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The Letter

December 25, 2009

9th Aug 2008

The news that the radiotherapy had reduced but not eliminated the cancer in her brain and there was nothing further that could now be done – a 2nd course of radiotherapy not being possible – was a bit of a bummer. What made it worse however was the cessation of Mrs D’s 4-weekly visit to the Hospital for blood tests, x-rays, and meeting with the Consultant. It led to a feeling that we had been abandoned by the medical profession – that having tried every weapon in their arsenal they had now given up on Mrs D and were resigned to just making her pain less while they waited for her to die.

That was certainly the interpretation Mrs D placed on events. That she was not given a repeat monthly appointment for a check up suggested to her that the consultant did not see the point in any more monthly meetings and/or he did not expect her to be alive in 4 weeks time. From the way her body was letting her down she was inclined to share that bleak assessment. It was a welcome surprise therefore to receive a letter asking her to attend the hospital in Sept.

Mrs D was ecstatic when she opened the letter. Up till now she’s felt cut adrift, just cast out to await her fate, wondering if each day is going to be the day she dies. At the very least,the letter suggested the doctors still expect her to be here in Sept. This extended her time horizon from days to weeks and lifted the threat of imminent death. That was enough to make her more cheerful in itself. On top of that there was the wonder of what they wanted to see her about – if there’s nothing more they can do, why would they bother making time to see her? Dare she hope for a reprieve?

The change in her since receipt of this letter is remarkable. There can’t be that many people so delighted to receive a hospital appointment !!!

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