Brain Cancer …

Day Twelve: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction.

Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.


It is interesting to me, the role intuition plays a role in our lives.

Many people are intuitive. Some more than others.

Considering it. The subject starts to devolve into those areas of life; that some will feel squeamish about. Mind-reading, ghosts, apparitions, spirits, and so on. Most animals are intuitive. They can sense things like earthquakes, cancer, sadness, etc. Even explosives and drugs. Yes, acute senses plays a role. Still for us that do not have such senses. I would say that beyond their sense of smell and hearing, is a sense of intuition.

Brain Cancer

For most mammals, brain cancer is a catastrophic condition. While some do escape its clutches, the incidence of mortality from it, is high.

One of my cousins with whom I enjoyed those summer vacations, as described in yesterday’s post. Carol lived with her parents for the first twelve years or so, in West Hendon. In one of those temporary housing units, we locally called “pre-fabs”. Pre-fabricated and clad on the exterior in asbestos board. Once in a while, I would stay over with Uncle Fred and Aunty Doll (Dorothy) and spend a day or so playing with Carol who was three years younger than myself. We would play postman. Using Aunty Doll’s peg bag. Or on child’s scooters, or I would bring my roller skates. Where would share one apiece.

Carol was an only child and Doll was an especially vigilant parent. Always scared Carol would hurt herself. Yet she, Carol, caught all the usual childhood illnesses of the time. One time when visiting our house, we went to play in my usual haunt the local park. … 40 acres of heaven for a child. We ran down the hill and almost at the bottom Carol fell and hurt her wrist. Taking her home, for I had been charged with keeping her safe. Carol was doted on and I felt sheepish. Carol was always pudgy as a child. Fred’s genes. Carol spent the next six weeks, wrist in a cast.

Growing up, I emigrated to Canada. Carol became a teacher and had some of her own children. Yet I was always reminded of how I had caused her broken wrist? On my occasional visits back to Hendon. I would see her now and then. Hardly ever speaking, except for greetings, for we had little in common. Then one day, I received a letter from my mother, in which contained the news. Carol has a brain tumour.

My next visit to England was about two years later and Carol had had some operations. It was believed to be in remission. Then about the time I was in England, the news was grim. The tumour was re-growing.

My Mom and I drove out to Chesham in Oxfordshire, where both Doll and Fred were living close by Rod and Carol with their daughters. Kim and Anna.

Visiting Carol later that day, was rather shocking. I was unprepared to see a previously robust person, now in a nightdress with bandages around her head. hair gone from radiation therapy. … I never quite got that? Radiation causes cancer and they use it to treat the condition? Does not make sense to this lay person?

We spent a lovely afternoon chatting and avoiding the question around her predicted demise. I was of course chided once more, for the wrist incident. All I had done was gently run, down a slight hill? … I never got it?

Leaving we hugged and it was if 35 years had rolled away.

When we reached home, back in Hendon. Over supper I said to my Mom. “You know when Carol goes, Doll will not last long”. That was my intuitive premonition.

Doll died, about three weeks after Carol’s death. Officially it was adult onset diabetes. To me, it was from a broken heart. Fred lived on for about fifteen, twenty years and I visited him when in England. I learned a lot from him, especially his role during WW2. His meeting with my other Uncles, during it. In places like North Africa and Greece.

He had been a mostly quiet person while Doll was alive. It became like a dam was burst, after.

Looking back from time to time. I think of that pre-fab, clad in asbestos board. The chalky white powder that would cling to us, when brushing by. Or on the ground as a residue. There is a strong link of asbestos and cancer. I blame the authority for those housing units. For failing to properly test how asbestos affected people.

When Carol and I would race around the house, on those skates or scooter. Playing postman and whatever else kids do.

Excalibur estate 1