Cancer snatched up another victim.

Just a week ago was the passing of Edit Even Chen z”l, a woman of breathtaking beauty, not only without but also within, a woman who was so optimistic, so strong. She had dreams. What will become of those dreams now? I didn’t allow my inner self to fully absorb the knowledge. It was too much. But now, so soon afterwards, Kira Doron-I can’t believe I’m attaching these words to her name- of blessed memory, was also taken from this world. I met them both at the Fun Day for women organized by Ezer Mizion. Like all Ezer Mizion’s happenings, it was a day to bond with others undergoing the same nightmare and laugh together, a day of vacation from cancer. We joked around about our situation. I sat with Edit and crafted handbags. We laughed about how mine came out so crooked, even though I am very creative, but apparently, I didn’t click with handbags.  Hers came out perfect, wouldn’t you know it. There was a fantastic performance by Ron Shoval, and Shalom Asayag made us laugh until we cried. This time, for a change, they were tears of joy, not tears of pain. I met Kira in the elevator. We joked about how both of us were with a cane – the “Kane Klan,” that’s what we called ourselves. I saw her, so radiant, so pretty. Afterwards, in April, Edit and I went to Eilat for three days of unbelievable fun—another Ezer Mizion taste of heaven . And now they’re both gone. I can’t believe it.  The  jokes, the hilarity, the camaraderie …gone. Never to surface again.  Never?

Another family is left orphaned of their mother. More children who will never see their Ima again. I’m happy that Kira at least had a chance to be at her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, to share that momentous day. Ezer Mizion made it such a special day for both of them. But my eyes fill with tears when I think of her younger son. She had dreamed about being there at his Bar Mitzvah and now, …

 We were both members of the same club – the cancer patients club. We used to correspond via What’s App. I was always enchanted by her optimism, how she refused to be sucked up by her illness. Even when she started her second round of chemo, it didn’t break her. At our group in What’s App, she posted a picture of herself with her beautiful blond hair and labeled it “Before” and then she shaved her head, posted the new photo and labeled it “After.” I was so taken by her strength. She loved to laugh about the cancer, just as I do. She wouldn’t let her sickness drag her down. She had dreams. Like her son’s Bar Mitzvah.

That is my dream, too.  Will I..? No. I refuse to think about it. My son and I will share the day together. Of course, we will…Won’t we?

This illness – they should just find a medicine for it already that can cure all the cancer patients – the time has come that this horrible illness should be like diabetes or thyroid trouble. I mean that you should be able to take some medication, and that’s it, not to have the constant, terrifying fear that it will get worse, but to be able to simply live with it. Or better yet, they should come up with a drug that gets rid of this disease altogether, one that will work whether or not the disease has started spreading.

Now, I turn to you, Kira and Edit. You are probably having a grand party now, with all our other friends that have died. At least now, nothing hurts. Yes, I know, that fact doesn’t really console anyone – at least not me, even though I try to hang onto it. But I know that it is just a vain effort to find consolation, not that it really helps. Because I saw you, I saw how happy you were, like all of us. We laughed about cancer, made up all kinds of jokes, came to visit one another in the hospital. It pains me deeply that you are gone. I can’t even think about it. I want to wake up from this nightmare and discover that we are all still together in the group of girls who love to have a great time and that all the treats we get is because Ezer Mizion’s Donald Berman Rehab Center likes us, not because they want to boost our morale and make us forget our cancer troubles. I want to discover that Ezer Mizion’s Oranit in Petach Tikvah is actually a place you pay to go to, a vacation hostel with lots of activities for kids – not the place it really is, a haven for cancer patients and their families, to help them forget the situation they are in.

So, Kira and Edit, rest in peace – may we, who are left behind to mourn, find consolation.

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