This year we have heard from too many people dear to us that they have cancer. The prognoses vary; the fear is too real.
And then there are those for whom the prognosis is:
Less than a year.
Between 1-3 years.
No more than 5.
The whole community is shaken: Those who receive the diagnosis. Those who hear about the diagnosis. Those who want to help and realize that there is really so little that we can do to make this better.
We vow to live life more fully. We promise to let go of the small stuff. And yet…
Reflections of a Man with Cancer
May we learn from Mike Moxness, a member of Congregation Or Ami, shares this reflection just after the one year anniversary of his diagnosis with cancer. Mike writes:
June 2, 2013… Dear friends and family,
It has been a bit over a year since I started this journey. While I am happy to celebrate a year of survival and I am grateful for the life that I lead now, the reflections on the past year have been difficult. I have learned to live in the present and not dwell on the past or worry about the future. It was challenging to think about those dark days when I had to be fed by IV and my time in the hospital. It scared me to think that the darkness may come again in the future. A year of survival is worth celebrating but I am much happier on a regular day, living in the present, being thankful for my current health and life.
I also thought about how I have lived over the past year and asked myself “would I make any changes”?
Not really. While I wish I had more time for exercise and spending time with family and friends, I think I have lived the best possible year under the circumstances. I will try to make the most of every day in the coming year and take advantage of my health. I wish I could bottle up and give everyone the peace that comes with day-by-day living.
I see so many stressed out about the future; all I can say is:
Let it all go. It will all disappear when you are confronted with your own mortality and you will realize how much time you wasted worrying about the small stuff. It is a hard transition to this new perspective and I often fall backwards. But it is easier getting back to the new frame of mind each time.
Thank you for all of your support over the past year. We are so appreciative of your role in our lives. Love, Mike
Today is the day,
G-d of old,
That I [begin to receive][begin another cycle of]
Treatment for my cancer,
This malaise that has invaded my body.
Grant healing power to the [surgery][radiation][and][chemotherapy]
To which I surrender myself with [courage][fear][hope][strength][and]
[_______ (add words that best describe your feelings)].
Reduce the side effects and eliminate any complications from this procedure
And grant me a full and complete recovery from this disease.
Grant me the clarity to make sound choices for my treatment and my life.
Grant my family comfort and relief.
Ease their burdens and ease their minds.
Grant my physicians insight and perseverance.
Grant my caregivers knowledge and skill.
Grant scientists and researchers tools and understanding to develop new treatments for this cancer, speedily, in our day.
G-d of compassion,
Grant me a path to healing.
See me through this day and the days ahead with dignity.
Strengthen my resolve to live fully and to love deeply.
Blessed are You,
G-d of health and healing.