Some shared Adventures of a Carer and Caree.
The word "Oncology" had, by now, inserted itself into our lives. I was shocked at how quickly some of our erstwhile close friends disappeared in droves ... talk about Lepers ! It was fear, of course, of the unknown and what to say and what not to ask ... almost guaranteed to inhibit the most sociable of friends.
So, they just didn't visit any more. And we, of course, were too busy attending to the tracking down of what was actually wrong. One day, finally, we found out - we attended our Oncologist, who was becoming in a way a bit of a friend, for a chat; a "Where we're at" chat. It was Diagnosis Time.
It was a large, well-lit, airy room and outside, in a sort of lobby, alongwith the receptionist who ushered us in, there were several other people - doing 'medical things' as well as a couple of nurses chatting whilst they waited for whatever nurses wait for.
In due course, the somewhat one-sided conversation got to the crunch of the matter. Ena was suffering from a very late diagnosed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which they thought was rather advanced. They had already made arrangements, if Ena was willing, for an experimental course of chemotherapy which might slow it down and provide a remission of sorts.
Ena took it all, straight on the chin and seemed less shaken by it all than I. We agreed to the course of action they recommended and the commencement date ... two days time, said our goodbyes and left the room.
As we were walking up the corridor to the lifts I was aware, vaguely, of the two nurses drifting along behind us - still chatting. Suddenly, Ena half-collapsed and clutched me weeping copiously.