Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rabbi Google vs. Dr. Google - a PSA

I often joke about "Rabbi Google" being able to answer any Jewish questions.
Rabbi Google makes plenty of mistakes. But since I know something about the subject, I feel pretty confident when I've found an accurate answer.

Dr. Google?
He is not to be trusted.

So if you find something online about Sam's diagnosis, treatment, plan, or potential demise....

Don't share it with us.


P.S. All success stories give us light and hope. Feel free to tell us about your friend's brother's cousin's co-worker who is a survivor of childhood leukemia and now has a beautiful grown-up life. We like those. Keep 'em coming.


Day 10 - Last day of Chemo update

Sam has his final dose of chemotherapy at 3am tonight (so it's technically on Sunday).
Today he had a blood transfusion. It seems to have perked him up a little...and he announced that he was hungry! (He didn't actually eat much, but announcing hunger is a big deal.)
He spent most of the day napping/resting/sleeping. This is "normal" and the transfusion is "normal" and there are probably others in our future, which is also "normal."
Now we're in what the doctors tell me is the icky waiting period. And by icky, I mean all the chemo side effects you've ever heard about. I'm excited. Aren't you?

We have amazing doctors who are spending a lot of time helping us fight AML.
Keep their skillful hands in your prayers along with Sam, okay?

P.S. If you are interested in helping Sam or any other kid with cancer, donate blood. I know there will be a blood drive and bone marrow registry drive at Am Shalom on Thursday, June 28th between 2-8pm. You can also contact your local blood donation site if you aren't in Chicago! Even better, donate platelets. They need them, a doctor discussed this with me today. It is a little harder to donate platelets (it takes longer) so the need is actually greater.


  1. Is there a way to register bone marrow for Sam from another location (aka NY)?

  2. As requested a great childhood leukemia survival story. A little girl, under 3, living here in Holy Shiloh needed a minor hernia operation. Routine blood tests shocked the medical staff and her family, leukemia. She had been unusally tired of late, but nobody took it as important.

    She went through all the chemo etc that was done at the time, even walked around in a wig. When she was old enough she was sent to America to Camp Simcha accompanied by her eldest sister who wasn't all that old.

    Yes, she survived and today has four or five kids and is my granddaughters's school computer teacher.

    Refuah Shleimah and you, Phyllis, take care of yourself!!!!

  3. I wish I could give him blood, or person needing blood., but they don't let pregnant or anemic people donate. :( I'm glad he was hungry! He will beat this, for he already is.

  4. If you register in the national registry, that will help Sam or any other kid who needs a donation....if you are a match. xo

  5. Don't believe anything you see on the internet...ever...verify! :) Much of what is written on cancer sites are by hurt or angry parents...or simply misinformed people..I would stay away :)



  6. When Eli was first diagnosed, his doctors BEGGED me to stop reading everything on the Internet bc so much of it was inaccurate. The only website they suggested was NCI.GOV

  7. The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are accurate. - Abraham Lincoln

  8. Here's hoping sam's chemo effects are as manageable as possible, and if anything like ari's, improve quickly (even if the days feel like forever). Oh and whatever you do on the web, stay off the mom boards of kids with leukemia. And finally, hang in there. I feel like you're my sister in this.

  9. My daughter, Liat, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma 3 days after her bat mitzvah, in 2005. Reading your blog brings back some difficult memories, but also overwhelming emotion with the memories of how our community enveloped us with love and held our family together while she went through chemo and radiation. Chai Lifeline, and their summer camp, Camp Simcha was also at our side from practically the moment of diagnosis. Liat had some setbacks, but today, Thank G-d, she is almost 19-years-old and completing her first year of National Service in Israel (we made Aliyah in 2007). She is a happy, beautiful young woman and I pray daily for G-d to grant her and her sisters, and all our children good health.

    I have read your wife's blogs for quite a few years now and always enjoyed it. Unfortunately I haven't checked in that often lately and was in shock to read her words about your son. And I see that your family has also been enveloped with love. Cancer does suck (I said that all the time when we going through our ordeal), but you are blessed to have so many pulling and praying and helping you.

    By the way, I myself am a survivor of cancer. My Hodgkin's Lymphoma was diagnosed when I was 22 years old. I am also very blessed to have three beautiful daughters, a wonderful husband, and to have accomplished a lifelong dream of living in our Holy Land.

    I'll be back to following both your blogs now, praying for your son to have a Refuah Shelaima and for your family to get through this time with continued love and support.

    (I wrote about my experience on my own blog here--Phyllis wrote a beautiful comment at the time. )

  10. In case you're not yet sick of me I wanted to add another success story: my nephew, Daniel, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma when he was 7. He is Venezuelan and was treated in Caracas, Venezuela and, even so, managed to survive. Today he is 22 years old, lives in NYC and is attending Yeshiva University.


  12. I love the photo of Sam from the back with the red flowing cape. Take it from me as a former professional photographer, the person who captured him like this really got it! Good for you.

  13. A friend of mine survived childhood Leukemia and went on to marry, have two children, receive graduate degrees from both Harvard and Stanford, and hold prestigious positions nationally in the Jewish world.

    Go, Team Superman Sam!