Catriona sat in her car, head bowed and white-knuckled hands clenched on the steering wheel. She leaned her head back against the headrest and tried to absorb the test results. It couldn’t be worse.
Stage IV ovarian cancer.
Intensive chemotherapy might--might--give her a few more months, but would those months be worth living? Should she call hospice care now or wait, because she was fairly sure she did not want to endure the misery of chemotherapy. She sighed and let the tears fall unheeded as she wrapped her mind around the dismal prognosis.
She was going to die, sooner rather than later.
How would she tell her husband? Her children? Her granchildren? Her elderly parents? Should she quit her job now and enjoy what time was left to her? What about insurance? She sighed again, sniffled, not knowing the answers and too stunned by the diagnosis to fully accept it yet. It didn’t seem quite real.
She drove home, went about her usual routine, claimed to be tired, and went to bed early. Her husband glanced after her retreating figure, questions and concerns unspoken. Catriona would tell him what was bothering her when she was ready and not a minute before.
The next day she got up and went to work as usual, letting her subconscious mull over her situation until she could figure out what to do. Her coworkers never suspected anything.