May 30, 2011

The return

Returning to the place where my tumour grew is confronting. It was five months ago that I left Beijing on a five-day trip back to Australia to get a visa and have a quick colonoscopy. I didn't get the visa, and the colonoscopy was not quick.

Cancer feels like one giant teacher hurling lesson after lesson straight at your heart. Once back in Beijing it was the little things that got me. A half used candle beside my bed. The scarf hanging on my door. Pictures of me taken during more innocent times, unaware of the disease inside.

Like all lessons it came to a close, the feelings didn't last long, and I was able to ride that Beijing Energy again.

I've ridden my bike all over town. I've eaten fresh stir-fried vegetables. I've spent time with clients and former colleagues. I've spent time with staff and potential staff. I've spent time with friends and friends of friends.

I've also caught up with my dearest friends here, the kind of relationships where the sheer flow of no-strings-attached generosity threatens to swallow you whole. I am so lucky to have formed the bonds I have here in China. This trip has been more positive than negative, more healing than hurt.

If China did give me cancer (as I know many think), this country and the bond between me and some of its people will also help me to heal.

Things can be easier to handle when you know you're part of a group


  1. My favourite post so far. You write beautifully and from the heart. Wish you happy every day! :)
    Claire C

  2. Ben, it takes such insight and courage to confront the past in general. That's an understatement with regards to your experience. You've lived up to your motto. Ben B Brave.
    With love and so much tenderness.

  3. I think this is also my favorite post! =)

    Jenny C