I'm still here. I'm still looking for that darn light, I know it's out there. I saw it for a while, and then, the tunnel swallowed it again.
In the past 12 months, I have travelled from Tasmania to Queensland, met some wonderful people, and some not-so-wonderful people, seen amazing things, and had some amazing experiences.
Right now, I am sitting in beautiful Tin Can Bay, wondering where the light went. Things were looking up, I was feeling good, Sheldon (hubby) was feeling good, we were in a beautiful place, with good people. And then it happened - the other shoe dropped.
I got a diagnosis of lupus. Manageable. I was devastated intially, but I got over that. Then Sheldon started having trouble with his breathing; not surprising, he smoked for 35 years, gave up 5 years ago. Cue several doctor visits, and a final diagnosis of emphysema (COPD). In the top 2/3 of his lungs. Feck! That hit me like a ton of bricks - we have managed to dodge every other bullet the doctors have threatened, but there's no way around this one, it is incurable, and the best we can hope for is that he can be made comfortable for however long he has left.
The GP we have locally was not a lot of help in working out a management plan, so we took ourselves off to Gympie to get sorted. Lo and behold, having heard Sheldon's medical history, more tests are required, including an ECG. Something is off there; the left atrium is enlarged (was fine in the CT scan that found the emphysema a whole 2 weeks ago), and there's an issue with his left carotids. A doppler of the carotids and an angiogram are required.
Did I mention feck? Because that is just the tip of the iceberg on how I felt after that news. Perhaps the hardest thing with having to deal with this is that, even though I have wonderful supportive friends, they are all so far away physically, I can't pop around for a cuppa and a good cry. My husband has been handed a concrete death sentence, and the only person I can talk to is him. Which, apart from the occasional "I'm having a bad day with this today' or an initial vent, is not an option - he feels guilty, and is also suffering from all the emotions related to 'Hey, you've got something that will kill you, and there's nothing we can do."
First world problem? Yes. Selfish? Sure is. Valid? Unfortunately, yes.
I hate myself for feeling like I have been let down, and that it's not fair to me. I know he is hurting, and that he is facing the Reaper. And that he is feeling angry, guilty and scared. But I am terrified of what the future will hold for me - we have been together since I was 17 (I'm 45 this year), and while I have spent plenty of that time alone, and a lot of it not knowing whether he would come home or not, there was always hope. Now that's gone, and I am struggling to cope.
Fortunately, I live in a beautiful part of the world, my husband loves me and understands my fears (even though I haven't told him), I have two dogs and a bird who make me smile, I do have friends who will help me where I need it, so I am better off than a lot of people. Plus I get to see things like this every day.