Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris skies and more troubled news

It's a painfully sad week. The first blow arrived during the week already: a fellow-patient-who-turned-into-a-friend - we met while we had chemo together - received the news that we all are afraid of: that despite all the measures taken, despite operation and chemo and radiation and medication and all, the cancer survived. And its terrible way, its nature of survival is: to move to another, healthy place in the body. Into an organ, or into bones. And then start to grow there again. only that this means a much more difficult scale. There isn´t a cure for that stage so far. There is just the hope that the body will find a way to deal with it for a longer while, with the help of medication. And chemo again.

I visited her in the afternoon when her case was discussed at the tumor conference. In that odd bubble of time when the docs already know about the details of you and your treatment, but you don't know yet. When you are in that place of both hope and fear. "Life will go on," she said. "Whatever they say, the world will keep turning."

We sat outside that day, looking at the photos of her summer birthday party. Talking about life. About the way you never can know.

It was on the way back home that I cried, and was reduced to 2 words: "Please, no". "Please, no". As if there was an arguing possible.

Over 500.000 persons get diagonsed with cancer each year, just in Germany. I am 1 in the statistic of 2015. And about 220.000 die of it each year here. That's 600 tragedies per day.  It's hard to imagine the scale of it. It's hard to deal with even a single case of it.

And then, as if our world wasn't troubled enough, Paris. The place I've been to when I was 18, and then afterwards several times, the last time in 2011. It's just 4 hours by train from here. I remember crossing the bridges, thinking of all the people who have been there, in this city of love and of human ideals.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité -  this slogan of the French revolution that turned into the national motto of France: "liberty, equality, fraternity" and was one of the keys to a change in Europe, to a more social and democratic place.  

Like so many others, we watched the football game yesterday evening, Germany vs France. There was the bomb warning in the early afternoon, but I guess most assumed it wasn't real. And then the game. And the explosions. And the tragic stream of news. At least they didn't make it into the stadium, where 80.000 persons had joined to watch this friendship game.

Even though everyone knows of the ongoing terror risk, it is still unbelievable when it happens. It's such a devastating concept: to go and kill who just happens to be there. Man, woman, child, no matter.

I watched the news, thinking of all those who are out there that Friday night, who found themselves in this mess of confusing and troubling news. And of those who just had some minutes or seconds left to realize what is happening, to say goodbye to their life. Those who won't wake anymore. And those who wake up this morning in the hospital. And all the families and friends that are troubled by this. 

I also thought of the ted talk I watched this week, one of those that are hard to watch, by Melissa Fleming of the UN's refugee agency - about one of the refugee ships that sunk at sea on the way to Europe. Or rather: that was drowned by the crew, while 500 people were on board, far from shore. And how some miraculously survived, one of them a young woman who also helped 2 children handed over by strangers to stay afloat. The tragedy, it was news for a day, and then vanished. Like the refugess on board. At least there is this memory now: The story of two survivors.  

This world. So beautiful and full of magic and heart sometimes, with people going out of their way to help strangers. And so cruel sometimes.

And then, here, Saturday morning. I make tea and hear an ambulance. And forget about it already as I walk into the living room. 10 minutes later, the phone rings. It's 8 o'clock. Either a telephone marketer call, or a wrong number. Or bad news. I pick it up. And it's the bad news: the mother of my partner, saying that the ambulance is there, and that her partner has pain in one side of his body, that they are driving to the hospital now.

My partner is there now, too, to be there with her while they wait in that bubble of hope and fear. At least the first news is good: it turns out he had pains in the side since some days, and the doctors think it doesn't look like a stroke.

Will go and light a candle now. For peace. And another one, for a cure for cancer.

I want to light 100 candles.

At least there is this bit of good news: it wasn't a heart attacke, and wasn't a stroke. the docs aren't sure yet what caused the pain, but it's not life threatening. they are glad, though, that he called an ambulance to be on the safer side.

My partner is back now, and we will go for a walk. And hope it's a quiet day from now on.


more skies: sky friday


Michelle Elvy said...

My heart is hurting, Doro. For you, for your friend, for Paris and all the innocents... this is so painful. I do not feel very hopeful today, but your post still shares, even the bad things we all must face.

Chris Galvin said...

Like Michelle says, it's hard to have any hope today. Still, bits of hope do shine through your post--I'm so glad your partner's mom's partner seems to be ok, that it wasn't heart attack or stroke. Hopefully he just pulled a muscle, as happened to a relative of mine recently. Sometimes you lose a day worrying in that zone you talk about, but then things turn out ok. I wish it could work that way for France--that it would turn out to be a hoax--but I guess it's far beyond that now.
My thoughts are with you, Doro, and with your friend who received such bad news.

Dorothee said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Hope, I guess that is what we all need to keep on days like this, despite all.

The very first lines I read this morning, in the wordpress blog reader, were those:

"Ultimately we have just one moral duty:

to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves more and more

and to reflect it towards others, and the more peace there is in us,

the more peace there will be in our troubled world."

The words, they are more than 50 years old. Noted in a dark time, in Nazi Germany, by Etty Hillesum.

Jan said...

Thank you for your post, for sharing your thoughts and experiences about your day. It helps to remember the love and friendship that exists at times when fear and helplessness seem to dominate our world and lives. X