Thursday 4th November

A week is a long time in terminal illness. It has changed again and the things I wrote only last week I look back on now and it feels like months ago - there's not been much Dr Who or Sarah Jane or Charlie and Lola or sharing anything much with Rose. There's a continual background loop of Disney Channel and I am getting worryingly engaged in whether Hannah Montana makes up with her boyfriend or whether the Wizards of Waverly Place destroy the cafe while their parents are away but no one else in the room cares. Rose is pretty much asleep. The word looks wrong - all the usual connotations don't apply any more. Her sleep is not restorative, it's not recharging her, she will never again wake up, stretch and jump out of bed but it is at least an escape from her conscious alternative which is increasingly pain and distress filled.

Following two days of unconsciousness at the end of last week in which we descended into siege mode and braced ourselves for 'IT' Rose has rallied but with renewed levels of pain and discomfort and with new disease spread that is now challenging even the cool-headed Marsden team. Challenging but of course not defeating. Again they come armed with more and different drugs in the war on Rose's symptoms. New plans, new ideas. I've reached a stage where the rest of the world could fall off a cliff and I wouldn't even notice as long as I still have them. The hospice word is dropped casually into the conversation and I understand now that it's for me not her. But I'm not done yet. I spend the days juggling tablets, liquids, syringes to find somewhere on that fine line between unconscious and pain-free and I realise that it will not be as easy for her as it had seemed it might be last weekend. Rose is eight, she is young and strong and programmed to live for another seventy years. She is metabolising drugs at dosages that would kill me in a heartbeat and still they are not enough. If she was as old, tired and worn out as I am it would be so much easier for her. At this rate Rose's cancer is going to get me before it gets her.