My mother’s sister Mary died of multiple myeloma at age 50 in 1959 and I grew up thinking it was the worst cancer anyone could have and it may have been back in those days. They really could do nothing for her other than give her pain medicine as the tumors grew inside her bones and broke them. To this day, I have not told my mother that I have multiple myeloma because I am not sure she could cope with that. She knows I have cancer in the bone marrow and she may suspect it, but I couldn’t say those words to her after Mary’s tragic death.
The realization of our mortality came slowly, in dribs and drabs, until we bleakly acknowledged that everything was on loan to us for a short time – the world, our possessions, the people we knew and loved. But we could not spend our time dwelling on our mortality; we still had to behave as if the worst would not happen, for otherwise we would not do very much, we would be defeated and give up.
– Alexander McCall Smith
The Double Comfort Safari Club