On Wednesday, the internist oncologist explained my dear brother and me that he had discussed the scans with various specialists in his hospital and beyond. Hoping for a counter voice. The conclusion was always the same: there is no medical treatment that can combat the violence of my cancer. On the scan images, my dear brother and I saw the cancer bulbs in my head. It is going wrong and that is probably not a matter of months, but weeks. At any moment the cancer can shut down functions, such as being able to walk, talk, use my hands. A difficult message, honestly, respectfully and warmly brought to us.
Immediately from the results of January 10, gratitude for my rich life, inner peace and love predominate, about which I wrote in my previous blog post. My feelings and thinking have remained in complete agreement about this ever since, with a surprisingly powerful clarity. More than ever in my life, I now realize how much that love has always been there in my life. Love that I may call God.
My body, my student uniform, about which I wrote before, is rapidly breaking down. I feel it and also know that I can let it go. My life, my work, my hobbies, my dear house with nice things, I can let go of everything, I now realize. Everything, except the one thing that really matters to me: my connection with all who are dear to me. If I have to miss that connection, I break and I am no more. However, as my body begins to tumble down like a faltering plane, I see a new image emerge. I realize I’m in that little plane sitting on a swing seat I’ve never seen before. A thick, rock-solid rocking rope to my left is composed of wires through which my love flows for all I hold dear. That cable, of God’s network, splits into countless wires, running to each of them, to you. Through the right-hand cable – just as thickly through wires coming from you and gathered together beside me – the warmth, the love flows back to me. I can already feel the enormous power of the flow through that right-hand cable, not only in the many beautiful cards, letters, text messages, flowers, gestures, encounters, memories and gifts, but just as strongly in the silence of those who do not know a reaction and monitor remotely. I can now hold on to those thick cables that will soon swing me up in a great arc, once I’m detached from my body. Cables that will continue to keep me connected in love even after my death with all who I love and love me.
I have fought hard with love in my life sometimes. My heart has been under pressure from a bulging motherly love that I thought I couldn’t get rid of because of my unwanted childlessness. To eventually find her way again through other routes and to make new, unimagined connections. Or love that I felt so strongly in my heart for loved ones, but completely unintentionally and with all my strength I restrained and held in a convulsive grip – pinching the cables already in my heart. And people at the other end have felt that. After all, I study the study of life and had and still have so much to learn. I feel like a diligent, eager to learn student and I now understand that I am allowed to make big mistakes by trial and error – as well as wonderful progress along the way. Just because I’m a student, just like the other 7 billion people around me. Nobody has yet graduated.
I experience each of my treatments of the past year as study subjects that, in retrospect, I have fully utilized to learn from them. The first AC courses of chemotherapy have taught me that I can still be myself if I can only function at a fraction of my always nice high pace. The second, specifically the Carboplatin, taught me bravely to crawl forward through dark, erratic mental tunnels and ask for help. The baldness and the preparation for the surgery taught me to look at my body differently and finally to fully accept it. A tough study module, but – again with help – we managed to complete it in time. Immediately after the operation, I looked at the result and embraced my adapted student uniform. Finally I see the beauty in every body I see. The radiations, for which I sang “My Shield and Trust” 154 times, was a useful lesson for me in surrender, trust and perseverance. Right through all the treatments, I learned through trial and error not only to remain a patient but also to remain myself, to commit myself to design for care, to make music, to meet, to enjoy.
In my life I have often struggled, especially after my Love’s death, with an ever-undermining sense of loneliness. That feeling is completely gone now. I now know myself permanently connected, even through death. As a richer person I will soon continue to swing, hanging on God’s cables of love, with which I also remain attached to you.
Thank God, and I mean that literally.