There is a shotgun aimed at my father’s head. It’s loaded, it’s cocked and it’s ready to fire. When is it going to go off? Nobody knows. Nobody knows how long we will be playing this particular game of Russian Roulette.
The shotgun in this story is a cancerous tumour in the heart. Still flapping, still waiting to break off and go on its merry way to Stroke City.
It’s MRI day today. It’s a day that I don’t know whether to be anxious about or relieved. Cancer scans do that to you. There is an element of the miracle “what if!” What if he is the lucky one!” What if this latest cocktail drug attempt actually does something good. What if there is a win. When cancer is a series of losses it’s amazing how you start celebrating the small wins. Even when those “wins” would never normally be seen in that light. Even when deep down you know they will be short lived.
It’s hard to know what you’re wishing for. If you’ve seen cancer patients in palliative care, you would have witnessed the immense pain and suffering they are going through. You see them as a terrible shell of their former selves. If you’ve seen that, well, you wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. A cancerous tumour going to Stroke City would mean that Dad, and the rest of us, would be spared the torment of that terrible end. Yet obviously, we don’t want that either.
So the quality vs quantity debate enters your head. But quite frankly I don’t want to discuss that either. Logically there is an answer. But in my heart of hearts it’s a hell of a lot harder. Because in a perfect world we would all live until we were 100 and then just not wake up one morning…. but it is so far from a perfect world.
So here we are, on MRI day, hoping for the miracle, yet knowing that it won’t take away the agony of the ongoing ravaging of his body.
But, for a change, taking the small win would be nice. So would taking away the shotgun.