Thursday, February 07, 2008


That is the name of my cousin. The one who died of breast cancer on Feb 7th, 2004. Four years ago today. Too much loss, I say. Too much for one family to have in so short a time. And from one disease. Talk about room for survivor guilt. And fear.

When she died, four years ago, I got my first tangible taste of "wow, this disease is real, people actually die from this". Not that I haven't known people to die from it before then, but somehow this was so much closer to home. In so many ways. And it rocked my world. What made me different from her, that I survived? And then again, at the time, I only had 3 years clean, so what was to say I wasn't next. Yikes. And again, I get to remember that my being alive is a miracle of sorts. Not something to take for granted and keep demanding more.

And so I remember today how precious life is. I remember the hard way. I am left feeling a bit scared, humble and small. Wondering and thinking: What hope do I have in the face of a disease as powerful and pervasive as cancer. And yet I know that I am the hope for so many people. In fact, I am even the face of hope for some. The ever willing, ever striving survivor. My cousin had a hard life. From the outside there seemed to be lots of pain and lonliness, but I wouldn’t know for sure because she never let me in, and why should she, some distant cousin in Canada. I guess that is something I need to remember, when I am staring my fear and own mortality down, we are very different creatures and there is every reason to believe that there will be very different outcomes.


At 1:50 PM PST, Blogger Alda said...

Amen to that.

You and Hrafna were completely different, and approached your recovery and your lives in totally different ways. So a different outcome is not only possible, but very likely.


At 12:49 PM PST, Blogger Signy said...

Yes, and I guess that is why I get so vehement and feisty around how people are around their health and around cancer. Don't take it lying down, not even the surgery, if you can help it.

And thank you my dear, for jump starting my writing again. In fact today (on my father's birthday), I am clearing out and creating an inventory of all my old files for the book. Step one. No promises, but we shall see. I want to give it the same fighting chance at life as I had.


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