Maybe my mum doesn't want that kind of ambiguity when talking about her post-cancer operation treatment options, because I don't give her straight answers and tell her one course, just as she is not comfortable with my brother's very straight-forward directness about what he definitely things she should do.
Maybe she just wants things to go on as normal, forever. Unfortunately, that is a wish nobody can fulfill.
So we will have to do our best to make the time until forever starts, as beautiful as possible.
The chemo choice is not about managing cancer, it is about managing fear. And that I know for sure.
And that is something I will use all my resources to help her with, because as long as there is life and no reason to believe it ends soon then that should be a life fully lived, not half lived. And a life half lived is a life in fear.
Or conflict. So no calls to my brother trying to persuade him to be less harsh with my mother. I'm not even sure he was "harsh" - maybe just blunt. And, of course, afraid on her behalf - of her making the wrong choice. But my mother made it sound, well, different ... "I think he thought I was crazy" she said on the phone.
Well, that I hardly think my brother thought, much less said. But it just goes to show how vulnerable my mother is right now.
But fortunately, that is, as far as we know anything else, an emotional vulnerability. There is nothing more physical for the moment.
And that is what we must face. And deal with.
Management of fear, not cancer.
Although the two tend to be closely related.
But it is good to keep that in mind, what it is really about - when you try to help.
It is about that - and so it is about my mother's peace of mind.
So no calls to my brother.
I have to accept it's going to be back and forth emotionally from now on and I have to show that to others and remind them of that as well - especially my mother. Both experiences are okay and natural, but we have to - have to - continue to move between them. Never stop. Especially not in the valley.
One practical consequence of being called up and told your mother probably has cancer is to see things that seemed awfully important awhile ago ... aren't.
Also important to try to tear each others' heads off, after lack of sleep ...
But not so now.
I was already in a semi-crisis mode and perhaps that is the reason I feel strangely quiet inside now that the news is out that my mother may have cancer again ... and not slipping further down the ladder, although that may yet come. But I feel quiet inside - so far. No panic. Just a great sadness and heaviness. I am so sorry too for my mother and my father, if that makes any sense ... but I so deeply wish they could have and will have more happiness.
I don't believe life is unjust as such, although it definitely is hard and people die and suffer and die some more. But I do believe and feel there is Light beyond and a meaning and coherence to all things, which we can feel part of now if we direct out attention towards it. That is my world view and it hasn't changed.
But it will have to serve me well now, and I will have to put it into action, without hiding the truth. That, as it is for all people, this is a deep shadow. It may become even deeper.
We will have to be much light to journey through it and still come out whole.
I think I've written about this before: That the act of courage gives the feeling of courage. And courage is about facing fear.
Whereas if you obsess too much about what new distraction you can put into your mind, then it becomes a bit like you going on and on running away on the spot, but your feet whirling up some kind of breeze that fan the flames of fear behind you. You can't see it but it feels hotter and hotter the more you run.
Lousy metaphor, but I guess it still works.
I had to realize that I could never really transcend all my problems either, but only work towards better and better integration - eventually transcending a few problems at a time over a long time.
Life is all about Integration of your fears, anxieties etc. Learning to keep them inside you, manage them, slowly reduce their importance, devise strategies to channel their constituent emotions differently.
Apparently, as I mused yesterday, once I got out of the 'fear zone', ideas had free access.
Talk about self-fulfilling prophecies ... !
It is banal but really true, isn't it?
If you are afraid you can't do something, you often ... can't do it. Like getting into that storytelling groove again and making something of it.