Friday, October 29, 2010

Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Blessed is the True Judge.

My heart is broken. 
We have lost our friend, our cheerleader, our advocate. 

Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Blessed is the True Judge.

This is the blessing said upon hearing the news of someone's death.

About 11:10 AM this morning (Friday), RivkA passed away.

Funeral plans are in the process, and we'll post them as soon as we know.

May RivkA's family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Please daven (or send happy thoughts) for the memory of RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,RivkA's family

Please leave a message for RivkA's grieving family and friends on her blog.

Monday, October 25, 2010

An Update from RivkA

Yea!  RivkA must be feeling better and the hallucinating must be gone,
if she is up for company. Momma Mindy

 A post should be up here later today, as dictated by RivkA.

Important: As opposed to yesterday (Sunday) -- today friends are welcome to visit RivkA, for short visits.

Also, please be understanding that you may have to wait a bit to see her (depending on the number of people in her room).

Please understand that family conversations with RivkA will take priority over visitors.

RivkA’s looking forward to seeing you!

And she specifically told me last night, "tell people to check the blog for updates."

On behalf of RivkA,


Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,RivkA

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Death Be Not Proud

Posted originally by RivkA 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

While we are waiting and praying,
longing to hear good news,
I wanted to repost a blog from a year ago.


You know, I am good. I mean, I have cancer and everything, but I am good.

Mostly, I feel good, and I do things, and I even work a bit.

Most of the time, I do not feel that cancer defines me.

But it does.

I am unquestionably in the cancer world.

Even taking chemo in pills (at home), I still have to go to the hospital several times a month -- for doctor's visits and blood tests (every 3 weeks) and my bone treatments (once a month).

But that is not all. No, no, that is not all.

I also have to go to the hospital for regular CTs, MRIs, bone scans, echocardiograms, ultrasounds, and whatever other tests or procedures are deemed necessary by my team of medical caregivers.

Everywhere I go, I meet other cancer patients.

Over time, many of the cancer patients get better and "disappear" back to their "old life," the life without cancer.

But not everybody.

Some people, like me, are not going to get better. We meet regularly, week by week, month by month. We get to know each other. We get connected.

Many are like me. They are good. They are living with their cancer, and they are really living. Struggling, like me, but living. Even, I would say, living a good life.

But not everybody. Not all the time.

Sometimes people disappear and I do not know why. Have they simply switched treatment days or....? I am afraid to ask. Afraid to know.

It is hard. Hard to keep hearing about people dying of cancer.

Hard to keep my head buried in the sand, denying the threat of death, when death is all around me.

When I was first diagnosed, I stumbled onto the devastating statistics: five years after diagnosis, only 20% of women diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer are still alive.

I desperately needed to find other young women who were living with cancer for more than 10 years, to know they existed, to know it was possible, to believe that I could be one of them.

It was surprised (though I should not have been) that it was not easy to find these women.

I contacted Sharsheret, a support organization connecting young Jewish American women with breast cancer, who connected me with an amazing woman. Though extremely private about her cancer, she generously shared details of her challenges and accomplishments. She was still working, full time, as a professor in a university! She inspired me, and gave me hope. I spoke with her several times, until I found more local support via Beit Natan.

I just found out that, a year ago, she passed away suddenly, leaving behind 8 children. She battled cancer for around 10 years.

Her sudden death shocked those around her. But not me.

I have already learned: cancer is devious.

A cancer patient can seem fine one day, and the next day is critically ill. The situation can revert back to being stable or the patient can be dead within a few weeks. There is no way to know.

We never know.

Every death is devastating. Another reminder that living with cancer is uncertain.

Everything can change in an instant.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


footnote: Death Be Not Proud, by John Donne (Link includes full poem and Wikipedia article)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RivkA's Message - Coping With Adversity

RivkA, from Coffee and Chemo,
 has been receiving more radiation and is currently hospitalized. 
On her October 6 blog, she lists her symptoms. 
Some of you can relate to her misery.

1.Lip still numb

2.Rt. Foot still swollen and sore

3.Still Balding from radiation.

4.Hands and Feet still red and peeling

5.Still bruise fast and heal slowly.

6.Still have severe back pain.

7.Still have hip pain and muscular pain.

8.Still have issues with constipation and stomach cramps

9.Still have low appetite and nausea

10.Still feel tired and weak.

But, you also know this about RivkA,
she loves to face whatever life brings
with love and optimism.

While in the hospital,
RivkA had a friend post a series of
videos from a motivational message she recently gave.
Her heart is still to encourage others
as they each face their own trials.

Follow the link to watch-

Her confidence and calmness is contagious.
May her words help you face your trials
with love and optimism.

(posted by Momma Mindy)