When I think about the course of events since we last sat at the office of your oncologist 2 years ago, and discussed the plans for your future, I can’t help but shake my head in dismay. What a waste of time. Of energy, let alone the squandered funds. Your brother’s, not yours. I could still clearly hear him patiently advise you to do something meaningful with your life.
“This would greatly help you with your concerns around the so-called “chemo brain” you had brought up,” he admonished you.
I believe he was also telling you that this may be your chance to do something significant with the remainder of your life, however long or brief that may be. I could sense he knew it would be the latter.
You kept telling me you were convinced that you were meant to recover from your illness for a reason. That you needed to heed your calling to do something good, something that would make a difference. I was very encouraged by your renewed purpose. After all, you have spent the last 20 or so years drifting and living off your brother’s generosity. You had this aura of calm while at the same time, you were elated by the expectation of new things coming your way. I had shared this with our friends and we all heaved a collective sigh.
Then you took a rather long and complicated route back to home base. The journey was punctuated with diversions, mostly self-indulgent and rather frivolous, quite honestly. And then, there were the faith healers, naturopaths, numerologists, even mystics you called on from obscurity. We were all puzzled. We shook our heads but could not verbalize even to ourselves the question in the back of our minds: Has she gone mad? Is this part of the “chemo brain?” Surely, we all knew of someone in our lives who survived cancer or some other serious illness and made something meaningful of their lives.
Somehow, I can’t help but wonder if in surrounding yourself with Indian Medicine men, Eastern Mystics, numerologists, faith healers, and the like, you were trying to create a surreal world for yourself, not unlike the fantasy Sci-fi novels you have clung to all these years—long after the rest of us (including our children) have outgrown them. A world in which providence was clearly evident and palpable. A world you where you could control the outcomes to your favor.
And now this. Not only has your cancer returned with a vengeance, it has brought in tow, a more sinister companion, far merciless and unrelenting. I am at a loss for words.