I have some experience (9 years) teaching the belief systems of Hinduism, Buddhism, and samsara, the cycle of rebirth.  Most Indians believe that all beings are born again as a new soul. Life is suffering, so the goal is to end the suffering by exiting the life cycle and reaching nirvana, or its Hindu equivalent, Moksha.  In Hinduism, a soul travels from caste to caste (different social level to different social level), throughout several lifetimes, in order to become a good enough person to exit the cycle of rebirth, and achieve Moksha, a state of being with no more suffering.  I know that many people suffer more than me on a daily basis. I have enough money to lessen my suffering whenever I need to. However, recently life has become too much suffering for me to bare. I take a million steroid and oral chemotherapy pills in the morning, and I spend the rest of the day feeling nauseous with pain in my head and in my right leg, because I haven’t moved around enough; just laid uncomfortably on the couch or in bed till it was time for me to take more pills, or put something in my mouth.

While examining my PET, CAT, and MRI results more closely, the doctors found a layer of tumors in my meninges, that is causing much of the dizziness, the head shaking, the involuntary head bobbing, the 9hloss of memory, and much reduced fine motor skills like handwriting and grasping onto words from foreign languages. The tumors have been there for over a year so they are quite large now. Don’t worry, I had to look up meninges too, and I learned it is a tiny layer of liquid between the skull and the brain. The doctors didn’t see it because they were focused on other, scarier-looking, brain tumors. (of which I have many!) My mom is back down in Santiago, and my dad soon to follow. Hopefully my sister can come soon but she just received a big promotion at work so now is not the best time for her to travel. But I know she will find a way because “A sister is love you never outgrow.”

If you’re already sad, I recommend not reading this post. It’s going to continue to be about sadness and pain and misery. I’m sorry for the need to reach for tissues, but for almost five years now I’ve dealt with my disease by being strong and positive. So please forgive me, as I wipe away the tears as I write this. Sandi, Jon’s mom, has been here taking care of me the past week or so. I really can’t do much by myself so I’m glad she’s here. And I’m sure it’s a relief for Jon who was working full time as well as addressing my needs and taking time off his job to take me to my various appointments. He has been such a wonderful and amazing h

The thing that’s making me the saddest is, I don’t know how to say goodbye…Even though I may look happy in my Facebook photos, I am deeply sad and scared.  To all my friends and family who are going to continue their life journey without me: I love you and I will always be there beside you as you go through life’s big adventures. How do you say goodbye to people who have stuck by you through thick and thin, and made so many sacrifices to be by your side? How do you say goodbye to people who are separately looking for a miracle and want you to live in order to fulfill something deep within their soul? How do you tell your innocent doggie-doos that mommy won’t be feeding them dinner any more? Most of all There’s no proper way to explain to people how a thirty five year old has to be pushed around in a wheelchair, and needs a walker to get around so she doesn’t fall down and hurt herself. But such is my life. With the help of my therapist I will find a way out of my suffering on this planet, so my soul can find release from this cycle of rebirth.



Add Yours
  1. Nadia Murray Goodman

    Thank you for speaking your truth. You don’t have to be strong for anyone else, you only have to take care of yourself and be with your loved ones. I wish you peace.


  2. Shannon Wiley

    You are an amazing and inspirational woman who I am blessed to have known for so long. Know that I am praying for you everyday as I am for your family. You are much loved. ❤️


  3. Glenda

    What a determined and courageous woman you are! From that kind 9th grader who befriended my girl, to world traveler and chef extraordinaire, to lifetime best friend – I’ve loved seeing the beautiful life unfold. Dear Eli, I pray so often for you – from miracle healing to relief to peace. You are a sparkling jewel in this life, dearly loved by family and friends, but even more by God in heaven.
    Still praying daily for you.


  4. Geneal Fendrick

    As I have followed your journey, I’ve been inspired by your strength, resilience, and good humor. I am so sorry for your suffering, Eli. I wish you only peace and comfort in the days ahead.


  5. Sissy

    I keep typing words but can’t seem to find the right thing to say. We have been through so much together- life moments with you are what I cherish the most. Sissy, I love you forever and will be in Chile with you soon.


  6. Traci Massey

    Thank you for writing this. There are more ways to be strong than grinning and bearing it. You have been and continue to be strong in myriad ways. Love and peace to you, sweet Eli.


  7. Sharon

    I wish I had words to alleviate your suffering, Eli. I can only say that in the short time I have known you, you’ve had a profound impact on me. You have made a difference in the world. xo


  8. hillcountrydaytrips

    Timms…once again, thank you for your honesty. Life, death, suffering, and even the complications that come with love and joy are so freaking confusing and scary and wondrous. You help me gain perspective every day. I was just talking about you with my family (before reading this post). I have so enjoyed having you in my life, but have hated how much you have had to suffer. All I want for you is peace. I love you.


  9. ashley

    Timms…once again, thank you for your honesty. Life, death, suffering, and even the complications that come with love and joy are so freaking confusing and scary and wondrous. You help me gain perspective every day. I was just talking about you with my family (before reading this post). I have so enjoyed having you in my life, but have hated how much you have had to suffer. All I want for you is peace. I love you.


  10. Amanda

    Eli! This is your Salamanca classmate, Amanda. I am so sorry you are suffering. We may have different belief systems but mine means I pray for comfort for you and Jon and your families. Thank you for blogging so openly — you are transforming your pain into a gift to the rest of us who admire your perspective. Sending you un abrazo from nyc.


  11. Jessica

    Eli-We studied in Salamanca together (this is Short Jess) and I’ve been following your blog quietly for a while. Time and again, you’ve amazed me with your strength and poise in the face of adversity. May you find the peace and comfort you seek in the coming time. Besos y un abrazo fuerte from Kansas.


  12. Janet

    Eli, I always have you in my prayers! I’m so sorry that you are feeling so bad. You are a very amazing young lady and it’s an honor to have you in our lives! Sending you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Amber Mitchell

    Eli, you are truly an amazing and strong woman with a beautiful soul! Oh how I wish you were not needing to be strong in this way. I am so happy and blessed to have you and your family in my life! May you have comfort and be surround by the ones you love. You inspire me with your grace and I think of you often.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Margo Chamberlain

    Eli, you are so wise, beautiful, and strong. And even though it is winter and your bed is cold, you only seem to radiant warmth and light beyond your confines, even though these are the darkest days. You are a Moksha warrior and I admire your courage, intellect, strife and heart. I am thinking of you. My heart and my skin feel for you. Love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Audrey

    Eli, I’m so sad for your suffering. I wish I could help! Thinking of you and sending you warm hugs and good karma from Senegal.


  16. Summer

    We attended school together once, but you were some grades younger, so we didn’t really know each other. We once competed in a geography bee together, though, and you trounced all of your opponents, most older than you. It still is prominent in my memory, because I was so impressed.
    Your mom taught me and thought I was stubborn. Turns out I was just dyslexic, and it was you who harnessed stubbornness in spades to will earth’s beauty and essence and grace and all that marvelous, amazing stuff info your life. Your dad taught me, too, and I was too young and willful to appreciate his heart, but I see it looking back, and I love how you share it here.
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I want to tell you something. Sharing your experience is far better than any travel guide of Chile. With this blog, you have been all over the map in a far more profound territory, and this document of your journey you have compiled has been of such value, as I have watched two of my dearest friends navigate this same darkness. Reading your story has helped me to be present for them and to understand them more than I might otherwise. Your abundant legacy is, of course, found in all of your students, friends, family… But beyond that, even now, even when you don’t feel like you may be accomplishing something, please know that you have accomplished a great deal with this documented journey, and it will be touching lives, inspiring, commiserating, guiding, and informing many, many more.
    Thank you, Eli, for taking me and all the others, along with you. I know your journey from here will be filled with so much love from so many.


  17. Carlos Soriano

    Eli, may peace be with you. I wish with all my heart that you wouldn’t have pain, nor suffering. I will pray for you. This disease is simply the worst thing in the world, and it has taken my brother from me. Your soul and love for life shines in your messages. Its ok to be sad and mad sometimes, and why shouldn’t you, nobody deserves this. We did not ask for this, but we stand strong when life throws challenges at us. The only thing we can do is give our love everyday, and let God step in to carry us when we can’t do it ourselves anymore. God Bless you.


  18. Suzette Soboti

    Love and prayers to you and your whole family. May Peace find you. You are simply amazing. You are strong, beautiful and inspiring . So glad your family is with you.
    Coach Soboti


  19. Livia Robles

    Dear Miss. Timms,
    I don’t know how to start this letter to you,
    I read this, and it put me in tears. I can not imagine what you are feeling right now, and I just wanted to let you know, that you have all my love and all of my support with you. You as a teacher and most importantly, as a person. You have been wonderful, you have made me believe in myself. You were not my teacher for that long, but you are definitely one of the few that have had an impact on my life. I think of you every single day and about how you are doing. I love you. I wish you every single positive thought and strength in the world.
    With all my love❤️,
    Livia Robles


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