Time Catches Up With Everybody

Thursday 11th May § Leave a comment

I've been avoiding writing, because I wanted to find time to write up on earlier stuff (alas I have the same approach with revision), but today's news has spurred me into writing.

A week ago today Grandpa was taken to hospital in Hereford after a period of about a month of declining energy and lucidity. He's had a nasty abscess on his inner thigh which has been bleeding a toxic 'discharge' as well as the cancer, the bladder problems, the second dodgy hip and the recent diagnosis of late-onset diabetes and then on admittance to the hospital he was also diagnosed with cellulitis, which is a disease of the skin.

In fact today they scanned the leg with ultrasound this afternoon and discovered that inside the leg the abscess goes quite deep and has become gangrenous, which is just about the worst news that we could possibly get. They were talking about doing an emergency operating this afternoon, but the surgeons would have to cut such a large chunk out of Grandpa's upper thigh that they decided that he'd be unlikely to survive the operation, let alone have the strength to recover. So rather than operate they'll dose him up on painkillers and antibiotics and hope for the best. Apparently gangrene can be dispersed by the body's natural defences so if he had the strength he might be able to put up a fight. His prolonged decline has taken all of his last reserves and I really don't think he has the energy to keep up the battle for much longer.

Already I feel as if only half of him is ever with us, even at his most alert. His 'spark' has gone. Now it's just a balance between quality of life(or lack thereof: i.e. extreme pain) and time. As Dad says, we knew that the cancer was terminal, all that's changed is that we have a revised timetable of a few weeks rather than a few months.


This is how I'd prefer to remember him. Rosy cheeked and full of laughter. This photo was taken about a month ago, looking out over the Cammarch valley when we sat and watched the newborn lambs charge up and down the opposite bank with their supercharged four legged hop and complete innocence.


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