Remember before all we talked about was the Coronavirus? Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?
I woke up thinking about a news report I watched on our local news. It featured a lady who had been due to have a life-saving cancer operation, back in March. They had predicted a very good outcome, one that might well give her another ten years of life. Ten more years with her family and friends, ten more years of doing whatever she could; reading, pursuing her hobbies, and enjoying her garden.
But the operation was cancelled, because of the pandemic and the demand for beds in hospitals. The lady understood. A worldwide-pandemic was something new, something huge, and she was just one woman in an obscure English vilage. If her operation had to be delayed, then so be it. Let them deal with the shocking number of cases of Covid-19, and she could have her operation a little bit later on.
Except she didn’t get that operation. And by the time she was eventually called back to see her hospital doctor last week, six months had passed since she had first been told an urgent operation woud save her life. The tumour she has is now inoperable. It has spread too far, and cannot be removed. They have offered her debilitating treatment to shrink the growth, but that will only give her a few more weeks, not those ten years.
Interviewed in her garden, she was upset, but not bitter. She had accepted her raw deal, in the knowledge that people might recover from Covid-19 and go on to live longer, fuller lives. Though she couldn’t help but comment on the fact that she was one of the ‘forgotten’. Cancer patients, heart patients, those crippled and immobilised by hips and knees requiring surgery. First delayed, then cancelled, eventually forgotten.
Nobody reads out their statistics at the government briefing.