|Can Love Conquer All?|
Love across 'The Pond' comes with a bitter twist
A drink with an old school friend and his girlfriend in January of this year was to change my life in more ways than I could possibly have imagined.
Just having come out of a complicated relationship, and feeling very single indeed, I was somewhat envious of my friend being head over heels in love with his new American girlfriend who was over from the States for a visit. Over a good bottle of wine and sitting outside on an unusually sunny winters afternoon she suggested that I should meet her best friend and neighbour in Colorado, Eric Murphy.
She showed me a photo of an incredibly handsome man who had been divorced several years earlier, with a 16 year old son and who worked as a photographer. Before I could say anything and in a marvellously spontaneous American way, she had rung him and put us both on the phone. A slightly inebriated but not awkward conversation took place and within 10 minutes he had sent me via email handwriting of his to analyse – this is less unusual than it seems as I work as a graphologist. Sensitive, intuitive, artistic and altogether perfect.
Perfect for me perhaps but his health had not been so. I was told by my friends that sadly he had already had cancer twice, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and that if it came back he was unlikely to have more treatment. This is quite an unusual introduction to a relationship and one that I chose to stuff carefully into the far recesses of my mind.
The next three months followed with daily texts, emails and the wonderful modern day communication of Skype. We talked a little of his previous cancer but mainly of his love for Britain and his hope of visiting. We got on famously and realised that we must indeed meet in person to see whether we really would get on in reality.
The next three days we spent alone in a magical cottage way up in the mountains, thick snow everywhere and as romantic as life could possibly get. We fell for each other immediately and heavily and I was the happiest that I could remember. The rest of the week was spent in Colorado Springs at his home where I met his delightful and hugely intelligent son, Logan.
The idyll was fractured when on my last day he suddenly admitted to me that his cancer had returned and he had not gone to the hospital or even the doctor and had in effect, decided to die. I was dumbstruck and heartbroken. I understood that after two episodes of cancer, the gruelling chemotherapy had taken its toll on him and he just couldn’t face it again.
I pleaded with him and he perhaps a little reluctantly agreed that he would now fight this cancer as hard as he could. An extremely emotional parting at Denver at the end of our week upset me and I had no idea what the future held.
Over the following few weeks Eric underwent a round of tests, scans, MRIs and a bone marrow biopsy. The results were as he predicted but this time he had not one but two forms of the cancer in his blood stream and in his lymph glands. Both chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant were and are his only options for survival at this stage and at only 46 thats an extremely tough call.
I visited again in May and I was met with a much reduced man who had lost weight and now had multiple lymphatic tumours. I realised that I was emotionally involved and happily so, with a man that was fighting for his life at the very earliest stage in our relationship when we should have been at our happiest.
I returned to London with a heavy heart and a near broken one.
I will be going out to see him again at the end of July and by that stage he will be about to have his third chemotherapy session in preparation for a bone marrow transplant in the Autumn.
I have no idea what lies ahead for us but for the present he has a long and arduous road to health ahead of him. Battling with the side effects of the treatment as well as the worry that this enormously expensive treatment is only partially covered by his insurance is a two pronged nightmare for him.
Eric is an extremely private and self reliant individual who is not used to asking for help. I decided to help as much as I can this side of The Atlantic and have set up a GoFundMe account to help him with the shortfall in his insurance cover as well as living expenses when he is no longer able to work. The link to the account is below.
June 25, 2015