..pause For Thought

I am a self-confessed Depressive. Throughout my dysfunctional life I have played 'The Dying Game' over in my mind, many times.
  My neighbour also suffered 'mental health issues' and he also spent many years playing that same game.

Then he was given the awful news; he had Terminal Cancer

..and suddenly we began to talk.!

He was told he had several years which included both Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. They would know more after the Radiotherapy sessions.

One of the first things to happen was 'Weight-loss', caused at that point by stress/news of cancer. Otherwise he appeared remarkably healthy. He embraced the 'Slim Man' and was out shopping for smaller size clothes most days. As the months flew by, he was having radiotherapy, no side-effects, hence things seemed 'Good' {for want of a better word} He was receiving all of his entitlements to money/pension schemes and he treated himself to a Jaguar MK? car, it was something he had dreamed of owning, but until then thats all it was - a dream. It was so surreal to me, having never dealt directly with someone suffering from cancer, I was looking for signs, but they didn't appear.

Like myself, my neighbour was a solitary man. But his was to a greater extent than me. He shunned any friends/family completely. I was not quite as solitary; having certain friends visit on the same day.

Things continued smoothly, a year had passed, no obvious sympthoms. It was terribly easy to think 'They'd got it wrong' - or maybe thats how I coped with it. His radiotherapy had finished, and the specialists at the hospital called him in for a chat.! I accompanied him and he wanted me to be there during the meeting; which I obliged. The Consultant began talking about the radiotherapy, and how they counted the cells to see if they were going up or down {please forgive my ignorance} And as the Consultant continued, I heard the words 'Critical/Chemotherapy was last bit of hope/if he refused chemo' expect 2 - 4 months....

I couldn't take it all in.! We finally left for home, and he explained exactly what was in store for him. He was at a critical level, the radiotherapy had not worked, and chemo' was the only hope left. He was to wait for his first appointment.

It was after that conversation at the hospital, he started to have problems with health. Again, forgive me cutting short his story, but he seemed to be back and forth to the A & E department, his leg started swelling, his breathing became erratic. Then he had the first dose of Chemo'

He was extremely ill afterwards. They had told him he may feel rough for a few days, but 8 days on, he was awfully sick. I happened to be in his flat when his Doctor called. All I clearly recall was the Doctor saying "If you refuse any further Chemo' I would give you until Christmas" Which was 4 months away. I was in my own world, it was unreal to me being privvy to that sort of conversation.

To attempt to get to the point of this, my neighbour of 22 years began to talk to me about his mental-health issues; something he only touched briefly upon in the past. He told me of his attempts at suicide, even trying to gas himself, crikey, that was a shock to me.!  He then said "As long as I remember, I've had thoughts of dying. I've never embraced life, or the people in it. I am refusing further Chemo' because I can't take the side-effects, so if the Consultant is correct, I shall be dead by Christmas" He then began crying and he said "For the first time ever I Don't want to die, and its all a bit late now, I am in Gods Waiting-Room"

He died in the hospice 8 weeks later.

I still get those feelings, only this time there is a whole load of guilt attached. I shall always remember his words "I Don't Want to Die"

R.I.P My Friend
fmn44 fmn44
46-50, F
2 Responses May 8, 2012

What an amazing post. I am glad that your friend had you to be beside him as he was going through his lonley times. I also have looked forward to death, and look upon it as the final reward. After hearing your friends story I wonder if when the time would come that I knew I only had a short time left, would I still look forward to it, or not. I do know that I would want to have someone like you, to help me walk through such hard times. You are a Good person

Thanks for reading it. You are quite right in what you say re: 'When the News Breaks'. I so wanted to stand proud and say 'I no-longer want to die/think of dying' Sadly, it really doesn't happen like that. Yes, what a crying shame the way we perceive death as our ultimate release from our pain. I'm humbled by the whole event, yet not cured.!!<br />
We will stick together, & if I see someone down, I shall make the effort to post words of Comfort. If I'm down, the rules change....You won't hear from me for a week or two, what a god almighty fu@k-up our lives are. But, as long as I can type, I'll be thinking of you & the countless people/friends that are walking alongside..x