Lying flat on my back ready to go into the MRI machine I overheard the doctor’s conversation,
June 7th, 2022
SAY THANKS AND SEE MIRACLES!
Lying flat on my back ready to go into the MRI machine I overheard the doctor’s conversation, “things really don’t look very promising, I would give her no more than 3 weeks!” Three weeks…. Three weeks?? The words echoed in my ears so loud that I thought my brain might explode! What does that even mean? How could it be? How did things get so bad so fast?
I was 15 years old, just in the beginning of 10th grade, when some strange things started happening. At first, I just ignored all my body’s warning signs that something was wrong, I thought I was being strong and brave and handling my pain well, but I was wrong. Very wrong. By the time I decided to tell my parents that something is going on, it was a little late in the game.
It started with routine blood tests and x-rays. But when results were not coming back clear then the testing got more complicated. Longer and more complex tests were taken of every single part of my body. And then came the waiting, the excruciating long hard days when I just waited for the hours to pass so that I should be one day closer to results. Those days were the hardest, the fear of what would be was impossible to deal with. Then there was also the doctors and nurses, and most of all the resident doctors (students in medical school who are basically training doctors, who usually don’t know what they are doing and create more problems than they solve) so here’s what I learned throughout my experience, the really well-meaning staff in hospitals don’t always realize what they are saying may hurt the patient really badly, even if what they are saying is true. Here’s an example, so I was just laying on my hospital bed probably waiting for someone to come get me ready for some kind of scan or another when two nurses passed my room and one of them asked the other what my problem was, and he answered “oh her she might just be waiting for the angel of death, yeah whatever she won’t last very long” and my reaction, which I wasn’t gonna actually say but what I was thinking was something to the effect of, HELLO are you normal? How on earth can you say something like that in front of someone’s face??? And I heard such comments all the time. And it didn’t make the reality any easier to deal with… like really really not!
Anyway, back to my story, what was going on, though I wasn’t aware of it, was that the doctors knew what the problem was but because things were so so out of control, they wanted to figure out a full treatment plan before sitting down for the actual meeting where they would explain the diagnosis.
So, I kept just going for more and more tests and I wasn’t really being told much because I was still a minor and legally, they can’t tell me anything about my condition without my parents’ consent. Unfortunately- or maybe fortunately I overheard many conversations that I probably should not have heard, but the reason I was happy about this was because it made me realize what was actually going on, and I had a chance to daven! But it was more than daven, I made a decision right in the beginning that as long as I can, I will keep it a secret, so nobody except my parents knew what was going on, not even my siblings. Being that I had nobody to talk to, I had only one place to turn- Hashem! I became best friends with Hashem, I spoke to Him for hours, cried to Him, laughed to Him, and even schmoozed with Him. It felt so good to actually be connected so closely with the one and only power in the world that can actually help. And nothing is ever too big or too small to ask or tell Hashem.
Finally, after a few painful weeks of testing, back and forth in hospitals, and also putting up a great show for everyone else, the day arrived. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t excited, the night before the meeting where I would actually hear what the doctors thought my future would like, was well torture is an understatement but ill use it for lack of a better word. I was sitting in bed and trying to just talk to Hashem. Asking him to give me the strength to deal with whatever challenge He was going to give me! And then I remembered reading how when hashem gives people challenges, its like training a soldier in the army, the higher their position, the more intense the training gets. This was so comforting, to me this meant that Hashem was intensifying the training because he wanted to raise my position in His army! With that thought in my mind, I got out of bed, kissed the mezuzah, and drifted off into a peaceful sleep, because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was in good hands! Hashem was holding me in his arms and walking me through every single step of this long painful journey.
The next morning, I woke up really early because our appointment was at 7:30. I quickly got dressed and then davened, I don’t think I ever davened like that before, there were so many emotions, so much fear, pain and uncertainty. At the same time, I felt Hashem’s presence so strongly. I felt like he was doing everything and there was nothing for me to worry about!
At 7:30 sharp I was sitting myself in the room and the oncologist came in holding a file with lots of paper. He sat down and in a very soft but firm voice said these words “Stage 4 leukemia- I don’t think there is much hope for you. We can try treatment, but you may want to live your last three weeks in this world in peace.”
Leukemia is cancer in the blood. In my case it ravaged my entire body and the doctors really did not think that any amount of treatment would help. They had already given up hope- But I DID NOT.
As soon as the doctor finished his sentence, I turned to him and said, “Doc, I really appreciate all your work. But there is something you need to understand, I have a G-d, He created you and me and the entire world, and guess what he created cancer also, and therefore he knows how to fix it, and he doesn’t need your help! I get that this is a case where you don’t think there’s much to do, but I will be fine! I will fight this until the end- Because My Father in heaven loves me, and He wants to see if I love Him enough to trust him even in such a situation- and I will not let Him down!”
He looked at me and smirked and said, “you’re a really brave innocent kid to be able to answer me like that, but I guess you don’t really understand what’s going on here!!” and then he continued to try to explain how there is no way I will survive.
I got up to leave the room, but before I left, I turned around and said, “If I’m half dead, then I’m half alive- miracles do happen Doctor!”
Just a side point, I went with my father but he had left the room to go daven because we were told that the doctor would be late, so when the doctor came in I was there myself, and I guess Hashem wanted it this way, but he didn’t realize that I was still 15 and that he needed to wait for my father to come back, so he told me everything. When my father came back and realized what happened he felt terrible, but I looked so fine so he didn’t think that the news was so bad. So here again I was dealing with everything on my own. But not on my own, because Hashem was there! Honestly, I didn’t only look fine, I really truly felt fine. I felt a feeling I never felt before, or after. A feeling of complete trust in Hashem. I picked up my hands and said Hashem I surrender to you!
To make a long story short a few days later I was scheduled to start treatment. I went into my room on Monday night, the night before I would have my first treatment (which the doctor thought would be pointless but I wanted it anyway, because as frum yidden we don’t give up- EVER!) and took along a notebook with a pen. I sat down on my bed and with tears streaming down my face I started to write. I wanted to thank Hashem for the 15 years of life that He gave me, for all the beautiful blessings I got every day that I didn’t even remember to thank him for. I was overcome with a feeling of gratitude, because even if this was to be the end, I had so many reasons to be grateful. I sat and wrote and wrote and wrote, and the more I wrote the more things came to my head. Without realizing the time, I filled up 200 double sided pages, 200 tear soaked pages, with reasons I wanted to thank him. And then at the end I wrote one request- Hashem- all I want is to be able to thank you for many many many more years!
When I looked up it was light outside.
A few hours later, just before treatment they took bloodwork and an x-ray just to see where things were holding.
The doctor came into my room, his face drained of color. “it’s a miracle, an impossible miracle!!! I don’t know who that G-d you were talking about is, but He sure does love you- there’s nothing there, your body is all clean!
And just like that it was all over, the whole nightmare was behind us, leaving just as fast as it came!
My story speaks for itself, but I just want to end off by saying a few things. First of all, there is no such thing as giving up hope, as long as a person is alive he can still hope, because as I told the doctor, Miracles do happen! Secondly- no matter how black the situation looks, try as much as you can to stay positive, try to find a few things that you can be grateful for and thank Hashem for them! He wants us to thank Him, and it also created pipes for Him to shower us with brachos.
Although I have many more things to say, ill just say one more thing. Hashem is our father, and what he wants most of all is a relationship with every single one of us, His children. Sometimes Hashem has to put us in a dark spot so we will realize that only He can help us and reach out to Him, so don’t miss the point! Let’s all return to our Father who is waiting with open arms to embrace us, so He should not have to Chas V’shalom call out to us in any other ways!
And remember-SAY THANKS AND YOU’LL SEE MIRACLES!