Tuesday, July 4, 2017


it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of safed.  I just washed my kitchen and dining room floors.  the large dog named, tiny, just tracked in muddy paw prints.  we are having an intense heat wave.  it has been over 100 degrees here.  I am one of the few people in this world who doesn't have air-conditioning in my house.  actually, there is a fine unit upstairs in the rooftop apartment but the place got trashed a couple of years ago when we had a 3 day sand storm.  I haven't been able to clean the apartment.

I had just done a pesach cleaning upstairs, as someone was interested in renting.  I left the windows open to air out the apartment and forgot to close them.  we had a very bizarre ash storm that lasted for days.  my entire house was covered in a layer of grey dust.  the dust was in the air. you could see it and taste it. It took over a year for it to settle.  it looked like the end of the world.  all the trees were covered in grey dust and we didn't have any rain to clean the air.  scores of people ended up in the hospital.  some lucky people with air-conditioning had kept their windows shut.  the rest of us were not so lucky.

I am travelling tonight to tel aviv to do an MRI of my brain.  it has been 8 months since my last test.  I have an appointment next week to see the surgeon.   I was supposed to have done the surgery back in December.  I got the flu and stayed sick for most of the winter.  I then got busy cleaning for pesach and the time flew by.  I am not particularly nervous today.  my blood pressure went up two weeks ago when I went to ask my doctor for the medical insurance papers.  I was shaking.

I started a diet regimen.  it is way too hot to truly move around.  I have stopped eating after 8:00 p.m. for three nights, already.  I take a 12 hour break now from food.  I started drinking water and lemon.  I haven't had a cup of caffeinated tea in a week.  I drink at least four cups of water upon waking.  I still feel dizzy when I am outside.  I haven't started the South Beach diet yet.  I have simply, stopped binging and eating any sugar.  I have been eating plenty of watermelon and cantaloupe.  my stomach looks a bit less bloated.

I am still hungry all the time but I am watching what I eat.  I used to lose my appetite in the heat but no such luck, now.  I haven't had any food yet today.  the grandkids will be here soon.  they are both in day camps.  I have been using the pool a lot.  the water has been pretty tepid.  I love the shock of cold water but in this heat you have to settle for wet.  I ordered a taxi to pick me up from the hospital at around 3:00 a.m.  my test is scheduled for 12:30 a.m.  it usually takes a couple of hours.  I hope I won't end up waiting a long time for the cab.

it is supposed to be even hotter tomorrow.  it is my English birthday.  I usually go by the Hebrew date but my siblings, back in the states, do not.  I had a nice visit with my niece from India last week.  she didn't ask why I missed her sister's wedding.  perhaps, she assumes, that my health didn't allow it.  there was no mention of any falling out between me and her mother.  my niece is a sweet young lady.  I was very happy that she came over to see me.  my kids do not allow me to invite her kids to use the pool.

my son and wife were very angry that I had a visit with my niece.   that entire family is dead to them forever.  they feel that I have groveled enough to them for years to maintain any semblance of a relationship.  I find it impossible to hate anyone.  although I do not feel that I can ever trust my sister again, it pains me to no end to know that she never wants to see me again.  I just thought that a break was necessary for each of us to regroup.  I know that I must focus on my family unit right now.  I cannot afford to be alienated from my son and his family right now.

I originally asked my sister if she would be my medical power of attorney.  I will have to make my son the power of attorney now and pray that he will come through for me.  the thought of depending on him is very scary for me.  I have always been the caregiver.

I must focus on my health now and get myself back in shape.  this is the fattest I have ever been.  I hope to lose a bit before my oncologist appointment in two weeks. I am so embarrassed to have put on so much weight.  I went with my friend to her hematologist appointment in the safed hospital yesterday.  she got taken in an hour early and we were out in an hour.  I felt a twinge of jealousy.  I always wait at least 2 hours to see my doctors in tel aviv.  if I have a 9:00 a.m. appointment I am lucky if I am taken by 11:30.  that's the price of going to a top notch hospital.  I have been thoroughly traumatized by the staff at the safed hospital throughout the years.  I watched helplessly as they nearly killed my mom.

there is no complaining to a higher authority here.  I try to influence my friends to seek out other treatments elsewhere.  travelling is definitely hard but I owe my survival to not having done my treatment here and of course, to G-d.  I didn't sleep much last night.  I watched the last season of the sopranos.  it's just to hot!

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