That’s where my family and I have spent most of our time since last Thursday. Beside my 86-year-old grandmother, Tai Vilisi.
It was just a little cough. It was okay; she’s always had a little cough, now and then. Then Thursday morning she coughed up a little blood. It got better, all clear, we thought nothing of it. Until that night when things got worse. There was more and more blood.
My mother rushed her to the hospital and that’s where she’s been since.
First the doctor diagnosed her with water in the lungs. Then Monday morning he could not be sure whether it was pneumonia or TB. We had to understand, he said, that she was old. She was 86 years old and it was hard to say for sure about this things.
I wanted to yell at him. Tell him to shut his patronizing face up. But she was sitting there, my grandmother, looking so frail, so trusting. I didn’t want to alarm her, embarrass her or hurt her in any way.
They rushed her to Lautoka Hospital yesterday afternoon for some tests. My mother went with her. Lautoka Hospital is a major city hospital. Two doctors attended to her, my mother said.
Their diagnosis? Lung cancer. Their prognosis? Grim. How can there be no cure for lung cancer?
So, in case you were wondering where I have been the last few days, why I have not written anything since last week? Now you do.
My younger sister takes the morning shift from around 9am and I relieve her after work getting there around 5.45pm and I sit with Tai Vilisi until around 7pm when my mother comes in to stay with Tai for the whole night until my younger sister relieves her in the morning.
Believe you me. I wish more than anything in this whole wide world that the only problem, the only worry, the only complication, the only hurdle, the only heartbreak I have right now is writer’s block.