Sometimes I get scared or depressed and that’s the way it is. I’m not going to fake it to myself.
In the early 2000s a member of my family whom I love dearly (obviously) was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. Everyone who knew her was devastated of course, particularly as her sister had died from the same affliction several years before. This family member, let’s call her ‘Eva’, was given a grave prognosis - a 20% she’d survive four years. We told ourselves, each other and friends or acquaintances that Eva was tough as nails and unquestionably, objectively, easily in the top 20% by pretty much any standard - she’d beat the odds. So far we’ve been right. It’s been ten-plus years and Eva’s doing great; traveling, enjoying life and dealing with the treatments in the same way she deals with everything else- tough as nails.
Honestly, I think Eva took the news better than the rest of us. She’s always tackled life with a cheerful but fervent pragmatism, trusting in logic and rationality above all else and this was no different. A number of friends and relatives were confounded by Eva’s perpetuation of an unshakably rational approach to and despite the diagnosis. Much to their bewilderment (and often dismay) she’d kindly decline invitations to religious functions meant to soothe her concerns through faith. Just as she’d pass on the endless series of folk remedies, teas, supplements, herbs, homeopathic solutions and cure-alls they’d heard or read about (all of which had been ignored or suppressed by Western Medicine).
- Published in Mind-Body Medicine