Saturday, July 6, 2013

Your reply...

Dear T..

You say I "blind-sided" you .. Maybe I did .. but to some extent you were just NOT looking with your eyes open .. to use your analogy .. you were in a dark forest.

This is not a competition about "grief" but at one stage you said to me ".. that the thing that hurt the most was that you didn't .. "get a chance to say goodbye"...THAT HURT TOO!!!..  the implication was that I was so luck because I did ..!!! ..Let me tell you that saying "Goodbye" is not what it's cracked up to be ..

You have asked the question so I am going to try and give you an answer .it may not be what you expect (or really want!) but an answer never the less.

I would just like to review what I have been through in just over 2 years.

1) Nov 2010 .. My mother suddenly and unexpectedly dies (I lost my father about 20 years ago)

2) Jun 2011 .. Arguably my best friend of 40 years is diagnosed with Leukaemia. (50/50 life expectancy of 5years)

3) Sep 2011 .. my wife of 35 years goes down with a sudden and unexpected illness.

4) Oct 2011 .. my wife is miss diagnosed with a non-critical disease .. (I am chastised by the specialist for asking a clarification of "Is this a life threatening illness?".)

5) Oct 2011 .. a) While I am stranded 2000Km from my wife by the Qantas strike ..Anne undergoes the first of MANY bone marrow biopsy's .. a procedure involving the drilling into her hip bone, a 4mm hole and removing a core sample of the bone marrow for biopsy. (This procedure has no effective pain relief (short of total anathesia) and the pain is described as "worse than child birth". Over the next 12 months she underwent this procedure another 10 or 11 further times)

b) her diagnosis is reviewed and she is inform that her true problem is "potentially life threatening!"

6) Nov 2011 .. My wife is diagnosed with Burkett's Lymphoma .. "Untreated life expectancy of 2-3 weeks."

She starts first of 6x three week cycles of chemo therapy treatments, with side effects described as "some of the most serious, unpleasant and painful used in modern cancer treatment".

Her Prognosis with chemo therapy given as 80% chance of full cure, with long term (> 5year) life expectancy.

7) Feb 2012 .. My best Friend's treatment fails and his prognosis drops to a "90% against" chance of a life expectancy of more than 12 months.

8) Apr 2012 .. My wife is "all but" declared cured of her disease..(one more test and 1 month to wait)

9) Apr 2012 .. a) My Father-in-law is rushed to Hospital with a confirmed stroke.

b) My Mother-in-law is admitted to the same hospital as there is no one to care for her in her advanced state of Parkinson's disease.

c) My wife (still not defined as in remission), rushes to Queensland to help with care.

d) On being released from Hospital .. Anne's Mother suddenly dies at home in the arms of Anne and her father.

e) Your son  is killed in car accident.

10) May 2012 .. a) Funerals held for my wife's Mother and your son.

b) My wife begins to complain of breathing difficulty.

c) My wife is taken to emergency and then after having had a camera passed down her nose to her throat, CT scans & MRI ..undergoes emergency surgery to remove a new tumour from her throat.

d) whilst preparing for this procedure, my wife stops breathing due to the obstruction and is only saved but an alert surgeon who cuts into her throat to install a breathing tube without her having any form of anasetic and fully conscious through the ordeal, though unable to breath and within seconds of death or serious brain injury. Anne was able to describe this event in detail, including the words used by the surgeon, the fading sensation of loss of consciousness and the relief of the first breath.

 e) My wife's prognosis dropped to 100% terminal, with a life expectancy of "Days to weeks, NOT weeks to months"

f) My 3 children enter shock and disbelief and one required psychotherapy counselling.

 g) We (Anne, Me & children) started a worldwide search for experimental and alternative potential treatments to improve Anne's Prognosis.

11) Jun 2012 .. a)We find one last untried option which had been used in a study in Canada & another in Korea. My wife begins a new set of rounds of Chemo Therapy with virtually no expectation of any significant improvement in life expectancy.

b) My wife undergoes Radio therapy on her throat which is described as "feeling like swallowing razor blades".. duration of therapy of over two weeks plus a further two week of "recovery".

12) Aug 2012 .. My wife is diagnosed with pneumonia and begins antibiotic treatment with an expectation of having no effect. Chemo is suspended due to being incompatible with treatment for pneumonia.

13) Oct 2012 .. a) Chemo therapy resumed but a tumour is shown to now be resistant to chemo and so Radiation therapy is started in an attempt to improve the life expectancy.

  b) Anne and I sit helplessly knowing a time bomb is ticking in her body.

14) Nov 2012 .. a) Preparations are started to undertake other trial experimental chemo therapy treatments in Melbourne (earliest start date Jan 2013)

  b) Tumours appear in abdominal region

  c) one week after detection the tumours are described as "Multiple tumour varying from 10mm to 100mm in diameter".

  d) Anne begins to have difficulty eating, keeping food down & drinking fluids

  e) Prognosis drops to "less than a month".

    f) Palliative care regime begins.

15) Dec 2012 .. a) Tumours grow to make eating impossible, breathing difficult and PAIN everywhere and an appearance of being approx. 6 months pregnant.

     b) My wife begins to starve to death, in pain, before my eyes.

     c) My wife DIES in my arms, and I can do NOTHING to even help relieve the pain and discomfort.

     d) I asked you to attend her funeral but you refused.

     e) I take part in my third close family member's funeral in just over 2 years.

16) Feb 2013 .. My closest long term friend dies and I attend yet another Funeral.

17) Jun 2013 .. Two of my children are showing serious signs of stress at the loss of their mother and the emotional issues this entails

In just over 2 years I have NOT had the chance to said "goodbye" to .. My Mother, your son (from afar), My mother-in-Law, and my best mate of 40 years standing but I did get the chance to watch my wife go through the most painful set of procedures you can imagine, wither away to nothing and then starve to death before my eyes ..

Your suffering now .. regardless of how it feels .. IS NOTHING to what I experienced watching my wife go through this over her last 12 months ..

sorry .. but that is the way it is.

She did not do contribute in ANY WAY to her own suffering and death ..

Now .. in a matter of two or three months, you expect me to make rational decisions and complain that I miss led you ..

I have tried to support you over the last 12 months and I am glad I was able to help you thru your "forest" in some small way .. I did know where you were coming from through fresh personal experience and I consciously attempted to do that for you regardless of my issues .. But all the time..

in the back of my head .. I knew that I was wrong to keep you in my life and should have let you move away when you offered originally at the time Anne first got sick.. I was being selfish!!

You supported me also and I have no idea where I would have been without you, but that doesn't automatically turn it into a long term, exclusive, relationship.

You argue that our history is a strong asset .. but in fact (from where I stand) our history is in fact a serious liability. I explained that I have great difficulty separating our previous life from our current status. Do you not see the conflict ..!!!!

I started to go back to dancing in February and found it very comforting and great therapy. I warned you that I wanted to "explore my options" and that I had been surprised at the response of some women. I also told you that I was NOT going to tell you about every conversation I might have, but I promised I would be honest with you.

You appeared to accept these conditions, all be that you had little choice ..

You asked for honesty and "to give us a go" .. I WAS honest and I did give us a go..!!

Our time together in March this year was unbelievably relaxing and being with you without having to keep an eye over my shoulder was a very pleasant change indeed .. I loved it .. but it was not without its tension if you remember and that started to ring alarm bells in my head.

I talked of plans later in the year as further "getting to know you holidays" .. but that is what they always were .. "getting to know you holidays" .. NOTHING MORE .. there were no promises and I thought you understood that.

But then I came back from my trip and I met Janette. This came totally out of left field and though you and I had had an unbelievable connection, I am afraid I have not had a connection with someone like her since I met a timid 17 year old 40 years ago.

I WAS honest with you .. (true .. I am not sure I was going to tell you that I already slept with Janette) but I WAS going to tell you that I was seeing her over the weekend and, in the end, I DID tell you what had happened when you asked. You acknowledge that I warned you it might happen, but then Janette took me by completely surprise, and I can understand that it did the same for you.

Your reaction was out of all proportion for what I expected given that you had basically asked me to tell you every detail if something happened and accepted what I had asked.. SEX had never been specifically mentioned ..maybe implied but not mentioned.. That also scared me again and the anger worried me.

Regardless .. I broke off with Janette when I told you .. We discussed it in person and then I sent an email .. I still have the email and if you ask me to send it to you, I will. (though I don't think you have any right to see it really.) In the following days I met Janette at two (I think) dances and we DID NOT go to bed together in that period. The trouble was that she was so lovely every time and I began to feel I had made a mistake.

I mentioned this to you and again you "hit the roof" while Janette accepted the decision and had begun to move on .. telling me .. "Just make a decision .. BUT MEAN IT .!!!"

My alarm at your responses was growing even though I could see where you were coming from every time ..

I then decided to reconsidered all my options and resolved to make it clear to you that I HAD made a decision. I make no secret that I deliberately tried not to hint at my answer and told you I would tell you over the weekend. Janette was given the same information but she was NOT going to know the answer until AFTER you had been told.

Call me old fashioned but I have heard of breakups being done over Text, Email and phone and I tend to believe that they are a COWARDS way out, so regardless of the consequences I decided to tell you in person.

I am now reconsidering that concept as clearly you (at least) feel it is what I should have been done.

I had hoped that the weekend would be relaxed and enjoyable (very naive I

know) until I told you and then I had no idea how you would respond. I guess I hoped that you would accept the decision and make the most of the time we had together .. (Totally naive of me I now see) ..

Again your reaction (though not the worst I had thought possible) was pretty hard to take and ironically for you, the more you screamed, the more I believed I was making the best decision now.

I found myself confirming my decision every time I tried to open my mouth..

Everything I said was interpreted as a negative and seemed to result in shouting and yelling. I eventually decided to just keep my mouth shut and ride it out. Every outburst only made me surer that I was now making the better decision.

Then you decided that I should take up my offer to change the ticket .. I even came out to ask you what time you wanted me to leave .. This was actually trying to give you a last opportunity to tell me to stay till Monday afternoon as planned, but you didn't take the opportunity, so the ticket was changed and that was that.

At the airport I hoped you would park the car and we could have a reasonable conversation in the time remaining but you stopped in the drop off zone and basically told me to "GET OUT".. I walked about ten paces then turned and watched you drive away. As far as I was aware you didn't even look my way or watch me go.

At that point I didn't expect to see or hear from you again.

I genuinely believed that we could be friends, share F1 and support each other, even possibly meet at F1 in Melbourne and share some meals and the race. I now see that any or all of this is now unlikely to occur.

As far as meeting Janette's family .. That is none of your business.. You asked!

OK, I only met one of your friends and didn't take opportunities when they came up but you forced an ordinal condition on the meetings and I was totally unsure of their likely reactions to me .. They all sounded lovely but I was seriously worried in the drinking culture and various other (now totally petty) thoughts and worries, most of which I can't even think of now. I heard from you several times having drunk too much, seen the result your drinking first hand on at least one (possibly two) occasions and that too worried me.

 I honestly thought I was doing all the right things and trying to let you down slowly and gently. I could see myself only going deeper into the dangerous and unknown if I continued.

Friends have open conversations, usually nothing is taboo, but conversations with you at the moment are .. restrained .. difficult and unsatisfying. I understand that with time these may relax but I feel that ANY word of Janette, spoken or implied, will be received badly and it will all start again.

I am prepared to stand at the edge of your forest and shine a beacon towards you, in the hope that it helps you find your way out, (near but not with your friends) but I am afraid I have made my decision and it is NOT going to change.. I CANNOT explain it any more.

 The ball is in your court .. you can play it, hit it wide, let it go past, you can even target the back of my head (but I suspect you may know the outcome of that) .. it's up to you.

I think at this time, we should restrict our conversation to emails for a while if that is the direction you wish to go..

 I am now way out of time so I have to go .. I have received your text just now but I am now about to send this so it will be my reply.

I am thinging of you truly and I do feel and worry for you ..

Please come out of the forest..


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