The header for this thread is the punchline/introduction for a very old, and stupid joke, but it fits.
A couple of days ago, my ex-wife got a call from her doctor's office to discuss some tests she'd had run the day before.
Not surprisingly, she has cancer.
Of course, she was shattered, and I put the best spin on it that I could, it's not liver or pancreatic cancer(usually a fast track outta here, along with lotta pain) not is it colon cancer, which could lead to a colostomy bag, or maybe repeated surgeries, and so on. I am NOT a medical professional, so lot of what I say may be couched wrong, or maybe even somewhat misinformed, but I am pretty sure I have the gist of what was said. Anyway, I was of the "It could be worse" persuasion.
She's not yet 60. My first wife died as a result of a botched colonoscopy(at 52), which led to E. coli, which led to C.diff which led to what they termed "failure to thrive" which was the term given to "just giving up after being violently ill for 9 straight months, all day every day"
I thought back to the efforts I made to make my previous wife's life salvageable...even a massive weight loss, 94 pounds, to donate a kidney... and getting my whole body, along with the house sterile in order to do home dialysis 4 times a day. Of course, that wife was still my wife, and she adored me(as I did her) whereas this one tossed me on the trash heap of used husbandry after only a couple years. How deep, exactly do my obligations go here?
Other factors at work...My father died of cancer at 54...my mother died of cancer at 72, and a couple years after that, my only sibling died of cancer, also 54. I am now 71. My back, knees, and hip hurt so much it can't be described. How much CAN I do?? Her house needs cleaning, her garden needs picking, her dogs need watching. Some time next week or so, when she goes to surgery, even more stuff will need doing, and I may well have to make the trip to take her, and bring her back, the 50 miles or so to an actual town big enough for a real hospital. Don't sound like a lot, but throw in that back/knee/hip thing, and it is.
What's so lucky about all that? You may well ask. Pretty simple, really.
From Bob Dylan's Idiot Wind..."I can't help it if I'm lucky"....
I'm doing stuff for her in her time of crisis, she's not having to do stuff for me during my time of crisis.
She's going into surgery shortly, so Either life will go back to normal shortly, or get even more hectic. Her dogs seem to be acclimating rapidly, which was my biggest concern.
Vaccinate or ICU later, I think the family history, combined with my age WILL keep me from being a possible donor, which is both good(for me) and bad(for potential recipient). Sometime later I will get a call, and I suppose when her doctor makes his rounds, he'll either tell her it's all good, or deliver bad news.
Ya know, for years I've wanted the companionship(and such) of a companion/mate but I think that I've reached a point where my acceptance of living alone and doing EVERYTHING alone, plus having 99% of my conversation with a dog has finally overcome any desires I have tor a mate. It's not up to me to whine about fate, I was there, I'm now here, and that's about that.
The 2 weeks since I wrote the original post have been pretty hectic, but here I am. All set up to dog-sit 2 full grown standard poodles, which will be great fun for my 2 dogs..a poodle/chihuahua(known as the chupacabra) who is the joy of my life, and our dumbledog, Raphael. Sometimes knows as Ruffle.
I have a strange feeling I'm going to be called upon, at 71 years old, to donate a kidney. I've done quite a bit of work at her home, and repaired and registered/tagged/inspected/and insured my spare car for her to have a more comfortable transportation.
I don't do all this shit out of the goodness of my heart, or anything altruistic like that. I'm not really a good guy, or anything like that, either.
I'm just someone who has accepted my place in the universe. Incidents swirl around me, and I am partially consumed, or not. I do have control over my life, and at the same time realize this is a moment in time and space where I can be a good guy. Maybe it is altruistic to a point. I certainly don't feel like I owe anybody anything.
Then, again, maybe I'm just some kind of freaking nut.
You are a very giving person, oldcoot71. And your ex wife hopefully is thankful.
Some of people near to my heart acted exactly like you, taking care for severely disabled or sick friends and relatives. One of them became addicted to pain medication and died 17 days ago at 62 y.o., his severely ill wife is still alive and getting along quite well now.
I don't want to sound too dramatic, but you deserve a life, that's better than that.
Sorry for being so dramatic, take care
Great big hugs!
My ex did not love me either, but cared about me in his own (Aspergers and a terrible husband) way. I am the one who "tossed him to the curb" (after 11 years) for a myriad of reasons but, I help him with anything he asks. I try hard not to mind even though I too am barely getting by some days.
But now that he is in crisis, I help him even more. It is my choice...and of course it is not an obligation. If you can find a good reason to do it (Mine is "he is a good father and NOT a bad person") that helps. Don't do it out of feelings of guilt or obligation. That shit eats at your soul. IOW, make it YOUR decision not hers and look after your needs first.
Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
You are kind.
Maybe best if you draw the line at giving emotional support!
You are a very sweet man. That doesn't mean you have to do for someone incapable of appreciating you. I admire your attitude, though