The following was written by Margaret Campbell Bamberger the day she received the diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer, Friday, September 24, 2004.
I sit, feeling alone and cut off from God. I close my eyes and let my mind wander.
Why? Why me?
I try to remove my close perspective and move out to where I can feel the life force around me. I think of all the life, past, current, seen and unseen, human and not human . . . each individual going about the business of living—and dying. Which is part of the same cycle. I am comforted by this and again I try to quit thinking and let my mind wander. I think of all the healthy cells in my body and then of the cancer cells—all made of the materials of my body, the stuff of “me.” Why the difference? I imagine all the worldly influences accumulated in my cells in 65 years. Chemicals, viruses, radiation, some of it natural, some manmade, some ubiquitous, some I’m personally responsible for. All of it, carried in the memories of my various cell lines, all are now are “me.”
I travel in my mind and see the trillions of atoms that make up my cells, all of it, every atom, born in the guts of a large star, either during its life or in the explosion of its death. “I am stardust.” A phrase I’ve heard before but now I feel every atom of every part of the earth, living or non-living is stardust, and of course that includes me, my healthy cells and my cancer.
God, no matter how we see him or her, is the creative force of the universe—which includes the galaxies, the stars, the planets, the earth and everything, every life form—all is God. I feel full of God, full of love, full of peace and grateful for my life which must end in death, a good thing, a natural thing, a God thing.
I will stay here as long as I am able, and I pray it is a long time—but however long or short, I am so grateful for this wonderful life, this gift of God. I have so many wonderful loving people around me: blood relatives, ranch family, and all the friends of a lifetime. To all, thank you and I love you.