2007 — 31 October: "trick or treat" Wednesday

Time now (08:25) and I've just spoken very briefly to a nurse who tells me Christa had a peaceful night, and is still asleep. I don't know whether She got Her X-rays done — I'm focussing on "peaceful night" and "still asleep" for now. Plus, getting the washing machine to do as it's told. Cathy G (thanks for the call last night) assures me, by the way, that constantly checking with the patient before dishing out medication is a Good Thing. I guess I wasn't thinking entirely straight as I was seeing Christa in pain at the time.

Time now (09:15) and after checking with a nurse (who said Christa said it was a good time for a call though she'd been vomiting earlier) I've just had the briefest of calls with Her:

C: Hello, David. Can you ring in half an hour? Sorry!
D: Of course, love. Bye.

Perhaps She just wanted to hear my voice, or not upset me by saying "don't call"? Anyway, She sounded pretty slurred, but not distressed. Obviously things are still not back on an even keel. Horrible disease. I called again, as requested. She says She may be transferred to the hospice at some point today and for me therefore to check with the ward. She doesn't intend (or wish) to answer her phone at the moment, which I understand. I must now venture out on the supplies trail, which I shall do right away (10:35 or so). So, a second visit to the funeral director, then off to Lidl, Sainsbury's, and back almost before you know it. A simple late lunch, and then find out where She is before our next visit...

Afternoon update

After culinary1 instruction in the art of (almost) fluffy omelette manufacture (complete with ham, tomatoes, and grated cheese) and consumption, it was off in the car to the General via (almost) as far as Romsey, arriving shortly after 14:00 and staying for a quiet hour.

This I spent, basically holding Her hand, telling Her of the latest well-wishers, and just chatting very gently. Christa now has an inner calm. Her pain is controlled. She is somewhat sleepy with the sedation, but we long ago agreed that was the price we would pay. We are essentially both at peace together. There is truly nothing left to say to each other that We still need to say. We are each completely secure in the other's love. We've enjoyed a very happy life together, and I'd say the sum of that life has been incomputably greater than the three individual parts that are my lovely Christa, our son Peter, and me. I think, too, I have gained a deeper understanding of the true meaning of the phrase "Rest in Peace".

After our visit, I think my co-pilot was very scared at the thought of my "losing it" but driving in traffic (and parking in Waitrose for yet further supplies — the makings of tomorrow's intended lunch) is so absorbing that it didn't happen. I think I've finally managed to impress him with my ability to concentrate and focus. (Of course, as I remarked to the GP two days ago, I may still be about to "lose it" on a cataclysmic scale. Who knows?)

Back in mid-July, I muttered "No pain, and treatment started" to myself at night. Now tonight I think it will be "No pain, and ready for whatever comes next"...

Early evening

I've just (19:00) checked with the ward staff — She's asleep, so I'm certainly not going to wake Her up. Nearly time for supper.



1  I have cancelled the meals on wheels delivery. This is a magnificent service, and was a real lifeline when I was coming to the end of my tether trying to keep Her well-nourished, but I really must now develop my own culinary skills beyond the rudimentary. If I can learn to drive, how hard can it be to learn to cook, dammit?! Soup and sandwiches will suffice for lunch for a while, at least. After all, I survived IBM with less for longer!