Personal StoriesThe Jewish Woman

“When I Got Cancer I Learned to See Each Day of My Life As a Gift”

“My name is Libi Goldstein, I'm married and a mother of two sweet children,” Libi opens her story. “Six years ago, I was a mother in my second pregnancy, a hospital nurse, full of energy and action, dreams, goals and a clear life course and I was diagnosed with cancer.”

“After six months of treatments during which Thank G-d, I gave birth to a healthy baby, I received a clean bill of health. But six weeks later it became clear that I wasn't yet victorious over the cancer. There is only one victor – the one who orchestrates the whole world,” she bravely wrote.

“When I was hospitalized during Passover five years ago in the Bone Marrow Transplant Department, my dear husband who should be well, a computer technician told his colleagues that his wife is undergoing a” re-installation, my body is getting a restart. Today I know that something much deeper happened. The 'control panel' in my brain was upgraded not just my bone marrow.”

“Though the bone marrow transplant didn't end my hardships, this day is a special day for me, when I was born again. I took it upon myself to see every day, no matter how difficult or challenging, as a gift.”

On her fifth anniversary of her bone marrow transplant she wrote in her column: “Every birthday I find myself examining my life in an attempt to be precise in my mission in the world,” she continues.

“The saying attributed to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, says that “the day you were born is the day on which G-d decided that the world can not exist without you.” Today, I mark five years since that significant event, and I wonder what Rebbe Nachman would say about the meaning someone's life who was born again in the middle of his life?

“The fact I survived twice told me twice that the world can not exist without me. This is flattering, but on the other hand includes the heavy responsibility of a second chance. Another chance to make many mistakes along the way trying to turn the question marks in my life into happy exclamation points!” Libby records her deep insights from challenging years.

“I will not lie,” she adds candidly, “there are days when I am weak, small, grieving, bitter, preoccupied with petty thoughts about what has been lost, what isn't instead of what is … and there are good days in which I am happy and light, connected with myself, with tolerance and contentment.

“I still feel the slap my life received, and with all the pain that accompanied the cancer, I would not change a thing in my life. I hope this slap will remind me who I am and what is really important in life, wake me up to the right proportions and direct me clearly, with health and with joy to be the most accurate with myself, “Libby continues,” because this is the most important thing.”

“Happy birthday celebrating five years since my bone marrow transplant!”


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