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Jewish Warrior Sisters

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  • orangemat
    orangemat Member Posts: 368
    edited October 2011
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    We built a sukkah this year, as we do every year, but we haven't set foot in it, unfortunately. With my husband's traveling and other conflicting family schedules, it just hasn't worked out. This really isn't like us. Maybe in light of my diagnosis and surgeries and all this year, certain priorities are just falling by the wayside? Or maybe we're just plain tired to do it all. [sigh]

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,868
    edited October 2011
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    Another Californian, here. I live in San Jose but was born and raised in the Bronx. My parents and brother and his family are all in NJ. My younger daughter and fiancé work for the JCC in Los Gatos. Quite a ruckus this year when the sukkah was put up incorrectly but all was well in the end and the kids from the pre-school decorated it beautifully.

    Caryn

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2011
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    Wow...

    So great to see so many of us ...I am really not as religious as some of you but do observe many holidays..

    I am just over three years since diagnosis..But still undergoing reconstruction due to having my second mastectomy last April ( prophylactic) ..This one was because a radiologist scared the crap out of me for no reason due to scar tissue and I said no more ..just take it off. No regrets..

    I have had many complications along the way but I call all this reconstuction stuff..Fluff. My cancer is gone ..

    Hugs

    Francine

  • orangemat
    orangemat Member Posts: 368
    edited October 2011
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    Thanks for your perspective, Francine. Fluff, eh? I'm only 7 months out from diagnosis, 3 months since my last surgery, and so the prospect of having revision surgery seriously depresses me. I really thought I was done, ya know? I mean, the cancer was gone and the reconstruction was completed... Having the patience to let time pass is what's challenging me the most right now, I think.

    My basic advice (being trained as a yoga teacher) to people in times of stress is to b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Sometimes I just need that advice given to me as well.

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    edited October 2011
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    I wouldn't quite call the recon fluff - but I think it can be frustrating when that becomes the main topic of discussion instead of "let's get this lump that can kill you out of you ASAP." I'm very glad there are so many options for women compared with the past, but I felt in my case it was a bit of a detour in finalizing plans (I'm a lousy decision maker to boot!), so I'm having surgery over 2 months past dx and 3 months past finding it. The doctors all reassured me, but when you're triple negative (and "aggressive" form), it makes me nervous.

    I don't do yoga (but might pick it up now), but I have learned the benefits of breathing... 

  • pessa
    pessa Member Posts: 137
    edited October 2011
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    I am staying with my sister in Highland Park, NJ.  I come with my kids every Sukkot and Pesach.

    SAB--thanks for your good wishes.

    Happy Simchat Torah to all..............

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2011
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    RachekVK..I can understand the confusion after original diagnosis.I too knew nothing at the time. I waited two months till all decisions could be made..

    But fluff is what I call the eight surgeries I have had due to the recontruction..I have had  three tissue expanders,the  MRSA virus and a few rounds of necrosis. I even had a hole in my chest after my first necrosis.But we must move on..

    But I have taken all in stride..soon I will have this TE taken out and then probably a revision.

    Once again I am ahppy the cancer is gone and I am living my life. ladies there is a light at the end of the tunnel .Yes sometimes the tunnel does look rather long.

    Good luck to all.

    Francine

  • Eema
    Eema Member Posts: 403
    edited October 2011
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    Hi Girls,

    Chag sameach!  I hope all of you are enjoying the chag!  We haven't had one meal in our sukkah, but I hope we can have dinner in there tonight.  

    I'm getting very nervous about my biopsy tomorrow and hysterectomy next week.  Of course, my last period had to start a week early and be heavier and more painful than it has been in months.  A last hurrah, I suppose.  I wasn't this nervous about my BMX!  I've put off a lot of things, and now just have to clean the house to make myself a little sane, even though I'm not supposed to.  Hope you are all doing well!

  • SAB
    SAB Member Posts: 1,121
    edited October 2011
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    Eema, If I were there I would throw myself in front of the vacuum to stop you, but since I'm not I'll just remind you to go slowly and gently.

  • Leah_S
    Leah_S Member Posts: 1,929
    edited October 2011
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                      GILAD IS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am crying and rejoicing and frightened at the implications of the exchange but he is home.

    ברוך מתיר אסורים

    Leah

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2011
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    Great news ladies...Gilad is home..

    Eema...is the biopsy laproscopic? My friend recently had one and did fine..What is the biopsy of? I do hope all goes well.

    Hugs,

    Francine

  • SAB
    SAB Member Posts: 1,121
    edited October 2011
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  • hrf
    hrf Member Posts: 706
    edited October 2011
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    Gilad is home!! A big price to pay but glad he is finally home

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    edited October 2011
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    Are we looking forward to Simchat Torah? I'm looking at it as one last spiritual celebration before surgery. I have a feeling dancing with the Torah is going to have special meaning this year.

    Good news about Gilad. After hearing his name for years at Saturday morning services, it's amazing he is alive and well - and home now!

  • BlairK
    BlairK Member Posts: 11
    edited October 2011
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    Dear Eema - My wife just had a double mastectomy on Friday October 14th.  I am Jewish and my wife is Roman Catholic.  I made sure that both religions came in to play for my wife's breast cancer.  I went with my wife to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC to pray.  And the day before the surgery I prayed the Mi Sheberakh - see below - with my wife and kids.  In any event, good luck to you.  BlairK

    The prayer in English translation

    May the One who blessed our ancestors --

    Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,

    Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah --

    bless and heal the one who is ill:

    ________________ son/daughter of ________________ .

    May the Holy Blessed One

    overflow with compassion upon him/her,

    to restore him/her,

    to heal him/her,

    to strengthen him/her,

    to enliven him/her.

    The One will send him/her, speedily,

    a complete healing --

    healing of the soul and healing of the body --

    along with all the ill,

    among the people of Israel and all humankind,

    soon,

    speedily,

    without delay,

    and let us all say:  Amen!

    The prayer in Hebrew transliteration

    Mi Sheberakh

    Avoteinu: Avraham, Yitzhak, v'Yaakov,

    v'Imoteinu: Sarah, Rivka, Rachel v'Leah,

    Hu yivarekh virapei

    et haholeh/haholah _____________ ben/bat ______________

    HaKadosh Barukh Hu

    yimalei rahamim alav/aleha,

    l'hahalimo/l'hahlimah,

    u-l'rap'oto/u-l'rap'otah,

    l'hahaziko/l'hazikah,

    u-l'hay-oto/u-l'hay-otah.

    V'yishlah lo/lah bim-hera

    r'fuah shlemah,

    r'fu-at hanefesh u-r'fu-at hagoof,

    b'tokh sh'ar holei Yisrael v'holei yoshvei tevel,

    hashta ba'agalah u-vizman kariv,

    v'no-mar, Amen!

  • SAB
    SAB Member Posts: 1,121
    edited October 2011
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    Rachel-Does your temple unroll the Torah?  I was at a special service once where the entire congregation made a giant circle around the shul and the scroll was unrolled--we touched the torah with bare hands--goosbump time.  

    BlairK-How beautiful that your family embraces each other's traditions.  Here is a contemporary version of the Mi shebeirach (english part only)

    May the source of strength

    Who blessed the ones before us

    Help us find the courage

    to make our lives a blessing

    and let us say, amen.

    Bless those in need of healing

    with r'fu'a sh'lei-ma

    The renewal of body,

    the renewal of spirit,

    and let us say, amen.

    It was interpreted by Debbie Freidman, who suffered a long term illness herself and passed earlier this year.  

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,522
    edited October 2011
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    I just found this thread and happy to find it....Chag Sameach.....my kids left today to go home to Toronto...we had a wonderful first days of Sukkot with them....I miss them already.....lots of cooking and company in the Sukkah.....tonight was soup and bread.....These last days will be less cooking....I have challah in the freezer....need to do some baking to take to lunch on Thursday and cook shabbat meals...we are invited out tomorrow....a lot to get done tomorrow before candle lighting (I work all day)....

    Leah...I hear you about trying to find the balance between doing too much and normalcy in our lives....I'm glad that you are doing well....We are going to Columbus the beginning of November for our nieces bat mitzvah...DH said he wanted to save the miles in case I want to go to Israel next summer....now if that wasn't an endorsement for me to go.....so once I get DD camp dates, I will start mentally preparing another summer trip to Israel......I was so depressed after I got home....it was a wonderful 3 1/2 weeks.....

    Couldn't be a better way to go into Simchat Torah than with Gilad being home....what a blessing!!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful last days and happy Simchat Torah...my favorite holiday as it holds so many memories for me as a young child....Hugs, Karen

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,522
    edited October 2011
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    Pessa....a friend of ours, their son just got engaged to a girl from Highland Park, NJ....also this past summer when my DD#2 flight was cancelled on the way home from camp stayed with a family in Highland Pk.  Small world.

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    edited October 2011
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    I thought some of you might be interested in a book I got several years ago: Hours of Devotion: Fanny Neuda's Book of Prayers for Jewish Women. It was originally written in German in the mid-1800s, and a new translation by Dinah Berland came out a few years ago. There's a wonderful prayer for during a long illness, and other inspirational writings - and this from a woman who lived 150 years ago! The one prayer is too long to completely write out, but here is an excerpt:

    My G-d and Creator, bowed down and broken

    From my long suffering, I appear before you

    To seek your protection, your strength and your help.

    O, this condition robs my heart of all spirit and joy

    And allows bitter, painful feelings to arise within me.

    And body’s frailty can be

    A sorry influence on my soul.

    Often I become irritable or easily excited;

    Often I become frustrated with my environment,

    Impatient with what you have sent me

    And what you have decreed,

    At these moments I forget how all that comes to us,

    Even the painful and difficult,

    Flows from you eternal compassion and wisdom

    And is intended only for our redemption...

     

    After every winter, you bring forth

    the gentle breath of spring;

    So too will you enliven my sapped strength

    With the fresh breeze of well-being, bringing me

    To renewed life, renewed works, and renewed labor

    In the circle of my loved ones and friends.

     

    Oh, so may you let it be for me.

    May the reviving dew of your grade

    Soon shower down on me,

    Bringing me your mercy, saving me,

    And uplifting me with your love. Amen.

  • Leah_S
    Leah_S Member Posts: 1,929
    edited October 2011
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    Rachel, thank you for writing out that prayer.

    Karen, I'm so glad to hear you're thinking of coming next summer! I look forward to seeing you again and hope this time you can come out to the moshav. And Francine, let me know when you're coming - I don't want to miss seeing you this time.

    Simchat Torah will be a little easier in terms of preparations. My married kids all want to stay home so the only ones here will be my two youngest. I'll be keeping the menu simple since we all want to spend the holiday dancing, not home eating!

    I have found Simchat Torah to be a bit difficult in the past. 8 years ago a friend of mine who had uterine cancer was hospitalized over Simchat Torah. In order to enable her DH to be at home with their kids I spent the chag in the hospital with her. It was an amazing day. We spent a lot of time talking about really serious spiritual issues and also spent a lot of time laughing together about a lot of things. A few times we were laughing so loudly the nurses would come running because they thought someone was crying! Loud laughter like that is not something you expect to hear on the oncology ward. Let me tell you, it was the best Simchat Torah I ever had - there was more simcha and more Torah than any other time. My friend passed away a few months later and for years afterwards the holiday was so painful because of the memories I had - it was a more difficult day than her yartzeit. The year I was diagnosed it was, ironically, the first time since my friend's death that I felt simchat chag. I had found the lump just before Yom Kippur, which made it a day of davening deeply in ways I never had before.That evening I was speaking with a young man I know who works with cancer patients and he made the comment, "No one realizes how much the families suffer. Everyone knows how much the person with cancer suffers but no one thinks about the families". After he said that I decided not to tell anyone about it until after the chagim were over. On Simchat Torah that year I felt at peace with myself. I felt that, no matter what the diagnosis was, my family had been able to celebrate all the chagim fully, without worry.

    Leah

  • Eema
    Eema Member Posts: 403
    edited October 2011
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    Leah, how thoughtful! Many of us, me especially, dont realize the impact cancer can have on the family. I know I sure didnt until my aunt called me to tell me she had been hospitalized because she was so worried about me!



    I'm so thrilled for Gilad to be home! I am also very, very sad for the parents and families of those whose loved-ones' murderers were released. It is such a bittersweet moment. I cried this morning at the thought of Gilad waking up in his own warm bed and the nachat his Eema must have felt cooking breakfast for him. The first implulse when I saw how pale and frail he was was, "Misken, I want to feed him!" Baruch Hashem he is with people who love him! I'll bet he will be amazed at how klal Yisrael prayed for his safe return!



    So the biopsy I'm having is endometrial, a procedural thing before I evict the girls downstairs next week. I'm very nervous about this one, much more than i was for any of the procedures on my boobies! My ovaries have long been frenemies to me, but I always thought I would have another child late in life like Sara Eemainu. I had my DS at 40 after a long struggle with my malfunctioning ovaries. It is very much a fear of the unknown. The mystery illness I had last year was estrogen driven, so the operation is very much a needed thing, I'm just not at peace with it yet. Without ovaries or uterus, there is no way I'm going to feel another child kicking me in the bladder. This loss, I'm mourning. This Shmeni Atzeret I don't even know if I will be able to walk to shul! And we just moved in to a new shul 13 years in the making! Simchat Torah will be REALLY a simcha this year! I hope by tomorrow night and Friday I can make the .7 mile walk.



    I need to stop putting off my shower and get my tushy in gear for the biopsy. If you are the Davening type, I'm Miriam Raizel bat Hinda Leah (a nice Sephardi name:)). Thanks. Ladies in Israel, since your prayers are closer to the Source, I so appreciate you putting in a good word for me, not that those in any other part of the world are less valid...



    Oy. I'm dawdling. Ok, fine, I'm going!

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    edited October 2011
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    SAB - No, we don't unroll the Torah, but I've been to places that do. It is fascinating to see it all open like that.

    Leah - Yes, sometimes I think it's good for us to think of our families and how our situation affects them. That was a wonderful gift you gave them.

    Eema - I'll definitely keep you in my prayers as you approach this particularly difficult part in your life. I will likely be given up my ovaries in the near future, and I've never had the blessing of children, which I think has been the hardest reality for me to face. I hope you can enjoy being in the new shul - that is always such a wonderful time to celebrate in a new space. Wishing you strength for the walk. 

  • pessa
    pessa Member Posts: 137
    edited October 2011
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    Karen,

    My neice, from Highland Park, just got engaged.  I wonder if she might be engaged to your friend??

    Will send you a PM.

    chag sameach

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2011
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    Hi Ladies,

    Enjoy reading your daily messages..

    I am not that religoius but still enjoy learning from you ..

    This Sunday will be the unveiling of the stones for both my brother and my dear nephew.BTW my SIL was responsible for the unveiling and I guess she just put it off.I can never figure her out.

    My brother died three and a half years ago of pancreatic cancer ..and my nephew had dysautonomia..He was 28 years old but lived a very full life for a child as sick as he was. I must thank any of you orthodox women ,your families too and Chai Lifeline ( if anyone is familiar) who embraced my nephew and made the last years of his life a real pleasure. He even became the best man at an orthodox wedding.He was so loved by so many..He is surely missed . He even spent twelve days in Israel a year before his death thru Birthright Israel's handicapped group. In Jerusalem so many came to see him that they gave him a private room.

    Eema..good luck with your surgery..

    Leah..I will definitely look you up when I come to Israell. I will be there a year from today..

    Hugs,

    Francine

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    edited October 2011
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    Francine - I'm sorry to learn of your losses. It sounds as though your nephew was surrounded by wonderful, understanding and caring people.

    I'm also sort of mourning today - bordering on downright anger. I found out today that the world lost a beautiful, inspring voice yesterday. The cantorial intern who was at our synagogue last year and had continued some work with our Hebrew School this year died yesterday - I haven't heard much, since the note went out right before sundown, but apparently it was cardiac related. NO NO NO NO NO!!! I'm tired of seeing and hearing about young people with so many gifts to give being taken from us!!!! I want to believe that there's some grand reason, or some sense to it all, but sometimes it just simply is unfair.

  • SAB
    SAB Member Posts: 1,121
    edited October 2011
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    My father died erev Yom Kippur and my mother used to comfort herself by saying the most special people passed during the holidays.

  • Caya
    Caya Member Posts: 46
    edited October 2011
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    Nice to see a group for MOT.

    I'm 5 years out now from triple+ BC.  I live in Thornhill, Ontario (just north of Toronto).

    I wish a happy Simchas Torah to all, extra happy this year because of the return of Gilad Shalit.

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2011
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    Hi,

    I'm not orthodox..Just a culturally observant Jew..

    Hugs,

    Francine

  • SAB
    SAB Member Posts: 1,121
    edited October 2011
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    Shabbat shalom to everyone.  My hubby is back from a biz trip, I finished rads and the weekend is here. Ahhh...

    Crusader, I was raised Orthodox, but it seems like a dream to me now.  My kids went to a Conservative school, and I attend a Reform temple. It's all beautiful to me.

  • crusader1
    crusader1 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2011
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    Shabbat shalom,

    SAB ..thks for the nice comments.Congrats on finishing your rads..

    I guess after sundown more will come to say hello..

    Hugs

    Francine