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February 27, 2004

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Denita TwoDragons

I might clash with my Mom, but she taught me something so wise I just couldn't forget it, even in the face of all our differences.

You see, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgekin's Lymphoma (terminal lymphatic cancer) when I was three. The Dr. gave her six months, max, if untreated. Probably a few more years, if she did chemo. She tried one session of chemo, said f*ck it, and decided then and there that she'd rather just enjoy what was left of her life. And she did. And whether it was because of her mentality, or because the doctor was wrong in his calculations, she has lived hundreds of times longer than that doctor expected her to.
Fast-forward to August of '02. My Mom starts having memory problems, her energy level begins fluctuating wildly, and her vision begins distorting. She's diagnosed as having malignant tumors in her brain. What does she do...?

You guessed it. She keeps living her life, enjoying what she's got. She's a little more careful about her eating habits and she quit smoking last year (after almost 50 years of being a two-pack-a-day smoker, no less!), but she enjoys what she can.

There's a vast difference between being alive, and actually living.

I may not have known you for long, 'Dog, but you remind me of those qualities in my Mother that transcend our political differences. Those aspects of her that seem to consist entirely of iron cables, leonine determination and undiluted mule's subbornness. Cut back on the drinks, but don't drop them entirely. Cut back on the carnivorous exploits, but make sure that every bite of meat you put in your mouth is only the very tastiest. And if your doctor glares at you for it, you glare right back at her and ask her if she wants you to be alive or actually be living

Hang in there, hon. And keep living.

--TwoDragons

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