The other side of the coin.
A view from my side as a carer.
Our 49th Wedding anniversary was supposed to be a good day, a day one should remember with all the other anniversaries. Well it’s easy for me to remember this one. Mavis had just been to the doctors with severe breathing difficulties. Go home and wait for me to phone you he said. So we waited and the call came. I have secured you a bed in Kent and Canterbury Hospital, so make your way there as soon as you can.
Our friend drove us there because we did not have our own transport, only our Motorhome and to park in the hospital car park with that was no easy task. When we arrived I thanked my friend said I would be staying on for a bit. So I sent him home. After we found the correct ward and were greeted by a nurse, Mavis was quickly found a bed. I remember joking with the nurse, what a way to spend our anniversary I said.
Little did either of us know just what sort of nightmare journey we had just embarked on?. I Eventually had to leave. The house was quiet and empty except for Louis our dog. I sat and talked to him. I told him mummy would not be home tonight. It turned out to be several nights. After drains had been fitted and biopsies and lots of tests. The dreadful day arrived when I was visiting and Mavis said the Doctor tried to talk to me this morning its not good news so I asked him to wait until you were hear. Ok I said I would tell him I am hear.
Eventually he came to the bedside. He said we have the biopsy reports back from your cultures. There are only 2 reasons for your present condition. One is a lung infection, the other is mesothelioma. We have discounted a lung infection he said. You have mesothelioma. So what’s that we asked him he said it’s a terminal Cancer of the lungs. That hit me like a head on crash on a motorway. You said terminal. Yes he said there is no cure at present. The prognosis is 3 months. He left us. We sat together on the bed. 3 month left together. My brain was now in a mess. Soon visiting time was over and the journey home on the bus took forever. I sat staring out of the window; oblivious of the noise the bus load of school kids was making.
That evening was the saddest day of my life. Mavis must be mortified in there now on her own. I was now crying and cursing. Dinner, who wants dinner. I remember I fed Louis but he sensed things were not right. His mummy was still not home and his daddy was in a state. They feel these things. I remember I went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. I was up and down like a yo-yo.
I got up at 3 am and took Louis for a walk around the beach. The tide was splashing on the sands. But I was crying I could hardly see the sea. Oh God how am I going to live without the most precious thing in my life. I thought in 12 weeks life for both of us will be over. 12 weeks that’s all we have. But due to a life belt being thrown to us Mavis was offered an operation called the talcum op where the lung is sprayed with talcum. Next we had radiation and finally Chemo. The Chemo was bad but we had by now passed the dreaded 3 months. We decided that we would make every day count for however long we have together.
We are now in our 18-month since that doctor’s mind numbing news. I wake up every morning and I am so glad when I see her stir we have another day together. I watch her when she nods off in the chair and when she wakes again. I treasure every single minute we are together. My life has changed since that fateful day. I pretend to myself that its all a dream and I will wake up and see its all been a dream. I am in denial. Its my only way of dealing with this. But our last scan shows the tumour has shrunk. That result was like winning the lottery. I feel that I have aged so much this past year. I can see it in the mirror I feel it in every bone. But as long as Mavis continues to remain stable then I am a young man again and she is my flower. I am grateful for every minute we can still have together.