Tough news to take quietly

Dana Cohen in
Richard at his wedding, looking Texas-tanned and nervous. Probably the happiest day of his life.

Last night I got a call from my younger brother, Richard, in Texas. The news was not good. He has been fighting cancer for the past two and a half years, first in his lungs and then his brain. His doctor told him yesterday that his condition had turned terminal. While treatment of the small brain tumor was successful, the lung tumors keep coming back and now have spread to the point that treatment can only retard their development, not kill them. He has been given 3-6 months, but knowing him, he’ll be able to stretch it out longer. He has been tremendously upbeat throughout the whole process.

Whenever someone is diagnosed with cancer, there is always the prospect that the illness could win out in the end. So it did not come as a complete surprise that Richard’s condition had become terminal. No matter what, he’d have to remain vigilant for the rest of his life. Now, he has to concentrate on getting the most out of the remaining time that he has.

I will continue to dedicate my yoga practice to Richard and his struggle, and keep him in my prayers. He lives in Dallas, TX, so I will probably make a trip soon to visit with him. We’ve only had a few opportunities to spend time together over the past decades. I was living in Peru, and when I came back to the States, he was in Texas. So it was only on the holidays and family events, like his marriage in 2006, that we got together. We’ll have to find a way of compensating for that lost time.