November 22, 2010
The chemo isn't working.
I didn't expect it to.
He felt "better" after a blood transfusion last week. His numbers were "better."
I didn't expect that to last, and it didn't. At all.
I talked to him on the phone on his 81st birthday last week. For just a few minutes. Then he said he had to go and hung up.
This was also expected.
He is translucent. He is blue and grey. Like a cancer-stricken extra on a medical drama, wearing too much pancake makeup. He is immobile and helpless, short-tempered and miserable. He is a bundle of medical checks and balances, with one medication causing X but preventing Y and yet none of them having any effect at all on Z.
It's happening slower than I expected.
That's not necessarily a good thing.
Which is confusing. Guilt-inducing. Unexpected.
The doctors are finally talking about stopping treatment, about making decisions, about being comfortable.
Because the cancer is too aggressive, because the chemo isn't working, because he is already much older than 81 and so sick and has no bone marrow and no platelets and no hemoglobin and no options. Because he is blue and grey and miserable and fighting for one last year as the desperate months go by.
He doesn't hear any of that. He hears fight. Chance. Odds. Win.
He is stubborn. Obstinate. Downright impossible.
I would never, ever expect anything less.