Thursday, 2 October 2008

22. Steroid Rush

Hang on. I recognise this. It’s a steroid rush. I’ve had it before. Like jump starting a car. 8mg of dexamethasone is washing through my bloodstream and I’m looking up. It’s all quite clear right now.

There was the radio interview - and for a moment, it was just like being back at work. The broadcast media – my home territory – breathing extra life at the end of life.
Phones ringing. Mobile humming. Emails clicking up in bold in all three inboxes; old names, new names, weird names, shopping vouchers, subscription pleas, offers of viagra (yeah, right). Click, Click. Click.

It all goes a bit Alice in Wonderland. One pill makes you larger. One pill makes you small.
We were in a taxi going from the BBC to the hospice. But then my sister rang and we detoured to her house and – by amazing serendipity – spent Jewish New Year with her and Victor for the first time in years. I think we had smoked salmon on lightly toasted cholla. Tasted good.

I nodded off on their sofa for a moment. There was a dream sequence. Lynn FW came by and I showed her the Facebook site “It’s a Potential Death Trap!” Yes, it really exists. In those days, we saved a mullion wee babies from exploding toasters. We chased mildly dangerous people, armed only with a four-man film crew.
Lyndsay came in from the corridor complaining that she hadn’t been mentioned in the blog. She was left in the corridor too long – I admit that now. We worked on bids and tenders together, but her first victory was without me.
Ann and Viv were somehow trying to make arrangements and there were a whole load of other people with diary problems almost as bad as Peter’s. No, that can’t be right.
Mary’s sister Ann was here – and she bought me some Slippery Elm Food (unmalted). And chocolates. And got rid of the credit crunch (probably not). I’m glad she came.
Martha bought two toys for Rosey Rose the Crazee Cartoon Cat, who then launched a relentless assault on Katy’s old pet monkey. The monkey hasn’t got a hope.

And somewhere, behind and beyond all this haze, Mary has been dealing with builders and decorators and shopping and domesticity and hospice visits and the whole relentless up and down of it all – and she is truly truly amazing. No need for the spellcheck. That’s truly twice, as it should be.
And the most important thing to realise, the most important thing of all, is that I know she will get through it.
And Dan and Katy will get through it too.

And it may just be a steroid rush – but I can see clearly right this minute – and I know they have the strength.