Spirituality and Healing
I celebrated quietly this week. On Monday, I crossed the halfway mark. I completed the fifteenth radiation treatment, leaving only thirteen more. By tomorrow, I’ll be eighteen done and ten to go. That’s nothing, right? Even though each day of radiation and chemotherapy makes me increasingly fatigued, I can do ten of anything . . . except, perhaps, chin ups.
The days and hours from last March until two weeks from tomorrow feel like the longest, slowest period of time in my life. It also feels like it has gone speeding by. I want to ask: how did I get here?
I have had so many blessings along the way: doctors who are healers, compassionate nurses, the newest chemotherapy and technology protocols, health insurance and a loving, understanding workplace. (I think often of ill people without any of these essential pieces in place.)
My family, friends, and OJC community have provided unstinting support.
My self-care practices of healthy eating, yoga, walking, journaling, and meditation have supported and eased the regimen of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
But nothing has been as powerful in my healing process as my faith in God.
Make no mistake: I am not saying that the seeming success of my course of treatment and potentially complete healing are the result of my faith. God did not make me sick and God is not healing me.
I am saying that my optimism, positive energy, gratitude and sense of blessing are all a result of my belief in God and that God cares about me.
My spiritual life does not remove moments of fear and despair, but does give me the ability to cope.
Spirituality allows me to experience transcendent meaning in this precious life. For me, it is expressed through my relationship with God. For you, it might be about nature, family, or community. – whatever beliefs and values give you a sense of meaning and purpose in life. When we attend to these beliefs, we feel a deep sense of belonging to something greater than we are.
For me, my spirituality translates into an unshakable trust that God has plans for me. This idea has carried me through my treatment for cancer. And it will carry me through the months and years ahead from scan to scan.
Praised are you, Adonai my God, Who has helped me feel safe and free from undue suffering. Thank you, God for helping me find moments of joy in the midst of this time of challenge. Amen.
Yasher Koach Eshet Chayil!
Todah rabbah morateinu!
Paula, Thank you for continuing to include me in your posts. I am glad to hear your treatment is going well and that you are continuing to stay optimistic and positive. You are in my thoughts daily and in my prayers. I am sending the posts on to Donna Schwartz. I hope to see you soon.
Your attitude has been an inspiration to us.
Thank you dear G-d for the gift of my beloved Rabbi Paula.luv Eileen
We send hugs and good wishes. May the Chanukah lights blaze a trail towards a refuah shleimah. Thank you for sharing your journey. Love, Tova and Barry
Wow, what a moving blog!
Rabbi Drill, you are such an inspirational spiritual leader & friend to me & my family.
You will be back to your Duracell Bunny self
before long. We look forward to celebrating the completion of your treatment!
Sending you lots of love.
Keep stromg,you are an inspiration to so many. Much love and hugs, Renee
I feel so fortunate to have reconnected with you now. I hope that in some small way my prayers and energies can add to your healing journey. Do you know how important you have been to my life? I hear your sweet, strong voice and see our learning times in my mind. You are a part of me and for that I am most grateful. I don’t know the Hebrew words that I want to use but know I pray for your continued strength and healing. With love, Rosanne
Thank you so much for your loving and supportive response to this blog post. You and I have definitely traveled roads together and we are both the stronger for it. Wishing you and your entire family love and health in this new year. By the way, you KNOW that God hears your prayers in whatever language you use!
You are sunshine to all who know you. May your light never diminish, and may it grow even stronger as you heal. You are truly loved and blessed by your congregation as well as by God.
You know how I feel about you but it never hurts to say it again. YOU ARE THE VERY BEST AND I LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL!
Thank you again for sharing yourself. prayers for your continued journey back to good health. Love and hugs, Annette
You are truly an inspiration to all of us.
Rabbi Drill, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We think you are terrific and we hope you continue to feel better. You are a wonderful role model. Sending you love, Lesley and Rich
Thank you for your loving support throughout these months. May you be granted full health in this year ahead!
I am so glad to hear of your progress. I think of you often and of your wonderful children, all students of mine at GOA. Sending love. Linda Glasofer
Linda, Thank you so much for being in touch. My wonderful children owe much of their “wonderfulness” to their passionate and skillful teachers throughout their years at Solomon Schechter of Essex and Union (Golda Och Academy). We were fortunate to have you as one of their educators.