Do you intend to make a book about this experience?
Maybe? I don't know if I have anything significant to add to the cancer experience that hasn't already been written. At this point I'll wait and see how I feel when my treatment ends, if I discover there is some grand point to it all. What I have learned from this experience is how many people endure this disease—old ones, young ones, every shape, color, and size. The variety it touches makes me believe that the cancer experience is like any other experience of acceptance and aversion. Whether it is cancer or loneliness or disaster, the same process of integration is required. That may be a unique approach, and something worth sharing.
I didn't know you lost a child! When did that happen?
When Randin and I were living in Arnhem Land I became attached to an aboriginal child there. Though she wasn't an orphan, she was sometimes neglected and found sanctuary with us from time to time. Over the years she stayed with us with increasing regularity, traveled with us to the US, and eventually moved in to our home in 2008. I love her very much, but we were unable to resolve our expectations. As I said, she wasn't an orphan, and so would transit between my home and her biological family as it suited her. There was no way to establish a routine, given the cultural differences, and finally we ended the relationship. The whole experience wasn't unlike a love affair, and since Randin and I have been so happy together all these years I'd forgotten what a roller coaster that could be. It was painful! And I was heartbroken in the end that she didn't choose me. Still, I wouldn't trade the experience, and I'll love her forever.