Queen Esther’s New Normal
By: Shera Dubitsky, Sharsheret Clinical Supervisor
On Purim, we read the story of Esther. After the King of Shushan banishes his queen for disobedience, a beauty contest is held to find a new queen. A lovely young Jewish woman named Esther is selected as queen, reluctantly. Esther has no choice but to accept her new circumstances. Upon entering the kingdom, she finds herself in very unfamiliar territory. She chooses not to disclose her Jewish identity. In order to survive, Esther struggles between holding on to her sense of self and her values and needing to make choices that are outside of her comfort zone. She needs to embrace the new normal. Esther realizes that she does not have to face these challenges alone – she turns to the Jewish community for strength and support and ultimately, together they find reward and victory.
When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer, she finds herself in very unfamiliar territory, reluctantly. She learns a new language of tumors and treatment. Her body changes due to surgery or medical side effects. She may choose not to disclose her diagnosis publicly. She may not know what her life as a survivor looks like.
Living with cancer and surviving cancer means living outside of your comfort zone, at times. Your challenge is to embrace the new normal. Like Esther, you don’t need to experience this in isolation. We learn from Esther that collectively we can be stronger than any one of us is individually. By turning to Sharsheret, you find a Jewish community of women and their families, health care providers, and spiritual leaders and the experience is rewarding. Drawing from the story of Esther, we celebrate the strength of women and the incredible support of the Jewish community. Wishing you a very happy Purim from all of us at Sharsheret!