It has been a difficult month and I have not felt like posting.
Melinda died. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian cancer from the start.
Melinda and I were not close friends, but she was special to me. I met her in her work as a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. She helped tremendously during my father's freight train descent into dementia and ruin and my recalcitrant uterus crisis (which occurred simultaneously, of course). I'll never forget her calm, cerebral manner or her deft hand with an acupuncture needle. Tears of rage, sadness and relief poured from me on her table. I discovered my third eye. It was safe with her to let it out. She was a kind, magic soul.
Our niece is in Hospice care, dying of Stage 4 colon cancer. She has a rare, horrific form that only affects 1% of persons diagnosed. In 6 months, it has gleefully eaten its way through 3 different types of chemo, which it apparently considers as a fucking fertilizer. It grows more aggressive by the day. It is everywhere inside her now and she is in unbearable pain. She turns 37 in a few days.
There are so many more that we have lost to this scourge. Mike's mother-breast cancer; my father-acute myoblastic leukemia; my brother-in-law's mother-brain cancer; Sadie-breast cancer; Kevin-lung cancer. On and on.
My birthday has come and gone. I am now 48, and though I've much to celebrate, it's bittersweet. There is a cake, wine and lovely flowers. I am grateful and happy to be alive. My scars are mostly healed and there is every reason to believe my good prognosis. We are going to our favorite place on Earth for a long restful vacation and time with our favorite people. I have no horrid, high-pressure job to think about. There are many, many good things to savor and enjoy.
I'm a rebel child of a mentally ill mother, who was obsessed with religion. She was so sure that demons were real, and could manifest in a variety of ways - child molesters, murderers, rapists, etc. She was convinced that some souls were impervious to such extremes and that sometimes, entities would use other means to destroy-alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, and disease. Though I've spent years, and many dollars, on therapy, to undo her seemingly crazed delusions - I can't help but wonder.
Cancer seems like a perfect evil thing.