Life Blood: Cora's Choice Book 1 (Chapter One, page 2 of 6)

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"So," I said. "Five months, then."

"It could be that long," Dr. Robeson said carefully.

I felt the tears burning my eyes, and I blinked them away. "You promised me seven months. That wasn't even two months ago."

Dr. Robeson had a bulletin board on her office wall. It was full of the happy pictures and notes from those she'd cured and even a few grateful letters from those she hadn't. Mine wasn't going to go there. I wouldn't know what to say. Thanks for trying didn't seem quite generous enough. Anything more would have been fake.

"Cora, cancer has a different rate of progression for everyone-"

"I know," I said, cutting her off. I was being unfair. I knew it, and it made me squirm inside.

But I don't want to be fair. Damn it, I just want to live!

"I'm turning twenty-two in two months," I continued. "I'm graduating-supposed to be graduating-from the University of Maryland in six months. I've applied to grad school."

"I know, Cora." And there was genuine sympathy there, behind the professional wall that kept her insulated from all the people she couldn't save.

I took a deep breath and pushed to my feet. My hips hurt from the institutional chair, my buttocks too thin now to cushion them. "Sorry. I was just hoping for better news."

"So was I." Dr. Robeson opened a drawer and pulled out a brochure. "This is an excellent hospice program. Your student insurance will cover all the costs beyond the deductible, and there are many people there who will be happy to help you."

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