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Saturday, May 8, 2010

As the Sun Breaks Through the Clouds.... (Medical/Emotional Update)

From the moment I discovered that my cancer spread to my brain, I felt surrounded by a dark fog.

I struggled not to get sucked into that black hole we call depression.

I did not want to slip into that world.

Yet, despite all the things I did (on my own, with my family, and with my friends), the fog would not clear.

Months after I finished treatment, I still felt that I was fighting my way out of that dark fog.

I worked so hard at maintaining a positive attitude.

So much of my energy was just sucked away.

I spent days in bed, accomplishing nothing.

Nights, I lay in bed; doom-and-gloomy thoughts, swimming behind my closed eyes.

For almost 10 months, I felt like I was treading water, barely managing to keep my head above water.

After a while, I wondered if I could shake this on my own. 

I filled a prescription for anti-anxiety pills.

I kept them the pills with my pain killers.

I never took them.

About two weeks ago, I noticed the clouds were clearing, and I could see the sun shining through.

Finally, I felt myself returning to that "good place."

I got out of bed. 

I started doing some of those things on my "to do" list. (you know, that awful list of things we have to do, but hate doing...)

I felt like I could be myself, without working so hard.

I felt good.


Then, this past Thursday, Moshe was really sick (he's fine now).  Though he wanted to accompany me, coming to the hospital was not an option.

I went to the hospital on my own.  I met with my oncologist on my own.  I got "the news" on my own.

I responded very rationally.  (I think I might have been in shock)

In my calm, I recognized that I stood on a threshold;  I made a choice.

I did not want to go back to that dark place where I spent the last ten months.

I will not go back there.

It is not so easy.

I have two tumors on my brain that are growing and my markers have been rising slowly, but surely.  I have an appointment with the head of radiology tomorrow (Sunday) and I have a PET CT scheduled for Wednesday. 

I will know more tomorrow.  And I will know even more when we get the results of the PET scan (though I will probably have to wait another two weeks to get those results).

I do not really want to tell people, because I do not want anyone freaking out or feeling sorry for me.

On the other hand, I would not mind if people added a few extra prayers.

I have been talking a lot with God lately. 

I am counting on God to help me get through this.

I want to wake up every day and see the sun, shining bright!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Dianne Duffy said...


My heart and my prayers go out to you. One day at a time is what you need to focus on. Spend time with your family. Do what brings peace. God bless you. He WILL see you through!

Many prayers,

Dianne Duffy

Karen said...

You are already on my prayer list but sending some extra ones is somthing I can do. God is always with you - even when it seems he is having a nap. Enjoy that sun with your family.

Liba said...

Your are in my prayers.

Call me if you could use company at your appointments.

Christine said...

I am sending you happy healing thoughts and hope the sun shines on you tomorrow.

Bernie said...

RivKa, I am keeping you in my heart and prayers always.

Share your thoughts and how you feel with somone you trust and love, this may help to keep depression away, and sweetie it is okay to be a bit depressed right now. You will work through this and be your positive self soon I am sure. You are dealing with so much, reach out for support and let people be there for you, let them protect you as you protect them.......Big hugs....:-)

tnspr569 said...

Your courage is inspiring and your attitude admirable.

Keep on fighting!

Rooting for you over here...

Mindy said...

I promise to be strong, and not freak out, even though, I have to admit, I wanted to.

I promise to pray.

Jeffrey R. Woolf said...

Good Luck on Sunday. You're in my prayers three times a day.

Robin said...

Sending extra strong bright and sunny thoughts your way, today and always.


michele said...

RivkA, YOU are the sunshine for so many people. Your light shines through, even in the most of difficult times.

Saul Mashbaum said...

Rivka bat Tzirel is in my prayers every day, and at britot and chuppot, which are propitious times
for prayer, as I understand.

I think that over time your enthusiasm and inspiration have done more for people than what they have done for you; you're a resource the world really needs!

mikimi said...

I have no other words of inspiration aside from what others have already written. Just know that I too can come hang out with you at any of your appointments if you ask me a day or in advance.You are never alone as HaShem is always with you - and we are all rooting for you.

Gila said...

Love you sweetie. Prayers are with you.

Bee said...

oh RivkA, you are always in my prayers and in my thoughts. You are such an inspiration to so many and your brave and inspiring posts make me feel so humble.

Positive prayers can achieve so much.


Anonymous said...

Today as I was waiting on line at the grocery store I thought to myself, how can I use this time in line productively rather than wasting the next five minutes. And my answer was I'll stand here and pray for RivkA bat Teirtzel now.
May Hashem hear all of our prayers and allow the miracles of modern medicine to work magic against this horrible disease. May you continue to inspire us all for a LONG, LONG time.

Rahel Jaskow said...

I can also come with you to your appointments if you give me advance notice of a day or so.

And I am praying for you, and sending you hugs.

Batya said...

Remember that the sun always shines, even when it's hidden by storms. Focus on the sun.

Alison C. said...

Did you see the piece in the NY Times about the 20 plus year stage 4 cancer survivor? You can do it too - you are doing it!

Hang in there - I think you have tons to hope for, and I am filled with hope for you as well.

Much love,


Christine said...

Here's a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/health/27case.html

Beth Steinberg said...

I was catching up on your posts and was reading your recent news. We've chatted at the pool. Could you use some company on an upcoming visit to the hospital? Let me know.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Dianne & Christine -- Amen!

Karen -- God naps???

Liba -- What if I just want your company?

Bernie -- I share everything with my husband; he is my anchor.

tnspr569 -- your ID is too cryptic! I keep forgetting who you are!

Mindy -- yeah, me too.

Jeffrey, Robin, Michele, Mikimi, Gila, Bee, Rahel, Batya, Alison, & Christine -- thanks

Saul -- I hope so. If I can help others along the way, then my challenge with cancer has meaning that goes beyond my own daled amot (small world).

SS -- Clever woman!! What a great way to maximize your time!

Beth -- I'd love to hang out with you. Email me your contact info...