Dealing with Cancer in the Family · Thoughts and More

Another Coffee

I didn’t drink coffee before all this started

I was strictly a tea girl.

You can’t beat a good strong cup of tea

Well brewed and piping hot.

Hospital tea is neither of those.

The hospitals I’ve become a regular at all have a costa or Starbucks consession now

What the people demand and all that.

So the coffee is good.

I like lattes

They’re milky and I like the froth

I prefer costa, they don’t seem to be as strong and my heart doesn’t race.

I’m drinking costa now

In a different hospital to normal, our local hospital.

Chris came in yesterday by ambulance

He was referred via his hospice nurse who was concerned the tumour is compressing his spinal cord.

Lily cried, cause ambulances are scary

It’s ok to be scared, I tell her that all the time

Not knowing is scary.

An emergency ambulance is a first for us.

Another tick of the cancer bingo card.

She was fine by the time the paramedics arrived and they let her help him into the back.

His pain has been unbearable, crippling.

I know because I can see it.

I had never realised before all this that you can see pain

The past couple of days I’ve watched it take over his body

Shooting pains from his back down his thigh, to a leg no longer there.

Unable to get comfort or move for fear of a fiery attack.

The pain is real

I can see it.

I remain calm so I can understand it all

So I don’t miss anything and can explain to them what’s happening, what’s been going on.

There’s fuck all else I can do but watch

Watching is hard.

I make meaningless unhelpful soothing comments about how he’ll be in the best place

How they’ll have to tweak his medication.

He doesn’t believe me.

The agony has consumed his every thought.

He does not want it to be like this.

He does not want to go in pain.

I try not to cry

Sometimes it comes out as a nervous laugh

I don’t want to cry, or really need to, cancer will have enough of my tears in the future for me to waste any on it now.

It’s not so easy to control, when the pain is bringing him to tears.

When he is usually so strong.

I can see it and I know it’s bad ’cause his pain threashhold is high.

You’re not going anywhere just yet I say

You are not dying from cancer today, I tell him

He’s having an MRI, they’re trying to control the pain

They need to see what’s going on

We know this means the tumours are growing

This is not our first rodeo

We are the experts in his disease here

I’m waiting with my coffee

Again 

I wonder how much of my life over the last, nearly 2 years have spent waiting.

I could work out how many scans he’s had, how many appointments, how many cups of coffee I must’ve drank

How many more they’ll be.

I need them to control the pain so he can stay on his treatment break

I need him to be able to go on the holiday we have planned

I need to get him on that holiday, I’m not sure what that will do to him if he can’t go.

Come hell or high water he says.

I’m ok, really, when my friends ask me I’m telling them the truth.

I am not putting a brave face on things.

I sometimes wonder if I should be feeling something other than ok

If my reactions to these things should be something else.

But worrying takes up energy that is best spent elsewhere

I know for now we still have more time.

This is not it.

There are memories still to be made

Laughter still to be had.

He is not dying of cancer today.

I need him to be comfy so he can come home

Pestering me every 5 minutes for a brew

You can’t beat a good brew.

For now I go back to waiting

And grab myself another coffee.

5 thoughts on “Another Coffee

  1. Oh god, Becky. I really don’t know what to say other than I really wish this wasn’t happening to you all. I hope the MRI brings some positive news and better pain relief for Chris. Sending all the love and prayers – We are thinking of you all the time x

  2. Becky I have only heard of your story via Graeme. I don’t have the words to explain how much I admire your strength, tenacity and courage for the way you are holding your family together. Keep doing these diary notes , and I hope that one day you’ll be able to read them over again and take comfort from everything you are doing now. Best wishes to you and your family

  3. You are so brave all of you especcily the way you have kept the children informed easy to deal with when you know what is going on .hope they get the pain under control so you can have many more memorys

  4. I truly find you inspirational Becky. We’ve spent many hours in hospitals – Burnley, Wigan, Manchester. I won’t pretend that there is some magic prayer that helps because it didn’t help our Daisy and believe me I tried! I hope you all have the strength to face whatever crap life throws at you. I just think – what an amazing family- and I send my love to you all.X

  5. I hope they get his pain under control and that you get to go on holiday. You’re doing amazingly – coping with so much and managing to make happy memories. Iots of love to you all xxx

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