Never stop looking

Featured in

  • Published 20110801
  • 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.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

More from author

Sex and the single bed

MemoirA HEIGHT-ADJUSTIBLE HOSPITAL bed. At first I didn't understand what the nurses meant. For a moment I pictured our queen-sized mattress atop some contraption...

More from this edition

Not for official use

MemoirWHEN I READ Georgia Blain's memoir, Births Deaths Marriages (Random House, 2008), I was struck by the cover of the book as well as...

Beyond stigma

Essay'Nothing is as revolutionary as candour.' – Robert Desnos (French surrealist from the 1930s) I THINK WE would agree – in some hazy way –...


PoetryYou never tire of the sky,caught within the frame and sash,spun sugar, your tongue can almost tastebefore it melts away.You bask in brushstrokesmilky blue,where...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.