Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

More Chemotherapy...An Update

A few weeks ago I posted (HERE) about a good friend going through a big challenge after being diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma (LMS). On Sunday, 14 July, my friend was back in the Chemo-chair.

The week before her hair began to literally "fly off" as she put it. She said she was sitting in front of the fan and the hairs began to fly through the hair. A quick trip to her hairdresser and it was shaved down to about one millimeter. She also decided to buy a hat. A sensible decision as we are currently going through a heatwave and sun is not good for chemo patients. 

As a witness to her treatments I am beginning to notice many things. For instance, hair just dries up and falls off. She had a loose end sticking up and when I touched it it just slipped off into my fingers. She said she is bothered by the mess due to shedding, but not that it is falling out~she has never been the slightest bit vain and I see it even more now.

When sitting in the hospital for the latest treatment she was advised that they will give her two more sessions. As I understand it, they do two weeks treatment, one week break. She is booked for a CT scan and we are all praying that the Chemo has worked and the lesions have shrunk, if not totally vanished.

Watching my friend over the past months I have a new respect. We have known each other for years, but I see another aspect to her personality. She works very hard to keep an upbeat attitude and does not moan and groan about her lot in life. She has such a positive outlook that others notice and it seems to put people more at ease. She does try to maintain a normal life while dealing with the endless paperwork, appointments, prescriptions, etc. etc. All this while coping with fatigue, nausea, lack of appetite to name a few. I think she is doing great!

As I said in the last post she tries to update her blogs. She has three, one in English ( HERE ) and two in German ( HERE ) and ( HERE ). She also posts on her YouTube Channel

Please do pay a visit to her sites. A word of encouragement, or a small gift towards her expenses would be greatly appreciated. But, most important, please keep her in your prayers...

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

How Do You Help A Friend?

The Start of the Day...
I have a good friend who is undergoing a traumatic experience. Having never been sick her entire life, she discovered she had a tumor in her stomach. Within days she was in surgery. 

They removed a tumor almost 30cm and weighing 6 kilograms~huge~in fact it was one of the largest removed at Shaare Zedek hospital! It had destroyed her reproductive organs and badly damaged her kidneys. The specialist was pleased the kidneys were saved but she had to have a stent in for several weeks.

She was in hospital eleven days. Then she was told that the biopsy diagnosis was Leiomyosarcoma (LMS). It is a recurring soft tissue sarcoma that does not go away and in fact continuously recurs all over the body, except, oddly enough in the breast tissue. CT Scans must be done every three months.

Just months after the surgery she had a spot show on her lung. Three months later it had doubled in size and a new stomach lesion appeared. The doctors are attempting a harsh series of chemotherapy treatments in the hope that if her body can tolerate the treatment it will shrink the lesions. This will never end~my friend is facing a continuous series of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.

My question is, how can one be of help? You can't keep saying "be positive" when you are standing on the outside watching the progress of the treatments for this disease. I seems to me that:- when your hair is falling out, you are nauseous all day and night, have no taste or appetite, and no energy to even stand up, someone telling you to be positive is ludicrous! She told me this week that the only thing she feels like eating is mustard~I have no response to that!

All in all she seems to be handling it well, and really trying to be up beat and even a bit active, but she is scared~who would not be! What I am really looking for is ways to be helpful. I go with her for the hospital treatments, try to bring things like food, etc., but I am limited in my own resources. She obviously can't work, and disability here is not overly generous. 

How do people who live alone survive? How can we help? I am open to all suggestions. 

In the meantime, if you are interested in following her case she is trying to keep her blogs updated on treatment and benefits for disabilities. She blogs in English ( HERE ) and in German ( HERE ) and ( HERE ) and posts updates on her YouTube Channel. Please do pay a visit to her sites.

I would also like to emphasize that during this difficult time she is in great need of financial assistance. The hardest thing when one is so ill is to also worry about not being able to work and pay the rent or buy food. So, if you are able, please visit one of her sites~the English site is called Shearim, and click on the Donate button to buy her a coffee (or some mustard!  Most of all...Please Pray!

Israel, Jerusalem, Judaism, Zionism, Middle East, Aliyah, Conversion, and everything else that pops up