Sunday, 13 May 2007


Cup your hand in a fist with the arm straight up at the elbow in front of you. Your arm is the spinal column. Your fist the brain stem. Now, take your fist and cup it round your other fist. That's what happened to the boy.

I remember seeing that first brain scan like a freeze frame black and white photograph. The tumour and fluid sac like a small white orange. The brain stem squashed in a grey crescent to one side of the skull. That he was functioning at all was a surprise. That he hadn't had had a seizure amazing. So said the doctors.

I remember thinking "He's going to die. No child can come back from that and survive." There's a website called post a secret. Mine is that I can't look at him without thinking he's going to die. For the wife's sake I never say that to her, since hope keeps her going. It remains my dirty, guilty secret.

It's constantly going through my head at the moment whilst I wait with impotent, mounting frustration for the boy's details to get to the US hospital. They still hadn't arrived on Friday afternoon. Makes me want to rush off the Big National Hospital to shout and scream at the administrative staff that this delay is putting the boy's life in danger. But I won't. I'll ring and ask politely that they check with the courier company the package's whereabouts. Ahhhhhhh!!!!

1 comment:

Thomas, as told to Sarah said...

There came a point, after our first surgery, after the trach, after the first round of chemo and midway through the first god-awful decent that marks the post-chemo phase - he woke up vomiting. I couldn't decide whether to suction him or sit him up or what, but what seemed the most vividly sensible thing to do was to run out into the street and yell "Cancer! Cancer! Help! There's cancer in there!"

There's no way to put it all right in a parent's head. Your wife is probably thinking something very similar and just as sad.