Fate – Part 2: Florida calling

So I’ve been away a while…from the blog, not in real life. Much as another holiday would have been welcome it may be a bit much to ask for right now.

Life got a little crazy right after I arrived back from Brazil, actually a bit before but who’s counting. As I sit here in the hospital waiting room, I figure now’s as good a time as any to catch up on some of the madness.

Some time back I wrote about a twist of fate during my Brazil trip. Part 1 recounted a little contreremps my brother had with some beef!

And now, Part 2

July 5th, a Saturday, I was still in Brazil, half asleep wondering what the noise was in my half dream. I slowly surfaced with the mission impossible tune playing in my head (it was really hard to wake up) and realised it was my old phone ringtone, the pay as you go one I had taken for emergencies.

Puzzled and groggy I sat up wondering why it was ringing and where the hell was it. I located the sound source and stumbled across to where it sat on the room’s TV cabinet while I registered the time as 6:30am. The call timing was already making the thought of it’s context twist in my mind like a proverbial snake on a plane.

I picked the phone up and pressed the answer button knowing not much good would likely come from the action. So, much as I didn’t want to hear whatever was going on….

My wife

My wife’s voice comes through clear and strong. An urgent tone. I flash to the call about my brother from a week ago and I’m now wide awake and mentally several scenarios into likely events.

My wife is in Florida visiting our older daughter and our two grandchildren so an early call, from my wife, who is in Florida… this definitely can’t be good.

The phone conversation is hazy now, some two+ months down the line. The detail of it is not:
– My wife is calm, measured in tone but I can hear the edge of panic underneath.
– My younger (31 year old) daughter is sick.
– She’s been diagnosed with cancer.
– She’s been rushed in to London and will be having emergency chemotherapy this weekend.
– I’m in Brazil, Melissa is in Florida and Richard (Arielle’s boyfriend) is out of reach in Yorkshire watching the Tour de France. Harry (our nickname for Arielle) is dealing with this alone.

Holey mother of crap! I’m floored, my second time round with cancer in the family, my wife’s third. The kid dicing with ovarian cancer. It was a long thoughtful 48 hours to get back to England and life had clearly changed. Again.

Change is normal but this new card in the hand appeared to have been dealt from the bottom of the pack. Slipped in at the last moment throwing the ‘game of life’ beyond change into turmoil.

Here, now, today

I’ve missed a lot which may seep in here over time. A lot has happened and nothing has changed. It’s ten weeks and 22 chemos later, sat waiting for the surgeons to remove a tumour the size of a honeydew melon from a 60 kilo (125 lbs in old money) kid. She’s an adult but she’s also still the 15 year old kid I tried to teach maths. What a trial that was, but not a patch on what she’s dealing with now.

Fate controls what happens next, I’m hoping it twists in a more manageable direction.

In better times.

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