Op Note XIII
You could feel it under her skin. Firm, hard immobile mass. It hurts sometimes, she said. She understood the risks. That there were no guarantees. Just try your best, she asked. We carefully opened her up and gasped. The tumor had consumed nearly everything. Liver, stomach, spleen. The essence of her being, hijacked by an invader. It had commandeered genetic machinery to fashion vessels to feed its expanding bulk. The parasite was now the host. She belonged to it. It was too late. It had become too much of her to risk removing it. All I could do was slash it with a scalpel to make it bleed. But it was still her blood. And the pain fibers had nowhere to go but her own brain. We held pressure, gently cradling the usurper with gloved hands, the way we’d hold her head while she slept.