A safe place to find comfort in and share words of prayer, healing, and encouragement.
Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 01:15AM
I'm newly diagnosed and grappling with the thought of getting through my first Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Thankfully, perhaps, I will likely be recovering from surgery and won't be at services, but that doesn't mean that I'm not faced with a completely different view on the whole 'who shall live and who shall die' part. I just thought I'd start a thread and see if there's anyone else out there with similar thoughts, or who had experiences to share.
Posts 31 - 60 (88 total)
Sep 28, 2011 02:11PM BarbaraA wrote:
Just stopped by to wish everyone L'Shana Tova.
Sep 28, 2011 03:47PM lewing wrote:
L'shanah tovah. Rachelvk, thanks for starting this thread, and I hope this evening's service is beautiful and meaningful for you. Best wishes for your surgery.
I'm not religious at all - and wasn't raised Jewish, though my partner was - but I do find a lot of meaning in the high holidays . . . more so since my diagnosis. Being diagnosed in January and starting chemo the week after Passover, I was celebrating the end of treatment right around the new year.
Time to head home to put the (mostly cooked) brisket in the oven and slice up some apples for dipping!
Sep 28, 2011 09:00PM rachelvk wrote:
Shana Tova! Wishing you all health, happiness and peace. And thank you so much for sharing this thread. I'll think of you all during services, and will try to remember everyone for the Misheberachs.
Sep 28, 2011 10:06PM toomuch wrote:
L'Shana Tovah. Wishing you all peace, health and happiness in the New Year.
Sep 29, 2011 08:11PM rachelvk wrote:
Made it through Day 1 and felt very good. The only time I started to tear up was when I stood during the prayer for the ill (I thought about everyone here!) and my sister stood next to me holding my hand. She is such a great support for me! And I sang my heart out in the choir.
Early on, I originally posted because of my unease with the prayer about how on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur it is decreed who shall live and who shall die, and one of the interpretations I had heard. In our new prayer book, I found a reading that echoes that and thought I'd post it here:
When we really begin a new year it is decided,
and when we actually repent it is determined:
who shall be truly alive and who shall merely exist;
who shall be happy and who shall be miserable;
who shall attain fulfillment in their day and who shall not attain fulfillment in their day;
who shall be tormented by the fire of ambition and who shall be overcome by the waters of failure;
who shall be pierced by the sharp sword of envy and who shall be torn by the wild beast of resentment;
who shall hunger for companionship and who shall thirst for approval;
who shall be shattered by the earthquake of social change and who shall be plagued by the pressures of conformity;
who shall be strangled by insecurity and who shall be stoned into submission;
who shall be content and who shall wander in search of satisfaction;
who shall be serene and who shall be distraught;
who shall be at ease and who shall be afflicted by anxiety;
who shall be poor in their own eyes and who shall be rich in tranquility;
who shall be brought low with futility and who shall be exalted through achievement.
But repentance, prayer and good deeds have the power to change the character of our lives.
Let us resolve to repent, to pray, and to do good deeds so that we may begin a truly new year.
-- Mahzor Lev Shalem (2010)I've met some incredibly strong and determined women on this site. Looking forward to a year of fulfillment and building bonds of strength and support.
Oct 5, 2011 10:07PM SAB wrote:
I hope everyone had a peaceful and healthy start to the new year. Since most of you ladies are Jewish I thought I would share a suggestion made by a friend this evening. She asked me if I had considered going to the mikvah after radiation, to mark the end of that treatment (and the beginning of the next.) I thought it was a lovely idea, and I do think I will.
On Yom Kippur, may you all be inscribed....
Oct 5, 2011 10:10PM rachelvk wrote:
Susan - That's a neat idea. Gives new meaning to being free of 'uncleanliness.' If there's anything that's vile and impure, it's got to be cancer.
An easy fast (to those who can and will be fasting), and may we all indeed be inscribed!
Oct 6, 2011 01:40AM - edited Oct 6, 2011 01:45AM by Eema
I am SO glad I found this thread--Rachel, thank you so much for starting it. Last year I went into the Chagim very cocky--I felt like I had the world by the balls (sorry) and it was mine for the taking. I didn't spend much time in services, mostly in the hall talking with my girlfriends. Then I got sick--we didn't know what it was and I was sick from Oct 15- Jan. I developed angioedema, meaning my face and throat would swell for no reason. It would swell to the point of anaphylaxis. I almost died in the back of an ambulance, but B"H, I didn't. Then I got breast cancer. They were, of course, related, but no one thought to look when I was having the swelling, even though I had HORRIBLE pain in my chest.
This year has been different. My DS is old enough now to stay in 'groups' so I can daven. Sometimes I can't follow the liturgy due to ADHD, but my tusy is in the seat, and I'm not in the hallway. I also started covering my hair when I go out. I try and make it something that 'fits' the outfit and some of my hair does show, but I figured if that is one type of tshuvah I can do, it is easy, especiall with my gross hair. Since everyone knows I had BC, I think they assume it is just from chemo (but I didn't have to have chemo). Last year I didn't hear all the shofar blows I was supposed to (my rebbitzen says halacha is 30), but this year I did. I didn't go to Yom Kippur services last year as I didn't feel well, but this year I will make the 2.2 mile walk there and back. I wont be able to fast though, so I'm going to just eat and drink what I need to in order to stay upright, and no 'happy foods' like cookies, etc.
I was raised Conservative, then my parents joined a Reform temple and I married my Sephardi husband. I tell everyone it was because of the popcorn and rice on Passover, but that's just a benefit. When the MO asked me if I was Ashkenazi, I told her no,I'm Sephardi now... she is also Jewish and her son goes to the same Jewish day school as mine, so she looked at me with my red/blonde hair and pale skin and told me she doesn't care how I daven, she wants to know my heritage. Yes, that is most definatley Ashkenaz, and cancer is rampant in my grandmother's family. I had melanoma when I was 17, BC at 45, but I am BRCA negative! The genetic doc says I have another sort of cancer mutation that hasn't been identified yet. Lovely.
This year, I plan on making the hike to shul. I don't think I'll do Kol Nidre, even though I love that service, because now my family (husband and son) are observant and it is dangerous for me to walk in the dark. I could fall and pop a boob! I hope my davening reaches His ears.
My rabbi gave a great sermon (d'var) on Shabbat Tchuvah last week. He said that we need to figure out our purpose in life and gave the example of one woman who decided to make cupcakes for a school of differently abled children. Now her efforts have spread to other schools, and more women are makin cupcakes for other children. She has a web site and really is doing something good, a lovely mitzvah, by just doing what she loves to do. It spoke to me deeply. I realized that I need to be a voice for Jewish women in my observant community who feel voiceless. Since I had that moment of inspiration, two women I don't know have sought me out for support. In fact, one wrote me right after that sermon! And I didn't know her from Adam.
May 5772 be a year of health, happiness, and stregnth for us all!
Oct 6, 2011 08:38AM Eema wrote:
Here's a new one for you: Gmar chatimah tova, loosely, may you be inscribed in the book of life for good--can anyone help me? I can't say it in English!
Oct 6, 2011 09:49PM Leah_S wrote:
Eema, G-d will hear your davening wherever you are (but I think you knew that...). What a journey you've had! I, too, was raised in a Reform family but when I was in my late teens I started to keep more and more. It's so deep within me now that I sometimes look back at how I was growing up and wonder, "Did I really do that? How?"
Yom Kippur is starting in less than 12 hours. The soup for our pre-fast meal is cooking, the honey cake for breaking the fast is baked, and my mind is tumbling. Will my davening be the best it can? Will my teshuva do what it needs to do?
I have to learn to accept that I cannot fast on Yom Kippur (onc says not eating is OK but I must drink). For me, the one thing that is harder than fasting on Yom Kippur is - not fasting on Yom Kippur. What makes it harder is knowing that it's unlikely that I'll ever be permitted to fast again.
BC has turned my world around physically and spiritually.
Eema has started a thread in the "Prayers and Spiritual Inspiration" forum called "Jewish Warrior Sisters". This thread has had some wonderful discussions so I hope we can have more on all kinds of topics on this new thread.
G'mar Chatima Tova.
Oct 6, 2011 09:53PM rachelvk wrote:
Leah - Thanks for joining in, and also for pointing out the other one. I knew this one would only be temporary, so it will be nice to have one year-round.
May we all be reminded of the strength and goodness inside and find ways in the coming year to put it to great use.
Oct 7, 2011 09:22AM Eema wrote:
Amen! Remember to be the head and not the tail! G'mar chatimah tova to all of you, inscribed in the book of LIFE! Choose life has more meaning now!
Leah, we have walked similar paths! Where are you in Israel? How long have you been there? By now the fast has started Ba'Aretz... whether or not you are allowed to fast, may your tfillot hit G-d's ears!
I'm so happy we can share this journey together! Thanks, Rachel, for reminding me that tzedekah begins at home! See you on the otherside, Ladies!
Oct 7, 2011 10:02AM - edited Oct 7, 2011 10:03AM by Eema
She's right, evebarry! My son calls me 'Eema', too, as do all his friends! I may only have one biological child, but a lot of kids call me 'Eema'!
Oct 7, 2011 10:18AM exbrnxgrl wrote:
So, on the subject of Hebrew names,I will be a grandmother for the first time in March. Lots of debate on what to be called. DD and SIL are not religious at all. Younger DD is and thinks we should go with Safta or old style Yiddish Bubbie. I kind of lie Bibi, which is common in Afghanistan, or Mimi.
Oct 7, 2011 10:41AM Eema wrote:
Caryn, b'sha'ah tova! How exciting! If it were me, I'd choose safta, but could also be 'nona' which is the Ladino version my DH's Monastirli family used.
My MIL wanted to be 'Gammy,' which is what her kids called her mom. DS couldn't say it, so he named her 'Mimi.' She's been Mimi ever since! But he tried to call my mom 'nana,' which is what my nephew called my grandma (his great-grandma), and she corrected him till he got it:).
Oct 7, 2011 11:43AM SAB wrote:
My kids called my Mom "Bubbe." It was very dear, and it suited her. My DH's Mom was a bit, um, crabby sometimes and she said "Just Grandma, Grandma." And that's what my kids called her! "Grandma Grandma!" I only knew one grandparent due to the war, and I called her "Oomah" as she was German. Congrats to you Caryn!
Oct 7, 2011 11:57AM exbrnxgrl wrote:
Thank you all. We have lots of grandmothers and even a great grandmother still alive so we can't impinge on their names. My younger daughters' fiancé has his "baubie" still alive and she is quite a formidable woman so I think I'll stay away from that nane!
Oct 8, 2011 07:01PM Leah_S wrote:
Caryn, B'sha'ah Tova! Well, I have to admit to a partiality for Savta since that's what all my grandchildren call me. I'm glad I'm not Bubby since I had a unimast and that would make me uniboob bubby. And, by the way, all my kids/in-law kids call me Eema, as does my son's friend.
I didn't fast though technically I had a halachic fast. I drank a very small measured amount every 9 minutes, which is what a person does if they are not permitted to fast (if their health permits this). On the one hand I'm glad I was able to do this and partially fast though it was weird being in shul on Yom Kippur and drinking. I live on a small moshav, though, and just about everyone knows my situation so I didn't feel too self-conscious.
I hope everyone had an easy fast. Shana Tova.
Oct 8, 2011 10:24PM sweatyspice wrote:
A year ago I was a few months out of radiation, my (now former) best friend had not yet tried to kill herself, and another extremely close friend was still alive and fighting lymphoma. I wept a lot today.
One of the rabbis made a comment about the who shall live and who shall die part. We will all die, we just don't know how or when, and the prayer bluntly reminds us of that fact.
BTW, my Ashkenazi grandmother died of BC in the 1960s, my mother has a mass in her breast which she chooses to ignore (so I can't say for certain that it's BC but that would be my hunch), and then there's me - who tested BRCA negative.