Devastating news

Cancer – 17 November 2010

I had met my partner in February the same year, and I immediately had the “This is it” feeling, but acted as a very relaxed date, whom he had to convince.  He was on an expat job in the town where I lived. We met the first day of his arrival in the country through my roommate, his colleague and started dating a week later.  4 Months down the line, he asks me if he could ‘rent the free room in my flat’ … living together without calling it that way, ok sure.  Men!

In October his contract abruptly ended and he was on a new one in the North of the UK the day after. He had packed all his stuff and left… what was going on? Why did this happen? I had just signed a contract to develop a new business for a previous employer and loved the opportunity. By signing this employment contract I was offered an expensive part-time Management course for a year. An opportunity I could not miss.

So there I was, stuck to a contract and the love of my life living in another country!

Coming back from my first week in Business School, the OH and I meet at my parents for a weekend in Bruges. We were asked to sit down. My mum started talking: “I am diagnosed with far advanced terminal cancer and I decided not to have surgery nor Chemo. Here are the papers for euthanasia. Can you sign them please. Don’t worry, the signature must be a year old for the euthanasia to happen, it will not be straight away. However the cancer might be fatal quicker then that year.”

A lot to take in, but there is no room to be upset, think or let it sink in . The decision has been made and I need to accept her wishes. I understand her, she has had a lot of medical problems throughout her life, of which the latest was +-two years of suffering from Sudec, of which the pain made her beg to die as no Doctor found what it was, everyday she could use her arm and hand less and less till the point where she could not write anymore. When they finally found out, they gave her injections which luckily helped, and she was just on the better hand. Now the doctors were less focussed on the Sudec they had found the cancer, way to late.

The decision was made. No point to discuss, I must respect her decision and make the best out of it. The OH and I go out for a drink, not knowing what to say really. I sign, I have no other option: I can not be responsible to keep her alive when she is in too much pain to enjoy it. Neither am I the type of person to put life on hold for a couple of years. I have that from her, and she knows, she would not want me to do it either. Both her and I are not afraid of Death, but we are afraid of suffering. We prefer to live a short life to the fullest over a long life with restricted abilities at old age. I understand.

That night, when I curl-up in OH arms, emotions finally come.

” Do you want to talk about it?”

” I just can not believe that I will give birth one day (in the far future) and my mom will not be around…”

2 responses to “Devastating news

  1. Pingback: Point + Shoot : catching up | The Toadstool·

  2. That must be such a very hard thing to do. You know it is your Mother’s wish, but you have to have such strength to be the person to sign. I didn’t realise it had to be 12 months later, over here whenever we talk about euthanasia people just get very wound up and shouty about it, but I agree that suffering is something we’re all very scared of, and none of us want to suffer ourselves, or have to watch the people we love go through it unnecessarily x


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