Nick's Final Few Days

Nick’s Final Few Days

Today, i’ll focus on Nick’s final few days, you’ll find the beginning of this here, I did go off on a tangent last week and posted the footage of Nick beginning his video documentary to our daughter Claudia. Thank you to everyone for your beautiful comments and messages I received following my last post, it touched so many people, including those that have never met us.

So, if you’ll forgive me for a short time, I want to again move again from the sequence of events, and mention last night’s premiere episode of Offspring, Season 5. If you live in Australia, you’ll know of this, and you may well have seen it, as 868,000 of us did! I’ve always watched it, thanks to my girlfriend Cathryn and our Wednesday gourmet pizza and Offspring night, but only now has it resonated so much with me.

Watch the below clip for the overview of Season 5 if you haven’t seen this already, it’s me 3 & 1/2 years ago:

As per the episode last night:

1. Both Nina (the main character) and I lost our partners and were left with a baby girl to raise

2. Both returned to work 6 months after their passing, but were perfectly happy in the cocoon of home life with family and close friends.

3. Both hated the pity faces people gave you when you mentioned you were a widow, but also noticed how weird people acted around us, not knowing what to do/say

4. Scared of scarring my daughter when she was so young, have tried to keep her protected from anyone’s grief, always talking of happy times with her Dad instead.

4. I also pretended Nick was still with me at times in the early days, I still talk out loud to him now! Yes, Nick, that’s you i’m always talking to!

5. And I also asked myself many times, ‘Can I do this?’, be a single mum, raise a child, be me again ???

So needless to say, I cried last night, along with many others watching i’m sure, but it felt so real to me. without the maxi skirts and being a doctor part!. I’m not sure how it’s going to play out from here, but i’ll be watching and I’ll will be writing future posts about this time for me, let me know if you’d like to hear about it ?

On with Nick’s story:

Nick's Final Few Days
In healthier times, with Claudia at 2 months

Wednesday:

The operation was off. They told us Nick wasn’t going to be strong enough to survive the operation. They told us this could be the beginning of the end. They told us it might resolve itself, maybe.  But, Nick wasn’t getting any better, he’d barely eaten since he’d been admitted on the Sunday night, he was looking thinner than ever and was sleeping most of the day.

On Wednesday, he must have been getting nervous about what might be coming, he asked me to fetch his laptop for him, he wanted to jump online and look at our financial situation (he was crazy organised, remember?) but he just couldn’t remember his log in password, he tried so many times, he was locked out. He was angry, he threw the laptop off the bed, I caught it and tried to calm him down. It was the time, I think, he finally realised he wasn’t himself anymore. I tried to tell him it was all the medication fogging his mind. Of course, he couldn’t remember some stupid numbers, but he knew, he said, ‘Chel, i’ve been using the same password for 10 years, what’s wrong with me?’ Broke my heart, it was like a light bulb moment for him.

Our doctors that day, had pulled me aside to say he had a 50/50 chance of pulling through this, but not to get my hopes up just yet.

I’m grateful though that we had a very honest discussion that day, in a moment of clarity for Nick. We had always discussed were he wanted to be when the end came, but that Wednesday, I sat on the bed and we spoke again. He said, if the end comes, and you have the time to decide, take me home, don’t let me die here. I promised i’d do my best to make that happen, and we cried together with our baby girl between us.

Later that night, one of Nick’s best mates, Bill called me and asked if he could come past for a visit. I said no, he wasn’t up to visitors, he’d been inundated all day and needed his rest. Me just being all protective of him. I got off the phone and told Nick, he yelled at me, ‘tell him to come and bring all the boys, I want to see everyone, wives too.’ I sheepishly rang Bill back, apologised and told them to come in. And they all did, they filled his hospital room and for that short time, he was himself again, he joked and laughed, they shared stories and called each other ‘Dickhead’ a lot. I think it was his way of saying goodbye to them all, his best friends from primary school, who knew him so well, over 25 years of friendship with each of them.

Nick's Final Few Days
Nick’s last birthday 16th March 2010

Thursday:

Nick woke up and wasn’t well at all, the Doctors were in and out of the room, performing tests etc. I was starting to get more concerned, there was no improvement in his condition, but they weren’t saying much. I went about my day, draining his ascities and changing over his hot gel packs when they cooled to give him some comfort. (yes, walking right into the nurses station, like I was one of them. The nurses had also taught me how to continue his morphine drip when it kinked and stopped, to avoid that annoying beeping it made!) I was doing all I could to keep him comfy and to keep things as ‘normal’ as I could. Meanwhile, visitors kept coming, our daughter was bought in to hang out and all our parents and close family had been dropping in everyday, which is when I would quickly drive back to the apartment to shower and grab clothes.

On the Thursday afternoon, one of his good mates had come in and Nick had again turned on the charm and acted ‘well enough’, I walked his friend out to the lift area and said, ‘you know this is probably the end now, thanks for coming to say goodbye’, he broke down on me, this great big guy, just started bawling. He couldn’t believe what I was saying, we sat on the couch by the lift, as he composed himself, ‘Nick can’t die’ he kept saying, ‘he can’t’, he left in tears and I think it was my first taste of what was to come.

While Nick and I had been nothing but honest with everyone, telling them his cancer was terminal and would take his life, the reality of it was something different. I could understand everyone wanting to deny it, but it was my living reality, we were under no illusions.

That night our Doctor came to visit and wanted to speak to me alone, I said anything he had to say, he could say in front of Nick, who at this stage was doped up and drifting in and out of being aware. But, he told me to prepare for the worst, things weren’t going to get better. This was going to be the end for Nick and at this rate it was going to come sooner rather than later. He apologised for having to tell us that news, he had wanted to give us a happier ending.

We went to sleep that night, side by side in his hospital room. Not knowing my world was about to be turned on its head in less than 30 short hours.

I’ll leave it here, but will add a short note, I have been to a couple of functions in the last few weeks and want to say, if you are reading along and see me out, please come up and have a chat, I love hearing from you. I promise you won’t bring me to tears, I can talk about it all day, if I see you backing away slowly from me, i’ll know i’ve gone on too long!

And I love knowing your thoughts, so please continue to read, comment, like, share on Facebook,  you never know who might come across this and find some inspiration from it.

Til next week, Michela x

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14 thoughts on “Nick’s Final Few Days

  1. Hi Michela,

    Sending my healing energies and love your way. Thanks so much for sharing this, because you will wake up SO many people, to seize life, grab it, and live it, because one day, we’re all going to meet Nick. Blessings, and again, we appreciate your courage in sharing his life, as he moved on.

    1. Hi Ryan,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, yes, it’s true we’ll all meet again one day, and by writing about Nick’s time, im hoping it does give people some real perspective on life.
      I hope to continue to inspire others to really live their lives and spend less time holding onto the negative, life is too short for that!

  2. This is very hard reading for someone who new Nick from primary school days, but i’m glad you are doing this for Nick, Claudia and yourself.

    1. Thanks for reading along, it is difficult at times, but Nick always wanted his message out, that life is short and no one is invincible, i’m hoping this blog and my writing about Nick’s time proves this, plus it helps keep his memory alive, so that’s a bonus!

  3. Still reading Michela, when I see a new posts the whole world stops and I am reading!! Sean and I watched your video post last week and it was a heartbreaker, thank you for sharing, Sean said he still regrets and always will regret not coming to see Nick but this was my suggestion, I had been told that Nick wanted life to continue as per usual and we generally only saw Nick at functions so I didnt want to do anything out of the norm, I don’t want Nick to think we were coming for a goodbye visit it just didnt feel right, maybe I should have let Sean come, maybe that is a lesson learnt, life is too short xoxo

    1. Hey Tiff, thanks for still reading along, love that it makes your world stop once a week!
      Please tell Sean not to worry about not visiting Nick in his final week, it’s passed and Nick would not have held a grudge. He always talked fondly of you guys and he’d be happy to know you are both reading along now and being so supportive of this blog. You definitely get the right message from it, that life is short and precious xxx

  4. Michela I recently started following your page. Your story had made me cry alot but by end of each chapter I smile because you are very strong and positive person. I don’t know you in person but from reeding all this so far I just look up to you and to be able to share something very personal with the world takes lots of strenght. God bless you and your daughter. Can’t wait to reed more

    1. Thank you Vanja, appreciate your kind words and blessings. Thank you for reading along, I hope it continues to bring you smiles and hopefully not too many more tears. xx

  5. Michaela, I’ve been reading your blog since the start and have been so moved to the point where I didn’t know what to write to you, so I just ‘liked’ everything – I am normally better at expressing my thoughts through the written word, rather than the voice – but I’ve been stuck. I’ve thought to myself, what else can a person say to a personal who has probably heard it all? But today reading your post made me want to write something – just something. Just to let you know that I’m reading it and following our journey has been so inspirational and touching. It has made me have an honest look at my life, my marriage, my love, relationships, finances…all in a positive challenging way.

    1. Thank you so much Julie, for reading along and for leaving a comment. I know how hard it must be to try and write something, but I sincerely appreciate you just saying you’ve been stuck for words, because if the situation was reversed i’d probably experience the same writers block. But, by telling me you have changed your perspective and outlook on life is wonderful, knowing I have touched you through this blog, means the world to me, and hearing that, has made my day, week and even month! Just proves to me, that the message is getting across and that’s all that Nick wanted, please keep reading and feel free to write to me anytime! xx

  6. Michela such an amazing wife and mother you are and so very strong
    God bless you and your daughter.

    1. I would really like to keep reading about nicks story you are both truly amazing and so lucky to have had each other

      1. Thank you for reading along, I hope to continue writing until there’s nothing left to say! I was so lucky to have had him in my life, he taught me so much about myself and love.
        If you can think of any other aspects of Nick’s or my life you’d want to know about, please send me an email, otherwise, I hope to keep your interest a little while longer xx

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