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Description : Affliction

“Chemotherapy was unsuccessful.” His words echo around the small, stuffy office.

Three words.

I never thought three words would once again have the power to destroy me. The room is silent as we take in the devastating news. The clock ticks obnoxiously above us as I force myself not to break down in front of him, in front of Katie.

“What’s our next option?” I ask, swallowing past the lump forming in my throat. I reach out to grab Katie’s hand. Her cold grip holds onto mine, our fingers intertwining, and in that one moment I feel like the connection of our fingers, our mere touch alone, could get us through anything. Even this.

“The high-dose chemotherapy has destroyed the bone marrow. With both aggressive treatments now unsuccessful we need to prepare ourselves that a stem cell transplant is our last hope," he explains as Katie’s first sob tears from her throat. “My concern is finding a match in our time frame. Ideally, with a stem cell transplant, the best chance is a sibling donor. Since we don’t have that option, we broaden the search. I want to discuss the possibility of contacting Keira’s biological father before we move to anonymous donors. The chances of him matching are small, but as you both came back negative, we should try every avenue.”

“What?” The question gets stuck in my throat as my world spins out of control. “You must be confused.” I look from the doctor to my wife, thinking it’s some kind of sick joke.

“Oh God.” Katie draws in a sharp breath and something in me clicks.

“Katie?” I ask, pulling on her now lax hand.

“I’m sorry,” Dr. Parks cuts me off, looking between both of us, his eyes growing wide as he puts something...