Living With Cancer: Tumbling Blocks

Credit: New York Times

Credit: New York Times

Three of my former graduate students have received a cancer diagnosis. Why are these people so young, and why are there so many? This cannot, should not, be happening to my students.

On a night several months ago, the digital clock blinked 11:53. My husband was asleep so I crept down the hall, only turning on a light when I got into my study. On a sheet on the floor were fabrics laid out for a new quilt in the tumbling block pattern. Pictures of my friends kept me company, but there was no photo of the woman over whom I was grieving.

One of my former graduate students was dying of lung cancer, and no, she did not smoke. Her name was Susan, too. In my email to her, I closed with “Susan2,” which quickly became “S2.”  She signed “Susan Also,” which quickly became “SA.”  Students are supposed to outlive their teachers Continue Reading…

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