Monday, 18 May 2015
Au Revoir, not Goodbye
Today early this morning, I left to drive over 160 miles to visit an old school friend. We had known each other since meeting at school aged 11. All these years we have kept up our connection, meeting at odd moments irregularly over the years. Now that facebook is so accessible, we are connected there too. I have been able to catch up seeing all her children grown, the last time I saw them they were babies when she was living in Ireland with her first husband. Now they are all grown up with children of their own* Ten years ago, she found out by chance that her fainting one day at work where she was a nurse.had been caused by her liver which had a rare condition called Polycistic Liver. She knew that it was not good, as she had already known that several people in her family back for generations had got this condition which had caused them to die early.. She was supposed to be monitored regularly, but of course it was not done, and five years ago the flipping Liver burst and sent out all its bad things all over her body. She was rushed into hospital where an 8 hour operation managed to clean up as much as they could.. then chemo, then ok for another five years, when the Cancer appeared in other places, and she had more chemo, but this time they could not contain it, even after cutting out more of her insides. Now she is at home, weak but very brave, in a house that she and her husband have carefully renovated over the 14 years they had lived there, and it looks beautiful. Like her dear husband said, they had got the house and garden just right and were looking forward to a long happy retirement when all this happens.. Life is so cruel especially to people that do not deserve it! With the last treatement failing, and the cancer growing rapidly again inside her, she is at home for these days. Tomorrow the Hospice Nurses will come by to see if they can help her with the massive pain and heat sweats that she is enduring now. She has got all her affairs in order and her will is made so her children and husband will not be disadvantaged by her leaving them. I drove all the way, setting out at 8 am in driving heavy rain all the time blasting down, and making driving hazerdous. Then the traffic jams that delayed my journey by fifty minutes, I finally got to their home around midday... Not bad I thought with all the delays. By this time, the sun had come out and was shining, so the garden looked wonderful from the room where she was sitting. I was shocked,she had reduced so much in her face, but she could still be recognised as my dear friend.. We sat and talked and talked, and her husband joined in a bit, and made us lunch and the visit passed well.. From time to time her eyes would get full as she realised how little time she knew she had left. With her calculations from when the doctor had told her the best would be 12 weeks, she is on the last two weeks, and then .... Of course her dear husband wants her to stay with him as long as she can, to try and make it to her 70th birthday in November, but she knows she said, that this is not going to happen and she worried about how he will cope later when she is not with him. He too, is being positive and upbeat as much as he can, but he knows too that the days are counting down. I know that my friend has had a reasonably good fulfilling life with lovely children that adore her, but even so, it would have been marvellous if the last meds had worked and given her more time. I said to her ' I dont like goodbyes, so I am saying Au Revoir, and see you soon'. She then got up and walked with me to her door, and then I just hugged her and told her I loved her, and she told me she loved me too.. and I left before I could start crying.. I have been crying ever since, but I am so glad I made the effort to see her, I do hope we are wrong and she lives longer, but if not, she will know that I loved her dearly and she knew that I made a special journey to see her. Its my birthday on Sunday and I am going to send her a card to tell her she is sharing it with me, so she can celebrate twice if she gets to November, and I will include a little gift... She is so Worth it..