So today Dad goes for his first radiotherapy session.
I think back to the couple we met there two weeks ago. The man, Derrick, had just gone through an awful operation to remove a brain tumor and they were going to give him radiotherapy.. but they had decided it wasn’t worth giving him the radiotherapy as it wouldn’t help and may lessen his quality of what little life he has left. Three months, in fact. That’s the time limit they had been given. He and his lovely wife were now faced with breaking that news to their daughter. Incredibly, he was smiling and joking. I suspect that inside his heart was breaking and he was afraid. Her too. I wanted to cry, I wanted to hold them both, but I held it together somehow instead. I find myself thinking how Christmas will be for that family – knowing it is their last chance to spend it together, wondering how sick he will be. Tears well up in my eyes.
In our case, we have not been given a time limit. But we know Dad cannot be cured. The treatment they are doing is to prolong his life as much as possible.. to hopefully send him into remission and hope that it wont come back too soon. I don’t think there are any guarantees.. everyone is different and responds to the treatment differently.. but please God. It could be years, it could not.. but one way or another we will always be living under a dark worry cloud that it could return . And we haven’t even got him into remission yet.. nine gruelling months of chemotherapy are upon us.
In a sense, I suppose each of us does not know how long we have or what could happen unexpectedly. People are suddenly gone in terror attacks, car crashes, freak accidents.. apparently people are even killed by Christmas tree lights! With all the different things that can go wrong with our own bodies and minds aswell, it’s a wonder any of us are surviving at all.
But we are.. just about surviving.. each of us in our own way. Most of us are too busy rushing around, trying to remember all the things they need to get done that day, to even think upon their own fragility or transience. They don’t have time to notice the birds flying gracefully across that picture perfect sunset. They don’t have time to question why we are here and what we are here for, they can only just catch enough breath to stumble from day to day.
My own life has been rather a stumble. I feel like five minutes ago I was a fresh-faced teenager. I blinked and found myself here, with very little to show for it. What I do hold dear is now threatened, and I have never felt so vulnerable and afraid of the future. I’m afraid of so many things right now.
I have always had a faith, I was brought up with one. It is a simple one which dwells in my heart and consists of a loving thy neighbour ethos. I believe in being kind and caring. I don’t believe in judging others, but I do judge myself rather harshly. There are things I don’t know I will ever forgive myself, but I learn to live with that. People tell me God forgives, but how I feel right now.. it is as if he doesn’t much like me. I ponder upon that.. I shall continue to do so most likely until my own final breath.
So, anyway, I digress. Now I must sign off and get ready to take Dad for his treatment. Apparently it could cause vomiting, it could affect his short-term memory (tbh that has always been questionable). But hopefully it will shrink that bleeping tumor.
***The picture above is one of the moments I managed to capture those birds across the sunset.