A Ray of Hope

Posted on August 29th, 2011

I could have written about a lot of stuff tonight.

I could have written about the visit of Stella’s parents and just how wonderful that has been for all of us. And I think I will.

Just not now.

I could have written about today’s chemo treatment, about my thoughts when seeing the diversity of cancer patients — Arab, Jew, religious, secular, etc. About how cancer is an “equal opportunity” employer. And I think I will.

Just not now.

I could write about how my dear, sweet, kind, beautiful wife is also tough as hell, and she is right now grappling with the agony of chemo with a stoic expression, locked in a private combat with an invisible enemy. Come to think of it, I will write that now.

But most importantly, I want to write about what the Doctor told us today.

He showed us a piece of paper with the number “97” on it. Don’t ask. I have no idea what there are “97” of. But I do know this:

That there used to be over “300” of whatever is now “97.”

And that’s very good.

Because the Doctor told us that the “97” instead of “300 something” means that the chemo is working. Stella is responding to the treatment.

Now I am not naive.

I know full well that at the moment, the cancer is neither operable or curable.

I know that we are facing a long and tough battle that is against the odds.

I know that this was simply one marker from one test and that there will be many, many more.

BUT — for the first time since the beginning of the nightmare, we have received some medical information that was not preceded by a Doctor apologizing. For the first time, we have actual, bonfide good news. For the first time, there is some real data on a real piece of paper that is giving me real hope.

And I will take that.

And ask for more.

We have no doubt that the chemo treatments, as horrible as they are, are having an impact.

And we have no doubt that the sincere prayers and positive energy that we are receiving from around the world are also doing their share.

Please, dear friends, do not think that saying a short prayer or sending  us an e-mail or a Facebook comment is in vain. Today while we sat in chemo, we were fully aware that we were not alone — not by a long shot.

Lance Armstrong once told a friend that “Cancer picked the wrong guy to pick a fight with.”

Well, I will paraphrase by saying that “Cancer picked the wrong CROWD to pick a fight with.” Because when Stella is tired, when I am tired, we both know that there are lots of people in our corner.

Many, many wonderful things that are against the odds have happened. The very nation in which we make our home is a place that survives and thrives against the odds.

Now I wish I could be this positive all the time. But let me be honest, I can’t.

So if I ever look like I need to be reminded of my very own words, feel free to do so.

There’s lots more to say.

Just not now.

Liela Tov, Goodnight.

Yarden and Stella

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  1. Sharon Baratt says:

    My dear Stella & Yarden,


    Then demand, DEMAND more of His/Her help to fight this monster!

    And then DEMAND that He/She makes the chemo easier on Stella to enable her body to fight this monster!

    And I”Y, during this month of Elul, while we are preparing for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, we will keep you and your beautiful family in mind and beg Hashem to give you succor and relief from this challenge in your lives.

    With love,

  2. Sharon Baratt says:

    BTW, I use the He/She because I am woefully lacking in Hebrew language skills.

  3. rutimizrachi says:

    Thank you for giving our hearts reason to dance. May we continue to share increasingly good news!

  4. Raizi Rosen says:

    I assume you guys are aware that a 97 is the highest “profile” a new recruit can receive upon induction into the IDF!
    Stella, you haven’t enlisted, have you?

    keep bringing home those good grades!

  5. Miriam Poch says:

    It’s Rosh Chodesh. What a wonderful way to start. May it continue in the same direction . Keep fighting. We are davening and saying Tehillim, and we are in your corner. We are your cheer leaders. We, YOU will succeed in convincing Hashem
    to bring about a Refuah, a mircacle just for you. Be strong. Chodesh tov, MIriam.

  6. Samara says:

    So good to hear some good news finally. May Stella continue to respond to the treatments positively. We will keep davening for a Refuah Shlemah. Chodesh Tov,

  7. Benamou family says:

    what wonderful news! may you keep sharing such good pieces of new with us, and may Israel continue to thrive against all odds (like the new challenge she faces with the PA wanting recognition as a state). Shabbat Shalom!