Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Re-Birth Day


"Sivan 4, 5769 * May 27, 2009


Dear Friend,

Tonight, Wednesday night, May 27, 2009, we count forty-nine days, which is seven weeks of the Omer.

For detailed instructions on how to count the Omer, blessing text, omer calendar, and more information, go to:

Now that we have concluded the counting of the Omer, we will resume this subscription next year, please G-d. We would like to invite you to take advantage of many of our other free subscriptions, all available

Wishing you and your family a Happy Shavuot,

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A Spiritual Guide to the counting of the Omer
Forty-Nine Steps to Personal Refinement
Courtesy of
* * *
Day Seven of Week 7
Malchut of Malchut

Examine the sovereignty of your sovereignty. Does it come from deep- rooted inner confidence in myself? Or is it just a put-on to mask my insecurities? Does that cause my sovereignty to be excessive? Am I aware of my uniqueness as a person? Of my personal contribution?

Exercise for the day: Take a moment and concentrate on yourself, on your true inner self, not on your performance and how you project to others; and be at peace with yourself knowing that G-d created a very special person which is you."


Well, we made it through the counting of the Omer and now we get to celebrate Shavuot and the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Bailly's going to have a dairy food party at her home on Friday at 6pm where we get to hear the rabbi read the 10 Commandments out loud. Today's counting instructions seemed so perfect for my re-birth instructions.

It was so nice to have Bailly put together a party for me. Stef and Doris and Margie helped her that morning. I was grateful to all of them and to all who were able to attend. I had anxiety about having invited too many people and about what I was going to say besides thank you to them all. I even picked at a pimple on my face due to my anxiety which then made me worry even more about how I was going to look. Everyone told me I looked great and everyone had a seat and there was food enough for many more.

I felt ok about what I ended up saying. Luckily I got to rehearse it with Sharol that morning. I basically said that I wanted to say more than thank you but didn't know what to say so I looked at the parsha for the week which is about counting the Jewish people before they got the Torah. Some interpretations say that G-d of course knows how many people were there, but the purpose of the counting was like how we count our own jewels. Relating that to my journey, I realized how much I count because of the uniqueness of who I am. Like the instructions for tonight's counting, I have a purpose to G-d in this lifetime, a "personal contribution" and am feeling more and more that my mission has not been accomplished just yet. It's not about performance, it's about specialness. And so it also relates to how special each of you is to me and how differently I've counted on each of you for the support you have given me throughout this journey that I've been on.

My birthday on the Jewish calendar is the day after Lag B'Omer which is the day in Jewish history when the students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying from a plague (2nd Temple times). So relating that to me, I realized I've been through the plague and I am still alive and G-d-willing, will continue to live for many more years to come. I wonder if the fact that my birthday lies within the counting of the Omer makes me the kind of person who is always searching for ways to refine my connection to G-d and to my own true essence. (For example, I noticed before writing this that the message count on this site is up to 770...and every chabadnik will understand what I mean when I write that...even though I am still wondering what it all means on a deeper level in relation to what I am writing in this very update.)

So having that party, as much as I debated whether to do it now or not was important to me. Somehow it helped me to mark the end of chemo and surgery and feel like I have accomplished something...and ended something (though it never feels like the end of this). This diagnosis never ends even after your treatment ends so having a party to validate an accomplishment was healing for me.

For the past couple of days I've been feeling more tired than previously. Maybe I was just on a high before with my parents here and the party or maybe I'm just tired from all of that. I had a dream last night that I was pushing myself too hard and ignoring my illness. So I am trying to slow down and remember I'm still recovering from a big surgery.

I wore my bare head during a client session yesterday. With the ortho sleeves and long sleeves over that, I was so hot that I didn't care how I looked. It's funny how I felt before getting this surgery compared to how I feel now. I just want to be comfortable and there is no comfort for me with these darn ortho sleeves. So I really don't care anymore what people think about my flat chest and very, very, very short haircut.

By the end of every day, I rip off my sleeves and breathe a sigh of relief. I know I should just be happy to be alive (and I am) but without the sleeves on, life is so much more enjoyable. My mom always called me "Princess and the Pea", so there you go. I am definitely a creature of comfort and very sensitive.

I've been letting go of the guilt more too. This disease happens to people who are really different from me! It wasn't my fault. Who I am and the mistakes I made and whatever hang ups I had didn't create this problem. How could it if so many others who don't have my hang-ups have this disease too? What a relief to be able to say that now, compared to where I was in the beginning.

Next week starts a new chapter in my treatment: radiation. I've got an appointment every week day starting the 3rd at 11:30am for 10 minutes. The receptionist told me I'd get to be friends with all the other gals who have the same appointment time. So it's calendula cream until my skin turns red and then it's aloe vera to prevent the blisters. Luckily it's all taking place on just my left side and not my right.

I hear radiation's not a big ordeal and maybe I WILL be able to have Aimee's Bat Mitzvah party on July 26th...radiation will be done a couple weeks before that.