My mother has pancreatic cancer. It might be the kind that is less aggressive. It has metastisized on her stomach and liver. She has no obvious symptoms. She is tired, but her spirits are better than they have been in a long time. Maybe it’s because she knows she has less time, maybe it’s because I’m staying with her a bit right now while I figure out where I need to be, mostly I need to be close to her. We have been getting along better, laughing alot and being more affectionate. She has been sick most of her life and isn’t interested in a brave fight against cancer. She doesn’t mind leaving, and I’m not interested in a brave fight to keep her here. I am interested in spending good time with her, and being there for her as much as I can.
My mother getting cancer of course makes me think about it even more than I already do. She is one person, and one person experiencing the disease of our culture. The cancer, the growth, the thing that invades our bodies and most often kills us. If the last hundred years were to have a particular legacy it would be cancer. Over a hundred years of plundering, raping, and poisoning, the earth and its inhabitants, with enthusiasm, or should I say greed, or addiction? Cancer is often used as a metaphor, something deadly that must be removed. An invader. I want to understand it. I always feel like understanding something will help me find some peace with it, or feel less helpless that my mother is going to die of cancer. Although we joked the other day it could be a heart attack that kills her, she’s had 4.