At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.This was something that, when I read it, I found myself looking forward to. Hearing what this smart and passionate man had to say about illness--about living with his illness. For awhile that evening, he was on my mind.
On Thursday morning, I received an email from a friend of mine in Australia, S. In 2003, she and three other women had been roommates at a retreat I affectionately call "Cancer Camp." She'd gotten in touch with two of the women, L and M, and we'd been planning a Skype reunion call. But S's email was to tell me that our plans might have to be put on hold because L is in the hospital. Her cancer is now in her spine, her spinal fluid, and her brain. She recently had a shunt put into her brain and now she has had radiation to her throat, making her unable to talk. L was already Stage 4 when we met nine years ago. She had two little ones and was determined then to see them grow, and she's done that. I hope she can continue to do that--but everything is fragile, and life doesn't always continue just because we plan for it to--as I was reminded on Thursday afternoon, when I heard the news that Roger Ebert had died.