Saturday, August 15, 2009

watching him from afar

I've quietly monitored Ted Kennedy's struggle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) since I learned that his tumor was the same type as Mom's. I found it significant that the poor man was in no condition to attend his sister's funeral. The memorial service in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver took place yesterday. I fear that her brother won't make it through 2009; he was diagnosed in May of last year, having presented with seizures (much as Mom presented with an altered mental state and aphasia), and thus far has managed to survive fifteen months with what I imagine is, at this point, a very advanced GBM.

I saw a recent video of Kennedy; it was taken by some well-placed cameraman as Kennedy's car was driving by, with Kennedy himself in the passenger seat, his window opened to the multitudes. What I beheld saddened me: Kennedy was at least marginally aware of his surroundings, but was slack-jawed and mostly unreactive. Watching his progress from afar gives me and my family a grim preview of what is to come as Mom's own decline continues. We're on the same roller coaster as the senator, approaching the same drop. And as everyone can see, even fame, political power, and riches can't stop the inevitable. I'm sure that Senator Kennedy has had the best healthcare money can buy. It's a testament to the viciousness of this type of cancer that even the very best is not enough.


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