Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

              This is all about me, as in “Why does this happen to me?” True, I’m not the one who’s going in Monday for surgery to remove a cancerous growth, followed by several months of chemotherapy which will sap what little strength the body has. No, my girlfriend of the past 18 months, a lovely lady named Eileen Cadman, is the one who will be enduring it, but because I’m her boyfriend and relatively healthy (a miracle in itself considering the minimal care I’ve given my body over the years), it’s up to me to be with her as close to 24/7 as I can possibly be. About the most strenuous activity she’ll be able to perform unassisted is lifting a cup of tea to her mouth. Anything more taxing than that is pretty much out of the question, and it will be up to me to do all the house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and errands.

                 This is a place I’ve never been before. I’m the person she’s depending on the most, and while I want to do everything I possibly can to help her to a complete recovery, there’s no guarantee that I’m not going to screw up several times along the way. That worries me a lot. Will I be able to cope with the inherent stress? I’m the one that HAS to be there, as her surviving family members don’t live near London, she has no children, and while she has a lot of longtime friends, none are in a position where they could drop everything else and give her the full attention she needs. Out of the sudden poison I seem to have become on the comedy circuit, my dearth of gigs make me that much more available for her. I would still like to be able to perform, but it appears that any gig that would involve being away for more than 24 hours would be a major risk for both of us. I’m gigging next weekend (so far), but both are within an hour from London, and she’ll most likely still be in the hospital then anyway.

                 I’ve never dealt with this crisis from a significant other, but perhaps it’s one of the pitfalls of growing older, in that your chances of dealing with it either from yourself or your loved one increase as the years pass by. Eileen always seemed healthy to me, but not that organic, vegan, high-on-life kind of healthy. Hers is the kind of strength and fitness you get from being a native Londoner and thus being better prepared for the shit sandwich life wants to lay upon you. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. Just pops up on whomever and at whatever time it feels inclined to do so. My mother got breast cancer at age 56, had the necessary procedures, recovered fine, only to die of bladder cancer 25 years later. 

                   The adventure begins a week from Monday, when she is released from the hospital and sent home. From there it will be many nights in where we have to avail ourselves of as much video and audio entertainment as we can obtain. She has no television, hasn’t had one for over 20 years, but that has not proven to be an issue in our relationship. Do I really need to follow “The Voice?” “American Idol?” Perhaps not. I will probably be spending almost every night away from Dagenham for the next couple of months, which makes me think I should give up my place and put my stuff in storage, or sublet, which probably the landlords wouldn’t allow.

                    If the whole situation drives me nuts, or drives me away, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time for either. But she’s special enough to me that I want to be there for her, be strong for her, show love for her, the whole enchilada. Her friends all think I’m the right person for this assignment, and I hope they’re right. I will no doubt be blogging more frequently to detail not only her progress, but my own as well. Thanks in advance for all your prayers and other support. 

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.