Faking a Serious Illness

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So, what is it? Is it that he’s an abusive a-hat? Is it that he’s an alcoholic who refuses to admit that he has a problem? Is it just that he’s a flippin’ idiot? Some combination of all of the above and/or more? ….

It’s stuck in my head today, and I do not know why. Maybe it’s because I heard from my cousin who’s mom actually died from pancreatic cancer. Or maybe it’s because HER ex-husband also claimed he had a terminal illness and wouldn’t be able to help her and their child… (So, folks there is more than one of these sick ‘men’ out there. Who’d have imagined it?) Those are probably the two big factors in the ride today.

Any way, it’s stuck in my head and just wants front stage for a little bit, so here we are. As Ani DiFranco sings
it’s gonna be sudden
it’s gonna be strange
i’m gonna turn on a dime
give you five cents change
it’s gonna be long overdue
it’s all gonna come out
outta me, on to you

Sam pretended to have testicular cancer in what I assume was a bid to get me to let him back in my home and to get me to take care of him again. It was also a ploy to get a pity-me-fondle…. Seriously. What kind of man does that? Lies about having cancer to try to get a hand job?

He went so far as to tell me that it was the same type of cancer that a certain cycling great had, but the doctors weren’t sure of his chances. It doesn’t stop there. A couple months later, he tells me that the doctors found spots in his lymph ‘noids’, in his shoulder and near his lungs. Apparently I wasn’t sufficiently moved by the testicular cancer and he needed to add more fuel.

Factor into this story the fact that he was drinking vodka like it was water. Literally. And had been for a while. Every time I saw him, which wasn’t too often by this time, he was shaking like an old man with palsy. Probably weighed less than 150 lbs (at 6’7″ that’s skeletal) because he drank his meals.

That little voice of doubt that Sam worked so hard to create and cultivate in my psyche, wanted to believe him. I’d lost 2 aunts to breast cancer and 1 to pancreatic cancer; I knew what cancer looks like. I KNEW about Sam’s drinking problem. I never saw any explanation of benefits from the health insurance that showed any cancer diagnosis or treatment. (Yes, I still carried and paid for health insurance coverage for him even though I’d left him.) I had even asked him why I never saw any. (His response: I didn’t want to worry you. My question now: then why tell me about it at all?) And still I believed him, kind of, a little, maybe it was true. After all who would lie about that?

What kind of man uses this fake illness to get out of sitting with his wife and child as his child is prepped for surgery? Sam had me drop him off at the hospital the morning of Max’s surgery saying he had a radiation treatment, but would show up at Max’s appointment later. Which of course, since he doesn’t have cancer was a crock of s-.

So, you might ask: Did Sam finally come clean about the lie? No. So, how did you find out? I spoke to his sister while Sam was in rehab out-of-state (a last ditch effort on his part to not lose the best job he’d had in years) and asked if the doctors at rehab would be able to continue to treat his cancer. Umm, Sam doesn’t have cancer. He’d had something removed from his testicle, but it wasn’t cancer.

(Turns out he hadn’t even had that done before he went to rehab. It was done 5 months after he got back.)

Do I have a point in relaying all this information? Not really, no. Venting. Nothing beyond getting it out there. To acknowledge to some one – even if no one else ever reads this – that Sam did this. Sam lied about having a terminal illness.

Why would some one do that? Is it his abusive, controlling nature? or his addiction? Does it matter? He still did it.

One response to “Faking a Serious Illness

  1. Thank you for this. Mine fakes a new illness every week, and if that doesn’t work he breaks his car so it is ill too and he won’t have to go to work. He’s had non-existent kidney stones to get Vicotin, tried to turn macular degeneration into a big deal, I even believe he fakes his diabetes shots… always waits until I’m looking to make it even look convincable. Alcoholism is a strong disease. I find comfort in al Anon for those affected by alcoholics behavior. Bless you.

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