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Sadie stared down at her mother's signature on the document before her. The lawyer, a tall, slim blonde man named Jameson who the firm had called 'the best', wore a grave and defeated expression.

I, Shannon Francis-Moore, acknowledge that I have refused treatment for grade 2 atypical meningioma, against the advice of Dr Now J Kelly & Dr Y Wright at Lennox Hospital.

Date: 4/24/2013.

Shan still lay in her hospital bed now, fast asleep from exhaustion. Sadie knew that a seizure left a patient more exhausted than a marathon- every single muscle in the body contracting beyond control. And her mother had suffered multiple seizures through the night.

"I don't understand- this doesn't make any sense," Sadie stuttered. "If it was untreated for this long, then it's a wonder she's still alive."

"I'll have to leave the medicine to you, Dr Moore," Jameson joked, but neither of them were laughing. "The truth is, this was signed when your mother's main care at Elm Nursing Home was for dialysis. This means that she was of sound mind-"

"Yeah, this was before the dementia," Sadie said, but even that was confusing. It was never dementia, it was always this damned tumour. Which had two whole years to grow. "So there's nothing we can do?"

"Legally speaking, the nursing home is not responsible. Nobody is," Jameson explained. "But your mother experiences periods where she's lucid?"

"Yes, they don't last long, though," Sadie nodded.

"If you can advise her to seek treatment in that time, if she changes her mind," Jameson spoke. "Then maybe she could beat this."

There was such naivety in that statement, and Sadie was envious of it. No, the glioblastoma would grow and grow, and suck away her mother's life like a leech. But they could give her time.

Sixteen months, if Shan Moore wanted it, to live.

So Sadie waited, until such a time as her mother was lucid enough for a hard conversation. Visiting hours in the hospital were flexible for her, since most of these staff were old friends and colleagues of hers- and if there was any benefit to the pitying looks, it was that they let Sadie stay because of it.

On the second day of waiting, Adrianne had stopped by, with the kids, flowers, food and a change of clothes for Sadie. A couple hours later, her phone rang, with a worried friend on the other side of the line.

"Cho told us what happened," Steve's voice was low, and gentle. "Is there anything I can do?"

"It's alright," Sadie responded, her voice quiet purposely so as not to wake up her sleeping mother. "I mean, you have your own stuff to do-"

"I really don't," Steve laughed. "Let me help."

And it was hard to refuse him, so soon he also stopped by the hospital, with beautiful flowers for her mom, piping hot mac 'n' cheese for Sadie, and good company and comfort. But the extended visiting hours didn't apply to Steve, and so he had to leave before he was booted out by a protective and hardworking nurse who had given him three warnings in the space of fifteen minutes.

Eventually, Shan was lucid. Sadie called for the neurologist to confirm, and once she was sure, she gently asked a question, after providing the documents the lawyer had left.

"Why did you refuse treatment?"

"I didn't want to spend my life hooked up to machines and chemicals," Shan Moore was holding a sick bowl in her lap, still in her hospital gown. Nausea was only one of the terrible symptoms Sadie knew her mother felt. "And I knew if I told you? It would break your heart."

𝙍𝙀𝙈𝙀𝘿𝙔- s. rogersRead this story for FREE!