Above Us Only Sky

Imagine there's no heaven...

Tom has lots of time on his hands when he falls ill, he looks back at his short life, contemplating and try to fathom out what went wrong in his world when everything comes crashing down.

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12. Chapter Twelve

The last few weeks have not been so much a blur as a haze, The weeks mingle into one. One hospital bed much like another,a never ending cycle of not feeling well mingling with life. A realisation that despite my protestations this isn’t going to be over some time soon. Life was continuing to bite my ankles keeping me aware that I hadn’t conquered this just yet.

You have big decisions to make at stages, how far do you want to go. They explain every angle until you wonder if there is a bright side to all this. Everything they do they assign a risk to, it’s almost like being a mathematician to work out the probabilities of survival. There’s also other things like whether you want to have children in the future. Storing away sperm to be used in case you can’t. At my age I don’t even want to contemplate having children, but you’re forced to confront it. 

Somewhere along the line I’d had chemotherapy, a scientific word which really means that they inject poisons into your body for the explicit aim of killing your cells. However it’s not like one of these smart bombs that the americans use to reap havoc throughout the world. It doesn’t just target the cancerous cells, it hits the healthy ones as well, spreading the poison far and wide through the body. 

As you lay there the nausea and physical sickness comes over you in waves. That breakfast that you had, as meagre as it seemed at the time, is soon being expelled from the same orifice that it went in. I know that in the long run that a little of what hurts does you good, but it didn’t feel like it. 

Chemo can cause a few odd reactions, which is why I was laid in the bed so they could monitor what was wrong. Small irritations like the stinging when I peed I could live with, although it makes you wary of the toilet door, I can tell you. It also affects other parts of your body. In my case the nausea was mild, although at time the feeling of being tossed around on the high seas. I saw more of my food coming up than I really wanted to. 

I was due to stay in and have a couple more courses but mother nature decided to once again intervene in my treatment. One night, why is it always the dead of night when these things happen, my heart started palpitating, you know the sort of thing? However this carried on for way too long. It’s scary when it happens, you lay there thinking it will go in a minute, the anxiety levels rise making each erratic beat more in focus. After a while of enduring this, I sort help. I hate pressing that red button to summon the nursing staff, always feel they have something better to do than come over to me, but this time I was scared.

Relief came eventually when they managed to use more drugs, but different ones to stop the palpations. I’m glad they did, the next course of action was to stop my heart and restart it, not something I wanted to even contemplate. To be killed and then resurrected. They sedated me throughout the night, leaving me at the mercy of the shadows and they were getting crowded now, no one to stave them off. The drugs cut in and in they rushed laughing and jeering at me. 

A few days later I was released from the hospital. I’ve never liked those places. To some they offer care and hope. All I’ve seen come out of them is death, first my dad and then my mum. 

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