Losing a long-lasting partner is tough for anybody, and it's taken me five months prior to I can even begin to put pen to paper.
David and I satisfied in 1973 whilst we were both working for a car organisation. He had joined at the age of 16 and both our fathers worked for the company also - so it was extremely much a family business. We started dating on the 11th October 1973, and after three days he asked me to marry him. I was 20 and he 21. A month later we got engaged and married the following August in 1974.
I never dreamt I would lose him at the age of 59 ...
I can honestly say whilst young by today's standards, neither of us was sorry for a day of our lives. Yes, we would have altered some things, however learnt from every one of them. We spoke every day even those times when we were in various nations. Our lives were always filled with laughter - he an useful joker at times, but he constantly lightened the darkest minutes even at the end of his life. There are so numerous stories of the restoration and other amusing occurrences and he touched many individuals's lives.
Our four kids were our happiness and we did so much together. He taught them honour and guts and handed on his love of life and humour. David had an unbelievable sense of justice and honesty and a thirst for adventure. He satisfied life head on and taught me a lot about service and to constantly face your fears. Ours was a life of love and laughter and we actually liked each other, and loved investing more time together than anyone I know. We collaborated in 4 various tasks, in addition to in our own businesses - in some cases there were some heated discussions, we never ever fell out.
We had our share of tragedies, losing pets (one Terrific Dane drowned in our pool), our kids's vehicle crashes as well as our child Georgina almost drowning (conserved coolly and calmly by David). And then we had to face a huge fight when David slipped into the world of alcoholism. This was my time to be the strength and together we faced it - and amazingly he beat it with sheer decision and hypnotherapy. The hypnotherapy brought other benefits and David then lost his worry of heights, rats and the dentist - having his teeth done and looking better than he had for years. I can not say when I was so happy with him. Our children were solid and the love we all share is unknown.
Then came our great adventure. In 2002, for the very first time in our lives we were both unhappy in our jobs and to cut a long story short, we bought an abandoned farmhouse in a fairly unidentified part of Italy, restored it and changed it into an 8 bedroom country house hotel. David took on much of the work, and I continued back and forth between Italy and the UK to keep cash coming in whilst we were developing the company. David did all of the cooking and used his enthusiasm for food to win excellent appreciation for his food, making us 8th on journey advisor out of 4 hundred hotels in the region. The organisation grew and flourished and permitted us to invest valuable time together. We invested practically 10 years in Italy - discovering a lot not practically Italy, but life, individuals, ourselves and business, meeting some amazing individuals - a number of whom ended up being lifelong pals. In 2008 we decided it was time to go back to the UK and we put your home up for sale. David made use of his business experience to put a company plan together for a our go back to the UK - to set up some restaurants. I managed to find some investors and all we needed was our stake from your house sale in Italy.
However then came a scare in January of 2009 - David was detected with a malignant tumour in his mouth. An operation in Milan offered us hope - the tumour was benign without any need for other interventions. He had always been a cigarette smoker, however all but quit save for 1 a day rather of 30. Our eldest kid, Simon lives in Italy too and he did so much to assist- owning for 10 hours some days to obtain David to consultations in Milan and back to Le Marche. We saw a great deal of Simon and his other half and our grand son and I am so grateful for that time that David invested with them.
Returning to Le Marche after the operation, we took advantage of every day and went off for coffee in the piazza, fish suppers at the coast and really enjoyed our Italian house ourselves, rather of simply focusing on work and guests.
How vicious though is life? In October of 2010 David got an abscess in his mouth, off to the Dental practitioner for an extraction and antibiotics. A week later, another abscess - another extraction and antibiotics. Week later on the swelling was back and we were sent out to the specialist for a biopsy. I cannot inform you how scared I was. At the very same time, I had an operation on my foot and count on David for whatever as I might not walk unaided for months, so he was my driver, tea maker, individual butler and he never complained - teasing me and making me laugh.
The week prior to Christmas David was called for the outcome and he went with my brother (to make sure we understood exactly what was being said - in Italian). We understood that he would have to have an operations and the word infection was used. That day returning house, our car blew up. Money was pretty tight as service was slow due to the sterling/euro exchange and the most recent financial economic crisis. We obtained loan to hire a car. However it was nearly something telling us we should go the home of England.
Our child Georgina and her boyfriend came out for Christmas and we had to inform everyone that David required and operation on his jaw. Christmas reoccured and David and I invested one of the very best times on New Year's Eve, in a little dining establishment in our hilltop town. Just the 2 of us, and a week going to the mountain, having coffee in the piazza and enjoying the Italian lifestyle.
On the Second January 2011, Georgina and I took David to healthcare facility - the operation was scheduled for the next day. As we sat with the specialist he mentioned the malignant tumour that was to be eliminated and his jaw would be replaced by a bone taken from his leg. We had no concept at that time that it was cancer, and he had kept it from us, so as not to ruin Christmas. Georgina and I felt that we had actually been struck by a bus. Oh my God, how we wept when we left the hospital.
We returned at 7am the next day to want him well and waited. The operation lasted for 7 and a half hours. We paced and paced the hallways waiting on his return. I was still on crutches however nothing mattered except the safe return of David. Finally we ran into the cosmetic surgeon who informed us it was a huge tumour and he thought they had all of it, but more biopsies were needed. At 6.30 David was back on the ward. Not able to speak, but he still managed to write a note - 'guess I better quit cigarette smoking now!' I could have murdered him, but he still made us laugh.
Later on that night, after a check by the surgeon, he was taken back to theatre as they were worried about the transplant of the bone - one of the capillary wasn't functioning. So back on anaesthetic for more work. Georgina and I hold on to each other - we were sleeping on blankets on the floor of his room.
At around 2 or 3 am he was reminded the ward. He looked so thin and grey - hardly alive. I can see it as if it was yesterday. Georgie and I took it in turns to sleep whilst the other saw him. He came round, very much worse for wear and being fed by a tube, with monitors and drips. He was such a strong individual. Fighting every day, he improved and we were so relieved. I oversleeped medical facility for almost 3 weeks, with Georgie taking some nights.
We were told the worst news - they had discovered 3 of 18 lymph nodes with cancer and a shadow on his lung and adrenal gland. As we remained in awful monetary troubles, I had actually protected a task in the UK prior to Christmas and managed to postpone the start date, but I had to be in location for the 20th January, so Georgie and the kids took over in Italy. After discussions, all of us chose that without operate in Italy, no automobile and David as our top priority, we should move completely back to the UK, which would also empower David and take away the requirement for translators.
In February I flew to Italy to load up a few things and bring David to the UK. He bounced back and was so positive that he would beat the cancer. We lived one day at a time and were under Southampton General medical facility. They put us under the Maxillo Facial team initially, then it was chosen that the lung was more crucial. Whatever seems to take so long when you are battling cancer, however you also become institutionalised, eagerly anticipating appointments. David liked to set targets and he remained positive that he would beat it. We were told that they could not cure him, however could offer palliative care. David did not wish to know any longer however I asked. They stated he may have a year, but they might aim to slow the procedure and keep him from discomfort.
I am so happy we returned. We moved in as short-term guests with some amazing buddies, Lesley and Tim - without whom I have no idea how we would have handled. They discovered things to lure his cravings and made us so welcome. David spent his days playing golf - something he had not provided for years. He was my chauffeur, taking me to work every day and we managed to invest great deals of time reviewing old friends and places. In spite of exactly what was going on, we maximized every day.
In May the chemotherapy started. He was ill and woozy and it hit him more difficult than either of us could have predicted - I expected him to sail through it.
We lastly moved into our own rental home in May and Mum returned from Italy - remaining at her friends for a while, before joining us. Georgie and I were joint tenants and it was so great to have our own place, specifically with David fighting the adverse effects of chemo.
In July simply prior to the last chemo, he was not. Not just lightheaded, he might hardly stroll, lost his balance and his speech was impaired. I thought he had a stroke. Telephoning the emergency situation chemo line, he was confessed. A scan exposed that a brain tumour was blocking the back fluid. he was prescribed steroids, and unbelievely he bounced back - after a couple of days in health center, they did another complete body scan and oh my god - it revealed that not just had the chemo not done anything, the lung and adrenal tumours had actually grown, the one was back in his face, and obviously the brand-new brain tumour. It was at this point I was informed he probably had about three months. I lost consciousness. I was going to lose my love, my life and my buddy with whom I shared everything.
David was still fighting and we tried vitamin B17, with high doses of vitamin c - an unique anti-cancer diet plan and alternative treatments - reiki, recovery etc. Anything that would not do the damage that chemo had done. The steroids actually did some good and David got to a point when he got out of the tired phase after chemo and was cooking again and in excellent spirits. The kids came a lot and Simon originated from Italy with his wife and our grand son. We invested a day in Bournemouth and went to the aquarium with lunch in Harry Ramsdens - it's just taking a look at the images now, that I can see simply how badly he was, however he put on his brave face and made the most of the family.
David loved unexpected me, and purchased tickets for Les Miserables for my birthday, which we weren't sure we would make, however he livened up and in August we travelled to London to see the show we both enjoyed. For our 37th wedding anniversary, he purchased tickets for Phantom, once again taking a trip to London with a fantastic dinner in an Italian dining establishment - the date was the 8th September. After the efficiency finished, he had fantastic trouble getting up - the steroids and the cancer were taking their toll on his legs and I was frantic, trying to find a taxi to reduce his discomfort.
From this date, he got slowly worse - I lost a little of him every day. Not his mind, which was a sharp as ever - but he wandered away often although he never let any of us know just how bad he was. He just took paracetamol and ibruprofen for the muscle pain.
Then on the Thursday, 13th October 2011, he woke and stated he didn't feel extremely well. He couldn't say why or where, however I telephoned work and stated I would not be in. At 11 am he had an enormous seizure and was unconscious. Georgie called the paramedics and we got him back. She also made frenzied calls to the young boys, who showed up. I could see that there might not be much time left. Over today his movement was seriously impaired and in the space of 10 days, anoasisofhealing.com/apricot-seeds-and-cancer he went from crutches to a zimmer and then a wheelchair. We needed to raise the cushions on the sofa and he needed help to obtain up and get in and out of bed. The doctors who were incredible in addition to the paramedics recommended a greater dose of steroids, which appeared to do the trick.
We had an amazing weekend with him, chuckling at X aspect, and he chatted with our great friends over afternoon tea on the Saturday - about the grandprix. He was back to his old self. Thank God we had the young boys and Georgie's sweetheart, who did so much to assist him get up and in and out of bed.
My huge remorse was that I told Simon (who lives in Italy) that he had recuperated and he chose not to come on Saturday, however the following Wednesday.
In the early hours of Monday morning (17th October - Simon's birthday) he was in discomfort and had difficulty breathing. Another call to the paramedics and doctor - they gave him oxygen and he was prescribed some more powerful pain killers, which settled him. Our own medical professional came out that morning and prescribed oromorph and a patch. He was definitely more comfortable, however very exhausted. Early hours of Tuesday morning (18th October) he was in awful discomfort in his lower rib cage once again - the spot, which was slow release hadn't kicked in yet - so a call once again to the paramedics and oxygen calmed whatever and a dosage of the liquid oromorph. We purchased oxygen for house usage and a health center bed was pertaining to help him to sit up, unaided.
We both woke at 6am and he sais" Is this the day?" Taken by surprise I responded that only if he wanted it to be. Usually he would watch sky news, however I asked if he would choose some music. He said yes, and I put Santana on the iPod - we sat and chatted and I informed him that I enjoyed him - he said 'I enjoy you too'. The district nurse turned up to fit a catheter, as he was having trouble and 2 social workers to assist wash him, alter the bed etc. I sat with him while he had the catheter fitted then the girls recommended I leave them to wash him. So I went to the lounge to sit with my mum, and his parents (who had arrived) - Georgie returned with other medications and our young boys were on their way from London. I so wish I had actually remained in the room with him. One of the social employees called the district nurse and I rushed out of the space with them - I heard them say they believed they were losing him. I went to him but he escaped and I caught only his dying breath.
The young boys on their way from London were phoning and we dare not pick up. David's parents didn't handle to see him as he was with the nurse when they got here. Whilst I understood that he may not have long, absolutely nothing prepared me for losing him so quickly.
I sailed through the next week as well as provided a tribute to him at the funeral. I know now, that I was on auto-pilot. I was scared to lose it. Now some 22 weeks on, I can not believe he is gone. Nobody knows how tough it is as I have a terrific public face. It's a bit like being a bottle and I am so terrified to take the top off. I miss him more than I can describe. Absolutely nothing prepared me for not speaking together every day, not hearing his voice and unable to see him plainly at night.
I have remarkable children and family and unbelievable buddies. I have actually lost my best friend, and myself. I no longer truly understand who I am any longer. David and I grew up and grew together - we supported each other, laughed and liked together - he was my buddy. I honestly thought I would cope better as we also hung around apart and enabled each other to do things independently, however there was never a day when we didn't speak. Obstacles face me, however absolutely nothing will affect me as the really worst has actually already taken place.
I know he wouldn't want me to be by doing this, and I do value everybody, every day and whatever. For now it's too early to restore myself. A weekend with David was worth more than a life time with another person.
The moral of this tale is that I was lucky sufficient to satisfy somebody who was whatever to me through great and bad, we took every opportunity that came our method. Whilst I miss his desperately we did so much together and I would not have wanted him to suffer any longer. I am so happy that I told him every day that I enjoyed him and how numerous memories I have to treasure.
Live your lives with guts and remember, as somebody composed 'life isn't about discovering how to endure the storm, but rather - discovering how to dance in the rain.