Candle of Hope
Ways of Seeing - A Journal

August 7th 2003

In Quarantine

Main Entry: 1quar·an·tine
Pronunciation: 'kwor-&n-"tEn, 'kwär-
Function: noun
Etymology: partly modification of French quarantaine, from Old French, from quarante forty, from Latin quadraginta, from quadra- (akin to quattuor four) + -ginta (akin to viginti twenty); partly modification of Italian quarantena quarantine of a ship, from quaranta forty, from Latin quadraginta -- more at FOUR, VIGESIMAL Date: 1609
1 : a period of 40 days
2 a : a term during which a ship arriving in port and suspected of carrying contagious disease is held in isolation from the shore b : a regulation placing a ship in quarantine c : a place where a ship is detained during quarantine
3 a : a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests
b : a place in which those under quarantine are kept
4 : a state of enforced isolation

A Place of Enforced Isolation

It has been forty days since I made an entry in this journal. During those forty days Darryl has undergone the excruciating, debilitating process of radical radiation treatment and chemotherapy. During these forty days his body has been ravaged by radiation and he has lost more than 15 kilograms.

As I have stood helplesly by, I have had to put my feelings on hold and carefully quarantine them. I have had to maintain the mask of calm.

My emotions are in a state of enforced isolation and the words will not flow.

See that top middle draw! That is where I have put the nagging doubt that this treatment might not work, that modern medicine might fail us.

In another draw are the haunting fears of living alone after thirty four years, of not knowing who I am if my soul mate is not with me.

Like Pandora's box I dare not open these drawers now for fear that hope might fly away.