Regular readers may recall that 5 years ago we had a harrowing week away in Italy as we learned of the sudden death of my youngest brother M from cancer. He had been ravaged by the disease in a very short period. And I missed seeing him before we managed to get back. Now here’s a sad tale; my young sister H, the baby of the family 12 years my junior, had been dealing with a spinal cancer situation for the last few years. She’d been elected for an experimental drug programme after years of surgery and therapy but a sudden change in her condition necessitated a mastectomy a couple of weeks ago. Long story short it didn’t go well and her condition deteriorated. On Saturday night we learned she had little time left, days possibly, and headed up early Sunday morning to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Half an hour away from Blackpool we learned my lovely sister H had passed away.
She was in her mid 50’s like my brother. Sigh. It’s just the cruellest disease and it continues to ravage my family. My father has now said good bye to his youngest son and only daughter both of whom had become his closest friends because their own lives had, sadly, become partner-free. We saw my sister in her hospital room and spent time with my family later that day and night. My dad was in pieces but after a few drinks and a some memory laughs over dinner at my brother’s place, he seemed to be in slightly better spirits.
But nothing disguises losing the youngest family member in such difficult, painful circumstances. Irony of ironies this weekend H received in her mail notification that her new drug programme at Christie’s had been authorised to commence Monday. Everything is just too late. And late surgical interventions feel like unnecessary pain-inducing experiments. I’ve lost a lot of faith in so called cancer experts. The little girl I shared a room with and who was a 7 year old bridesmaid at our wedding has gone. A bright, funny, lovely, beloved girl has passed away long before her time.
This is just too painful. I picked up a picture from her mantelpiece of me with her and my brother, from around 1995. They’re both now gone, like my hair and dress sense. Miss you lovely guys.