Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The beginning of the end

One year ago today by date, on September 15, 2019, I used Facebook to share what I could of Nigel’s final journey. It was the first time I did that. I shared what we knew right then, but that turned out to be so very incomplete. It was a Sunday when I wrote that post, in our bedroom, with Nigel lying next to me. I ran it past him. That same weekend, when he felt up to it, I helped him work on his story for his memorial service, we worked on his will, and basically tried to prepare ourselves for what was coming.

Two days after I made that post, Nigel was taken back to hospital. He had a couple days in which he was conscious, and then he died early the morning of his third day in hospital, five days after I made that Facebook post.

I never shared that Facebook post on this blog—of course I didn’t: This blog was among the things that absolutely were not on my mind at that time. Of course. However, unlike other things I posted to Facebook that week and the weeks afterward, I didn’t share the September 15 post, something I never realised until today, when Facebook presented the post to me as a "Memory". As we draw closer to the first anniversary of Nigel’s death, it’s important to me to fully document what happened, and that particular post describes where we were at the start of what turned out to be the final week of our life together.

With that in mind, here’s that post from September 15, 2019, unedited and uncorrected:

I have some bad news, and Facebook is the best way to tell a lot of people at once.

On Monday we took Nigel to the hospital because he had a bad infection that seemed to be affecting his liver. After tests and scans, and consultations with liver specialists, he’s since been diagnosed with liver cancer, which is late stage. The other day the doctor said the prognosis doesn’t look good.

They did a biopsy Friday, and we’ll probably meet with the oncologist later in the coming week. After that, we’ll have a better idea what the plan and outlook are, but until then we just don’t know and can’t comment on it. This came as a shock because until he sought treatment for the infection, he had absolutely no symptoms of anything being wrong—nothing popped up in blood tests and there was nothing to make doctors worried. Nothing.

I apologise for sharing this bad news in a post—I’d have preferred to let many of you know privately first. But last week I spent most of each day at the hospital with Nigel, and in addition to being long, exhausting days, we got a little more information every day, and I wanted to share the most complete information I could. However, waiting eventually meant a FB Post was the only practical way to share the bad news with our wider circle of friends.

Please keep us in your thoughts, and feel free to reach out. Don’t worry about not knowing what to say—no one ever knows what to say at a time like this. Receiving a kind word can help more than we might think. However, because of everything that’s going on, please understand that we may not respond right away—it might just not be the right time at that moment, but we’ll get to responding eventually.

Nigel and I were supposed to grow old together. That was always our plan, our only plan for two and a half decades. Along the way, we tried to cherish each day, to make sure we said “I love you” every single day, and to always make sure that the other *felt* loved. We succeed in all that. We still are.

Give your loved ones a big, long hug from us.


Roger Owen Green said...

My condolences once again.
There's never enough time...

Arthur Schenck said...

No, there certainly isn't.