You don't have to leave this world to be in limbo...which is where I've been for the past few months. Life goes on, yes seasons change, festivals come and go.. But when there is something tugging at the heart all the time, everything loses color and the joys are all the more transient and ephemeral...
My mother's cancer is back. She has been in poor health since the beginning of May. She had been so diligent about post surgical checkups and taking medication for the past two years that when she started having one health problem after another, we never connected it to cancer. But five months into the ordeal with one hospitalization after the other, we were at the end of our tether. Then we were advised to take these problems to the cancer hospital. The verdict came quickly. The dreaded disease is back and since it had already been in Stage IV when detected first, it's far worse this time.
Meanwhile within the space of a mere 6 days this last fortnight, Ma heard the wings of the angel of death pass by her twice. Once it was due to extreme hypoglycemia from which we managed to revive her. The next was an hour after a chest tube was inserted to drain the malignant pleural effusion that was cutting off her air supply. She went into convulsions and stopped breathing. Somehow the doctors brought her around and she had to spend three days on a ventilator thereafter.
The cancer hospital has deemed Ma too weak for any further aggressive treatments. Hence we are about to start homeopathic treatment, hoping that the umpteen discomforts she is feeling will be soothed.
Trying to keep a level head in this turmoil has been hard. I've observed denial, confusion, resigned acceptance, anger and pain in our family at different stages and intensities during this sorry saga which is by no means over. Our relatives, friends and neighbors continue to give us their valuable support. They are the silver lining in this story... they, and the fact that Ma is still indomitable and not given to despair. Even in all this, she continues to domineer over us when she can and always has a smile to share whenever she is normal. The disease, the hospitalizations and the near-death experiences may have played havoc with her mind and body, but she is still here. She needs our help and she needs our laughter.
So, it's time to come out of limbo!