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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I'm Fine...

 I should probably be worried that what I'm about to write is going to upset you and leave some people wondering or worried that they said or did the wrong thing. I have no fear. I can't hold back. How am I feeling? I'm surprised at the amount of times per day that I'm asked that question. Seriously? How do you think I'm feeling? Do you really want to know? How long do you have?

I hate myself for feeling low, for wasting a perfect moment on worrying about tomorrow. I feel sad counting down the days to chemotherapy day.  Tomorrow. Again. I don't want to throw away time to cry and wallow. I should have a life.

I wonder if when people see me or think of me, the first thing that comes to mind is, poor her. "How is she really feeling?" I wonder if people think, how sick is she? Is she going to live? Or die? Will it be soon?  As soon as I hear the question, I freeze inside.... "How are you feeling?"

Yes, it's awkward to be that person; the one with cancer. It used to just be annoying but now it's infuriating to listen to the mundane babble about the stupid things that people worry and complain about. Things that waste time and effort. Petty things that feel like being slapped across the face because I only wish I could worry about such nonsense.

I wish I could realistically muse about graduations and Bar Mitzvahs, making weddings and becoming a grandmother someday.

I realize how natural and normal it is to want to ask that question.... It's automatic like, how are you? Only it's not exactly like that. It's how are you feeling.
Still here. 
Still have cancer.
Fill in the blank ________________.

I've been in the middle of a happy carefree activity, almost completely forgotten that I have a life threatening illness, and a text message comes up on my phone: How are you feeling?
BOOM! Smack!
...and I know the intentions are good and pure. I guess when anyone thinks of me these days, they think of cancer and illness. That's sad for them (sadder for me fyi)....

Just the other day, someone said, "You look so healthy! Last time you did chemo, you looked awful, but this time you look great!". People actually say things like that to me. In some ways I appreciate their honesty and it sure beats hearing about the (insert person they know of ) who died of cancer. On the bright side, at least they're not asking me a question that I'm sick of pretending to answer.

I'm so sad now because I know I'll feel worse tomorrow and the next day.  I want to dwell on the happiness and reflect on those weeks I took a break from this dreadful reality of chemo and cancer and dying.

I've been very open about every step of this cancer journey. I have no issue being public. Keeping things real.  Just please stop asking me how I'm feeling. I have nothing new to say.


  1. Ahava Emunah, sending good vibes your way.

    Can you give an example what people have said to you that showed they cared and made you feel good so we can make the happylanche continue to flow?

    1. I certainly don't want to make people walk on eggshells around me... I'm such an open person and I'm not secretive or overly private about my illness. There comes a time when repeatedly asking someone with advanced metastatic cancer, "How are you feeling?" is redundant. We all know I have stage 4 cancer. It's public knowledge which I've never tried to sugar coat or hide. You can say anything to me or say nothing... just please don't force yourself to ask how I'm feeling. Being asked that over and over and over again feels like being massaged in the wrong spot repeatedly...

  2. How are you rocking your day?
    Not sure if that's better or worse but sounds like more fun.

  3. I have deep emotion for u...and i believe that there r no correct words....just love and belief in the power of what it is you believe....i saw ur photo through your uncle larry's facebook and in reading what was said I did go to your page....I teared for are beautiful...and in my thoughts.

  4. I certainly don't have any words that I would feel are "correct"...I don't even know you...however, I saw you on your Uncle Larry's facebook. I read things you wrote and went to your page. I then knew you were a "fighter"....good for U!!! I will admit I know Larry well and I teared for you. To me....I love the word "BELIEVE"...we come from different faiths...but we have the same God...God is there...though we don't always get will remain in my heart.

  5. Bev and I found this video over Chol HaMoed (actually, Nachi found it and sent it to us) and it made us think of you! Enjoy this "shout out" from Chicago! #happylanche

  6. Ahava Emunah, I admire you, I feel ashamed because I keep feeling sorry for meself.

    You are teaching me so much, I love you, I do not know you, but I love you, you are such a beautiful person. I am really meaning what I type here.
    I see your picture, and you light my life up, and make me stop feeling sorry for myself.Always in my heart you are.
    Hashem bless you and yours.



    2. Thank you, Lucille.
      But Ahava, she is really someone special.
      Lucille, you also sent a warmth of love to me. LOVE... that is all mankind needs.

      Hashem bless you Lucille, and all who come to Ahuva's Blog, and take away so much goodness from her. I know, I do.

      Stella c.

    3. Stella...thank you so much...and i will be having you in my thoughts as you heal!

      I only know of Ahava...but I love her for all she says and gives..and just because I do.

  7. I admire your honesty and strength and you continue to be a source of inspiration to me and my family.

  8. I get it. I guess it's a reflex.
    I used to get worked up over that question years ago simply because I felt compelled ti answer what ever it was I wad feeling that day or moment and than I would note the surprise on the face of the person asking. They didn't really want to know. It was just a greeting.

    In your case I believe they do want to know. They do care and despite full knowledge of what yoy are dealing with they still ask because perhaps thier hoping that you are still feeling relatively well in spite of chemo or that they honestly are trying to show empathy.

    I sometimes think thed mundane activities can offer a form of distraction.

    I love what anonymous wrote. I too am ashamed. I have no real reason to feel sorry for my self and you know....


  9. Thinking of you....Naomi Helfand

  10. Great post. I appreciate your honesty mixed with humor and, of course, how you keep things real. I like the video too. Thanks for sharing.

  11. It is a strange question after awhile. Particularly, as you say, when in a good moment and whisked out of it by those words. I feel it too.

  12. I think it might be hard for people who haven't been there to know how to share your journey with you. When they meet you on teh street, or just want to touch base would a typical "Hey, how ya doin'?" greeting be too coarse? Would asking pointed questions about your medical saga, based on knowledge gained via FB or your blog ("so, when's your next chemo appt?") be too invasive? Would describing their own life journey at that moment - be it a simcha, a (lesser) illness, a challanging child, etc... - be insensitive?

    I'm guessing that "How are you feeling?" strikes people as a happy medium.

    Maybe "Have an easy day" would be good substitute...

    Shabbat Shalom

    1. Some people get it and some people don't. That's okay. I guess if you don't know me personally than its a better idea not to randomly text message me and ask how I'm feeling. Tell me you're thinking of me or whatever but the question just might land on me at the wrong moment. That's probably a hazard of sharing so much so publicly but then again a huge blessing that I have this forum to do so. I feel so grateful and blessed to have so many caring and wonderful people on my life

  13. Have a good GOD BLESSED SUNNY or CLOUDY DAY!!

  14. as for New's sunny and cool...every day has it's own blessings!!

  15. Hi - I don't know you, but I just wanted to tell you that I'm sending love and prayers to you!
    Leah Goodman

  16. Rachely SchlossFriday, April 25, 2014

    I'm sending you love, Ahava Emunah. I wish you to always be enveloped in it. Your truth touches and amazes me. They are both amazing powers - love and truth. I wish you soft truths too, whatever that means, a real existence that is also coated with reassurance and softness.
    David Hamelech and his Tehillim are accessed too, every single day.
    Hugs - as strong as you want them to be.