Andriy yarmolenko

The call of a blackbird’s full-throated song

Speaking pretty good English, Dr Tayeb came straight to the point. Was I eligible for the ground breaking new cancer treatment? He was afraid not. The radioactive test scan had illuminated the bone tumours very nicely, but the more dangerous one in the liver had remained occluded. So in my case the new treatment – a series of targeted infusions – could have only a ‘suboptimal outcome’. He was therefore not recommending that we go ahead. This was at 8.30 in the morning. I’d been in a taxi since 6.30. I’d hardly slept the night before, due partly to anxiety about what Dr Tayeb might or might not say, and