Transcript of 52nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, September 16, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. How is it going?
Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Did you find out the results of the DNA test?
Ms. Bows: Yes.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Bows: And it's been hell.
Dr. Balis: Are they Richard's?
Ms. Bows: The test results were negative for Grant. But there's a 99.9% chance that Roald is his child.
Dr. Balis: I see. So what are the implications for you and Richard?
Ms. Bows: Richard's a lot worse. He's been hospitalized last week.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Sylvia. What's his prognosis?
Ms. Bows: He's too weak to deal with chemotherapy.
Dr. Balis: What about radiation? Is it an option for him?
Ms. Bows: He's just basically wants to be left alone at this point. The treatments are making him very sick and there's not much hope anyway. So Richard decided to stop all treatment other than analgesics.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: He might feel strong enough to get out of the hospital again or he might not.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about this?
Ms. Bows: I hate seeing the man waste away like this. He's so young. He's got so much to live for. In the last week, I got to know his parents--his mom mostly. She's in shock. She keeps talking about when Richard will get better; she told me that he's coming back to live with them in Virginia. She said that she has set up his old room just as it was when he was a kid. She kept everything--his books, his toys, his record collection, all the furniture. God!
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: I look in her face and I know that we both know that this is the end. And yet she talks about him coming home. That's what it's like to love someone with complete abandon. That's a mother's love.
Dr. Balis: I sense that you're identifying with her on some level.
Ms. Bows: One should never outlive one's own children. I never want to see my sons die.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia...
Ms. Bows: Doctor, I'm just horrified and completely drained by the whole situation.
Dr. Balis: Does Tom know about any of this?
Ms. Bows: Some. He knows that Richard has untreatable cancer. But it's like he's happy that Richard is going to die. Well, maybe not happy. But I think Tom feels that with Richard's death some of his problems will go away. He will never have to worry about Richard surfacing with his custody suits or attempting a reconciliation with me.
Dr. Balis: Does Tom know that you've been seeing Richard?
Ms. Bows: No. I don't think he would understand. By choosing to be with Richard right now, I am not abandoning Tom and I have no desire to sever our relationship in any way.
Dr. Balis: And you don't think that Tom would understand that?
Ms. Bows: If he was a bit more sympathetic to Richard, I would probably tell Tom everything. It's been really hard--trying to work and then sneak into the hospital to see Richard; sometimes to secretly bring the boys over to him; and then of course talking to Richard's parents. What hell!
Dr. Balis: You're sneaking the boys into the hospital?
Ms. Bows: There's not much time left. I'm afraid that Richard won't have an opportunity to visit with Roald for very much longer. I try to set up excursions into the hospital's garden. I bring a picnic and let the boys play on the lawn while Richard watches them from a wheelchair. It's the only time that I notice him let go now--his face opens up and he almost smiles. You know, he barely has the strength to hold Roald--he's a big boy now and very squirmy. He tries to stand up as soon as he gets into someone's lap. I think he's got Richard's eyes. They both have such giant brown eyes.
Dr. Balis: You're being very good to Richard.
Ms. Bows: I don't feel like I have much of a choice. And you should see Richard's mom--Roald laughs and she laughs. She gets right down into the grass with him and helps him play with grass stems and rocks. Maybe when you get to be a grandparent you recognize your blood in your grandchildren, too. She said that she knew Roald was Richard's son as soon as she first laid eyes on him--on his photograph, in fact.
Dr. Balis: I believe she might have told you the same thing if she found out that Grant was Richard's son.
Ms. Bows: I know what you're saying--she reconstructed her memory to fit the events. But I could see that she genuinely loves my boy.
Dr. Balis: So what about the arrangements? Are you going to tell Tom about Lloyd's offer?
Ms. Bows: Yeah. A million bucks will go a long way to soften his disposition toward Richard and his parents.
Dr. Balis: I sense hostility in your voice.
Ms. Bows: Maybe it's more like resentment. I wish Tom would make it easier on me to tell him about all this. If he was just a bit more receptive...
Dr. Balis: Have you given him a chance?
Ms. Bows: You mean have I tried to approach him with this?
Dr. Balis: Have you?
Ms. Bows: I told him that Lloyd approached me with an offer, and that I told him that I wanted for both of us to be there to hear it.
Dr. Balis: Why did you lie? What if Lloyd gives away the fact that you already know everything? Including the fact that Roald is Richard's son?
Ms. Bows: I know it was stupid. It just happened. I was there trying to tell Tom about...more than that, I had the papers in my hand. I was going to tell him about Lloyd's offer and ask him if he would agree to at least test the boys--we could decide what to do after we knew. But as I started to talk...well, that was the version that came out. So as far as Tom is concerned, I don't even know about the money.
Dr. Balis: So you were all set to tell him one lie, but somehow another slipped out.
Ms. Bows: Something like that.
Dr. Balis: You're getting yourself into trouble, Sylvia. And I don't even understand why you're doing it.
Ms. Bows: It's all so complicated.
Dr. Balis: I don't think it has to be.
Ms. Bows: Look, that's the way it is now. We're meeting Lloyd this Friday.
Dr. Balis: I hope it all works out.
Ms. Bows: Me, too. I would love for all of this to come to an end. Well, it's not what I mean. I don't want for Richard to die. I just want to have the freedom to do what I think is right without feeling constant guilt.
Dr. Balis: As I said, I hope it all works out for you, Sylvia. Are you seeing Richard before Friday?
Ms. Bows: I'm going over there tomorrow. Rene will bring the kids by after work and we will go to the hospital together from there.
Dr. Balis: Rene's helping you?
Ms. Bows: She's really the only one I could trust. And I think she understands my motives in a way nobody else would.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Ms. Bows: Robert's father died before he even got a chance to see him. Neither Rene nor Robert ever got over that. They've both been incredibly helpful.
Dr. Balis: I remember now you telling me about Rene's husband. I can see how she would be your perfect choice.
Ms. Bows: She's also my best friend, Doctor, even though our relationship has been strained by my getting back together with Tom. Rene refuses to understand why I would want to be with him or how I could still love him.
Dr. Balis: My guess is that she empathized so completely with you during your difficulties with Tom that she can't let go, even though you have.
Ms. Bows: You're probably right, Doctor. Look, I'd better go. I have hardly spent anytime with Tom in the last couple of weeks. But it was really nice to be able to talk to someone openly about all of this. Thank you.
Dr. Balis: I'm here for you, Sylvia. Would you like to come back in two weeks or sooner?
Ms. Bows: Better make it two weeks--no time, Doctor. No time.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you then. Good luck on Friday.
Ms. Bows: Thank you, Doctor. Good night.
Dr. Balis: Good night.
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