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MAMM In your autobiography there's a very moving description of your father's death from cancer and how it led you to a certain decision not to follow him in suppressing suffering and negative emotions. That was in the early 1990s. When you came down with cancer yourself, in 2004, did it seem like just some cruel irony, or a message of some kind?
M.E. Well, yes. When I got the diagnosis, I thought, Oh God—okay—what didn't I do? What didn't I listen to? But it wasn't like I was guilty of something. And after thinking about it, after understanding more about what cancer is, how long it had been there, and how quickly it came up—the lump appeared very suddenly, and it was so large I could see it through my shirt—I began to think: What was in my life, and what am I doing now that has brought this up? And the conclusion I came to—and this is only my own opinion about my life and my spirit—was that I had been cleaning house, as it were, in my life, in my emotional life, and taking a lot of darkness out, and making some choices—eliminating toxic people, toxic things—and by doing that, it allowed the cancer to pop up when it did. It appeared so that I could remove it. That's my own thought about it, the way I visualize it. It seemed to me that it was a good thing: I got this out, and it did not overtake and overcome me, as it did my father, who succumbed to it, who really didn't have this kind of chance. By looking closely at my life for so long, trying to make better choices, I feel as though I've been on the right track, and now have removed this from my life.