JJ: Gentle honesty from the oncologist

Mr Kidlung remains in hospital, now on the oncology ward. He is tired and dozes much. He’s not in any great pain, especially if he doesn’t move.

As we had hoped, today we got to see the very sympathetic Dr Mason, the oncologist, again who first gave us the bad news two days ago of a swathe of new tumours in his abdominal wall and lower back .

She gently guided our understanding of how much time we might have left with Mr Kidlung. A fair amount hinges on whether he picks up when his calcium levels come down – he’s still extremely weak and tired, no better really. She did say that it was not a good sign that, although his calcium levels were now lower, he had not yet began to respond to the medication – she hoped that someone of his age and fitness might have shown some improvement. Hopefully the outlook should be clearer by Tuesday.

If he doesn’t pick up, she talked of us having “short months, or possibly weeks”.

If he does pick up, the horizon is still not far. Further, perhaps, but not by an order of magnitude. His cancer appears very aggressive and is advanced.

There is still the possibility of further chemotherapy should he regain significant energy. However, at this point it looks unlikely that he be strong enough, unlikely that the chemotherapy would help much anyway and unlikely that the cost:benefit would make him want to undertake it.

Our thoughts now focus on getting him home, to an environment of TLC and companionship where people can visit him. We haven’t yet discussed his wishes, but hope to do so in the coming days, and will share with you.