Never stop looking

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  • Published 20110906
  • ISBN: 9781921758225
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

TWO MONTHS BEFORE my husband, John, died of secondary bone cancer, I asked him if it would be all right if I took a few pictures of him in bed. I was not looking to add to our collection of photographs of us as a couple. I wanted permission to photograph his primary tumour. In his calm way John consented to my request, and with what upper body strength remained he propped himself up as straight in bed as his besieged spine would permit.

When we think of someone being in bed, we tend to imagine the person lying down. But John’s primary tumour bulged from his sacrum like a loaf of ciabatta, and for months lying on his back had been impossible. Due to the spread of metastases through his pelvis and femurs, he had gradually lost the use of his legs and was no longer able to walk. His right thigh, swollen out of all symmetry with his left, billowed in front of him like a sail.

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