Friday, December 02, 2005


It is a disgusting enough word without attaching a personal face to the affliction. Now that an immediate family member is diagnosed with "it," I find the word just filthy and vile.

She doesn't deserve this at all.

The veil of ignorance, especially being so far away, has been a staggering impediment in dealing with this. But, at least, I feel like I'm finally abreast of the situation.

It goes something like this...

Malignant tumor. Colon cancer. Surgery. Chemotherapy. Radiation.

These are the "golden years," supposedly.

If there is a silver lining, they're not starting her with chemo for about five weeks. I don't know much about cancer treatment, but I'd assume she would be rushed for cycles if things were truly dire.

As much as I love everything Stanford, I am anxious at this point to be home. I just want to hug Mom.

She, of course, wants none of this to serve as a distraction. Ever the teacher, she still implores me to focus on classes and studying. She is an incredible woman who, perhaps excessively, reveres the value of education. If that's how I can serve her best (and, in doing so, keep myself distracted), I'll go ahead and maintain the same Starbucks study schedule I've refined.

She sounds almost existential in her reflections on life. Couched in conditional phrases, she'll remark that she's "had a wonderful life...with a beautiful family" and hopes that she has given me "enough tools and lessons to realize you can achieve your dreams."

I don't doubt for a second that she has. At the same time, it's both beautiful and jarring to hear. Seeing as how positive and stoic Mom is about this whole thing, I would be doing her a disservice were I not to do the same. I'm going to mirror that optimism right back at her. She doesn't need any negativity. Period.


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