19 Days Later

19 days since my cancer diagnosis and still no word. I have been refreshing my inbox every five minutes, hoping for an email from my oncologist. The volume on my ringer is up high, as I sit alone in my apartment, waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for answers.

Today, I just feel such despair. I feel like they are just letting me die. It has been seven days since my liver biopsy and I have no information, no answers, no hope. Every day that I don’t have treatment is another opportunity for the cancer cells to grow, to invade another bone or organ.

The PET CT showed that I have cancer cells in my liver, spleen, the neck bone, my spine, my pelvis and right femur. Where else is this cancer?

G-d, sometimes I wish I were more Israeli. An Israeli wouldn’t wait patiently like this, they would be down at the hospital, screaming and yelling for answers. What I really want to do? I want to camp out outside pathology and stay there until someone gives me the results. I want to stare at each and every person walking in and out of that department; I want to hold up a sign that says “the longer it takes for you to look at my results, the closer I am to dying. I have three kids, will you let me die?”

I am raging inside, yet I’m a good little American and so I’m calm and composed. I walk around, run errands, pick my kids up from school, go to work, but inside I am a complete basket case.

I don’t feel strong, I just feel angry. And all I keep hearing about is “state of mind.” How my state of mind will help with the battle against cancer. How I need to stay positive and have hope. Its been 19 days since my diagnosis and I have no answers, I haven’t started treatment so essentially, I’m not even in the battle. I’m still stuck on the sidelines, waiting. Tell me how am I supposed to feel hope?

Last night was the last time I pick up the phone to tell someone that I have cancer. Do you have any idea how awful that is for me? This is why I’ve been blogging. Why I told people via email. Telling someone face to face was torture, telling someone over the phone was just as bad. I’m not going to do it anymore. My cancer diagnosis is only a secret from my children, I honestly don’t care how many people know. Especially if the people who do know can either 1) help make my life easier once I start treatment or 2) care about me and my family and will keep us in their prayers.

I have no choice, I just have to keep on. I have to pick up the kids from school, take them to swim practice, then come home and work. I have a sink full of dishes that needs washing and an overflowing laundry basket that needs to be sorted. I have four conference calls that I need to prep and attend, and a mountain of Chanukah presents that need to be wrapped.

Robert Frost has never been my favorite poet but I just keep thinking about “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and this refrain keeps going in a loop in my head.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

I don’t want to die.

Please daven for me: Shira Batya bat Chaya Yehudit



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