Executing Resilience While A Parent is Dying Their Way

What I Learned on the First Day of Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio

My father had his first chemo treatment today. I’ve come a long way in a week. When my stepmother (who also had chemotherapy two years ago for acute myeletic leukemia) told me that my father decided to go ahead with the chemo because the oncologist felt it was the best treatment for his bone cancer, I was very upset with the oncologist. I explained to my father that in this time of managed care, chemotherapy rooms are to an oncologist what a bar is to a restauranteur – their cash cow, although not exactly cash as it comes from medicare. None the less, when you have five people in a room five days a week getting shot up with chemicals that make your hair fall out and cause violent vomiting, you are being paid handsomely well for a treatment that could be so less violating to the body.

But why would a doctor recommend detoxification, alkalinizing the diet, and cannabis oil when it isn’t lucrative? However, today I realized as I walked through the redwood forest that the lesson here was for me. I have a wealth of information on healing the body and it has always fallen on deaf ears with my family. Given that my prayer is to become a kinder, more compassionate human being, what better way to learn this than with my own family. I believed that the only reason my father was doing this chemo was for his wife who told me that she can’t go on without him. She is by the way, 27 years younger than him. My father, like so many of us in my family, is co-dependent, so I initially started to silently blame his wife for encouraging him to do a treatment that may only give him a few more months. Today, as the planet of expansion and abundance turned retrograde, I had my first aha, Jupiter moment.

My father described how supportive Barbara had been toward him while he was in the hospital for 10 days, completely neglecting her own health because she had a bone marrow transplant last year and was advised to stay in germ free environments. After his fifth day there, she came down with a virus and then was forced to stay home. Once again, I was horrified and urged her to stay home, which she eventually did on the advice of the head honcho (his doctor). Today, however, my judgments were gone. I didn’t judge my dad inhaling a pastry while talking to me on the phone, or doing chemo, or Barbara sacrificing her own health for his.

No, today I allowed myself to enter his reality. In his reality, she had loved him to the nth degree (which by the way, my mother who was 20 years older than his current wife had not) and perhaps his way of loving her back was to give her a few more months with him that chemo could possibly offer.

I didn’t feel anything but love for my father this morning and genuine respect for the soul contract these two have with one another. He saw her through her harrowing journey of chemo, then all the failed attempts to find a donor match and then the transplant itself. And now, she was doing the same for him.

The astrological sign of Scorpio rules ego death and transformation and is assigned the Phoenix bird when operating at its highest manifestation. It also governs the planet Pluto, the god of hell and wealth, if you pay the god its dues. As Jupiter “retros” in Scorpio the next few months, consider this: where are you being called to go into the fire to be consumed into ashes and reborn into a higher form?

I can see this in an astrological chart. For the next four months, the fire may be turned up a tad in all of us. When it calls you, it can feel like a dark night of the soul. Mid July, Jupiter turns direct again around the time of the next solar eclipse. One’s outer life may start to feel alien, with you questioning, “Who am I”? This is all part of a massive spiritual quickening that requires more time spent alone and inward perhaps. This will intensify with the addition of Mercury going retrograde on March 20. Further, Jupiter also rules faith and one’s spiritual beliefs so the process of the dark night of the soul transmutes old beliefs that no longer serve you, if you allow yourself to be emptied. This to me is the essence of Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio: will you journey into the depths of your shadow and let go of the identity that you’ve outgrown or will you spend the retrograde as a victim of whatever circumstances that befall you. Pay attention to any crisis that occurs in the next few months. It can be the catalyst for a great quickening and rebirth in July.

In the early days of my father’s hospitalization, he was given a purgative to move his bowels. In my world, what would have followed was eating fresh fruit and vegetables or juices. Instead, true to his Italian palate, he requested a meatball sub and his wife, his supplier, delivered just as she had the capocolla and prosciutto on so many other occasions, against doctor’s orders. I’ve come a long way in one week. I congratulated him for eating a pastry after chemo. Eating anything that he could keep down and tasted good to him became more important than, was it good for him? His own father died at age 47 and he never expected to double that life span.

With five family members dealing with cancer or dementia, I’m sure my journey to genuine compassion will continue. I’ve decided that since the Passion Play of the crucifixion and resurrection so personifies Jupiter in retrograde, I am giving my usual bi –yearly promotion of 25% off for soul blueprint sessions now until April 1, Easter Sunday.

May March bring revelation and inner expansion and if it makes you feel good – find your inspiration from my 91 – year – old papa – maybe imbibing more Italian food to raise your serotonin levels and lengthen your life span!

Buona Giornata.


Dr. Toni