We seem to be entering the last stages of the cancer journey. This is very hard, which is to be expected. However much you try and prepare yourself for the inevitable, it hits you like a ton of bricks. I thought i had prepared myself, and also have always felt that we cope very well with it. What hit me this week though, is there is no "we" in this. Kevin and I have helped each other through this journey. We have been there to support each other, mainly with inappropriate humour and the odd argument followed by a frank chat about how well we are doing.
My friends keep saying "you don't have to do this alone", and thankfully i am not alone, they are doing many practical things for me. But i am still alone. This is not one you can delegate, its not like filing, or a project that someone else can do for you. Its not really possible to say "Can you please sit with my husband while he is in pain and suffering, because i really don't have the time to do this...." as much as my body sometimes screams to do so, i can't walk away from this, and i have no choice but to face it alone. Normally when things are hard, i go home to Kevin and whinge a bit, talk about how awful/ stupid it is. When i go home after this, i will have to remain strong and composed for Dennis.
So yes, i am getting better at asking for help, and have farmed out many duties, but there is no-one else who can do this for me, and no-one who can make it feel better afterwards. That does not mean that i won't appreciate the calls from friends etc, but i know that it will never be the same. Kevin has always been good at getting me through things, sometimes a bit brutally, he doesn't tolerate "victim behaviour" well, and can be a bit harsh at times, but we always get through it - together. This one, i have to face alone.
I had always assumed/ hoped that my first "watching someone die" experience would be someone other than my husband. I am not scared of being alone, i have been alone before. I am not scared of being a single parent, although it was not what i wanted. But i am terrified of watching the man i love fight for every breath and look so vulnerable. "Crunch time" is the bit that really scares me and here we are.