He is dying in increments and we can’t measure them as of yet. It looks so stark when I write those words. Nobody has said them out loud but that is the case. The doctors are waiting on the pathology to come back and then they will give a prognosis. He may be dying speedily or he may have a little more time: there is very little good news here.
Except there was a real possibility of it happening in the here and now and it hasn’t happened so that must be seen as good in a fucked up rearrangement of values way.
It was a very long operation and his body couldn’t cope with it. He was taken to the ICU and ventilated and we just waited. He has a strong spirit, even though he is physically frail, and he rallied, to the extent that they weaned him off the ventilator and he became awake enough to respond to my stepmama’s squeezing of his hand.
He continued to improve and they are talking about moving him to a private room maybe tomorrow. I haven’t seen him yet because ICU only lets in one person at a time and of course my stepmama should be there. Yesterday I was frantic, waiting in limbo, until the news was passed on that he was improving but not up to visitors yet. I was all ready to rush down and see him (I wanted to so badly) but I am trying to think of her and how hard it must be for her to keep up with giving family news and fobbing off hundreds of concerned friends. I just didn’t want to put any more pressure on her.
I spoke to her last night and she told me details about the operation, which was horrendous. There was tumour all around his kidney, in his urethra and wrapped around the main vein to his heart. There was also a swollen lymph node so that is probably cancerous too. They removed what they could but nothing is going to cure him: his fate was probably already sealed 18 months ago, even before he had the first operation. Tiny cancer cells had already seeded off and were travelling around his body, looking for a place to settle. Thatl that long gruelling bout of radiotherapy was for nothing.
Chemotherapy might have been an option but he won’t take it. I am glad. It won’t save his life and it wouldn’t be kind.
He is being amazingly brave but he has always been the least complaining man I know. As for me, I want to cry. I am so terribly sad but able to cope most of the time. But sometimes it feels primal. The little girl inside me emerges and she is screaming. Her daddy is dying and it is the worst thing in the world.