How To Say Goodbye
Katrina sat wordlessly, staring at the space between herself and the doctor, unable to move as she tried to make sense of the words. “It’s breast cancer.” She repeated the prognosis, leaving it out there like an unwanted package. No sooner questions popped into her mind, playing out a strange sequence she couldn’t quite follow. Thoughts like, isn’t it supposed to be hereditary?” and, “But no-one in my family has ever had breast cancer.” Flashed before her, then disappeared almost as fast, instantly replaced by another question.
“Kat?” Doctor Wilson murmured, leaning forward and cupping the back of Katrina’s hand with her own. “I know this is difficult, and we will do everything we can to make you as comfortable as possible.”
“But,” Katrina began, the words fighting to come out of her lips, trapped somewhere deep in her throat. “How long?” she finally said, the only intelligible question she could force out. Doctor Wilson hesitated for a brief moment, and it was enough for Katrina to understand she didn’t have long to live.
“Six months…maybe eight,” Doctor Wilson confirmed, and then as if an afterthought, “I know this must be hard to grasp. I merely wish…” Her voice faded out as Doctor Wilson knew nothing she said would make it easier. Katrina turned and looked into the doctor’s eyes. Doctor Wilson squeezed Katrina’s hand a little tighter, recognizing the fear in her eyes; how she imagined her own would appear if given a terminal diagnosis. “I’m sorry, she added softly, “I’m with you now, and we will go through this together.”
“I need to be home with my family,” she finally said. “
Of course,” Doctor Wilson agreed and stood as Katrina rose from her chair. “I’m here whenever you need me. If you or Daniel have any questions at all, please,” she said pleadingly. Katrina nodded weakly, offered an even weaker smile, and reached for the door. A pursed lipped thank you was all she could say before leaving the room.
Doctor Wilson watched Katrina leave her office and close the door behind her. She collapsed back in her chair. For the young medical practitioner, it had been the first terminal diagnosis of her career. It was a textbook case, and there was no doubt of the outcome.
WE&P by EZorrilla
Special thanks to A Jackson.