It is heard even from afar

It has been a couple months since my last post. I don’t believe I have undocked in that time, and aside trying to keep up with a handful of blogs, the game does not generally cross my mind.

I recently had to attend a family get together. I took my gaming laptop along with me – and ensured it was patched and everything was up to date. As I went through that process I could hear distant rumblings from the far away EVE player base.

“Do I just ignore it?”

And that was what I did.

But the rumblings persisted, and my need for a distraction from my family mounted, so today I have finally started to read up on the latest drama. Just a little bit. I am not sure I will feel inclined to comment on it, but I did like what EVE Onion did here…

One of my Sisters is in end-stage with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, under palliative care at home. That was the reason for the family get together, and why I was updating the EVE client on my laptop.

I have never been close to my sister as there are toxic aspects to her personality. She championed hard for her children, was very good at her job, and was mostly stoic in the face of much adversity in her life. But she tends to make herself feel better by stirring up trouble and making those around her feel worse.

The five-year survival rates for Hodgkin’s lymphoma are very good. My sister’s impending death less than a year from diagnosis is unusual.

There are reasons for this. She already had complicated auto-immune issues. The regional health care was not as good as we get in the City. Her diagnosis and treatment came late, badly impacted by COVID related restrictions and lockdowns.

The main reason however for her impending death is her own behaviour.

She put medical staff offside by being rude and surly, which repeatedly saw her get worse outcomes. She walked out of appointments if specialists were late, ignored the recommendations of experts, failed to reliably take medication, failed to ensure she ate well, and repeatedly checked herself out of hospitals against advice. She would not discuss test results. She would not allow family to be with her during appointments.

This was how she was “in control” of the situation. She managed the narrative, and no one was in a position to be able to argue with her decisions.

My sister would smugly regale us with how she got the better of the medical professionals around her, as emergency ambulance rides and hospital stays increased, and her health visually nosedived. She sabotaged each hopeful avenue to cure, then remission, then extended life, one after another. It has been the pinnacle example of chopping off your own nose to spite your face.

Despite being told not to talk to the family, specialists, doctors and nurses would quietly drop hints or warnings to us. Added with our observations and Doctor Google, we have followed this train wreck as well as we could.

My sister should have died any day now, for a number of weeks. As best we can tell she is only alive due to pure stubbornness, and her steadfast belief she has months left because she still has things she wants to organise for her children.

The problem my sister ran into was reality. For all the little battles she felt she won through her toxic behaviour, none of it worked towards winning the war.

Lessons to be learnt there.

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