Shalom My Gantseh Megillah Family and Friends,
For the past fourteen months, as many of you know, I have been dealing with a
serious medical situation. A blockage in my Common Bile Duct has migrated to a
position that makes it very hard to reach and remove. Normally, this would not
be a particularly difficult matter, but my Crohn's Disease, and the many bowel
resection surgeries I have undergone over the years, make my situation far more
Seven times my physicians have attempted to remove the obstruction using an
endoscope, and each attempt met with failure. Finally, I was referred to a
surgeon, who I expected was going to tell me that instead of the scope, he would
have to employ the use of the old fashioned "cut and sew" process.
Unfortunately, the result of the consultation was anything but reassuring.
The surgeon determined that multiple previous resections, and a subsequent
herniation, have made surgery extremely risky; far more so than just leaving
things the way they are. Should a serious emergency evolve, he said, the
surgical risk would no longer be a factor. At this point he would intervene, but
to do so now would be exposing me to more harm than good. It is his professional
opinion, and personal ethics, that prevent him from subjecting me to the
In the meanwhile, I have lost 70 lbs. Some days I can eat reasonably well, but
most days I take in just enough calories to survive. I am consulting with my
gastroenterologist this weekend to see if he can recommend some symptomatic
relief that might improve my lifestyle. My energy level is almost non-existent,
and just the effort of publishing the Megillah would be impossible without the
assistance and support of Arnold.
Please understand, I am not writing all of this to gain sympathy. My reason for
this commentary is to explain why, with all the medical problems I am facing, I
still feel blessed and grateful.
Since first revealing my situation to the Megillah family, I have received
countless letters, phone calls, cards, emails etc. How can I not consider myself
blessed to discover that so many people actually care about me, and include me
in their prayers and good wishes? It reinforces my total belief that we truly
are the Megillah family.
The Gantseh Megillah is not simply a journal of Jewish thought, opinion, stories
and related topics, but a group of thousands of people who have come together,
and formed connections that one very rarely finds in a publication of any kind.
I am so very touched by all of you treating me and Arnold as members of your
family. This, not sympathy, is what I treasure most.
I will, from time-to-time, keep you up to date on my condition. However, it is
my intention, to the best of my ability, to present a new and fresh Megillah
each and every month, which deals with an eclectic variety of topics and
information. You can be sure that our commitment to the Weekly Megillah remains
strong as well, and we shall do our utmost to keep both publications on track.
Please know that I love you all very much. Each member of our Megillah family
plays an important part in Arnold's and my life. Simply knowing you are all out
there reading and enjoying our work, and the work of our writers, gives us
strength and courage. Not a day goes by when we do not feel intense gratitude
for having all of you in our lives.