Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Collective Effort

I sat, this morning, in the oncologist's office with my mother. The doctor explained the procedure for today's first experience with chemotherapy. "We'll do everything we can, but you must know this is incurable. We hope to give you 3 to 3 1/2 years", she said to my mother. That was the first time my mother or me had heard those words. I have been stalwart and positive since the news first broke of my mother's new dance with cancer. But, today, in that unadorned room with the teal-flecked carpet my lip started to quiver. Before I could bite the side of my tongue to distract myself from tears, a river fell out of my eyes. My mother saw me.
My first thought was, "No, don't you say that to my mother. Don't you fill her mind with doubt. Don't you speak in your powerful white-coat words of anything but hope and possibility and the power of positive attitudes". But the doctor did not. So I forced her to. Through sobs in my throat I said, "I want you to tell my mother about the patients you have seen whose cancer has been eradicated. Tell her about the ones who have survived." As it turns out, 2 of her patients with the same condition as my mother have beaten it. One is in her 10th year, one is in his 15th. Living normal lives.
Before the chemotherapy drip started, with my arms around my mother, I told her I believe with every fiber of my being she will pass through this journey with cancer and come out the other side. Alive. I told her words are so powerful in directing the course of one's life. We are only going to focus on the positives and the possibilities. 3 years is unacceptable. We are going to use the power of our collective minds to love you back to health. The medical profession, for all its vast good and needfulness, only focuses on the body. It is only one part of the equation of good health. Let the doctors do what they do, but we will take care of your mind and heart.
And so the clear liquid slid into my mother's veins while we cried some more and talked of flowers and vowed to keep focused on the positive. Call me stubborn. I am. Call me arrogant. At times. But do not call me uneducated in the ways and needs of the soul. I wear my own white coat, dear doctor. You do your part in the collective effort to walk my mother through the shadowed valley. I will do mine, and mine is no less needful than yours.


  1. Anonymous1/14/2009


    We are so ignorant of the whole human and for "science" to think otherwise shows exactly HOW ignorant.

    In 100 years or even in 20, we will know we were so wrong about so many things.

    Right now, your mother is a lucky woman to have a daughter so clear in her understanding of the larger picture. Keep it in focus, Graciel, as I know you can. :)

  2. Anonymous1/14/2009

    This is a powerful entry for me. Your Libra mind (seeing the whole as the sum) is important, not only to your mother, but to me and everyone else. The more empathy and support we can give, the more that can be recieved all around. I send a wave of gratitude to your mother for being brave even though I feel she is scared. She is graced with you.

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  4. Oh Graciel, I love your courage and determination to see the light that shines in the dark. It takes a strong soul connected to her own light to be able to this for another.

    I'll be sending loving energy to your mother on her journey.

    (I'm glad the print arrived safely!)

  5. I've been down that road a few times and it is scary. Your mind and heart are constantly at odds and it is a battle to stay afloat.
    Your mum is lucky to have such a strong advocate in you. You will be a wonderful support and comfort to her.
    Chemo is a journey that is different for everybody and you are right, it is just one piece in a complex puzzle.

    I wish the best for both of you xo

  6. Anonymous1/15/2009

    I think it's important to not focus on how long we have to live, but how well we live in each day we are blessed with. Most of us aren't privy to a time frame for the remainder of our experinces in this life. This should serve as a reminder to all, no matter how healthy, life is a gift EVERYDAY. Let us live it as if we don't have a tomorrow.
    I love you! I love your Mother! Every positive and healing ounce of energy I can muster is streaming to you both.
    XO ~SP

  7. susan@80o1/15/2009

    This is a journey unlike any other you will ever have. I know you will infuse it with love.

  8. Oh, Graciel. How difficult this must have been for you. I can't even imagine. Bless you for being strong and for being there to stand up for your mom. I'm so sorry for all that you are going through right now. Sending you a hug and as many positive thoughts and as much positive energy as I can tonight. Enjoy your mom and whatever time you have to share with her. That will be the best for the both of you. Find things to share with her that will bring both of you joy if you can.

  9. This post needs a standing ovation.
    Graciel, you are so wise. Thank god your mother had you there to advocate for her spiritually, emotionally.
    Words DO matter. Words can shape our entire world.
    Yes, tell us about the ones who have beaten this disease. Let's put our energy there.
    If life were a baseball game, I'd pick you to be on my team.


I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel