Its only November, but we are already starting to visit Christmas Fairs, and get present lists from the children. We are seeing friends to start celebrating the end of the year (December gets too busy to do these things with everyone). And inevitably my thoughts are turning to last New Year, and a conversation I had after midnight with two close friends.
One friend hadnt seen my wife for a while at that point, and had been visibly shocked at her physical appearance, and her health. She was really upset by the sight, which shook me and my other friend. We had a long chat over a few bottles of wine post midnight, where I filled her in a little on the previous few months. We also discussed the future.
My wife had gone to bed early, got up for midnight, and then gone back to bed. I remember finding the evening really tough, as our friends in couples looked really happy, while I was worried and unable to enjoy myself. It was the first New Year with that group of friends where my wife had not been able to last the whole night. She hadnt been able to join the meal, as her eating was also a struggle.
It felt really unfair. She wasnt able to partake of what should have been a fun evening. I felt we were disassociated from the festivities. And the inevitable discussions about the forthcoming year were hard.
My comments over that bottle of wine (or two) were that I didnt see my wife lasting until Christmas. Over the previous few months she had deteriorated and her strength wasnt good. She was struggling and not eating very well. Our friend burst into tears, saying she couldnt believe it, but honestly at that time, I couldnt see how my wife was strong enough to last another 12 months.
Yes, she has been through a great deal of tough challenges, and overcome them, but I had a feeling that her strength was running out, and the cancer becoming too powerful.
I write this now from a different viewpoint. Despite another hard year, she will be here for Christmas. I am quite frankly amazed as always at her resolve. She hasnt had any further treatment, thank goodness, but has managed to keep the disease at bay. We will be able to celebrate with her, and she will be able to celebrate with our newly born nephew.
The disease has spread throughout this year, and her strength is less than before, weight loss obvious now. But we have always wanted our wife and mother to be with us, so what more could we hope for. We are trying to embrace a more holistic life, my wife doing alot of meditation and healing the mind which have had some benefit. Mind over matter is an old phrase, but there may be some truth in it.
I have written before (https://mywifehascancer.blog/archives/802) about how our relationship has taken a hit, and that is still true. My bitterness at the loss of my marriage is still here. However, we and especially me have worked harder recently to try and improve things. It isnt helped when my wife is such a light sleeper and I snore, or when she gets tired and cant hear or forgets things, but I love her regardless, it is the disease I dont want here. We are doing more things together, attempting to bring ourselves back together.
It is very strange, as in this world you never know when a serious issue will suddenly come around the corner. We have had years where we were planning a holiday, only to have my wife in a coma the day before we were due to fly. And maybe that was where my thoughts last new year came from, a place of bitterness and anger, leading me to a pessimistic mind set.
I do have a depressive tendency, and the challenges of the last few years have made this worse. I dont look on the bright side, I see the worst outcome. It can help with planning in work to see the downside, but makes it hard at home when I always point out the potential risks. I have again written about this in the past, and it is a constant battle, daily causing me to have mood swings up and down, close to anxiety attacks and an inability to focus, feeling overwhelmed.
A few things help, excercise and friends being the main ones. I have resolved to lose the extra weight (https://mywifehascancer.blog/archives/760), which is taking a long time, and have met more this year with my best man from our wedding. We have rediscovered our friendship, which has been a great help for me (and him, he has his own problems). We have been out for drinks, and also to two amazing concerts (music being another thing that helps me). Earlier this year we saw Guns n Roses at Hyde Park in London, which was amazing, and then this last week we saw Queens of the Stone Age at the O2, one of my favourite bands, and another unbelievable live act. And it is them I will finish off with, a tune that maybe has a title describing the life of a cancer hit household too much.
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