Bentzi 1 Year

“It occurred almost 5 months ago, in the middle of a Shabbos meal. It began with some weak pains, progressing over the next few hours into sharper and stronger pains. I felt it all over my body. I was hoping that it was just a matter of time and the pain would soon pass; however, the pain only increased. The following day, I visited the doctor who immediately suspected something, and sent to me a specialist. The specialist sent me for blood tests and an ultrasound. The next day my wife called me with the results, her voice said it all, “You have a tumor in the testicles and they want to operate on you as soon as possible!” Three days later, following the surgery, I thought to myself, “That’s it, the tumor has been removed and life will return to normal”.

A week and a half after the surgery, we met with the surgeon. The exact words the surgeon used were of a high caliber vocabulary, one that I could not understand. But the sad and painful look on my wife’s face said it all; the surgery was just the beginning. The results of the ultrasound illustrated that the growth had spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body. I had to start chemotherapy treatment, the earlier the better.

I remember myself going out onto the street, confused and upset, “Me? Bentzi? Thirty years old! With cancer?” I looked at the passersby and remember telling my wife,” I envy them! Their lives seem like bliss, whilst my world feels so dark”. When we got home, I looked at my wife and children and started to cry… it all started seep in…

Phone calls, consultations, meetings, fear, anxiety, uncertainty and frustration accompanied me for the following few days. Following our meeting with senior doctors in Memorial Hospital in Manhattan, the situation was clear.

The first day of treatment arrived, one of twenty treatments I would have to undergo over the course of three months. I realized that there is only one real way to get through it all; a positive attitude, hope, optimism and lots of smiles. It was not easy, to say the least, however that is what I decided.
The first day of treatment passes, and then the second… Slowly the chemo treatment begins to take effect. By the end of the first week, the side effects began to take over my body. Heartburn, constipation, nausea, ringing in the ears, weakness, pain in the hair, hallucinations and much more, but I feel you will not comprehend.

The hours and days that passed were accompanied by suffering, sorrow, tears, pain, and anxiety. I often found myself lying to those around me that I was ok, just so I would not upset them. However, at the same time I was shocked and touched at the concern, care and love that was pouring in from family, friends and acquaintances from all over the world; doing everything they could to let me know that I am not alone and they are with me all the way.

The second round of treatment was approaching, and almost all my hair had fallen out. Within a few days, my appearance had completely changed; even my best friends did not recognize me on the street. I would repeatedly tell myself, “Appearance does not bother me; the most important thing is health!” Weeks pass and the treatments continue with overwhelming side effects. I kept praying and begging to G-D, that this nightmare that I was enduring, should end quickly and easily!

And so it happened… maybe not so quickly and easily, but finally earlier this month, I completed the treatment. They don’t say for no reason, “G-d does not place man in a test that he cannot withstand”. It was only two weeks following the treatment and tests, when the doctors informed me that the treatment had been successful and that I AM CLEAN!!! Nevertheless, they left me with a tough decision (it’s difficult to elaborate here). However in short, after flying this week to Indiana to meet with the world’s top doctor for this specific cancer, I can say that I feel much more relaxed and happy. The smile on my face last night was the largest one in five months!

This is why I am writing this letter to you. In just a few hours, the year is ending, the year in which I withstood the toughest test of my life. A test that I just overcame and G-d willing, I hope that very soon it will be the end of it. I have no words to express to you all how much I appreciate what you did for me. The prayers, concern, care, assistance, a listening ear, phone calls, emails, messages, letters, and everything else that gave me strength and hope. I feel blessed and lucky that you are the people that surround me, and I wish you from the depth of my heart – “You should be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year, materially and spiritually. G-d willing we should only hear and share in good news”.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank G-d for the good and for what appears to be bad. Everything has a reason and it was proven to me that all is for the good. And of course, thank you to the one and only – my dear wife – no words can express my gratitude!

While I’m at it, due to the fact that many of my friends are in my age group, I feel obligated to ask you to enter the link below and check for yourself. The reason being, what I went through is a very common type of tumor found in men between the ages of 20-35. If discovered in time, it can avoid and save one much suffering and pain. It’s important for me that the less people suffer from it the better; the suffering I already endured for you. Enter this link and share the post so that people will hear and see:” – September 2014

Today, Bentzi is 1 Year Cancer Free!