I feel so alone...I miss him
I met my husband when I was 14 years old and he was 16. We married 6 years later in 1975. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and was in and out of hospital for the next 10 years until in 1981 he had surgery resulting in an ileostomy. His life became free from pain and hospitals and we had our daughter in 1984. Life was good.
In 1997 he discovered that he had Hepatitis C from tainted blood that he received during his hospitalizations. He took 1 year of weekly chemo he administered himself and was lucky to have it work. The virus was cleared from his blood. Unfortunately, his doctor failed to do proper follow ups and in 2009 he woke up with a pain in his side under his ribs and we went to the hospital where they did a CT scan. The doctor told him to see his specialist that treated him for the Hep C. We then found out that he had a lesion on his liver. The specialist, feeling guilty I think because she hadn't done the proper follow up, referred my husband to the head of liver transplants in Toronto. We thought he would get a transplant...he could have a living donor. The results of the CT scan done in Toronto showed that the lesion was too large and involved the portal vein. No surgery. Devastation. Radiation treatment suggested, experimental. Signed up for that. Had 2 weeks of treatment. He felt good. We went on holiday to Nova Scotia with our daughter and her boyfriend. The tumour had stopped growing. In the fall of 2010, we took a trip to Scotland with daughter and boyfriend...drove all over the highlands and had fantastic time. Husband still feeling good. He looked so healthy. October 2010, told the tumour is growing again. He signs up for drug trials here in our home town. First trial goes ok for several weeks, but then his liver starts to fail. Trials stops. Couple of weeks drug free and he is feeling ok again. Starts another drug trial...one week into it and he develops severe pain. Drive him to hospital twice in the dead of night....each time, they give him pain relief and send him home after observing him overnight. Trial doctor tells us he can no longer participate in trials...they are referring him to palliative care. Shock..even though we knew this was coming...we still weren't ready for this yet.
He starts to become jaundice...his skin is itchy...he has scratched himself and he has little scabs now from scratching. Toxins are settling in the skin and making this happen. Becomes confused....sleeps a lot...has a pump installed for pain...morphine...I am able to administer this as he needs it. September 23rd, 2012, our only daughter stays with us, she has been with us throughout...she is very close to her dad. They are so alike. She lies down in bed next to her dad, I sit at the side of the bed holding his hand, his breathing is changing. He hasn't opened his eyes for at least a day now. I listen to his breathing...he has a lot of fluid in his lungs, I have to keep wiping his mouth and nose...Daughter is exhausted, she falls asleep right beside her dad. He takes a breath and stops...I wait....he starts breathing again....again...he breathes...then there is a long pause.....I wait....I wait.....I wait....I squeeze his hand....silence. He is gone. It is 2:30 am. I wait a couple of minutes. I gently wake my daughter and tell him he is gone. She cries...she is angry at herself because she slept...I tell her, she was right beside him the whole time. He had her right beside him and I am sure he knew he was never alone. We are empty now. I call the palliative care doctor, she comes immediately. I call the cremation service. They arrive about an hour later. I kiss him goodbye. I watch them take his body out of the house. They put him in their van....they drive away. It is about 3:30 am and I am standing at the end of the driveway watching them go. Our neighbourhood is in darkness....I want to scream for them all to wake up and take note that my love had died...He is gone. I will never see his lovely smile again, never gaze into his beautiful blue eyes again, never hear his voice again and never feel his arms around me again. I had known him for 44 years...I was married to him for 37 years....he was my best friend...we knew each others secrets. He had just turned 60 that summer...he had the face of a much younger man. He was beautiful. I miss him with every breath I take ....I am not sure how I will cope without him. The house is so empty. My daughter and her boyfriend are just like we were at their age. I don't want her to have to worry about me...so I try to be strong. But sometimes the silence in the house is too much. I cry every day. We were supposed to grow old together. How naive I feel...in reality, someone has to go first. We don't get to grow old and just hold hands and die together when our time is up. Someone is always left behind. I have never felt so unhappy before in my life. Thanks for listening.