Thinking About My Mother’s Breast Cancer Journey On Passover
As we read the story of Exodus this Passover, there are so many themes which fully resonate today, and also correlate when thinking about loved ones who are fighting or may have already lost their battle with Cancer.
Foreign oppression and the longing for freedom; we were slaves in Egypt and fought for our escape and ultimate freedom. My mother (z”l) felt she was a slave to both her body, which was failing her, and this horrible disease. But, my mother, like so many others, was a fighter. And so the idea that Jews are a protected and resilient people who will survive any adversity was very much at play both among the Jews as they left Egypt and with my mother, who fought this disease for six years.
She would not go easily – and she taught me about taking control even when you felt you had none, finding freedom in a creative spirit when your body wouldn’t do what you wanted it to, and embracing the life you have. She found a way to be free even in moments when she physically may not have been.
I decided to get involved with Sharsheret as a tribute to my mother. She passed away thirty years ago from breast cancer, and her story was written without the help of the great resources Sharsheret provides for those who are ill, and their caregivers. Sharsheret would have been a place for both my father and me to find hope and support as well.
Freedom is defined as the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. The Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years so we could be free; and for those who feel bound by Cancer, Sharsheret is a beacon of hope offering resources that can help free their spirits if not their bodies.