Thursday, 8 October 2009

Someone else's story

Still not much to report. Father has gone back to work (apparently. Although I am pretty sure the medical advice says that he probably shouldn't). He is getting his stent removed today, the little valve-opening device that keeps his pancreas functioning. This is a leftover from the days when they thought he had pancreatitis. It's working fine, but they are replacing it because the chemotherapy is going to block it off completely unless it's made of hardier material.

After all the other things that he's been through, it feels like a walk in the park, even though he is still going to be anaesthetised and it still may take a couple of hours of surgery. It's strange how your perspective on things change with the situation. Under epistemology, I would call it contextualism, but I would lose all my readers, so I won't!

Still in London. Very easy to pretend that things are normal when I am here. In one way, it's nice and comforting and it's the least stressed that I have been in a good long time. On the other hand, I wonder whether I should be feeling normal. You can very normally shut your eyes and go through life blind to the triumph and tragedy of it all. Yes, you can ignore it, and we say ignorance is bliss. I am not suggesting this is a good way to go, but as a thought experiment: What if I avoided it all? Whatever happens happens, and I don't want to be in the loop, I don't want to be told whether things are better or worse. If they work out, great, and if they don't, I don't need to know.

Clearly that would not work on a practical level, but what about the emotional one? Let's pretend that it was not my father who was ill, but some beloved film star. Let's call him Patrick Swayze. If I truly care about his fate, is it healthier to follow his progress determinedly and to know the instant something happened, or is it better to not know the circumstances of his death and live happily in the belief that he's fine somewhere?

For now, I will say, all other considerations aside, it's the "sadder-but-wiser girl for me". And the thought experiment does not work anyway, because he's my father and the criteria are different.

Meh. Dawn is breaking. And waiting.

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