We’re almost there…

Erev Shabbos

B”H Benny’s sedation has been removed this morning. Unfortunately, we are not going to be discharged for Shabbos. Benny has to be monitored to make sure the withdraw from his medications agree with him. So far he drank some apple juice and ate his favorite food, a challah roll.

We are grateful to have been in the best of care this week. CHOP is one of the best hospitals in the country. That being said, doctors are human and some decisions made, when looking back would have been done differently had time been on their side.  B”H there won’t be side effects other than having to spend more time in the hospital than anticipated.

The doctors B”H are pleased with the way treatments are going aside from the bumps in the road.  One thing we did learn in the hospital was that Benny is a FIGHTER.  The doctors in the PICU (which is a critical care floor) has never administered such a high level of sedation without having to assist in helping their patients breathe.  B”H Benny was strong enough to  breathe on his own.  Fair warning….  he’s one kid you don’t want to pick a fight with!!!

At this point Benny is regaining his energy B”H, as ours is depleting. It was too difficult to rest this week, while he was. Now is the time he needs us the most and we are wiped out, physically, emotionally… Hashem please give us Koach (strength)!

Unfortunately, we will not be with our children and extended family as they all celebrate our cousin Zachary’s Bar Mitzvah this Shabbos in NY.  G-D knows we tried and turned over every stone that was available. It just was not meant to be. Mazal Tov!  Good Luck and enjoy.

Thank you to all the visitors who came to the hospital to give Chizuk (support), toys, food and a warm embrace. Thank you to the outstanding Bikur Cholim and Philadelphia and Chai Life Line for helping in every step of the way.

Please continue to have Benny in your Tefillos as this week showed us all to clear that he is still very much in need of our Tefillos.

Good Shabbos!

written Thursday night:

Quick update. It’s  my turn to sleep and Ari is back on guard duty.  Today Benny’s counts of radiation fell significantly. Enough for him to technically be discharged from the hospital. The lowest the level he got so far is 4.8 at around 6 pm.  Being that he is in the PICU and not on the main oncology floor, the procedure for release got complicated. What else is new?  In a nutshell, we need Benny’s numbers to now drop to below 2. For him to come out of sedation with no side effects. For him to wake up with a hearty appetite and for him to have Koach to run down the halls and ride the IV poles.

All of my family will be in NY this Shabbos celebrating my cousins Bar Mitzvah. All of the family except for us at this point. I am hoping we can change that outcome through extra special Bakoshos (requests) to Hashem and see where it will take us. I really hope Benny will surprise the Dr.’s tomorrow in ways they never saw possible as they continue to be amazed by him daily.

To all those who sent greeting cards, thank you.  For those of you who haven’t yet contributed to decorating Benny’s room please do so.


I’ll IYH continue tomorrow with  both eyes open, not one!

3 thoughts on “We’re almost there…

  1. I basically tripped over Team Benny by “mistake” five minutes after I posted the piece below on my blog. You should find it interesting:


    emunah, tefillah, a little mussar, and a shmeck of geula
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    A Different You

    We’ve been this way before.

    We talked about real change already last year and the year before for all the good that it did. In better times maybe we could squeeze out yet another few years with talkin’ mode set to cruise control.

    But these aren’t better times.

    In numerous pieces over the course of the last two years we have stressed the point that real change is not about tinkering at the edges. As we said in EmunahSpeak: Red Alert!, The days where we could throw Hashem a bone so to speak and go about our business are over.

    We suggested there that we all have to look within ourselves with laser like penetration at everything, not just something, and then take on as much as we can handle, each and everyone according to his strength of character.

    And in EmunahSpeak: A Real Deal Teshuva we pointed out that Teshuva is not a once a year spiritual form of Pesach cleaning or something to be pulled out of the bull pen on the ruchniyas equivalent of rainy days, to level out the speed bumps that we invariably hit as we navigate our way through the minefield of life’s challenges.

    And, according to the Rambam, it’s not enough to do Teshuva for the sins we have done. We also have to do Teshuva for who we are if we’re not who we should be, because a lot of life’s challenges reside within, in the form of bad character traits, which also require Teshuva.

    The bottom line here is that we don’t just change our actions and call it a day.

    It’s not simply that yesterday I did, while now I no longer do, but rather that yesterday I was, while today I no longer am. The growth process is about changing you.

    Change your desires. Change your ideals.

    And finally in EmunahSpeak: A Gut Rehab, which was written in response to Sandy one day after the lights came back on, we cranked it up yet another notch:

    In the ruins of Long Beach, Belle Harbor, Seagate, and Staten Island, to name but a few of the worst hit areas, Hashem has revealed to us where we go from here. The gut rehab that hundreds of us are doing to all or part of our houses is a moshol for the gut rehab we have to do to ourselves.

    You have to become a different you, period.

    And we don’t mean doing the Daf, writing a big check for disaster relief, or becoming a regular on the Shemiras HaLoshon Hot Line or at the Ohel Sara Amen Group.

    We’re talking Tikkun HaMiddos here as the Mesillas Yesharim understands it. Simply put, in paralleling what we are doing to our houses we have to rip out our gaiva, taiva, kas, and kina and toss it into the dumpster with the sheet rock.

    Intellectually speaking, what’s left to say? We have the talk down pretty good but, motivationally speaking, how do we morph the talk into the walk?

    Someone’s life may depend on it.

    Last Elul, Rabbi Yigal Haimoff was diagnosed with the dreaded makla, r”l and the prognosis wasn’t all that good. At a gathering of 400 people at Rabbi Haimoff’s shul, Rabbi Mordechi Aderet said the following:

    The Rebbe needs a very big refuah sheleima so what are you going to do about it? And then for close to an hour he pounded them as he proceeded to very forcefully drive home the point that their Rabbis life was in their hands.

    Rabbi Haimoff’s chemo protocol called for six heavy duty treatments. After number three his doctor told him that he could not find any trace of the makla anywhere.

    So what happened?

    We said above that you have to become a different you, period. And that’s pretty much the long and short of it. Some women began to cover their hair while others threw away their slacks. Couples with serious marital problems made up. And there were those who used to tip toe around the periphery of Shabbos observance that finally jumped in with both feet. And so it went.

    No small changes these. You start by looking into the mirror long enough to see past your present image to a different you.

    We said in EmunahSpeak: If You Feel Blessed that if Hashem gives us more, we understand from the structure of the mitzvahs that we are supposed to do more than we have heretofore done.
    Or put another way, if you feel blessed you should be putting a little more on the table.


    We see from Rabbi Haimoff’s congregants that when the scales of life and death are being balanced in your face you put yourself on the table, not a little more.

    What wouldn’t someone do for a sick relative or friend or to marry off a daughter?

    You’re about to find out.

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