Friday 19 June 2009

How does it feel?

How does it feel to find out that the love of your life has a terminal illness?

Unreal - especially when he appears absolutely "normal".

Devastated - dreams, plans and expectations come crashing down around you, as soon as you hear the word mesothelioma

Frightened - What will happen? Will you be able to cope? Be supportive? Be positive for him?

Helpless and out of control - this thing has arrived uninvited in your partner's body and bit by bit, sooner or later, will kill him

Physically sick with worry and anxiety

Angry - what have either have you done to deserve this? Why him? Why now? Why? Why?

Overwhelmed by the enormity of it all - your lives have been turned upside down and inside out and everything goes into slow motion - you can't see more than a day ahead

Most of all I think, scared of the pain he will suffer/might suffer, how he will deal with the onset of debilitation, and how you will deal with these things too

Grief stricken - your life together will be snatched away - how long will you have ? Will he be there for his next birthday, or yours? Will he live to see your daughter finish university? Your son find a partner?

How do you tell someone that their dad, son, brother, friend, neighbour has an incurable cancer?

There are no easy answers.

But we have been overwhelmed by messages of love and support, positive thoughts and leads to information that might promise an extended period of quality time together from those who already know. Thank you all.

In about an hour, we will have to break the news to our daughter who returns home for the weekend, not knowing what awaits her. Still, better to tell her here, with us, than send a text or e-mail, our only other way to communicate with her in her far-flung hall of residence, without mobile reception. Tomorrow our son will join us and we will have some time together as a family before life goes on as usual. His mum will also hear tomorrow; Steve's brother has offered to break the news to her. We will see her soon, I hope, but when? I know not.

I must remember why I started this blog. I want to do something positive. When we hear the prognosis on Monday and can discuss the treatment plan, we will have some hooks on which to hang positive thoughts and actions. I hope to share them with you soon.

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