I drove 2 hours (each way) to see her. I hate hospitals - I am the kind of person who would make any old excuse to avoid visiting someone or going into a hospital. I hate to even drive past hospitals. All the sickness emanating from those buildings, as if the air around it is infectious and poisonous. I refuse to watch hospital dramas like ER, or Gray's. I will switch channels when they advertise TV medical dramas.
But I heard she was seriously ill. And I know her well - I'd go as far as to say we were friends, even though there had been a tension between us ever since one very minor incident. Still, I would go out of my way to help her, perhaps waiting for a sign from her that she wanted to spend more time with me, or if she even liked me.
So I heard she was seriously ill. I had hoped they caught it early, which would mean excellent chance of a full recovery. But...
Stage 4 cancer. Malignant. Tumours had spread.
My heart sank. I sat there for a long time, watching helplessly as she struggled to breathe, as she struggled with the pain. I wanted to ask so many questions, but I didn't. I wanted to help, but felt inadequate. After a couple of hours, I left, feeling shaken and sad.
If a person can beat something like this with sheer determination, then I know she will be OK. But if it is a matter of numbers and statistics, it doesn't look good.