7 Quick Takes – 13


— 1 —

Today (Friday) marks one year since I had my bone marrow transplant. Wow. One year. It sounds like such a long time and the anniversary seem to be such an important milestone. In a way it is. It a way it is an extremely stressful, and rather painful day. PTSD (not self-diagnosed) kicks in. So today is not an easy day for me.

Don’t take me wrong, I’m grateful for the medical knowledge and technology that allowed me to live, but the time surrounding my BMT, including the day itself, was traumatic. So I decided to attach good memories to this day.

— 2 —

2014-03-28 12.26.25

My first real ice cream of the season. Today was just the perfect weather for it, and when it came to choosing between McDonald’s and the nearby “Italian” place, the latter won.

— 3 —

$7 shoes.

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One of my coworkers thinks I have small feet. Indeed, I wear shoes between sizes 40 and 42, depending the type of shoes. But this way I can buy the colours in these type of shoes from the Ladies’ section, too. The style is the same, but thy have more colour options. Yes, these new shoes are already dirty, because I did quite a bit of walking through some constructions the last two days.

— 4 —

Tuesday we celebrated Itamar’s 15th birthday. We had a movie party, because he cannot go to the cinema now because if the danger if infections. We borrowed a projector and made a lot of popcorn and nachos, and had a lot of cola, orange and citrus syrups for our SodaStream Fountain and two Hobbit movies. I have to admit that I used the movie time to catch up on season two of The Following. Seriously, if Tolkien’s shopping list would be discovered, Peter Jackson would turn it into three movies of two and a half hours each. (I read something to that effect somewhere online once, so it’s not my original brilliance.)

We had two of Itamars friend visit from the kibbutz he used to live at, and both his grandparents could come and join us. His grandma has Alzheimer’s, but we were blessed with a very good day for her as well. Things sometimes just work out.

— 5 —

After much consideration, I finally ordered an iPod Touch and a cute case to go with it. I also ordered new batteries for my old phone. While the memory problem it has doesn’t really allow me to use many apps on it, it still works really well as a mobile hotspot for my wifi only devices, and I’ll just use the iPod for apps. Plus TA is very free wifi saturated, so normally I will be able to use it a lot as if I were just home.

— 6 —

I am really a lover of acoustic versions. I love Matisyahu’s Spark Seeker: Acoustic Sessions (the iTunes version has my favourite song, Silence as well), and I absolutely love the above version of Achshav by Harel Skaat. It totally beats the official music video, especially since he doesn’t look like a creepy serial killer in the studio!

— 7 —

I gave up all my ideals and bought tickets for the Vatican Museum online. Serious rip of, if you ask me. The entrance fee is €16. That is $22. And in addition to that, they charge €4 for online purchases. That is if you buy your tickets from the Vatican Museum directly. But when you Google, there are like six hits before the official museum page, and they either ask for €16 and the €14 of online fee per ticket, or just tell you it costs €28.50, either including or excluding a €8.50 online fee. Mind you, several of these sites are various Catholic tour groups and organizations. I’m really not impressed by them.


I wonder if this time we get to see the Borgia Apartments and if they will charge me another gazillion Euros for pictures? Last time I went they asked full price for a ticket and neither the Borgia Apartments or the Sistine Chapel were open due to an impending conclave. I wasn’t impressed by that either.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Faith Healing and the Such


Most of my adult life I have been battling serious and less serious health issues. I have cancer, heart issues, spine issues and numerous infections in my past, with many surgeries and hospitalizations. I have a small pharmacy in my bathroom cupboard, and I fight each day to regain my health as best as possible and to live life like a normal person. People who care for me want to help, and driven with hope for me, my SIL suggested I go see a miracle rabbi in Jerusalem.

You see, Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on faith healers and preachers that perform miracles. Judaism has a long history of miracle rabbis, some of whom were proficient in healing. They seem to be surfacing again, possibly as an answer to televangelists. My SIL was full of love and goodwill when she pointed me towards this particular person, but I have to admit I find big faith healing events to be not only scams but outright harmful. Patients are often discouraged to seek regular medical assistance, and that in itself is a warning sign. Those patients, who don’t experience long term healing are blamed for their failure, for not having enough faith, thus adding spiritual and psychological damage.

There are countless documentaries on YouTube about faith healing techniques and scams, truth about people like Peter Popoff or Benny Hinn, but I chose this Channel 4 special by Derren Brown about how he trained an everyday man to be a believable faith healer. His message towards the end of the program is worth listening to! It starts at 1:07:00. Please give  Derren and Nathan those few minutes to listen to the message they have: “G-d doesn’t want your money to heal you.”

Yes, Mr. Brown is an atheist and a sceptic. However, he is not trying to tear down the faith of those who believe, but uncover the scams that are used to fleece the believers.

Another thing that I ran into when undergoing chemotherapy and suffering from the side effercts was people recommending me all kinds of alternative medicines instead of chemo. Special diets. Massage. Candles. Homeopathy. Whatever. To replace chemotherapy. They pointed towards Steve Jobs who was battling pancreatic cancer with alternative medicine. I’d like to point out that the major difference between Mr. Jobs and I is that he is dead and I’m alive.

I am going to be honest. There were things that helped me in addition to chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatment. Some of these were, and please know that I’m not a distributor for any MLM’s and I don’t benefit from naming these products, Tahitian Noni juice and Narosan, a vitamin packed product by a Swiss company. Neither was cheap, though I got a discount from distributors, because they wanted to help. I got their products at the same price they paid for them. The greatest thing about both products was that they tasted good and they made me feel good about being able to keep them down. I loved them, and they helped me get vitamins into my body that I needed. For others it was other things. I keep saying that my miracle cure was pomegranate Arizona Ice Tea, that I could drink a lot of… making us nearly bankrupt.

Faith and non-pharmaceuticals have a place in healing and recovery. However, making them the only tools for healing is foolish.

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