Saturday, February 5, 2011

Scraps from a Grief Quilt

For the last four years, I’ve been writing about hospice, grief, all things funereal. It began when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006. Until 2009, I wrote only short fragments; the subject was too painful for sustained attention, yet too overwhelming to ignore. Now, I’m basting those small patches into something larger. Here’s one from the scrap bag:

Doing the Math

Mom’s oncologist must have been one of those students who mastered biology without ever mastering math. (I know; I was, too.) She considers this equation sound:

(four to six months life expectancy) + (gemcitabine-tarceva chemo-drip)

= (four days each week bedridden) + (two months’ longer lifespan).

Mom taught middle-school math; knows better.

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