Rachel has been getting a lot of enjoyment from poetry during her illness, and especially Roger McGough. I don't suppose many non Brits will have heard of him, but he has been around since the 60s. He was one of the famous Liverpool Poets, was in a band called The Scaffold with Paul McCartney's brother, and writes wonderfully punny poems. He's also great with kids' poetry. Anyhow, he's still a Liverpool lad, and Rachel's daughter Anna managed to get hold of him via email, and explain about Rachel's horrible situation.
He's sent her two poems, one of which we think might have been written for her, as we can't find any reference to it online. Even if it isn't written especially, it does have a real relevance to her current condition, and I confess, I've been bawling all morning since I read it. Not just the poem itself, but the kind gesture has undone me.
Love the doodles too...
Sad addendum: I think my cousin Michelle is dying too. She's moved back to Manchester and her son is currently looking after her, but it doesn't sound at all hopeful. Her condition has deteriorated so rapidly, it's scary. Just four weeks ago she was able to meet me for lunch, she was in pain but able to walk and enjoy herself. Yesterday she had a wheelchair delivered and tells me (via Facebook) that she can't do anything for herself, not even make a cup of coffee, and she's in pain all the time in spite of the morphine they have her on. The docs are talking about doing a double mastectomy as a means of slowing the spread of the cancer, but she's not sure it will be worth the trauma if it's not going to improve the quality of what life she has left - the cancer is very aggressive and is in her breasts, lymph nodes, ribs and spine.
I can't beleive this is happening to either of them. It doesn't seem real or right. Rachel is 3 weeks younger than me, Michelle is six months younger. I'll need to get up to Manchester to see Michelle soon, when I can find out what's going on. Her phone isn't working at the moment and typing conversations on FB isn't the best means of communication at the best of times, but she's even more woolly-minded when she's on morphine.