Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cancer sucks

Yesterday I got together with my gal-pals from my reading group. We've been together over 15 years now, I think. Good friends and exceptional wonderful women. Last night we went out to dinner and P revealed that her partner has been fighting cancer for the last several months. His test results yesterday show that the chemo managed to decrease the size of the lung tumor and that is great news.

P had not told us about this because her partner was unwilling to share the news. So in addition to caring for him, she was unable to share with her friends. Well, OK, yeah, those are the agreements we make when we enter into relationships. But part of me is just furious that she felt unable to seek comfort from those of us who care for her and wish her well. And part of me completely understands and wants to accept the decisions she makes.

It's all very interesting in context. I'm currently reading Teta, Mother and Me by Jean Said Makdisi. It's a memoir the explores how Makdisi discovered that many of the assumptions she had about her mother and grandmother were wrong. Her ancestors were stronger, wiser and more influential than she realized as she was growing up.

We tend to believe we know and understand the people who are important to us. And yet more often than not we are amazed by the reality of other people's lives. My friend, P, is a strong and amazing woman and I am lucky to know her.