It's a sunny day and I'm feeling better. I haven't gotten a blood test to check, but feel my counts are going up. It's so nice to finally get to open windows and sit out in the sunshine and breathe in fresh air. It's been raining here in Santa Cruz since the day I got chemo - 10 days ago.
I went through some depression around being ill and feeling sorry for myself that I can't go out to eat with my family. (Not to mention all the months I have to go through this, the surgery I'll have to endure and the interruption in my practice that I had just gotten started building only two months before being diagnosed - after a 10 year hiatus to raise children.) Plus, it wasn't easy knowing I was nutrapenic because that scared me silly. I did lots of praying and some crying and felt so lucky when Bailly came over yesterday and prayed for me again.
She retaught me this technique where you go to the book of Tehillim (psalms) and in #119, there are paragraphs where every line starts with a word that starts with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet. So it goes from aleph to taph in order. And what you do is read only the paragraphs that spell out your Hebrew name. So for example, you read the paragraph first where every line starts with the first letter of your Hebrew name and next go to the paragraph that starts with the second letter of your Hebrew name, and so on.
Then, depending on the problem you are praying about, you spell out a couple of more words after your name. For example, she suggested for my illness, to read the paragraphs that spell out the word, "kara satan" which in Hebrew means, "tear/rend satan". (Satan in Judaism is different from Christianity...but I can't give you a good explanation at the moment.) If I'm having problems with my husband, she suggests spelling out the word, "shalom bayit" which means "peaceful home". You can also spell out other people's Hebrew names, using ben (for male) or bat as necessary.
Bailly told me that this technique of reading psalms, not just number 119, helps to effect the "gezera" (decree) in heaven. She even has a tiny book she keeps in her purse and reads whenever she's got a moment - like waiting in line at Safeway! She watched her mother doing this all the time as she was growing up. Here's another interesting thing you can do if you want to: you can also read the psalm that's number corresponds to the year older than the age of your children - which is supposed to strengthen them and give them a blessing.
Anyway, I can read Hebrew but don't always understand what it means. So I have a Tehillim that has the translation of each word directly under the Hebrew word. It was very interesting to read it in Hebrew but understand what I was reading. After I was done, I felt I had pleaded my case quite nicely. I kept remembering what the rabbi once told me about why all those prayers were composed for us: when you stand before G-d, it's nice to have the perfect words to say! After I was finished I definitely felt better about myself and more sure of deserving G-d's blessing.So either that praying I did or the sun today or the difference I feel in the lump (yay! I love chemo, even though I hate chemo) has uplifted my spirits. Maybe I'll even get to see some clients this Sunday and next week before then next round!