I suppose it's because I have so much time on my hands these days, that all these memories come flooding back to me.
The Bad News
We changed our car recently, but we never had the usual excitement that normally happens when you change over to a newer car. The day after we bought the car, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, which devastated us all. I can't help but think how ironic this is, as my wife has been battling with emphysema over the past fourteen years, and was given only 18 months to live, back in 2000. Since then she has had a stroke and a brain haemorrhage, yet she has bravely fought them all this time, just to be diagnosed with cancer.
I must admit, ever since the fall she had a few weeks prior to her visit to hospital, for tests to be carried out, looking after her was a lot harder for me to do, as she required a lot of handling, and with my back problem I couldn't even lift her to rearrange her pillows.
Up until then it had been a struggle looking after her, and despite all our requests, help was never coming. It would have really helped us out if I had some assistance from the ten brothers or sisters she has, if they had came to help out, but out of them all, only one sister and one brother came to visit her.
Yet, as soon as she was diagnosed with breast cancer, help arrived with a visit from the district nurses, who started to come in every day to give my wife a wash and freshen her up. This was followed up by a visit from the breast cancer nurse, and other health departments. This has been a Godsend for our morale, as we were indeed feeling low and struggling. Just as we were settling down to our new routine, her mobility took a turn for the worse, which made it impossible for me to help her onto the commode, so she was admitted to a hospice, some 14 miles away, and she has been there for over a week now.
They say that as soon as a place becomes available in the local hospice, she will be moved there, which will make things a lot easier for us all. The hardest thing of all, apart from knowing that I will lose my soul mate sooner than we thought, is that now my life has totally changed. After spending the last eight years of my life caring for my wife, now I have nothing to do all day, until it's time to go and visit her. The house feels totally different now, with its deafening silence, which makes me feel as if I shouldn't be here. It's a scary feeling that leaves me with a sickening feeling of loneliness.
I've always managed to cope with being alone in the past. When I was working overseas, for example, I was used to living alone and could go for days without hearing the English language.
But this is a different kind of loneliness. I find myself walking around our house talking to myself, sometimes I think that I'm going out of my mind, and yet I have just finished a six week course of group therapy for the PTSD they say I have. I feel like I could do with their help right now.
Yet, all this is not about me, it's about my wife, who is dying with cancer, and I can't do a thing about it. It’s so frustrating. When I think of all the things we have gone through. Since we first met some 20 years ago, it hasn't been easy for us, as we are both second time rounders. We were both married when we first met, and with us both having youngsters, we went through some rough patches. Yet it looks like death is now going to separate us, just like we said in our vows when we got married, all those years ago.
Even though I can go to see her every day, I still have that horrible feeling of loneliness when I get up every morning. I've been caring for my wife every day for the past eight years, since she went bed bound, and now I have nothing do now to fill my day, until it's visiting time at the hospice.
If this is what my life is going to be like after she is gone, I don't have much to look forward to.