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finally a cancer i can love

Biology dictates us to carry on the genes. We have a biological as well as the sociological obligation to continue along the path of life.

Recently, a good friend told me that he had decided he did not want to become old.

“I’m not revealing how I’m going to make sure, it doesn’t happen,” he said.

He is 65, happy in both job and marriage. His three grown girls are doing well. But for the moment, he cares for his 98-year-old mother 24/7. She is blind and has broken her hip. A few years ago it was the elderly father, who required intensive care for many months before he died.

“I have achieved everything I needed in my life,” my friend said.

Lately, I have been occupied by the notion of achievement in life. Especially since nine months ago, I saw my insides lit up by metastases on the PET-CT scan.

When we are young, we always try to achieve something, on the condition of something else: the need to clean up the house, before the parents came home and saw the mess. Having to take the last exam before traveling, or making the trip before taking the last exam, before getting married or having children, before becoming too old, etc. etc.

In midlife, achievement means wanting to reach something connected to money and career. It is in one form or another about climbing the economic and/or social ladder. As young people, we laughed at the adults who were working to reach a villa, a Volvo and a doggy.

Somehow, we all got there. The villa may have become a small condo. The Volvo a used Volkswagen and the first version of doggie for many of us turned out to be a hamster sprinting around in its wheel. Like ourselves.

But now, now it is no more about having to achieve or wanting to achieve, it is about being able to achieve.

I can no longer plan what I want to achieve. Cancer determines. For now, it is gone, but it can come and most probably will come back. Repeatedly.

On the other hand, I can decide that I will not wait for anything, because I am not done living. Not at all.

Biology dictates us to carry on the genes. Not only do I have to do my small part, as a link in the unbroken chain of ancestral fathers and mothers. The children I bring into this world are born with the same task. The biological as well as the sociological obligation to continue along the path of life.

Just as I became aware that my body was full of spreading cancer cells spreading in my lymphatic system from my worn-out ovaries, a new life began to grow.

Throughout my treatments, the surgery, the second round of toxic treatments, I have been driven by hope and desire. The hope of achieving and the desire to experience the birth of the child my son and daughter-in-law were expecting.

Now he is here: my son’s son. Born under the zodiac sign Cancer - a Cancer I can embrace and love.

Perfect and beautiful. This miracle of life. His face embraces all the innocence and all the wisdom of the world. His body so fragile and yet so full of vitality. A new person with a will of his own.

It is a dramatic moment to stand with the newborn in my arms, my heart full of prayer and hope, that he will grow up, be healthy, strong, fun, agile, curious, critical, wise and open to the world that will be his. And that he will one day pass everything life has taught him on, as his father has done it.

Welcome to life my little Gali, son of my son. I sincerely hope to be able to show you – as well as your two cousins, Rita and Nilus – the way.

The road to the future.


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