Dealing with Cancer in the Family · Thoughts and More

A Spotlight on Reality

I beat them there.

I’m not sure how I did it.

The ambulance had left our house, blue light flashing, before me.

They’d blocked the drive,

I wondered if my neighbours would be quietly seething at the inconvenience

As I rang my dad and Chris’ mum to make arrangements so the kids still got to go to sleep in their own beds

So they woke in their own beds

So there was some routine to their Sunday night.

Through the darkness, the pouring rain

An old friend appeared in the doorway.

I have never been so relieved to see someone.

A moment of fate, of timing being right, on my side for a change

Offering calm in the mayhem

Reassurance

A hug

Encouraging steely determination that I’d get through the night

An angel.

They’d asked me, the paramedics

As they were putting Chris on the stretcher

‘Sorry for the question, but is there a DNR?’

No, I replied

Not tonight

Not like this.

I’d like you to try your best if it gets to that

He’s sticking with us for a bit longer yet

‘Sundays are a boring day to die on Chris.’

Reality is catching up with me

I have been running from the unimaginable

But it’s faster than me

It’s closing in, the gap has shortened, filling my thoughts and dreams

Stealing sleep and happiness and laughter

It has often been easy for me to forget Chris is so ill

He has been so, well

He has looked so, well.

It’s in moments like this

As I stand outside resus, waiting for him

I am taunted with my reality

A spotlight shines brightly on the seriousness of the situation

Illuminating all the bits of our lives we’ve pushed to overcome with stubborn positivity.

It’s no longer easy to forget how poorly he really is,

And how quickly things can change.

I am losing my grip on all the things I have used to cope

Of taking each day as it comes

As I’m forced to look at what might be.

Will be.

Emotions rise to the surface as control gives way to fear.

There’s so much still to do

So much I need to say

So much we need to arrange

So much we need to talk about, so I can get it right.

There is still laughter waiting to be had.

I wait for them to monitor and prod and test.

Someone dies, someone has been burnt, someone’s heart has stopped

There are tears from families in shock

Tears as they hold each other because the unimaginable has happened.

Now is not the time for him

It can’t be.

So no.

Not tonight

Not like this.

15 thoughts on “A Spotlight on Reality

  1. So few words to type. Just sending the biggest hugs to all of you. I would have given them to you yesterday, but it seems to random seeing you in real life. Sending lots of love, and willing all the laughter that is still to come. xx

  2. I’ve never met you or your family and only know a little of what you and your family have been through from our FB mutual friends (Emma & Ian).
    Your skills at conveying the emotional trauma in words is unbelievable and so incredibly moving. I truly hope you continue to find the strength from the very strong circle of love that is clearly around you and also from the spiritual support strangers such as me sincerely send to you and your family. Take care xx

  3. Your words are so beautifully written and very moving. You inspire so many people, I hope my few simply written words help to give you a little strength. Wishing you some sunshine amongst the rain clouds. 🌈

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