Sharp Blue: One week


About This Article

comments feed

Tips Jar

Paypal Pixel


It’s now one week since the doctors at the oncology ward told us that my dad probably only had 48 hours to live. During that week, I’ve learned that he was maybe an hour or two away from dying last Sunday night, and that moving him from the hospice to the oncology ward was extremely dangerous. I also learned yesterday that one of the nurses who’d been working there last Sunday had been out on Monday and Tuesday and had then been surprised to find my dad still alive on Wednesday. She told my mum that he was one of the people whose will to live makes her job worthwhile.

I think my dad’s rallying has surprised everyone over these seven days. Each day, he’s awake for more of the time, is coughing less, and is on less oxygen. He’s coherent, articulate, and his usual funny self. The staff of the ward all seem pretty surprised by this. They’re also surprised that he’s eating two cooked meals a day - they expected him to be unable to eat. My sister and I have gone from expecting to lose him in the next night or during the next day to finding it hard to imagine him dying in the next week. I’m managing to sleep again now, even if I’m not managing to do anything much except being at the hospital.

There’s a possibility that he’ll be able to come home in a week or two if things keep improving. The NHS will provide a hospital bed and other equipment for us, and we can afford thrice daily visits by nurses. No matter how great the staff of the Bristol Oncology Centre might be (and they are uniformly wonderful, both highly competent and very humane), I think he’ll feel better if he can come home.

I’m not daring to hope, because my hopes always seem to be dashed. I’m just making the most of each day. I know that the amelioration of symptoms says nothing about the progress of the underlying illness.

For some reason, I keep thinking of Westley and Dread Pirate Roberts.

It is good to hear that Uncle is feeling better each day. Thanks for the update, Rich. We'll just carry on with the prayers and the good wishes.

I reiterate what Ritu has already said, not surprisingly =)

Love and hugs


I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I've been so busy I've been lax in keeping up with other peoples' lives, or even popping into blogs, but Kat mentioned it.

I can relate somewhat to what's happening. My dad had lymphoma a while back and it was terrifying to everyone in my family. From what I saw in his experience, I am happy to hear you have a good oncologist for your father.

I also remember that what other people said to me in that time didn't change anything, and sometimes it just frustrated me. But there's something that people say to each other whenever someone is facing a trial, test, or difficulty. They say, "Fighting!" (They normally use the English word, albeit with a powerful accent.)

I don't know how to express the feeling I get when I hear it because, well, I've heard and said it enough in context to really understand; it's a combination of encouragement and motivation and demand for resolve and strength. But I wish I could say that word to you so it would mean what it means to me when my Korean friends say it to me.

Fighting, Rich, fighting! And your dad too. Gord

Leave a comment