Sunday, 10 February 2013

"How's things?"

a neighbour asked. 
We met one another in the supermarket yesterday morning. I was replenishing the milk supply. He was doing the weekly shop. 
I thought it was a bit odd he was doing the shopping but I told him things were fine, that the Senior Cat's party had been a success and I had the new computer.
Then I asked,
       "And how are things with you?"
       "Not good. L's in hospital again. The cancer's back."
His wife had stage three thyroid cancer diagnosed eight years ago. She had surgery and chemotherapy. Since then she has been on medication but seemed to be healthy. She was healthy enough to have brain surgery to reduce her epileptic seizures. That was a success. She has been seizure free since the surgery. Everyone was delighted for her. 
I was particularly pleased. Her mother used to phone her about lunch time each day just to check she had not had a seizure. When her mother died her husband did the same thing. If she did not answer they would ring me or another neighbour and we would go and check. I found her on the floor once. Fortunately she had not hurt herself on that occasion.  Her daughter, one of two children, had to call the ambulance once before she left for school. The seizure surgery seemed miraculous. 
It was because of the seizure surgery they found the new cancer. It is in her oesophagus this time. I did not inquire about the details but it must have become very serious very quickly because they have been feeding her through a nasal tube. Problem. Thyroid medication cannot be taken that way. She needs the thyroid medication. They were going to try something different yesterday. I can imagine the sort of thing. It may or may not work. If it works then they will try to operate in the coming week.
I know the prognosis is not good. Her husband knows that too. He is a teacher. He can read more than books. 
It just seems so terribly, horribly unfair.

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