They say laughter is the best medicine, but it’s hard to remember that when faced with life-threatening news.
When the dermatologist first said the word “melanoma,” my mind fizzed into a…state of paralytic shock, especially as this appointment was supposed to be a standard cosmetic procedure. The grayish/blue mole that emerged from my cheek had injured my vanity, but thoughts of it being anything other than a superficial nuisance never crossed my mind. “It looks dangerous,” the dermatologist frowned, lowering her hand-held light. “I recommend… >> Read More
I was nervous. The assistant principal running late, so I sat alone in a hard chair in a Brooklyn high school guidance office. I wiped my sweaty palms on my new suit, hoping I looked older than the…students. I tried to breathe as the minutes dragged on. A redhead with wild curls peered into the office, and raised her eyebrow at me. “I’m interviewing for the guidance position,” I told her. “I’m Paulette,” she said, leaning against the doorway. “I’m a counselor, too.” By the time the assistant principal came into the… >> Read More
In high school, I asked my mom to let me go to a Red Cross blood drive. “Giving blood is fine,” my mother said, “but you know Jews don’t donate certain organs.” “Wait, what?” I asked,…confused. “When the Messiah comes, he raises everyone up, and we need to be buried with all of our vital organs,” she told me. “The body is sacred; it’s not ours to give away.” That seemed odd to me because, well, eventually we are dust anyway. But I certainly didn’t want to violate any more Jewish… >> Read More
There's no love like sister love. For one pair of sisters, Randi Fishman and Erin Silverman, their bond is unbreakable: the two are joined by a baby!
When Maryland resident Fishman was 28 in…2011, she received horrific news: She had breast cancer. Her diagnosis happened right after she got married and was about to start a family, crushing her pregnancy dreams. At the time, Fishman was able to her freeze her eggs and started the expensive, time-consuming process to find a surrogate. They found one and she gave… >> Read More
Several weeks into chemotherapy and proton therapy, Lydia lost most of her hair. At 7-and-a-half my daughter was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma. It turned out that her night terrors and toothache…were really symptoms of a tumor growing under the surface of her right jawbone, a tumor that started in the connective tissue. As Lydia’s hair thinned more and more, I offered to shave her head. “Are you kidding me?” she said, hand on her hip and a death-ray stare in her eyes. “It’s bad enough… >> Read More