Thursday 2nd December

Snow. Grrrrrr. We planned for this a week ago and it all sounded straightforward but in reality it doesn't work that way. Our palliative consultant - who I have never wanted to see more - attempts the journey on Tuesday and is towed ignominiously back to the Marsden ten minutes in. The community nurses so far have struggled out and we are managing the daily trip to collect iv drugs for the syringe driver but there are delayed deliveries at the pharmacy, a daily anxiety that the nurses won't make it and now, finally, civilisation breaks down completely and Ocado cancel our delivery. The police are briefed for the weekend to collect the community nurses and bring them to our door but it's the Marsden I really want. There was an airy promise of a police 4x4 escort but it hasn't materialised and Rose is abandoned to the care of us and the local nurses who are right on the edge of their comfort zone. There is radio contact and telephone instructions to steadily increase drugs to what the Marsden baldly describe to me over the phone as 'end of life doses' but Rose isn't listening and continues to eat her way through elephant portions of sedative and methadone while maintaining consciousness. Good grief, my lovely, do you want to be nine this badly?

I type this watching her little chest heave with the effort of her laboured breathing and listening to her continual background whimper which is all there is now, day and night, and I whisper to her in my head, give it up now my lovely Rose, this is no good. But I am still drowned out by the much louder and more persistent voice in my head saying please, please don't go Rose - I am so much more frightened of life without you than you can possibly be of dying.