Thursday, September 9

I never walked near the edge. Used to fear falling. I never swam far from shore. Never tried the secret door.

For the last ten days, my folks have been in America.
My Uncle has been suffering with a 'sore throat' since the back end of last year. At least, that's what we'd been led to believe. Several weeks ago, he went to see a doctor/specialist/consultant for said sore throat and hasn't been out of hospital since. In fact, most of the time he's been in intensive care, or whatever they call it in America.
He lives alone. His nearest family; his daughter, lives about forty miles away from him. She was diagnosed with lung cancer about three weeks before he went to see his doctor and has been receiving chemotherapy since.

Since news reached us that my Uncle was diagnosed with throat cancer, which was when a doctor phoned my Nan (listed as his next of kin) to ask permission to perform an operation on him, the house here has been in disarray. My Nan has been beside herself. My Mum has been desperately trying to speak to somebody in the hospital; a nurse, a doctor, a specialist, a consultant, who would give us some straight answers. Frustratingly, it's been a string of inconsistent information, ranging from; "He's doing much better", to "He's been in a coma since the doctors tried to put a tube down his throat", to "We think he'll be well enough to be discharged soon", to "It looks like he suffered a stroke or possibly a heart attack when he stopped breathing on the operating table", to "I'm sorry, we can't tell you anything because we don't know ourselves".

I've spoken to my Mum several times since she, my Dad and my Nan rushed over there ten days ago. They were hoping by now he would have been well enough to be back at his own house, receiving his treatment. Unfortunately, it's not the case.
His condition sounds advanced. He is weak. Each time the doctors plan to perform an operation; mostly to do with inserting tubes here, there and everywhere, his condition worsens. We're informed he is too weak to 'go on the table'. As a consequence, there are still some tests and 'things' the doctors need to do, but of course they wont until he is stable enough to have a fighting chance of coming out of the anesthetic.

A phone call from my Mum yesterday updated me with the latest on his condition. He has been much more stable the previous two days and the hospital staff are hopeful that he can be taken off the equipment that's helping him to breathe. Hopefully, with a more stable condition, they can continue with the tests, the tube insertions and finally start his treatment. Unless, of course, these test results say that treatment is pointless.

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