Thursday, 4 November 2010

How do you make sense of this? My beautiful wife is dying.

She's 35 and onto a second, incurable cancer. The lymphnodes were the least of it: it's in her sternum, whittling out the bones in her chest, and it's in her liver: two lumps, one the size of a ten pee piece, the other the size of a penny. The surgeon pointed out that they didnt think there was any in her lungs or brain as though it were a bonus. That "didn't think" vagueness is the watch-word of all our interactions with hospital staff. I don't know how a surgeon wealds a scalpel when he's covering his arse with both hands.

It had been a nice morning and if I believed in signs and portents or you-know-who I would have believed that nothing could have been allowed to spoil a beautiful bright autumnal morning. Trees carpeted the pavements with red and their black naked branches saluted the blue sky. I should have realised this was the path to the spider's nest. In the waiting room, where we waited the customary hour after our appointment, which had been torture only a week before, we had fun, nervousness making us giddily chatty. Kelly's mum and sister werw over and the chat of Irish women cannot be stemmed, quelled or quashed. Except by the nodded instruction of an oncologist to come and join her.

The surgeon wasn't wearing a black cap but he may as well have been. His summing up was curt; spare: This is cancer. It's in the bone and the liver. It had grown under the battery of chemotherapy, effectively meaning that that particular protracted torture was pointless. The cancer is incurable and they didn't really know if it was treatable either. There was no point in surgery but there were other chemotherapies and drug treatments available. They might prove effecacious but he didnt know. He used the words "random" and "tossing a coin" several times to surely sever the last bonds of trust. And trust fell away like an unpopular mountaineer with a twisted ankle.

Kelly, bright eyed with unspilled tears, managed to ask a series of questions, her voice tremulous and high, her usual lilt straining horribly as if some terrible pressure was resting on her vocal cords. I sat there mute and glaring, clutching her perfect hand as if I were that unpopular mountaineer staring into the face of the abyss.

She's at a driving lesson now. A driving lesson! It's fucking heartbreaking.

No comments:

Post a Comment