Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Update on Reuven Ben Tova Chaya

My daughter, Tovi, has asked that I post the following update about my grandson Reuven. Her words follow. The photo of Reuven was taken at his 9th birthday party. He is holding an OU-R cake. The OU-R 'Hechsher' means that it conforms to Reuven's special diet.

Dear Friends,

We would like to start off by saying thank you. Thank you to Hakadosh Baruch Hu for carrying us through this difficult challenge. Thank you to all our friends, family, community and people we do not even know for your constant Tefillos. Thank you for the extra mitzvos, the learning, the Challah baking, chesed and all the things you have taken on as a Zechus for a Refuah Shelaima for our son, Reuven ben Tova Chaya. Thank you for your thoughts and concerns about Reuven and our entire family.

People constantly ask us "How do you do it?" There is no doubt in our minds that the strength we have is truly from Hashem, and He has sent us the perfect family, friends, and community to keep us going. Our appreciation knows no bounds!

We thought we would update all of you as to where Reuven is at this time. Baruch Hashem he has been feeling great, going to school and pretty much doing what most normal children do. He is however, still in a very big Sakanah (danger). He recently had scans that showed tumor progressions in more than one area. There was also some good news. One of his tumors shrunk a little and one appeared partially dead. But still, the overall picture is very serious.

He has been on oral chemotherapy. Along with that, through tremendous Siyata D'shmaya (help from Hashem) we came into contact with a man who has been doing cancer research for about 16 years. He has developed a dietary anti-cancer protocol to which, Baruch Hashem, a great many people have responded very well! Reuven has been doing this protocol to some degree - all with the complete approval and encouragement from his primary oncologist at Children's Memorial Hospital.

The protocol involves many foods which he is not permitted to eat and many foods and supplements which he must eat. For a child his age, it is very difficult to eat/drink the many things on this protocol.

Reuven's doctor feels strongly that something he has been doing, be it the oral chemo and/or his diet has been slowing tumor growth. But not stopping it. Of course we know, tefilos chesed and Torah learning are working behind the scenes , and the medicines are just an intermediary.

Still - the doctors feel that if we continue exactly what we are doing, tumors are likely to progress, Chas V'Shalom.

We know that the true refuah shelaima is ultimately up to Hashem! We also know that Hashem works Al Pi Teva (through natural means) and so we must continue to treat Reuven with all we've got. Therefore we plan to continue giving him the oral chemotherapy.

Reuven has had many treatments which again Baruch Hashem have seemed to help slow the growth of the tumors. However, at this time the doctors do not have something which they feel is curative. It seems that the only thing we can increase is the doses of this dietary protocol.

The doctors have agreed to put a g-tube (feeding tube) in Reuven stomach so that we can make sure he is getting 100% of this dietary protocol. This will of course IY"H give Reuven (and us) tremendous relief. The pressure to get him to take what he has been taking has been extremely overwhelming! And, this has only been a portion of the dietary protocol. Like we said our goal is to get him on it 100%.

The main part in our Hishtadlus is of course our spiritual efforts. We ask that you please continue to daven that Hashem send Reuven a refuah shelaima b’karov.

Thank you again! We have said it before but we will say it again...Mi K'Amcha Yisroel!!!

With much gratitude,
Menachem and Tovi Kirshner