Not long ago, I wrote an email to Edward Kennedy. I was asking him not to forget "rare diseases" (in another word: sarcomas) in the language of the health care reform bill he introduced in Congress. I received an answer on August 17, on a day I could hardly lift my head due to nausea. In the email he explained to me that the details of the legislation have not been determined, however they were making progress and he was looking forward to working on the legislation with the new Congress. Since I was feeling so weak and sick my immediate thought was to wonder where did Ted Kennedy find the energy to continue fighting for his health care reform, which he called "the cause of my life", while fighting brain cancer. And now the lion of the senate is gone. His skills on negotiating and getting a bill through will be missed when Congress resumes after Labor Day. For us, in Massachusetts, after having him as our senator for forty seven years, it will feel strange .
On August 25th, cancer also claimed the life a friend of mine. Filipa lived less years than those that Kennedy was on the Senate. Like him she spent the last year sailing against the wind. When I am ready I want to write about the incredible 20 months she lived with lung cancer, how brave she was and how she chose where to die. But I am still in that phase when I just have a knot on my throat and no words are appropriate.