I finally met the man of my dreams. The man that made all the love songs make sense. The man who loved me and cared for me and cherished me. We had been friends for years and had finally both let our walls down to trust each other. We had been living together for 13 months.
We were planning to get married secretly and then tell all our family and friends about it. That was until the day we got the cancer news.
We were numb. Accident and Emergency doctors told us he had renal cell carcinoma metastasis and then sent us home. I had to google all the words to see what they meant. It meant cancer of the kidney, lungs, bone and glands.
That was it. That was all we had. Google telling us what I did not want to know. Google telling us lies and scaring us and terrifying us. We waited a month to see a oncologist. A month in the dark, by ourselves, in a bubble, scared and alone. Looking back we were let down by our health system. How dare they send us home with no support at all.
During this time we decided to tell our friends and family we were going to be married soon and, by the way, Mike has cancer.
He also has Multiple Sclerosis. It compounds everything. We don't know what is cancer and what is MS. The cancer is terminal. He was given 1-2 years to live (in mid March)if he responds to treatment. Nobody really knows how the MS is going to play in all this.
Tonight he went to bed early in pain. I am in the kitchen in tears.
He is mean when he is in pain. For the first time I don't want to lie next to him and I hate myself for feeling that. He is in pain and is taking the pain out on me and our 2 dogs. I feel helpless and alone and it is the middle of the night and I don't know what to do. Should I take him to hospital for stronger pain medication? He is so skinny and frail. He lost about 10 kg's when he had the operation to glue his lung to his lung lining again. The hospital left the guide wire for the drain inside him by accident and I am angry that they did that. He spent a week longer in hospital than he should have. He should have spent that time with me.
Is he going to be in pain from now until he dies? Will it get better? How will I live when he is dead? It has taken me 54 years to find him I'm not ready to lose him yet.
I can't think or concentrate. I used to read at least 2 books a week. I haven't read one since we left A&E. I can't concentrate on TV programs. I can't think. I am either holding hands with Mike as he is sleeping or I am cleaning the house with a toothbrush. It may sound as though we have a really clean house but we don't. I am cleaning things that nobody notices and don't need cleaning (like the base of the blender). Meanwhile the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in 6 weeks.
I am a mess and it will only get worse as Mike gets worse. And then it will be really really bad when he dies.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.