September 03, 2013

Starting a new year

Tomorrow night marks the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. I have a lot to be thankful for as this High Holyday season begins.

I appear to be in good health, with tumor markers continuing to fall while I am taking Xeloda. There are few side effects, and the most annoying (Hand-Foot Syndrome) has responded well to henna. I would like to continue taking this chemo as long as possible because it is so effective and so tolerable.

Today my shrink Dr Dobie offered suggestions on how to treat my chronic insomnia. I was taking the Cymbalta at the wrong time of day! Tomorrow I will begin taking it in the morning. I can increase my dose of Ativan and take it 90 minutes before bedtime. These two shifts should help me get better sleep.

I just spent the long weekend in Cincinnati with my mother and sister. We went for a family wedding, but this was also the first time we'd ever taken a trip together, just us girls. We laughed and talked and had a great time. I took the opportunity to reconnect with three high school friends. We started at 6:30 pm and closed the restaurant down at 11 pm. Marvelous! Plus I ate Graeter's ice cream every day. The wedding was fun too, as was spending time with my distantly related cousins. We've been close since 1968, when my family moved to Cincinnati, and have shared one another's simchas over the years. I think the bride is my third cousin, once removed.

As far as spiritual health, all I can say is that I am a practical Jew in the way that Hadassah is practical Zionism. Hadassah builds the land of Israel; I cook, sing, dance and generally find ways to bring joy to my life on a daily basis.

That's what I've learned through 11 years of living with advanced cancer: live your life with joy every day.

L'shanah tova u'metukah -- to a good and sweet year!


  1. Anonymous10:15 PM

    L'shanah tova!

  2. Dear Jill,

    Congratulations on your continued battle. Unfortunately, My mother was not so lucky... She passed Thursday morning after a 1.5 year battle... and we buried her yesterday. I want you to know, that your story was a source of hope for me. Please continue to fight for not just yourself, but for inspiration for so many women that aren't so lucky...
    Thank you for sharing your story...
    Brant (Maureen's oldest son)