have changed but not really.

I am carrying with me Sebastian Junger's fantastic book: War. It goes along with the documentary that he and Tim Heatherington made on the Korengal Valley. If you haven't seen Restrepo, you must. It was in local theaters and won the Sundance Film Festival prize this year. Likely to get an Oscar for best documentary. It's the best combat verite that I have seen since Vietnam era pieces. And it focuses on a unit that I visited in the Korengal Valley with Admiral Mullen - the post - Restrepo, named for Doc Restrepo who was killed in action. It is the post where I realized that I was pregnant with Luke. We got out of the Blackhawk and I climbed up the hill and threw up. That's when I knew I had morning sickness. I met Capt (now Major) Dan Kearney there. He is featured in the film (Restrepo). It is a must see.

Here is a link to the trailer: