To celebrate today’s launch I also have to opportunity further down this blog post for a lucky person to win an e-copy Of One Last Wish.
One Last Wish
Rosie and Nate are facing the unimaginable. Their relationship is under strain with the devastating news their daughter Emmie has incurable brain cancer. They must do everything to support their child, but can they stop their marriage falling apart before it’s too late?
Unbeknown to her parents, Emmie is on a mission. Teaming up with her Aunt Lily, she is determined to make them see what brought them together in the first place – and make her parents fall in love all over again.
An Extract from One Last Wish by Ella Harper
‘There is no easy way to say this. I’m afraid your daughter has terminal cancer.’
Rosie’s breath caught in her throat. No. Something had just shifted. In the way things did when they were terrifying and irreversible.
Rosie squeezed Nate’s hand. Harder than he had squeezed hers when she had given birth to Emmie. Because this was far, far worse. The surgical consultant in charge of Emmie had just said terminal cancer. Cancer. That was terminal. Terminal meant… it meant…
Barely aware of anything else but the heavy weight of those horrific words, Rosie realised she didn’t quite know what to do with herself. Apart from screaming. Rosie knew she felt the urge to scream, at the very top of her voice. Like a banshee.
Until her throat bled and until no more noise came out. It was either that or she might have to pummel the surgeon’s chest. Slap him hard around the face. Hurt him. Because even though it wasn’t his fault, Mr Hobbs had just told them that Emmie was going to die.
Nate cleared his throat and squeezed Rosie’s hand equally hard.
‘I’m so sorry, Mr Hobbs. Forgive me, but I don’t understand what has happened here.’
Rosie stole a glance at Nate. His expression was earnest and Rosie’s heart twisted torturously because she knew exactly how he felt. Nate wanted to have hope. He wanted to believe there might be a tiny shred of optimism that might take them out of this hideous reality.
Nate carried on, clearly struggling to form his words. ‘Emmie has had chemo. Chemo, at her age. She’s only five, Mr Hobbs. Five years old. She was sick day and night and all her beautiful hair fell out.’ Nate’s voice cracked. ‘She’s had radiotherapy. You operated on her. On her brain. You cut her head open and… and…’
Feeling desperate, Rosie helped Nate out. ‘It’s just that our daughter has endured more than most adults could cope with, Mr Hobbs. And now this. You’re telling us…’
‘That it’s terminal. Yes. I’m so terribly sorry. I’d give anything to be telling you different news.’ Mr Hobbs looked regretful. Sympathetic. Agonised.
Nate stared at him, only seeing an impassive face. Did Mr Hobbs have children? Did he know what it was like to go through something like this? To watch the most precious thing in your life endure pain and distress and ghastly treatments that had so many side-effects they had barely been able to keep up with them? And now… this? Nate felt impotent with rage. He felt weak and helpless and so full of fury, he could barely choke it down. In the distance, he heard Rosie yelp and Nate realised he’d been clutching her hand so hard he had nearly crushed it.
‘Sorry,’ he whispered, letting go and putting his arm around her shoulders instead. He held her fiercely and turned back to Mr Hobbs. ‘Are you saying we have to sit our daughter down and tell her she’s not going to make it? That at some point, that massive tumour could grow and squash her brain and… and kill her?’
Mr Hobbs looked pained. ‘I’m afraid so.’ He pointed to the scan on the wall behind him. ‘Emmie’s mass is a malignant primary tumour, as you know. We’re dealing with what’s called a medulloblastoma here. It has developed at the back of the brain. And unfortunately, this type may spread to other parts of the brain and into the spinal cord. The position of it…’ Mr Hobbs tailed off, regretfully. ‘It’s too large and it’s too dangerous. We could sever the spinal cord… damage Emmie’s brain beyond repair. It’s highly probable, not just a possibility. I’m so sorry. There is nothing more we can do in terms of surgery.’
Rosie swallowed. No more surgery sounded like a good thing. But it wasn’t. She knew that it wasn’t. Because no more surgery meant that the tumour was too large and couldn’t be taken away.
‘More chemo?’ Nate suggested. ‘More radiotherapy?’
‘Emmie could have more chemo but she will need breaks from it,’ Mr Hobbs said gently. ‘Think about the quality of life Emmie has had during chemo. Ultimately we’re talking about prolonging her life, not saving it. I’m incredibly sorry.’
‘Jesus.’ Nate slumped in his chair. He didn’t know what else to say. There was nothing else to say.
‘Are there any other tests we can do?’ Rosie said. She knew the answer. But she had to try. Because otherwise she was literally giving in and accepting that there was no hope whatsoever.
Mr Hobbs reached for Emmie’s file. ‘I’m absolutely certain we have covered everything with the tests we’ve done. MRIs, brain angiograms, lumbar punctures. Blood tests, biopsies. There isn’t much else we can do now because we know what we’re dealing with and we know that we have tried everything possible to cure or remove this huge tumour.’
Rosie’s lip trembled.
Mr Hobbs closed the file. ‘We have counsellors who can help. You’re not alone…’
Rosie felt the tears blocking her throat. She had never felt so helpless in her life. This couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t Emmie was their world, she was everything. Rosie finally broke down completely and she turned into Nate’s shoulder, sobbing uncontrollably. Nothing had made them happier than when Emmie had arrived. They had been so lucky to have each other, so lucky. The feelings they had for one another, the relationship that was so full of magic. And Emmie had completed that; she had completed them. They couldn’t lose her. It was unthinkable.
Nate clutched Rosie to him. ‘She’s a baby, she’s just a baby…’ he said wretchedly. Nate worked hard to get control of himself and after a few minutes, he dug deep and kissed Rosie’s tears away, his hands shaking as he held her face. ‘It’s OK, darling,’ he was saying, not even sure what words he was uttering. ‘It’s OK. We’ll be OK. Emmie will be OK.. She can’t die. She won’t. OK?’
For your chance to win an e-copy of One Last Wish by Ella Harper, click here. Giveaway closes at UK midnight on Sunday 5th March 2017.
About Ella Harper
Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French or Russian. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.