| With an optimistic spirit, by Yocheved Milo, Breast Cancer Survivor
A malignant tumor was detected during a routine mammography screening, which I made sure to undergo every two years. All at once I was thrown into a different dimension: tests, biopsy, physicians, until the decision to undergo surgery, a partial mastectomy.
Apparently, it is impossible to know what your mental fortitude is until you must make use of it. I received the terrible news with great faith and reconciliation. Deep within me I opened the "drawers of my soul": peace of mind, humor and cynicism. Using these strategies made it much easier on my small family and my close surroundings. I spoke about everything with openness, and there was no need to speak behind my back. This is how I succeeded in getting through this difficult period.
Beyond my personal emotional strength, there is no doubt that the warm and encouraging embrace I received from my close family members, and close friends also contributed to my good feeling, uplifting my spirits.
There were moments that I couldn't cope with the nagging questions that were probably asked with good intentions, but who has the patience? Here are a few examples for a good laugh: "What does your husband have to say?", seriously, I answered, because he goes dancing every night, and because some of the people didn't understand me, I added that he also goes and gets drunk every night. Or for example "don't blame God for what happened", and who said that I was blaming someone? And all the stories about the neighbor and the cousin and all kinds of acquaintances who went through a similar process - I put a stop to them immediately. At this stage of the disease - I wasn't interested in old wives' tales.
I would like to praise the medical system of the healthcare fund of which I have been a member for many years. From the moment the disease was diagnosed, I was treated in a very businesslike, humane, and even warm manner, whenever I contacted the fund. The receptionist, the medical secretaries, the labs, the doctors: they all explained the processes with great patience. I told the skilled surgeon that my grandmother, may she rest in peace, taught me to tell him that he must be a "messenger of good" and indeed he was.
To boost my morale, I did everything I could. Two days before the surgery I went to the hairdresser and I also received a soothing and refreshing facial treatment from the cosmetician so that I would be beautiful for the surgery! I didn't neglect the house either - I decorated it with seasonal flowers, such as anemones, cyclamens and daffodils, so that they would greet me on my return home from the surgery with their perfumed scent and splendor.
Now about a month and a half after the surgery, I can say "I was sick", the tumor was removed and the pathological tests have proven that the disease has not spread, thank God. However, I am still on hold....A difficult period of preventative treatment still awaits me - daily treatment at the hospital for many weeks. Of course my welcome routine has been disrupted, various activities have come to a halt, but I am getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, where everything is waiting for me there....
I have shared my personal experiences with you, in order to convey the message that if someone should be diagnosed with the disease, God forbid, he/she should open their drawers of the soul and find in them the strength of acceptance and struggle. The medical system has demonstrated great professionalism in treating malignant diseases and alleviates the suffering resulting from treatment and rehabilitation. It is imperative to go for regular testing. In my opinion, openness and discussions about the disease make it easier on the patient, and also make those around him behave more naturally.
And the main thing is that we should all be healthy....and may our noteworthy routine continue!