ISRAEL

Israel is such a beautiful country with all the Jerusalem stone buildings and the sun glitering off them,  The air is fresh and the fruit is ripe on the trees. What a gift to be able to spend these 5 days here

I truly did not believe I had the strength to make this journey but I was determined not only to attend this special occasion, but to be someone beside’s a cancer patient.  I will admit that I sleep a lot between events but I am making it and enjoying myself.  I even stayed out until midnight last night! I usually cannot do that normally. But with the naps and time change, I am holding my own.  The hardest part for me is getiing dressed and undressed (pantyhose) but overall I am keeping up with the rest.  Thank goodness Rea and I went shopping for durble but pretty flats before I left.

This afternoon we are to go to the botanical gardens and have lunch and then back to bed for me until time to get ready for the wedding at 6,  I will do the best I can to be present and feel the joy of such  a beautiful bride and her magnificent parents.  That is what I came here for and It will fill my heart.

Tomorrow I turn 55 and will be at the Wall.  As I laid there last year during chemo almost comotose with two major operations ahead of me, I didn’t believe I would see this day let alone in Israel.  The goal for the next treatment is to turn 56and have this disease under control.

I am grateful to be here in Jerusalem, and that I am finding the routine necessary to be able to enjoy this occasion to the fullest. That the people around me are understanding and let me sleep between events, that I am well enough at the present time to walk along with everyone else and hopefully get a dance or two in tonight.  I am so looking forward to placing all of your notes in the wall as well as begging for my recovery at the Wall.  I feel such fullfillment here in Jeusalem and for that I am very very grateful.  The miracle is that this city exists and the  feelings of spirituality are at its peak here.  Its just plain awesome.

IN ISRAEL

Getting throught the airport in Newark was easy with the assistance of Schenker Jack and Jan.  Once on the plane, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until we  arrived in Tel Aviv.  We were wisked through the airport by a service previously scheduled by Jack and off we went to Jerusalem.

My white blood counts are very down but I am sleeping as much as possible between thr frivolity and celebtrations.  Last night we had an amazing Shabbat dinner and after service and an uf ruff this morning an amazing luncheon.  Back to sleep for the after noon and now we are preparing to go to the Tower of David for light show tonight.  I am so very tired  but I do not wish to miss anything while I am here.

Tomorrow will be more sleep and then the wedding at 5:00PM.  Lea will make a magnificent bride since she is a beauty inside and out.  I am so pleased to be able to share this special day with the parents Morty and Rose who have been such wonderful friends to us since out move to Manhattan. We are so fortunate to have them as friends and we feel as if they have been a part of our family forever.”

I know on my return to NYC there will be a gazillion Dr. appointmnets to gain my strength, get rid of the mouth sores so we can continue the chemo, PT,acupuncture, and the psychiatrist who I am really in need of at this phase.  And so my full time job is taking care of me.

Monday we will be at the wall for my Birthday and I am so looking forward to touching the stones, feeeling the sun on my back, the roughness on my face, and my body pressed against it.  I will beg whole heartedly and bodily for a recovery from this dibilitating disease.  And I will pray for health and prosperity for you all.  I have all the notes with me and your personaal wishes will go in also.

This is my gift to all of you who have been praying all over the world for me.  A prayer here at the center of the religious world.

UNPACK AND REASSESS

I packed last night for our trip today and as expected that little suitcase did not hold anywhere near what I thought I was bringing. So, this morning, I need to assess what I REALLY must have so the suitcase might close. Maybe I should wear all of my clothing on the plane and peel it off when I get there. LOL
Although I am quite fatigued and very dizzy, I am also enthusiastic about making this jaunt. I will do my best to do as much as I am able and experience the most I can. I need to see that I have the ability to live my life rather than just be confined to my apartment feeling ill. Too much time to think about myself and this illness is Not Good for the mind.
I have received 5 notes for the wall. I am not leaving until 1:30 for the airport so if there are any more, please send them over this morning. I have them printed out and with me ready to be folded and placed in the wall.
Yonah got his first two bottom teeth yesterday, It is interesting that that 12 page letter from my mother that I found the other day, told me to remind Rea that both she and I ran fever while teething (I ran 104 and Rea 102). And so Yonah has had a fever for a few days and voila, two new teeth. Isn’t that letter a little miracle?
We have completed the first of seven strips of the afghan. I got to sew the first seven rectangles together yesterday and it looks lovely. Now back to knitting more rectangles so we have the colors for the next strip. Rea is working on the blue ones for our later strips. Theda (my knitting partner) is working on the tan ones and I am working on the brown. It is amazing what a group of 3 women can accomplish and so quickly. I am so hoping that the person who gets this afghan in Gush Katif really enjoys as much as we have enjoyed creating it.
For today, I am grateful that I am awake and have some energy to repack that suitcase. I am praying that I have the ability to make this trip with some energy and little pain. I think that not only is this wedding a miracle that was placed in my path but the timing right before my birthday. It is very important to me that I become 55, in Israel, and that I am still standing after this past year of treatments and the loss of my mother. I pray that I have the strength to endure the next rounds and that I can be rid of this disease or at least get it under control so I can live my life.

PACKING

The carry on suitcase has arrived and I don’t think I can fit two pairs of under ware in it let alone 5 days of clothing, shoes, medications, cosmetic stuff.  I guess today will be making decisions about what do I really really have to have and hope it fits into the suitcase.  I never did carry-on before but I am told if I don’t the wait at the airport in Israel will be forever and we need to get through quickly so I won’t have to wait for more hours.

I should feel very excited about this trip but I am just putting one step in front of the other hoping I can pull this off physically.  Emotionally I feel very little but I am excited to go to this special wedding and to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. We also have friends who go to IsraeI  all the time and they will have a car to just go.  Jan and I always went alone as tourists so really didn’t know the places to go. I just don’t want to be a stick in the mud if I have to sleep a lot.  But with no chemo  and less arm pain I am hoping it will be easier for me. I am praying very hard that this will be an enjoyable experience and with lots of pictures with my boy haircut! LOL

I am grateful that there was no chemo yesterday, that I will try to go back to PT ( a good sign there is a future to work for), and try to get into more social things when I am not fatigued.  This sounds like the beginning of a life to me and I am so grateful for that.  I am collecting prayers or notes that people would like me to put in the Wall on Monday so if you have anything, email it over,  Make it small so it can be folded up and put in the cracks that are always so full. Jan usually stands on a chair to get up to a higher space to get some extra empty cracks.  I already have two and I can carry as many as needed.  If you don’t need to add a note, I will put in a prayer for all of you for health, contentment, and joy in life.  I owe each of you, whomever you are, for the strength and support through this tough journey and many of you are there daily. Many of you I don’t even know but are there. I am one very fortunate soul.

 

Chemo #3 Got Scrubbed

Here’s a little miracle for you.  I have developed some mouth sores and therefore the chemo session for today got scrubbed. Next week was a week off and so I do not  return to chemo until February 24th!  It will make it much easier to take the trip to Israel.  Dr. Bajorin even suggested I stay in Israel longer.

Dr. Bajorin also said that I can try PT again when I get back from Israel since with all the meds, patches, radiation, acupuncture that may be we can keep me out of enough pain to get this arm working.  I would really like to try it and made an appointment with Ralph for Wednesday after we return at 9:00.

I have gained 20 pounds in two weeks from the steroid! This is kind of scary but I know it will come off after treatment.  I hope I can stay away from the sugar and eat well during this time to try to control the weight gain.

Dr Bajorin is also going to lower the dose of my chemo to prevent these mouth sores from continuing and keeping my white cells from falling.  Prior to our meeting, he sent a Social Worker in to talk to me about the anxiety of returning to treatment.  It was good but I am looking forward to meeting with Dr. Roth since he has put me on a medication for anxiety.  I was really scared when the social worker came in because I thought he was prepping me for Dr. Bajorin to tell me more bad news.

And so, we shall begin to pack for our trip to Israel.  The new suitcase for carry on arrived and it is little. Guess I need to take less clothing. LOL.  

CHEMO#3 THANK GD FOR THE STEROIDS

I took the first dose of steroid last night preparing for the chemo today and I feel wonderful.  Little pain, a lot of energy and much brighter attitude. I will take them again this morning and have at least 2 more days of feeling good.  I wish there was some way to use them to get through Israel.

Today is very busy.  First I meet with the Pain Team, Then Dr. Bajorin, and then Chemo. I am ready to face the treatment but have many questions for the doctors. First I would like to know why my hip bones pain me and I can hardly walk for two blocks until they finally settle down and I can walk slowly.   Second I would like to know which of these drugs is throwing off my equilibrium  and coordination.

Sleep came off and on and in between I was on a who gets what game.  Taking each piece of jewelry in my head and deciding who gets what and why.  This is quite a game since I am not a jewelry fanatic  so there is not a lot but I also have 4 girls (Rea, Shira, Stephanie, and Katherine) to distribute what I do have. This is Just for today.  Hopefully, Jan will not have to make the distribution for along time.

I did go to work with Jan after acupuncture.  Within an hour, I was asleep on a sofa in another office and by 2:00 I was in a cab on the way home to go to the dentist.  At least I wasn’t a bother to him and so we may try that one again once the solitary confinement gets to me.  My cousin Sandy will be coming from Michigan for a weekend so that should be fun. She has a fantastic sense of humor and I adored her mother so we have many stories to share,  Rea plans to bring Yonah back for a few days (YUMMY YONAH) and then my Dad is looking forward to returning.  This is better than last chemo when the days just dragged on alone.  I may  just sleep through these visits but having someone here, who understands this regimin, means a great deal.

So after chemo today I will start to think about what to take to Israel,  Jan is excited but I am looking at this trip with trepidation for what it will take to get me through it.  But I am determined to get to this wedding and to the Western Wall for my Birthday.  My higher power and I have some talking to do and I am going to where I think he listens the best.

Today I am grateful that the steroid allows me to feel less pain and have more energy.  I am so fortunate to have so many people in my  life supporting me even people I really do not know.  A little miracle: A woman I met at Jan’s office yesterday said that she prays for me daily.  I told her I will pray for her in Israel and she started to cry. That’s the circle I keep talking about.  Helping each other through all times;good or bad. Sharing and caring.

Its Take Your Sick Wife to Work Day. (LOL)

I am going to acupuncture at 9:30 with Jan and then he wants to take me with him to work to keep an eye on me and so I will not be alone.  He has a space where I can do what I normally do: sleep, knit, eat, and watch a few videos as well as read.  Since I am a “little” wobbly on the medication, he feels better having me close at hand.

I am on the hunt for a dentist.  I lost a crown last night chewing on a Nip and also my teeth are disintegrating from the chemo.  They could also use some help.  This poor body.

Yesterday we went out in the car to look for our new TV and to Stop and Shop.  We had large things we needed and so that was accomplished.  It was a joy to sit in the car and have the sunshine in my face and the breeze blowing in.  If I closed my eyes, I felt like I was resting on my deck at the cape and that made me smile.  I also found the experience so frustrating in how long it took me to get through the store, I used to run through, and how fatigued I was at the end.  I feel sorry for Jan that he is married to an old lady.  We can only go out for short jaunts and then I fall apart.  But being in the car and shopping was good for me.

Today I am exhausted but tonight I will take the steroid to get ready for the chemo.  That is a pick-me-up.  I will take it again tomorrow and so I will have some energy until Thursday when we leave for Israel. Good Luck Jan. So much work to get a very fatigued person there.

The miracle of today is that I was able to type this blog.  It is difficult to focus while on this drug and of course my coordination is off but I am still typing.  Today I am working on acceptance.  I still am having difficulty on why this is happening to me and how am I going to get out of it.  I keep reminding myself what a dynamo I was and it just seems so surreal that I am where I am right now.  That is why I need to learn acceptance and quickly.

Please say extra prayers for Ellen.  She is having a tough go of it  trying to get specific diagnostics and her scans are showing something is not kosher.   I am planning on praying for each and every one of you at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday ( for those I know who are there and those who I don’t).  There will be something for everybody. I promise.  You have all been a great help to me through this journey.

I’M A ZOMBIE

I’m not sure whether its the drugs or the chemo but I really feel like a zombie.  I can get up and do things but I have to hold on to walls or things to get to where I want to go for balance. I feel so drugged and having trouble focusing on knitting, TV, and even typing this blog.  All I want to do is lay on my back or sleep.  Tomorrow, after acupuncture, Jan is taking me to the office with him.  I can knit, read, or watch videos there and he can keep an eye on me.  Tuesday we see the pain team, Dr. Bajorin, and have chemo.  Maybe they can figure this out so I can go to Israel on Thursday. And I am going no matter what! Dr. Michael  commented to Jan yesterday that he thinks the travel will be good for me and my mind.

For today, we plan to look for our first flat screen TV to replace the painting across from our bed.  I have studied that painting daily for a year and i don’t want to see it anymore.

I am grateful to be awake and typing today. I am happy all of my kids seem to be living their lives as they choose. I will pray hard today for my higher power to help me keep the pain away and be a person too.  I’d really like to go out in the sun and feel the warmth on my face today. So I guess I should go eat breakfast and start the meds.  Thanks for all of your calls and e-mails.  Please do not ever think that your doesn’t matter enough to send.  I love hearing from all of you.  You are there for me and I appreciate it. It is a circle.  We help each other

A QUIET DAY

The meds and acupuncture seem to be keeping the pain in check but I am unable to walk a straight line.  We went to dinner at lovely friend’s of ours and I had to go to sleep during dinner.  During the walk home, which I loved, Jan had to hold on to me so I can walk straight.  We will be meeting with the pain team on Tuesday.   I need to find the right mix to not be in pain and to have equilibrium.

Rectangle #10 is complete and Rea is working on the rest of our blue rectangles in Cape Cod.  I am so pleased that she will have a part in this project.

Needless, the say, I miss Baby Yonah and all his wonderful noises around the house.  It was a pleasure to have them here and it filled my heart while I watched him grow.

Now I plan for  the trip this week to Israel.  Jan really has his hands full trying to get me around but he is willing to do whatever is necessary to get us to the wedding.  I am already packing in my head.

But  before that, I still have acupuncture on Monday and Chemo on Tuesday.  Hoping all continues to go well.

For Today, I am grateful for the quiet and rest.  I will connect with my higher power here at home.  I will also be returning to bed since I was awake most of the night.  I am so grateful for another day and a sunny one at that.  Three of my kids have stomach flu and so I am praying they recover quickly.  And if you are praying today, please say an extra for my sister Ellen.  She on a rough road now and needs all the prayers and energy we can muster.  Thanks.

ITS FRIDAY

Its Friday and I awoke to Yonah playing with me and his toys in my bed.  What a way to start the day with his gorgeous toothless smile.  That baby’s visit has brought a lot of  hope into my heart and the wish to only get better so I have more time with him and my own children.

It is so hard to believe that the major pain is gone and that I only have small  aches.  I will have another round of accupuncture this afternoon and Jan will join me.  He takes a nap in the chair while we both inhale the zen of the room. LOL.

Rea and family are leaving this morning and so Jan and I will have a quiet weekend alone.  I have been doing some major shopping for basic things for our trip to Israel on Thursday and it has felt so very good to plan for the future.

If the trip to Israel goes OK.  I think I may try to take my Dad to Florida for a few days to see my sister, Ellen.  Travel for her now is impossible and she would love to see my Father.  She had not seen my Mother for three years and then was unable to participate in her funeral and sat shiva alone.

For today, I feel like a real person, not a patient and for that I thank my higher power profusely. I am so grateful for any moment that I have to just be me and enjoy my life.  I continually pray that this will one day be true each day.