My mouth is dry, very dry, and I'm not allowed fluids. The nurse says it will be about twenty minutes before I'm wheeled into the induction suite. I wanted to walk, but no, it seems that the stuff they made me drink half an hour ago might make me stumble and fall.
The last of my hair went yesterday. I'm shaved clean. Not that there was much left, but it's all gone now. They say it will grow back, though they can't guarantee the colour or the texture.
I had my final radiography consultation this morning. That's why my head was shaved. Cameron and Allie were there, both trying not to look too serious. Both failed. It tickled when they drew the purple guide-marks on my skin. I tried not to laugh. Cam showed me the most recent scan. It doesn't look any smaller than last time, but he says it is. Allie went over the surgery with me again. I think I know the procedure well enough now that I could do it myself.
I know they're purple because I looked in the mirror when I went to the lavatory. There and there - that' s where they'll cut away the scalp flap. Then that set of lines, like a noughts and crosses board - they intersect around the area of skull they'll lift off. And the radiating ones? that's Ground Zero. I didn't understand the reference until Allie explained. It's all redundant, actually; the coordinates are all stored in the stereotaxy controller, but they like their purple lines, these surgeons do. It's how they're taught. They have to mark out their territory before they feel safe.
I've said my goodbyes. I've put everything away. I'm clean and neat and ever so polite in my nice new green gown. Ready to go. But oh, I am so dry.
Seamus was the last to go. He couldn't say anything, and I didn't want him to. I don't know how he's forgiven me, after everything that's happened, but he has. He brought me a present. His grandmother's rosary. I can't quite believe, and I know he can't quite not believe, and that has always complicated things, but I know what he meant by giving it.
In eight hours, either I'll be ready to edify medical students or I - or someone who looks like me - will be waking up. Seamus will be there, for whoever it is, and that's good.
Here's the trolley. And yes, nurse, I'm quite comfortable, thank you. Thank you. Thank you all.
In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum.