We’ve landed. We’re now officially residents of the planet called Cancer. For the next few days, we move quickly from one test to the next, trying to obtain a clearer picture. We encounter the state of uncertainty and try to slow down the rapid beating of our heart, the heart that wants to know, to know right now – will he live or will he die? A ton of thoughts are running around inside my head, spinning out of control.
And Yigal – is weak. All at once, he feels very sick. As if his body had finally gotten the “go-ahead” for what he’s been feeling and repressing for such a long time. “Yes, you’re allowed. It’s for real. You’re sick.” He is hospitalized for a full week. A week that helps him – us – digest the situation and become needy – a word so foreign to us.
It takes a month and a half until the radiation starts. Yigal loses 55 pounds. He is basically fasting, drinking only natural organic juices, together with gallons of natural extracts, at the recommendation of a healer dear to our hearts, who thinks that there is a good chance that this treatment could reduce the tumor. The radiation treatments begin. Thin and tired – both of us – , we sit on the armchairs at Tel Hashomer. A huge room, packed with people like us who have come to avail ourselves of the kindness of the healing rays awaiting us behind the scary door – the one with the “skull and crossbones” sticker.
One day follows another. From radiation to radiation, the body gets weaker. Thanks to Hashem, we’ve found ourselves an island of pure good, where we can put down our tired heads: Ezer Mizion’s Oranit guest home, which saves us the difficult drives home and pampers us with comfortable beds, a spacious suite, and good meals. It gives us a place to rest the aching body, to have some quiet time together, to recharge our batteries, to try and catch our breath. We encounter an entire world of chessed that works tirelessly with one goal in mind: to ease our plight as much as they can. They drive us back and forth to the hospital and even provide psychological therapy to help us come to terms with the new reality.
And at home – the children. We thought we could protect the children, isolate them from the challenges of this world, wrap them in soft cotton, put off as long as possible the encounter with the tough side of this world, enable them to cavort in their childishness and not to grow up too fast. So we thought.
All at once, their strength comes out, little and big. Calm, cheery mornings are recorded in photos that they send to us, trying to conquer the distance from the hospital to our home. They gladden our souls and fill our hearts: Lively shouts from the pool, the table set for supper, hugs, funny faces, a cup of hot cocoa…all sent electronically enabling us to share in their lives. A special togetherness that they created in our absence.
Sharing with us from afar, they come close, close to our hearts, moving, amazing, sharpening and reframing our view of their capacities, of how much they are capable of doing. We realize that we have no real way of controlling what happens with them or with us in this world. If so, perhaps it would be better for us to let them fly, grow from the challenges, learn about themselves, become aware of the tremendous strength within them. We are really awed by them. We see them on rare moments. They are growing.
We are beginning to see that this unexpected journey is taking us and our sweet family to places we never saw before. The Driver is HaKodesh Boruch Hu (G-d), his employees are the angelic Ezer Mizion messengers who arrive at our doorstep to do what we are no longer capable of doing: homework with the kids, shopping for shoes, a fun trip here and there, Ezer Mizion’s summer camp for the whole family to re-bond together. We accept it all, knowing that it is Hashem’s plan for us now. Someday we hope to be on the giving end. Please, Hashem, please, Hashem, please…
To be continued.