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
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.