The Magic Elixir

It seemed like as soon as soon as my mom was was diagnosed with a cancer more serious than my dad’s, the competition began.

My father lamented to my siblings how I would spend more time attending to my mother and taking her to doctor’s appointments. Nevermind my father’s wife was an excellent caretaker who managed all of this appointments and reports, he was still jealous.

My mother’s boyfriend was a real dud in the supportive department, not quite sure how to handle less than positive news. He discouraged her from getting an expensive private room after one surgery thinking she’d prefer to share a space with a woman allergic to flowers meaning none for my mom, hacking away one bed over. In another hospital shared room, he seemed to have spent more time chatting with the other patient and her visitor than with my mom. I’m sure it was his coping mechanism but at the time it was frustrating.

Equally aggravating was my father’s attitude about his curable caught early cancer. He’d make plans with me then bail or see if I could summon a sitter at last minute and dash uptown and cross town for a quick lunch. When I’d pass he’d count the number of lunches I shared with my mom forgetting that she would plan days in advance not only where we would eat lunch but what activities to do after the appointment.

My mom remained more positive about her life threatening cancer than my dad, rarely mentioning it and acting optimistically. Psychologically we believed she’d be okay so long as she did not exhaust all of her resources. There was some sort of magical mushroom a homeopathic doctor recommended, a sarcoma specialty hospital in Germany and one in Seattle, and this John of G-d figure in Brazil.

A reporter friend had covered a story on him and it seemed like a last case resort, but one we would explore if necessary. Unfortunately we never made it.

Fast forward two years and my father is hit with another more serious cancer. On his own he discovers the healer Juan de Dios and considers a trip to Brazil bringing up a host of conflicting feelings.

My father should get help.

It’s great that he is exploring all avenues for recovery.

I wish my mom could have visited Juan De Dios.

Why hasn’t my father reached out to my friend who reported on him several years ago?

My dad is asymptomatic; does his condition necessitate a visit to Brazil?

The healer came to the Omega Institute earlier this week and my dad had a chance to visit and be treated by Juan De Dios, an experience I am excited to hear him share. I guess I cannot avoid wondering if he will save my dad and if he could have saved my mom.

My mother’s Buddhist doctor says that we must live forward. The Christian one reminds me there are no what-ifs in medicine. The one whose religion I don’t know notes that my mom was really quite sick. And I tell myself that nobody gets out alive. Perhaps my dad’s experience wonders if I missed an opportunity to save my mom.


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