12th Apr2009

After the radiotherapy

by Dutchcloggie

We were warned about the side effects of radiotherapy to the brain. Tiredness, loss of short term memory, somnolence, loss of concentration. The oncologist tells you what to expect and you sit there and nod, thinking it will all work out in the end.

During the 6 weeks of treatment, JD did not really have any problems. She got tired and started losing her hair after 4 weeks. But no major problems. When the treatment was finished, we were told to expect the side effects to get a bit worse, until about 6 weeks after. And so we were not that alarmed when she started to get more and more forgetful. Nor when she was less and less able to concentrate. Or when she started to have problems with wetting herself in public. At the same time she was reducing the amount of steroids she was taking and headaches soon returned, indicating that things were not going all that well.

In the end, it was me who decided that things were not going well and were in fact getting worse than we were told to expect. Maybe selfish but I was no longer able to understand what was going on. AB would forget to do things she promised, she would not take me in to account in anything she did do (have dinner before I was home from work just because she felt hungry, make appointments with people on days that I already had something planned etc.) She also is unable to relate to her own emotions and is genuinely confused by questions that require a decision, be it a factual one or one based on emotions. She will give the answer you hand to her (‘You want red?’ Yes. ‘Or would you rather have blue?’ Yes, blue would be better.)

When asked why she says certain things or why she behaves in a particular way, she will look away, get distracted and (conveniently?) forget the question. This is all beyond frustrating for me and has brought me to the edge of reason with her at times.

I realise this is more my failure to deal with it than JD’s fault for being like this but either way, I struggle to deal with it. Some days I am able to just ignore it but on days that are perhaps stressful due to work etc, I might not be so patient and snap at JD. It makes me feel bad.

02nd Apr2009

Not getting any better

by Dutchcloggie

JD finished her 6 weeks of radiation for her right frontal lobe tumour on February 17th. Although we were warned by the oncologist about some side effects and these potentially getting worse before it gets better, we are quite concerned with how things are currently going with JD.

The first few weeks after the end of the treatment, things were fine. However, in the past 3 weeks, things have steadily gotten worse. She is not suffering too much from fatigue that we were specifically warned about but from a host of other problems:

– Severe loss of short term memory (Forgetting the question during the time that she is thinking about the answer)
– Slow in responding to communication
– Extremely distracted
– Unable to concentrate on anything
– Unable to do 2 things at the same time (for example, a phone conversation is almost impossible as she is distracted by everything around her during the conversation)
– Lack of empathy and understanding of other people’s emotions, inability to take impact of her actions on other people in to account

This is more severe than we were expecting from the information we were given after the treatment and it is causing JD considerable frustration. Not only that, but it is also causing stress in our relationship as I am unable to talk to Jane about how things are going, unable to motivate her to do even the smallest things.
We have tried all the memory techniques I can think of but in the end, if Jane does not look at the reminders or the calendar or her phone or ignores them all, then there is little left to do.

The oncologist said it can take up to 6 months for things to return to normal but things are currently really difficult as I have no idea if I should push her into being more active and do more stimulating things or should I leave her on her own, at home, all day, doing nothing but Sudoku puzzles. She does however say that she does not feel depressed or sad. So I guess that is a positive thing.

As someone who has Attention Deficit Disorder myself, I feel JD has very similar problems, but much worse than what I normally experience.

I have done some research on the internet (yes, I know, that only puts strange ideas in people’s heads….) and I have spoken to several people who had similar treatment to JD and have been given Ritalin or Adderal to help them to cope with the symptoms and have found it very helpful. I am probably way off the mark here but I am wondering if this is an option for JD as well. After all, ADHD is related to brain-problems in the exact same area as where JD’s tumour and treatment are.

Obviously I do not know if this is all caused by the effect of reducing the steroids or by the damage the radical radiotherapy has done to that area of her brain. We are due to see the oncologist again in June but I feel something needs to be done sooner than that.

I think I might need to contact the neuro-oncology nurse to see if this is ‘normal’ or if something can be done to make JD’s life (but also mine!) easier.

20th Mar2009

It has a name: Somnolance Syndrome

by Dutchcloggie

The oncologist warned us that Jane wold be feeling the side effects of the radiotherapy for probably another 5 months. He said she would notice things such as tiredness, memory loss and somnolence. We nodded and pretended to understand. We thought somnolence was just related to sleeping. Well, it kind of is. But Somnolence Syndrome is also the exact reason for JD being almost completely unable to remember to do stuff.

I can call her from work at 1.59pm to ask if she is going in to town (as she said she planned to do) and she’ll say: I’m going after the 2pm news. Then, when I ring again at 3pm, she is still at home because she got side tracked and then forgot to go. In a single minute! I then have to stay on the phone as I tell her: if you still want to go in to town, get up now (I wait for her to get up) put your shoes on (I wait as she puts her shoes on), pack your bag (I wait as she packs her bag), take your phone and wallet and walk out the door (I wait until she has locked the door behind her). If I don’t do this, she can be distracted at any stage of the process and end up doing something different altogether.

In the past few weeks this kind of behaviour has led to me being really angry at times and feeling really bad about that anger. More out of frustration as I just can not understand how you can forget something in the space of a second. It has also made JD upset. We both failed to grasp the full impact of Somnolence Syndrome. We did some research on it last night and we were both quite shocked.

The principal symptoms were those of excessive drowsiness, feeling clumsy, an inability to concentrate, lethargy, being mentally slow and fatigue. The unexplained and overwhelming nature of the symptoms was a cause of anxiety. Somnolence syndrome is a collection of symptoms consisting of drowsiness, lethargy and fatigue. Forewarning patients and planning supportive management around times of drowsiness and fatigue can help to reduce the anxiety that these symptoms cause.

It explains a lot. I now feel more able to accept this behaviour. I feel more able to understand and deal with it. As long as JD does not mind me holding her hand, I will gladly guide her and help her keep her focus on simple stuff.

09th Feb2009

A make-over

by Dutchcloggie


This weekend, JD finally plucked up the courage to have her hair cut off. It was a difficult decision that had been put off a few times already so I am proud she finally went. I think it looks a lot better now. Somehow, the long hair made her look more ill, in my opinion. Obviously, with half a head of hair, she still looks like she is obviously having some kind of problem but it somehow looks much better to me. And I love running my hands through short hair. There still are a few wispy bits on her head at the front but most of it is gone. She has left the hair on the back of her head, if anything because it is actually quite cold without hair! So tip from the top: don’t have chemo or radiotherapy in the winter if you are going to lose your hair! It is cold!

Only 8 treatments to go. So far JD is doing great. None of the terrible tiredness we were warned about, no terrible headaches or anything. I guess it is not surprising that JD isn’t too tired because she doesn’t really do much during the day. That is not a bad thing! I just mean that if you have a very busy life with work and kids, you are going to notice much more that you are unable to do certain things. But if, like JD, most of your time is spent at home anyway, working on the sofa on a laptop, you are not spending a lot of energy anyway so it is not going to feel like you are using a lot more energy to do the same things you always do. I suppose in this case, that is a good thing! Yay for working on the sofa!

The only thing is perhaps that she is more forgetful and finds it hard to organise more than 1 thing at the same time. But apparently that is quite common with RT to the head and that should go away a few weeks after the end of treatment.

I am looking forward to the end of this. I am looking forward to things getting back to normal again. My bosses have been great in the past few months & weeks, giving me all the time I need to get to hospital and whatever else I need. It has made me a lot more stressed as I don’t want to let my bosses down after them being supportive but I also need to be able to put JD first without feeling I then MUST go back to work in the evening to finish work off all the time. After all, my bosses knew I would need time and they offered me that time.

I am looking forward to hearing the radiotherapy has worked and the bastard tumour has stopped growing for good.

27th Jan2009

Angry!

by Dutchcloggie

Perhaps this is not the place and platform so this post may vanish in a few hours/days but I am angry! Really angry. I mean like I-want-to walk-up-to-someone-grab-her-and-shake-her-around-seriously-whilst-shouting-expletives-at-her-kind of angry.

JD needs to be driven to radio therapy every day because she is not able to take public transport in case she has a seizure on her way to the hospital (this might mean she would miss treatment). And so I organised with my boss that I can take every afternoon off work after 3pm so we can drive to the hospital (45 minutes) and get JD zapped.

Next month, my boss asked me if I cold perhaps be at a film shoot for work. I said I would try to get someone else to drive JD to hospital and back. Surely a one-off should not be so hard to organise for someone right? After all, if you love someone and care for them…..

I remembered that JD’s mother had said she would do anything to help. So I asked JD to call her mother and see if maybe she wold be prepared/able to drive to our house, pick JD up, take JD to hospital and then drop her off home again. Granted, this would be quite a drive for her mother as she lives about 90 minutes driving away from our house. But even so, you would think she would be able to do this for her daughter who is having treatment for a brain tumour. And remember, this is not tomorrow. No, this is more than a week from now.

I should have known the outcome. Nope. Can’t do. Why? Well, because she has to teach some kids how to ride a horse. Yes, I understand that is what she does for a living but there is still plenty of time to try and rearrange some of these lessons right? After all, it is her daughter we are talking about. All she was asking was for her mother to help out for an afternoon. Nope. Too busy. Not even saying that she would try to re-arrange the lessons. Nope. Too busy.

Like she was too busy to talk to JD on the phone the other day when JD wanted to tell her about her hair loss. Too buy because she was ‘making herself breakfast’. Like she was ‘too busy’ for the past 2 years (yes, TWO YEARS!) to visit us in our new flat. In the time my parents visited from Holland 3 times, JD’s mother, from a hour driving away, visited exactly ZERO times.

I respect JD’s wishes not to tell her mother exactly what I think of her extremely self-centered behaviour but it is getting harder and harder. I want to tell her to stop thinking the world revolves around her and that other people are not merely hangers-on to her life.

27th Nov2008

Doctor Lecter comes to town

by Dutchcloggie


Yesterday JD went to hospital to have her mask fitted for the Radiotherapy. I took pictures, much to the amazement of the technicians. Well, I need to be able to explain to my family what is going on right?

Anyway, JD was positioned on a table and then they quickly placed some warm plastic mesh on her face which was then shaped and molded to fit her face. After about 5 minutes, the plastic was hard and taa-daa: a perfect cast of her face.

She was then taken for a CT scan with the mask on. That way, the Oncologist can map exactly the position of the tumour in relation to the mask. (Read more information about this on the website of Cancerbackup.org). He will put all the different scans (MRI, CT, PET) on top of each other to pinpoint the exact location of the tumour and then he marks out on the mask where exactly the radiation beams will need to be aimed during the radiotherapy treatment. Next month JD will go for a trial scan to check the oncologist has measured everything correctly.

The real thing then starts on January 5th.

The appointment itself wasn’t anything much. Quite technical. The oncologist answered some more of our questions and JD was pleased to report that the increased dose of steroids seems to be working well and her double vision and headaches have been reduced greatly.

Afterwards JD said that the whole experience left her feeling ‘cancery’. I suppose it hits home that this is cancer treatment. She said she has so far not seen herself as a cancer patient at all. Neither have I. I know a brain tumour is brain cancer but somehow it feels like a separate thing. Being surrounded by leaflets and brochures from the (excellent) MacMillan cancer charity makes you realise that in fact, it is a form of cancer.

It is all a bit strange because JD is not really feeling ill at all, especially with the steroids now controlling the swelling of the brain. In fact, the radiotherapy will make her more ill than the tumour ever has so far.

25th Nov2008

Support in music

by Dutchcloggie

I have always liked “I Run for Life” by Melissa Etheridge. It is a song about her experiences after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The song has almost become a rallying cry for women around the world, giving them hope and a sense of community, to have a major singer singing about such an intimate experience is such an inspiring way.

As I said, I liked the song before all the brain-thing with JD. I admired Etheridge for recording it, I liked that a singer I have admired for years has managed to reach out to all women, lesbians or straight, and unite them behind a common cause. The song is about breast cancer and for that reason, I used to find it a touching song.

But these days, it makes me cry. It makes me want to sing it REALLY loud in my car on the way to and from work, with all the windows open so everyone can hear my anger. It makes me want to scream with rage, it makes me want to destroy the thing that is making JD ill. These days, it makes me very very very determined. And then I realise that there is no point in me feeling determined. Because what can I do to make it go away? Nothing. I can maybe make JD feel better about it. But there is nothing I can do to fight this. But maybe if I sing it one more time, it might go away then?

I Run for Life

(Melissa Etheridge)

It’s been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She’ll tell you it makes her complete

[Chorus:]
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend:| I run for life

It’s a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken it’s toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I’m still learning the lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I’ll tell you I run for us all

[Chorus:]
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend:| I run for life

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend:| I run for life

I run for your mother your sister your daughter your wife
I run for you and me my friend:| I run for life

05th Nov2008

Do you tell?

by Dutchcloggie

I have a really good relationship with my parents and sister. I tell them everything. They are fully aware of what is going on with JD and when she first had surgery, back in 2005, my parents canceled their planned holiday in Italy and came over to go camping in England instead to be near us during the surgery. (My parents live in The Netherlands, where I am from). So every time there is a minute new development with JD’s brain, my parents are usually the first to know. That is how they want it. I don’t really worry about what they do with the information I give them. With that, I mean that if they get really scared when I tell them we are due to visit the Oncologist, that is not my business. Not that I don’t care, but I mean, I do not withhold information from them just because they might get upset or take it the wrong way. They are responsible for how they deal with the information I give them. It is not up to me to judge if they are ‘fit’ to hear certain things or not.

JD however has never really been close to her parents. Her father died earlier this year and the relationship with her mother is a complicated one. In her family, the tradition is more: don’t tell unless there is an absolute need. So for example, she would be told after the event that her dad had been in hospital for a few days but that it was all OK now.

It seems JD is now taking the same approach with her mother. I had to almost twist her arm to even get her to tell her mother that the latest MRI showed growth and she has not told her mother that she will see the Oncologist this month. She just told her that she had a follow up appointment to discuss the results of the PET scan.

This is something I don’t understand. Surely it means that if JD needs chemo or radiation, this will be a major shock to her family since they have no idea what is actually going on. JD says: well, we KNOW nothing so it would just upset them to give them half a story. She may have a point there. My family know everything, even though we really know nothing. So they are just as uncertain and scared as we are. But in my mind, this means at least they are prepared if the news is going to be bad. If you don’t know how serious it is, the news that someone might need chemo or radiation will be even harder to take, right?

Sometimes we argue about this. I think communication is absolute key. JD feels she does not want to deal with her mother being upset over something we don’t know much about yet and so prefers to say as little as she can get away with. I can rationally see her point but it feels totally alien to me to keep information from my parents.

So, how do you guys handle this? Is it better to keep people informed, as some kind of running commentary, even if the news is tiny or unclear? Or is it better to just limit the information to things you know for sure so as to not upset people too much? Are we ever responsible for how our loved ones respond to the news? Or do we owe them ‘full disclosure’?

23rd Oct2008

It’s back

by Dutchcloggie

I realise I have not posted anything interesting here in..well….weeks (months?). Not that things have been really busy. Just that I haven’t been bothered posting.

However, I suppose things have changed now and I might get back to some more regular posting here.

As you may remember, in February this year, JD and I were told that her brain tumour is active again. The specialist said there was an absolute minute change in the size of the tumour. Nothing to worry about and the scan would be repeated in 12 months time, no need to worry. Sure. Of course you worry; even when the doctor says you shouldn’t.

Most people imagine a tumour as a well defined lump (See the picture on the right as random example) but Jane’s tumour isn’t like that. It is more like little bits of tumour tissue, growing in between healthy brain tissue in a small area of her brain. The healthy tissue gets irritated by the tumour tissue and it starts to swell up, putting pressure on the brain since there is no space in the skull for tissue to swell up. So on the MRI scan, you don’t see a nice clear lump, but a vague grey area where there is tumour tissue in the brain (see the picture on the left as a random example). This makes it really hard to remove as you don’t really know which bits are tumour and which bits are healthy tissue that is swollen. It all looks the same. When they originally removed the tumour, in 2005, they were unable to determine exactly what kind of tumour it was. They were also not able to remove all of it as the ‘edges’ were not very well defined.

In the months that followed February, JD kept having headaches. There were periods where she had them every day for weeks. In September JD had a migraine attack, something she had never had before. It was really scary as we had no idea what was going on. Vomiting, excruciating headaches for about 8 hours. Combined with her hearing problems that had recently surfaced, we decided that we would really like an MRI scan done earlier than February 2009. We went to her GP and luckily he agreed that she should be seen by a Neurosurgeon.

The Neuro bloke was really nice and ordered an emergency MRI scan for the next week. When the results came back, they were not really what we were hoping for. The tumour was indeed growing and active, more so than they anticipated back in February. JD was put on steroid tablets to reduce the swelling of healthy brain tissue around the tumour that was irritated by the presence of the tumour. This helped reduce the headaches.

The last MRI scan showed that the grey area on the picture had grown larger and that there was now also a second area that showed up grey. Does that mean the tumour is spreading? Or that there is simply more brain swelling going on? They can’t tell from the MRI. So they wanted to do a PET scan and based on the outcome of that, do a biopsy to see if they can finally decide what kind of tumour it is. And then he said the words Chemotherapy and Radiation. Excuse me? Can you repeat that for me? Chemotherapy? Radiation? That is for people with CANCER! The doctor said there was no real need to treat the tumour but because JD is so young, he preferred to treat it now, before it might start to grow faster or even change in to a malignant tumour.

We left the hospital shell-shocked. From having a migraine to being told your tumour is indeed growing and you might need Chemo and Radiation…. Geeeeez.

And so JD had her PET scan last week; she had another blazing migraine that same day so she was ill all the way to the hospital and back. Poor sweetie. A PET scan looks are brain function. The contrast fluid lights up differently depending on the activity in the brain. Hopefully that will enable them to see the difference in brain activity in tumour tissue and normal brain tissue. That way they might be able to get a clearer picture of where to take biopsy samples from.

It is wait and see what the results of the PET scan say.

It is a small difference in emotions but somehow I feel things have shifted for JD. From ‘having a brain tumour’ to ‘living with a brain tumour’. If you have no symptoms, then the tumour might as well not be there. Now she has headaches and ‘proper’ symptoms, it just feels different.

Yegh. I am not liking it. I prefer to know exactly what tumour it is, what the prognosis for it is and how much this is going to affect the rest of her life. All this uncertainty is no fun. Very stressful!

07th Jun2005

Tumour diary – Day 2 Afternoon

by Dutchcloggie

I am home for a short while to get some laundry done, have some food and get JD some clean clothes.

Nothing has changed since this morning so it is all still very good. Nothing has changed. Apart from me having read the letter she left under our bed in case something would go wrong during the operation.

Nothing has changed since this morning. Apart from me having gone from a composed partner to a teary mess, sitting at home with a letter in my hand, crying my eyes out.

In the envelope was a letter and another envelope. I have not opened that yet. And I don’t think I will. I will ask JD to open it for me this afternoon. If she does not want me to open it, she can throw it away. Or keep it safe for when it is needed. She told me I could read the letter so I did. If she had told me I couldn’t I wouldn’t have read it.

Just the thought of her not surviving. “Perhaps you can hear my voice or see me standing next to you when you read this…”. I pictured myself reading the letter after her death or after something really wrong had happened. And I just cried and cried and cried. Like I am when I am typing this now.

I would be absolutely destroyed if something ever happened to her. I am nothing without her.

Can we please never have to do this again. Please. Pretty please.

Thank you.

07th Jun2005

Tumour diary – Day 2 Good morning

by Dutchcloggie

JD has had a nice and quiet night sleep. That is according to the night nurse. According to JD herself she had a reasonable night sleep with headache and interruptions. She seems quiet this morning but fully awake and talking. She had breakfast and some bananas. She asked her mother for a digital camera so she can see what she looks like in hospital.

I am feeling ok but of course i am anxious about any possible changes in her personality or behaviour that may have come from the tumor or the surgery. I have to learn to ignore it every time i think: would she have been like this before the surgery as well or is this different? We will be ok i am sure. I love her to bits even with her newly acquired comb-over.

06th Jun2005

Tumour diary – Day 1 She’s fine

by Dutchcloggie

A quick mobile blog to let you all know jane has had the surgery. It all went fine and she is looking really good. No bruises in her face yet and they did not have to shave her entire head either.

05th Jun2005

See you later

by Dutchcloggie

Human pyramid

JD had a fabulous party yesterday. Almost all her friends came to a BBQ we organised. The weather was great and there was lots of fun, alcohol and volleyball. It is nice to know JD has so many friends who care about her. My folks had come from The Netherlands to be there as well which made me happy. People brought their own personal message for JD that I put in a big Friends-book for her to read when she is feeling down after the surgery.

I am about to take JD to the hospital and then tomorrow, hopefully, she will have the tumour removed and we can start putting this whole mess behind us. I actually think the hardest bit is yet to come. Up till now, JD has had no symptoms at all so as far as we are concerned, nothing has really changed. After the surgery, her head will have a scar, her head will hurt, her face will be bruised and treatment (perhaps radiation, perhaps chemo) will start. So in fact for JD, it will be worse AFTER the surgery that is supposed to heal her, than it is before it. Weird.

We are both scared but I am very confident that things will go OK. We have been lucky so far: if she had not hit her head during the rugby game, back in January, she would never have had the MRI and CT scans that showed the tumour. She has been treated with respect and care by the NHS staff. Everything has gone really well and fast. I have nothing but praised for the NHS so far. Let’s hope it stays like that.

There will probably not be much posting here for a few days. Just leave me your positive thoughts, either here or in your mind. We will need them.

16th May2005

And so it begins

by Dutchcloggie

A post from JD

..final exams to begin on Wednesday. And for those who are interested, the exams run as follows:

18th May PM Service Operations Management
19th May AM Entrepreneurship and Small Business
23rd May AM Marketing Analysis
1st June PM Finance
2nd June AM Operations Management

Yummy.

It doesn’t seem a lot but since the whole ‘going into hospital and having brain surgery’ thing kicked off they have seemed like an insurmountable task. But time passes and now they’re here. I can only do my best. But maybe my best will not be good enough as I am not happy with my preparation as I’ve found it very hard to concentrate without thinking about the surgery conveniently scheduled for the 6th.

I’m scared of not waking up. I don’t want M to be alone – that sounds really egotistical doesn’t it? I suppose it doesn’t matter for me as I would be gone but I want a few more tomorrows together. If I die it would be like I’ve been short changed by the bank of life. I’ve got new people to meet and a bestselling novel to write. Maybe some children? Definitely some cats. Fun job, money not important, but I’d like to be able to afford to travel. Taking M and exploring somewhere new. Just being in each others company. Outside somewhere lying on a patch of grass having a snooze. Anywhere really.

Maybe I’m just ranting because I’ve been inside working for the past few weeks. The tumour puts life in perspective. Exams are not important. I will not suffer too much if I don’t do so well but I would like to do well for my own satisfaction. I know what I am capable of achieving.

I’ve developed a highly tuned ‘shite filter’. If something isn’t important I ignore it. It amazes me how people can get wound up by the silliest things. I want to tell them to get over it and get on with their life. To do ‘something’ so that they don’t get to the end and feel that they’ve wasted their time. I understand that all too clearly now. If I live three more of my lifetimes again then I will be 84, which most would consider to be a good innings. So that’s another 63 years in which to do some decent living.

Or another 21 days.

28th Apr2005

June 6th

by Dutchcloggie

So the date is June 6. She’ll go in to hospital on the Sunday before. And we will have a big BBQ on the Saturday. if you are close enough to us to know where we live, then you are welcome to join us for the BBQ at the rugby club. And bring something personal to give to JD.

JD has to go to a pre-op check-up next week. Pre-op check up more than a month before the operation? Oh well, nothing if not thorough!!

28th Apr2005

Getting serious

by Dutchcloggie

And then you have to do all those things you have been putting off for far too long already. Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney etc.
Sometimes being a lesbian is really annoying. A registered partnership or marriage would solve this sort of thing in one instant. But no, us gay folk have to sort this out separately. Thank God JD and I have no joint possessions beyond the freezer and the bookcase we bought at IKEA.

I don’t get on too well with JD’s parents so it is important we sort things out before the surgery. I do not want to end up fighting over issues when JD is in hospital or even worse. I am her partner. I am her next of kin. This is her choice, this is what we want to put in writing.

So we made an appointment to see a solicitor.
I preferred life when it was about living rather than dying.

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