I’m a survivor. I can say that now, as it’s almost one year since I was diagnosed with cancer.
I had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and just last month, my oncologist confirmed that I’m in remission.
It has been a difficult year for all of us. Although we don’t usually go to synagogue, we are going this year as a family. We have a lot to be thankful for this Rosh Hashanah.
Neither my husband nor I have been to High Holiday services since we were married almost 30 years ago. This ordeal has renewed my faith. It’s funny how we don’t pray for anything until we’re in big trouble.
I’m not even sure which synagogue we’ll attend, but we’re all in agreement that this is the year our family will have many new beginnings.
I’m so very thankful to my kids, their spouses and my friends for their never-ending support through this difficult time. But I’m especially thankful to my husband, who took time off his job to come to appointments and stood literally by my side while I travelled down this unfamiliar road.
I’m thankful for the doctors, nurses and technicians I met along the way. Each and every one of them had so much knowledge and skill that I actually felt lucky.
In a way, I expected the people, in my life to be there for me, but what was unexpected was my renewed faith in God, which is where I turned when I was most scared. We got pretty close in those difficult days, me and God.
I’m writing this so that my story will give hope to others in my situation.
I also found out a few months ago that my only daughter is pregnant with our first grandchild, and I will be here to enjoy it.
That’s the best new beginning ever!
Also, I’m thankful for the little things, like having my CJN back. Now I have somewhere to tell my story, if you choose to print it.
Dear New Beginnings
Having a brush with your own mortality has a way of changing you.
The doctors and nurses did their job to get you where you are today, but you had to do your part by staying healthy both physically and spiritually.
These two elements work together to make you whole, happy and healthy again.
Your family, too, had much to deal with and found their way to cope while supporting you. They had to hold it together in front of you, but you can be sure they were scared and felt as helpless as you.
You cannot separate the power of spiritual motivation from physical strength. They are connected.
I’m sure there were many nights when you felt alone and isolated and didn’t want to share your thoughts with your family. It’s those times when you return to your faith.
Prayer is powerful and it’s quite probable that everyone who is close to you made their own connection with their faith throughout your ordeal.
I’m quite sure many “deals” were made with God during those difficult times.
Prayer, faith and religion are different for everyone, but one thing they all have in common is hope.
People pray for health, for prosperity, for people less fortunate and for those living through war and poverty.
Some pray for answers and some for material things, while others pray to feel connected or because it’s mandated by their religion.
It’s all tied to hope and that’s what keeps us going.
Prayer is as individual as a snowflake.
Congratulations on beating cancer, on renewing your faith and on your new grandchild.
May you and your family have a happy, healthy and sweet new year.
And to all my readers and their families, may 5774 bring the blessing of happiness, joy and peace for all mankind.
Shanah Tovah U’Metukah.
Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ella is not a professional counsellor. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.