When we just can’t…


The battle rages on. We fight with all we’ve got. Our strength ebbs. It’s hard. We can’t give up but sometimes…Sometimes despondency overcomes us and saps the last bit of emotional energy. And we think, “That’s it. I just can’t anymore!”  At that moment, a hand reaches out, a loving hand, and says, “Come. I’ll help you.” And we find that we do have more strength to continue the battle.

Ezer Mizion, you were that hand. I could never have fought the battle against cancer without you.  My family owes you a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. My children owe you their mother.

Social workers who know how to combine professionalism with compassion. We’re on a first name basis. We became sisters… Hot meals for my family to provide a semblance of normalcy. ..Volunteers to do homework with the kids, take them shopping for new shoes… Periodic events to pamper us mothers…oh how we needed that pampering! …Even a summer camp of fun, fun, fun for the whole family… And like a dream, there was the annual trip.

It was a luxury trip to London, an unforgettable experience, from an island of enormous pleasure that fell in my lap right in the middle of the tragic insanity that has possessed my life for the last year and a half. I went together with another twenty four courageous women, each coping in her own way and on her own special path with the dreaded illness – cancer. It was an enchanting adventure, full of light and hope, that we enjoyed thanks to the efforts of Ezer Mizion and under their close supervision. It was the most beautiful gift I received in my entire life.

When Rachel, the social worker of the oncology ward in Tel Hashomer, called to tell me that soon a group of women with cancer would be organized for a trip abroad, and that I was going to be among them, I was more than a bit surprised. My life experience in recent times has taught me that most telephone conversations are bitter, damp with tears, bringing depressing news, or dealing with enervating, endless bureaucracy. And here, all of a sudden – a glimmer of happiness, of hope and sweet anticipation, right in the middle of an ordinary day.

Before long, in answer to my curiosity, the captivating details began to arrive, suffusing me with real, invigorating excitement. I learned that Ezer Mizion (an organization that exists since 1979, its raison d’etre – to ease the physical and emotional pain of people suffering from serious illness)has been organizing trips abroad for groups of cancer patients.

This time there would be two groups, one consisting of young teens and the second adult women, most of them mothers. Some are newcomers to the disease, while others have been ill for years – but all are fighting a fierce, draining battle, full of heroism and courage, against this stubborn enemy.

We stayed at a dream hotel, ate at luxurious restaurants, and visited an assortment of tourist spots and entertainment centers, such as – the huge wheel called the London Eye that gives a panoramic view of the city, the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, the special, rib-tickling Duck Tour – an old, yellow, creaking bus that turns into a boat when it slides into the Thames River, manned by a sweet British fellow, with a great sense of humor, who made a special effort to give us a good time.

As befits proper London tourists, we watched the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, only after visiting the House of Representatives and House of Lords in an exciting, well-planned tour led by Lord Janner, an awe-inspiring, congenial Jew in his eighties. We also strolled down the streets of London, emerging at the queen’s second palace – Windsor castle.

So, a great big thank you to all those who helped, organized, gave of themselves, donated and did on our behalf. This trip was a rare kindness and a pure pleasure. Allow me to express the hope that nobody – ourselves included – should ever know sadness or illness, and that we should meet again soon, strong and happy, for a celebration trip, a trip for people who are healthy. Just a plain trip, a plain, ordinary trip.

Yours forever in deepest appreciation,

 

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