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Monday, June 19, 2017

Sponge, Mirrors, and #Happylanche

There are days when I feel the physical burden of constant torture - too many people suffering, too much pain.

I still believe that it's all for the good. 
I still believe that everything happens for a reason. 
I just don't know what the reasons are. 

In my world, I experience so much kindness, love, and support from family, friends, community, and strangers. 

Being on the other side of suffering; seeing my friends suffering whether it be from illness, the illness of a loved one, divorce, financial crisis, depression.... or any number of reasons - is perhaps even worse. I'm a mirror - reflecting pain. What's especially tortuous, is marinating in and soaking up the anguish, fear, and agony like an emotional sponge.

I imagine that many people feel this way in reaction to the pain of others. We hurt from within - even if it's for strangers on a different continent. 

I know the helplessness of literally not being able to "take away" the pain of someone you care about.

Life is painful. It doesn't take away from the joy and the gratitude and the love. The pain strengthens my faith - doesn't diminish it. My faith is solid yet it doesn't ease the pain I feel for others.

Lately, more and more reasons to ache arise: terror attacks around the world, baseless hatred towards different groups of people, the challenges that people in my inner circle must suffer (for reasons unknown). 

It all became too much recently and I exploded.

I experienced an explosion of my physical body; an actual manifestation of human emotions that could no longer coexist with seeking my #Happylanche s.... and positivity. My soul simply couldn't coexist with my body and I fell to the ground in a pile of physical affliction and disassociation.

First my face, hands, and feet became numb. Later, I felt like my limbs were dismembering from my body. I became a floating skull - the only proof that my body was still here were the hugs and hands of my dear friend, who came rushing to my side, and my husband. What a hopeless picture... how helpless my explosion must have made my husband feel as I screamed, cried, and writhed around on the floor.

I was somehow lifted or perhaps I flew, floated, or swam to my bedroom. I somehow arrived at my bed, where I collapsed.

Later I found myself in the emergency room with excruciating abdominal pain and some medical irregularities. I was home by midnight, thanks to another dear friend who accompanied me to the hospital.

No need for too many details.

I reached a new crossroad. Chemotherapy-resistant metastatic persistent disease. I've known this for quite a long time. This is when grasping at straws ensues and the insurance companies start questioning each and every test - as if to say, "You're still alive?" or, "We don't need to waste anymore money on you, honey, you're on your way out...". 

HOLD ON a moment there! Not so fast!

The time has come to think completely outside of the box of protocols. I've used them all up.

For anyone following my journey from close or afar... this is why I recently spent a week in San Diego, California, meeting with oncologists at UCSD Medical Center. That's where I'll restart my treatment - or continue my treatment with new and experimental regimens that may save my life (God willing).

There is so much suffering.
There is so much pain.
I have so much hope!

Please, if you feel helpless and you want to do something.... you can help me! Please, in my honor, reach out to someone who is lonely and shine some light into their life. Smile at strangers regardless if they smile back. Seek ways to do random acts of kindness from small to large. Please do this for me and for the people you love who may be suffering for any given reason.

Cancer doesn't care - people do. Be that person for someone.



  1. Love you Ahava!You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. xxx

  2. Gd willing a miracle. Refuah Shleimah

  3. I believe in miracles! G-d bless you, my prayers are with you always!

  4. I believe in miracles! G-d bless you, my prayers are with you always!

  5. You are the essence of good ❤️

  6. Your love - the love, support and prayers keep me going....

  7. I'm spreading your message, Ahava Emunah. You are the keeper of light and love!

  8. You're in my prayers. If I can do anything to help you, especially while you're in San Diego, please let me know or have your mom let me know. I grew up in The Valley with your mom. I also remember after high school, I tried to make aliya, but with no family in Israel, I came home after almost 3 years. I remember how difficult it was for me and for my mom when I ended up in the hospital (with nothing as serious as what you have). I'd be happy to cook you a good Kosher meal or pick food up from one of the good Kosher restaurants in LA. Best of luck and just say the word and I'm happy to be there for you.

  9. Sending love and prayers. You are an incredibly strong woman. Keep fighting and spreading your love! We are with you!

  10. I witness miracles daily and yours can be the next ..... #happlanche

  11. I have witnessed medical miracles and received one. Bless you.

  12. I pray for your refuah shleima every day.

  13. May the goodness you bring out in others bring Hashem's healing blessing straight down to you. Refuah Shelaima min Hashamayim Bkarov. You are a beacon of light and inspiration.

  14. Such beautiful and inspiring words emerging from your pain. Wishing you peace and healing.

  15. Ahava, you are a power to be reckoned with. I have stood in pure amazement of your strength & spirit for some time now. I send you prayers & loving hugs with my hope that the new treatments work & renew your hope for more years with your beloved husband & children.

  16. I just love the person you are so much !!! <3 The whole earth lights up from your soul,despite the uglyness of the many horrible things around . And I too want my soul to shine as bright and will always help others always with you in mind <3 !! No more pain!

  17. I love the person you are ! Your soul shines so bright it can light up the whole earth!! I will always think of you as I do acts of kindness and meditate on no more pain for you to be strong and for our world to be shining with light like your beautiful soul.