My Wife, Bryony, died about 10 months ago. She died of Inflammatory Breast cancer (IBC). Prognosis is poor on detection of IBC as it appears to be too late as the origin of the cancer cells is from another source which you may not notice and the inflamed breast is too late a warning. In this case the bones (marrow) were lit up like a Christmas Tree on the scintigraphy images. The cancer cells responded well to reducing oestrogen so we thought that this just meant taking a suitable drug for life. But it was too late. The drugs just delayed the disease.

We were married for 27 years and together for 30 years. We stressed our relationship with three children and twice moving countries. Perhaps we stressed it too much but we loved each other to the end and expected to live for many more years together.

So now I am widowed. It is an emotionally brutal existence. I don’t really have close friends, Bryony was my friend. It is hard to keep close friends when you move countries and I have been moving countries since I was 4. England to Australia to New Zealand to England and then Italy. Bryony had an equally nomadic existence of North Shields to Devon, to New Zealand, where we met and got married and then we returned to England. The best made plans of mice and men: we were not that concerned with the ejection of Sterling from the ERM as the EU was formed. We wanted to live in mainland Europe and moved and we used our freedom of movement rights to move to Italy with our three children. Financial problems with the crash onwards but we were recovering our footing and then there was the corrupt referendum in 2016. We didn’t know what to do as the result is a disaster for the UK and British citizens and the government deliberately chose the most damaging and malicious option for British citizens, to strip us all of our freedom of movement and our European Union citizenship. A truly hateful attack against our European Family. Then Bryony got ill in Summer of 2017. The disease had probably already started before, but the first outward sign was an inflamed breast. It was downhill from there, Bryony ended up in hospital needing a blood transfusion over Christmas 2017. In mid 2018 she was in an ambulance to the hospital and then the hospice and then she died in December 2018.

The funeral followed couple of days later and Bryony was buried at the cemetery between Sanremo and Taggia. I have visited her once in Summer. It is not an easy visit. In January 2019 I felt I needed to survive and in happenstance had a ECG and blood pressure test from a invitation from a charity street stand. My ECG was fine but my blood pressure was very high. I’m now on a daily dose of Perindopril + Amlodipine which rapidly reduced my BP to a normal range. It is a silent disease, I probably should have had more checkups after I was 50 but the past few years have been a mess with no regard for my health but just Bryony.

Which is where we are now. My children seem remarkably mellow about the situation, they are older, 23, 20 and 15. They rightly think it is I that has the problems with losing Bryony. I am bereft of wife and bereft of female company. I have started my foray a month ago into online dating. It is not easy. I imagine no age range is easy but the 55+/- (51-59) age range is where I am at. Looking at other woman’s profiles, I realise how much I have lost with my Bryony but I cannot compare them to her but must start from a clean slate. They will be unique in their own way.