Skip to main content

Cancers

My mother told me tonight that my father's closest friend (okay, ONLY friend; what was with that?) has cancer. His is colon and apparently operable; they're opening him up tomorrow.

He asked my mother if colon was the same kind my father had. But the thing I have learned about cancer is that it is a single disease in name only. Every kind of cancer is totally different and has its own behaviour and growth patterns. My father's was gastric; more specifically, GEJ – cancer of the gastro-esophageal junction. Gastric is nasty. Colon, well, nasty also, but there are thousands of people walking around who have beaten it. Gastric, not so many.

He was reassured when he found out it wasn't.

Just before my father was diagnosed, he was musing with my sister on the drive back from Montreal, about which kinds of cancer he would hate to have. His cousin died of bone cancer, long before his time, and in lots and lots of pain. And my mother's brother died of pancreatic cancer, which was fast and miserable. So he didn't want to have that one, either.

I have to feel hopeful for his friend that - if one were to desire a particular type of cancer, colon would be one of the better ones.

My personal top pick would be SKIN. Nanny had skin cancer for years and they'd just snip off a piece every once in a while; that was that. After skin... hmm... something not too central, not too vital for life. Maybe TOE. Do they have toe cancer? Hair cancer?

I won't put his friend's name in here, but please think happy thoughts in his direction. He's originally from India, lives downtown, works in real estate, has a lovely wife, two kids and the biggest, warmest smile. He adopted his wife's daughter from her first marriage. He throws the best New Year's parties, and not just occasionally... every single year. It was probably the last time my father ever went out socially... less than two weeks before he died. You can set a clock by his New Year's parties; when Elisheva was born on December 31st, I knew exactly where to reach my parents. Hint: they were NOT spending new year's at home.

My father would always semi-shamedly and semi-gleefully recount their adventures on December 31, driving around for party supplies, shopping for and sampling the freshest oysters for the party. Shamefully with me, because they weren't kosher. Gleefully because it was fun.

And talk about cultural exchange: a lifetime of seders, Diwali parties... and camping trips. He was my dad's ticket to India, long, long ago, when he hauled my father along with him, back home to break the news that he wasn't marrying the nice Indian girl his parents had picked out for him. Oh, and he'd married a lovely, white, anabaptist (mennonite?) woman over in Canada. With a child. A shanda!

So now, even if not by name, you've gotten to know him by character. And this isn't a eulogy, because he is going to be just fine.

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Ancient Auction Secret: If Chinese auctions are racist, why do Jews love them so much?

Ah, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews.  You sure do love your Chinese auctions, don’t you? It seems that even in an era of political correctness, within certain circles, this term just will not die . And frankly, I’m mortified. I’m not Chinese, but I have family who is Chinese.  Some are Korean, as well.  I guess this makes us more ethnically diverse than many Jews, but I suspect most Jewish families are moving in this direction.  Still.  Even if we don’t know a single Chinese person, we should still stop calling it that. First of all… is it actually racist to call it a Chinese auction? I figured I’d let Chinese people decide.  But when I turned to Google to find out how Chinese people feel about Chinese auctions, what I found was mostly… nothing.  Silence.  I did find some debate (presumably among non-Chinese people) over whether it was too far in the direction of political correctness to refer to these as a “silent auction” or (as in some parts of the States) a “tricky tray.”  (Ok

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po