Losing Kath

Love lost, read and found

The Big Bad Wolf

When you are right in the thick of it, sometimes you can’t see the woods for looking, when all the trees stand in your way, yet it never feels like you are truly lost as somehow you believe you will find your way. Kath’s journey through battling cancer was so very just the same!

If I could see it all again, I surely would not have missed how far off the path of hope our journey had strayed even though it had felt that our eyes had kept focussed on the way. Cancer was like the big bad wolf that tried every trick to make us lose sight of the way and each time we felt for sure we knew each turn, deceitfully it led us astray.

On August 18th 2012 we were given good amazing news and false hopes in the very same bundle when the latest results came back positively and suddenly so much of the gloomy dense winding path we had been on seemed to open up and we had found our way and for a moment, felt the sun on our faces again. You only know how much you’ve walked in darkness when at last you come back into the light and if Kath’s dignified demeanour had hidden her burden well, her exclamation of happiness revealed it all at last: “I’m SO happy, thank you God!!!!”

But her gratitude was surplus to requirements as our path soon turned from the light. We had been almost given the ‘all clear’, a reprieve from the death sentence that had hang over our heads from the start and it was such a relief to be able to put all this mistaken prognosis behind us and look forward to life and to living.

But such is the cruelty of life at times when you are down, before you can get up the rug is often pulled from under your feet and when the glimmer of light is lost once again under trees all you can do is pick yourself up of your knees and stumble on in the dark, hoping God guides your path and hears your pleas.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been told you are terminally ill and must die, somehow you cling to the belief that you will find a way out and escape from the big bad wolf you know is waiting to get you.

During Kath’s illness there were many twists and turns a lot of which I haven’t found any resolve to write about. It is difficult because somehow ‘hope’ is always so much more powerful an emotion than ‘despair’. Despair is something you deal with because you don’t have any choice in making its acquaintance, but once you’ve been introduced to ‘hope’ and then had it whisked away, the pain of despair is quick to remind you it’s still there!

I guess from the start, just as we had been told, each step of the way we knew would be a step down the path to Kath’s destined predicament and that the journey had only one end. But along the way, you forget the rules and that each new twist and each turn only offer dead ends and false hopes that momentarily distract you from the path you’ve been set on, and despite how many signs were posted along the route, somehow in hope, you still manage to lose your way.

In Kath’s short journey, as well as all the things I have charted already, she also needed 2 or 3 blood transfusions thanks to the Chemotherapy depleting her red blood cells, she needed operations to put in two stents in her kidneys to help correct her blood levels, she had a pic-line inserted in through a vein through which further rounds of chemo would be introduced, but this resulted with a blood-clot forming in her armpit and she had to have it removed. Then she was recommended a type of pin cushion and line to be surgically implanted to the left of her neckline and under the skin but this never came to be, because in all of this her condition just carried on in constant decline and in a way, each of the above took our eye off the path and the big bad wolf while we studied each dead end with the determination and focus of misguided hope, that each one of these twist in the paths was a way out from the termination facing her in the path ahead. Even towards the end, we still did not really give up hope and Kath was being prepped for Radiotherapy.

I guess along the way, we really didn’t know what else to do. But when in mid October the hospital discharged Kath from their care the path we knew had got our focus and not knowing anywhere else to turn we silently took each other by the hand and turned back down the lair’s path, to face the big bad wolf together.



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