dali lama

My mother has been diagnosed with cancer.  The last month and a half has been filled with tests, Doctors visits, and excruciatingly pain filled visits to the Emergency Room.

My mother is a nurse so she is acutely aware of everything medically that is happening to her.  So, when our visit to a surgeon ended with her being told she was not a surgical candidate, she knew exactly what that meant.  She was too old to be treated surgically.  But, the hope of treatment was given to her by an Oncology Physician.  The visit to this physician ended with him promising her chemotherapy to start in two weeks.

When we arrived at the office the day chemotherapy was to commence, she was told it had been cancelled.  No explanation was given.  She was told the Doctor would speak to her and explain.

We both thought that she was going to be denied treatment.  Fear’s cold tentacles took hold of our hearts and minds. We had to wait a tortuous ten minutes for the Doctor to come into the treatment room.  The fear of the unknown made my mind take off like a race car.    What could I say to make this situation better?  What words do I have to comfort her?  What other alternative treatments are there?  On and on my mind raced around the course at a dizzying pace looking for words.

Then I remembered what my mindfulness training recommends – SILENCE.  So I didn’t race to fill the void of that ten minutes with chatter or to verbally jump to the wrong conclusion.  We just sat in silence and I think we both took some comfort from being together in silence.

This post does end happily – the Doctor came in and was just delaying the treatment for another week because of an unrelated issue.



Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers " sponsors an opportunity to share your writing.
Every Tuesday Two Writing Teachers ” sponsors an opportunity to share your writing.

About Bernadette

I live in the small town of Haddonfield, NJ. I am at an age in my life when I seem to spend time thinking and musing about life. These musings are usually stimulated by my walks through Haddonfield, my reading of books and fellow bloggers, and my interaction with my group of fabulous family and friends.

10 Responses

  1. Kimberley

    Silence. It is something I must cultivate and be mindful of. I fill in the void with words too often when my silent presence is what’s needed. Blessings on you and your family.


  2. We forget the power of silence especially in times of confusion and the unknown. Breathing and listening within, finding space and filling the void. Namaste indeed. Thank you for sharing this Bernadette. Hope and prayers to you and your mom.


  3. “Fear’s cold tentacles took hold of our hearts and minds.” What a perfect description for the unknown before us. I’m glad it was just a postponement rather than denial. Prayers for you and your mother during this difficult time.



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