Back to School

(warning- if you aren’t up for crying – DO NOT READ!)

This morning Benny had his scheduled clinic visit. This was a follow up visit from his treatment in CHOP. There are a few steps prior to seeing our oncologist. The first step is registration. Today, this took about 25 minutes. The second step is Triage, this is where Benny’s vitals are taken, height, weight and blood pressure. Depending on the wait it could take between 5-20 minutes.  Today this also took some time. While sitting in the waiting room I met Max and his mom and grandma.  We discussed how each others treatments were going and the dreams we have of going somewhere special when our children are finished with therapy IY”H. Max’s mom shared some really good news with me telling me that another patient, Brody was vacationing with his parents this week in Hawaii. Benny had met Max the first week we were admitted into the hospital.  I remember how difficult it was for this little boy and his parents. Well today he was free of all foreign materials attached to his body. He was free to swim in the ocean or bath for that matter. It was an emotional moment, I even shed a tear or two from happiness. From triage we went to the playroom and waited for the doctor to call to say when she was ready to see Benny.

While we were waiting, we received most disturbing news. I was notified thru  a phone call that a different patient by the name of Jessica passed away Monday evening and that her funeral will take place this Thursday afternoon. This was the Jessica that I mentioned a week an a half ago, the one Ari delivered homemade Challah to Erev Shabbos. The one in which we bought the Sefer Tehillim for. Jessica’s mom loved to say Tehillim (Psalms) every day for her daughter and for many other sick individuals, Benny included. It took a great deal of restrain not to lose it right there in the playroom. I held it together for the sake of Benny and other children in the playroom.

Tomorrow, as I kiss my kids goodbye as they go off to school, I will be thinking of Jessie who won’t begin her first day of high school. Tomorrow represents new beginnings; entering a new grade, meeting new teachers, and writing the first chapter to the beginning of a new year. Tomorrow also represents another year of treatment for Benny IY”H. Yes another full year.  It’s hard to imagine that instead of Benny going to playgroup this year, he will be going to the playroom in CHLA (Children’s  Hospital of Los Angeles). It’s hard to imagine that the milestones we look forward too are completing stem cell transplant, radiation and imunotherapy IY”H verses classroom performances singing his ABC’s.

Tomorrow I have to decide whether to attend Jessica’s funeral or not. You may ask “what is the question?” I’ll tell you.  I am not sure I am strong enough.  I’ve been crying all day. Benny and the rest of my kids looked worried as my older kids were able to verbalize their concern and asked why. On the one hand I want to be there to show Jessica’s mom that I care.  It was just last week that we brought her Challah Erev Shabbos. However, being that Jessica was diagnosed just a few weeks before Benny (a different kind of cancer) and  is no longer fighting this horrible disease, makes the pain so much greater. I feel selfish not to go, on the other hand I don’t know if I have the  strength. Hashem please guide me to make the right decision.

Tomorrow as you kiss your child (if they still let you) as they leave to school,  pray for those that yearn for the day that Hashem will bless them with children, so they could do th

e same. Pray for Benny so that next year this time IY”H we will be able to kiss him as we drop  him off at school. Pray for all the sick children that very soon they will be surrounded by teachers instead of nurses, that the only pole they see is a flag pole and not an IV pole, their backpacks should be used for school supplies and not medical supplies, and that the phrase “time out” should be used for misbehaving in classroom instead of being isolated in a hospital room for fear of germs.

Good night and Good Luck tomorrow!

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